My Cardinal Caravan Experience
Posted by The Right Reverend on January 15, 2006
I got to go the Cardinal Caravan in Davenport, IA yesterday & it was a lot of fun. The players there were John Rodriguez & Larry Bigbie. They also had WB-11 Cardinal colorman & Ex-Cardinal reliever Rick Horton, as well as “don’t call it a comeback” Alan Benes & 87 World Series hero Tom Lawless. As most know the Caravan groups are don’t pack quite the punch as the marquee names they have at Winter Warm-Up in St. Louis, but they do give you more of a chance to have some personal time with the players and ask questions.A lot of the questions came from some cranky Cardinal fans who weren’t too happy to about KMOX no longer being the flagship station. J-Rod and Bigbie got some questions regarding who was going to be playing left field, which made for a fun situation. In a nutshell, Bigbie said having depth is always a good thing, and J-Rod said that he knows Tony LaRussa, and knowing Tony he will be used to his strengths as all the players will, and he’s confident he will get his fair share of Ab’s.
My time in the spotlight came when I asked J-Rod what Pujols said to him when he took the bat out of his hands while he was in the hole, in the now famous “David Eckstein” game. (J-Rod sounds like Vin Diesel, btw.) There’s a funny story behind what went on that game. While J-Rod was warming up in the hole, Pujols came and started grabbing J-Rod’s batting helmet and bat and flinging them across the dugout, telling John he had no need for them. Pujols told him Eckstein would win the game. J-Rod was like “that’s great and all, but I still have to go on deck.” So apparently J-Rod never got on deck with all the clowning around from Pujols. And when the ball went out in the grandslam, they both rushed out there in excitement with the rest of the team. As most of you remember, Pujols was the first guy out of the dugout, jumping around like a kid on Christmas. So there’s the story behind it.Someone also asked Bigbie what he thought about Tejada demanding a trade. Bigbie basically took his oppurtunity to slam the Orioles, which was sort of funny, as Tom Lawless is now a scout for the O’s. Lawless actually looked pretty ticked.
After the questions, we got autographs and pictures. I won a prize in the raffle which was nice. I got a 1966 All Star game ticket framed with a picture of Busch stadium 2. While getting my autograph I asked Rick Horton what the final “Jeff Suppan Word of the Day was”, as the broadcast cut off in Iowa at 6. The final word was denouement, in case you missed it too.All in all it was a great experience. I’m a bigger J-Rod fan then I was before, as I got him to sign my Final Season Busch Stadium ball. Bigbie seems like a good guy too, but there really is something to J-Rod. Maybe it’s the level of confidence he has, or I have some sort of man crush, like Jerry Seinfeld had with Keith Hernandez…”I’m not driving him to the airport!”