Cardinals remember Musial as team looks toward spring training
BY R.B. FALLSTROM Associated Press
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
1/22/13 at 5:57 AM
Read more about Stan Musial on Barry Lewis' blog.
Original Print Headline: Cardinals manager says team will be motivated by Musial
ST. LOUIS - Mike Matheny first encountered Stan Musial about two decades ago, watching the Hall of Famer draw a harmonica out of his jacket with an impish grin and captivate yet another crowd.
Whichever way the St. Louis Cardinals decide to remember Stan the Man, whether they wear armbands or a patch on their uniforms, their manager expects his team to adhere to Musial's work ethic. Matheny, who begins his second spring training in charge in about three weeks, believes Musial's passing will serve as perspective and motivation while reminding players that the window of opportunity is short.
"I think everybody around here, young and old, gets how important Mr. Musial was and still is - and will be - to this organization and this community. Just everything he stood for," Matheny said Monday at the end of the three-day Winter Warm-Up fan festival.
"Whether it's something we physically put on our sleeve or not, I'm sure there will be something that will memorialize Mr. Musial."
The 92-year-old Musial, a seven-time National League batting champion and three-time MVP, died on Saturday. A public visitation will be Thursday at the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis, with a funeral Mass on Saturday.
Matheny's on-field focus has been tested beyond the anguish of a blown 3-1 NLCS lead against the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants last fall. He faces bankruptcy over a series of failed investments that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported have left him more than $4 million in debt.
Matheny told the newspaper he expects to liquidate all of his investments and real estate holdings, including his dream home, which has 17 rooms on 11 acres.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, hope to sign pitcher Adam Wainwright, entering the final year of his contract, to a new deal. The 31-year-old Wainwright returned in less than a year from reconstructive elbow surgery last season and was 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA, after totaling 39 wins in 2009-10.
The Cardinals have three remaining arbitration-eligible players - closer Jason Motte, left-hander reliever Marc Rzepczynski and Freese.
Items left by well-wishers rest at the base of a statue of former St. Louis Cardinals player Stan Musial in St. Louis. Musial died Saturday at the age of 92. JEFF ROBERSON / Associated Press