Cards postcard from Florida: Day 4

News-DemocratMarch 12, 2014 

After three-plus days in Florida, it still doesn't feel normal to wake up more than one hour before daylight to cover the Cardinals. The alarm sounds at 6:10 a.m. and the sun is barely visible on the eastern horizon as I make a right-hand turn off Interstate 95 onto Donald Ross Road to weave my way toward Roger Dean Stadium. How different spring training is from the regular season when my day begins at 3:45 p.m. for a 7:15 game at Busch Stadium.

One Cardinal who enjoys the "quietness" of the morning is closer Trevor Rosenthal. He talked Wednesday about arriving in the clubhouse every morning at 6. Often times, Rosenthal said he and Matt Carpenter are the only players on site. For Rosenthal, it's a comfort thing. Unless he's early, he said he feels rushed, and that he would be playing catch-up all day if he arrived even one hour later. Baseball players, like many of us, are creatures of habit. They all have a trusted routine they follow, and seldom do they deviate from it.

Many of the regulars bolted a few hours early Wednesday as their teammates played a game in Port St. Lucie. By 2 p.m., it was pretty quiet around camp, although the Marlins were entertaining the Braves on the main field. Kolten Wong was the Cardinals' hitting star for the second day in a row as they outlasted the Mets 6-4. Wong homered and doubled to lift his average to .292 after a sputtering start. Outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who may be a year away from making the team, also collected two hits.

After a so-so meal Monday and fatigue-driven pizza in the lobby Tuesday, Carmine's Ocean Grill and Sushi Bar was a grand slam Wednesday. Thumbs-up to the waiter who cooked my Nantucket Bouillabaisse, a dish consisting of shrimp, scallops, clams and day boat fish in a saffron fennel broth. It provided proof that you can enjoy a meal you can't fully pronounce and consists of words you never have written.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service