Good Morning Cardinal Nation. Here’s what I have for you this morning:

MORE ON MOZELIAK, MATHENY EXTENSIONS: Tony LaRussa was very complimentary of the extensions given to John Mozeliak and Mike Matheny on Thursday, saying: “I think it’s well-deserved, an outstanding move.” As Derrick Goold notes in this article, Matheny is wasting no time this Spring and is already going by his motto of “Get better.”  There is no doubt that Matheny learned a lot from his first year as manager. One thing that I often criticized was his game management in late innings, when I often thought some of his bullpen moves were questionable. Let me be clear: this is probably one of the most, if not the most difficult part of being manager. When a reliever is successful, he gets all of the credit. When he fails, the manager is blamed for bringing him in. It’s flawed system, but that’s what it is. After that, I really didn’t have too much to complain. He could not have had bigger shoes to fill, and he got to the Cardinals within one game of their second consecutive World Series. I’m ecstatic about this season and I’m looking forward to what Matheny has in store for his second season.

BELTRAN COULD USE MORE REST: Rick Hummel discusses Carlos Beltran in his column this morning and how he could use some more rest. Beltran is in the second year of a two-year, $26 million contract, and he has consistently said that he has interest in returning to the Cardinals after that. The thing is, I don’t know how much longer his knees will last. They were always a problem when he was with the Mets, and Beltran would be the first to admit that he might have played a few too many games. His second half was drastically different from his first, but I still do see him as someone who can be very productive to this lineup. Maybe not 30 HRs and 100 RBIs, but why not 20 and 80? If we got that from Beltran this season, I don’t think you would see a whole lot of people complaining.

And finally, here are some other recommended articles:

  • SI gives an early look into the NL Central
  • Derrick Goold wonders how old the Cardinals’ lineup really is.
  • Here is Rob Rains’ postcard from Thursday. He also writes about Matt Carpenter, who is encouraged by his work at second base
  • Jason Isringhausen has taken on a new career as a pitching coach. Click here to see where.
  • Finally, the Cardinals held their first official workout on Friday morning. Here is a photo courtesy of Jenifer Langosch