Good Morning Cardinal Nation. Here’s what I have for you this morning:
MOTTE AVOIDS ARBITRATION: As we reported yesterday, Jason Motte signed a two-year deal worth $12 million on Tuesday, avoiding arbitration. Said Motte on the deal: “Last year during the winter, there was the talk about what I was going to do, was I going to stay the closer or how was it going to work with everyone?…I knew it wasn’t just going to be based on one good season. It takes a lot more than that. For them to extend a two-year deal, I know these aren’t just given out. You have to work your butt off once you get it.” Motte was tied for first in saves in the N.L. last year with 42, marking the first time a Cardinal has saved over 40 games since Jason Isringhausen in 2004. Between, Mujica, Boggs, and potentially guys like Trevor Rosenthal and Shelby Miller, I’m truly excited about this bullpen the Cardinals have coming up in 2013, unlike the past few years. They’re young, they’re effective, and they really know how to pitch intelligently. If the Cardinals are improved in any area of their team since a year ago, it is definitely their late-inning relievers.
LASORDA REMEMBERS MUSIAL: Tommy Lasorda joined 101ESPN on Tuesday to discuss his relationship with Stan. Here’s a little bit of what he had to say:
“I loved Stan Musial. And not just as a player, but a person also. I spent a lot of time with him over the years and you can’t find anyone with more class than him. He was such a wonderful person.”
“A lot of people don’t realize this, but he is in the top 20 of every department of the game. He’s the only guy that has done that.”
“Musial was a Dodger killer. Whenever he came into Ebbetts Field…he wore us out. I don’t care who was pitching. But if anyone was going to [beat us], he would be the best because of his attitude, his personality, and his love.”
REILLY SUPPORTS ALBITZ: Here is a nice story written by ESPN’s Rick Reilly supporting Vance Albitz, a 24-year old shortstop in the Cardinals’ minor league system, and his Gloves4Troops foundation. Basically, the goal is to send as many gloves and balls to abroad soldiers as possible. He has already sent about 300, and he hopes to get 1000 by the time he reports to Spring Training on Feb. 23, exactly one month away. If you would like to help Albitz’s cause, click here. The Cardinals wrote in a press release last week that they are urging fans to contribute.