2019 Cardinals Winter Warmup

Josh Calloni, Reporter

Each year around Martin Luther King, Jr day, the Cardinals host their annual Cardinals Care Winter Warm Up at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, which acts as the team’s fan fest.

Every year, fans can meet their favorite players, buy game used and pre signed memorabilia and listen into to press conferences and Q&A with team personnel. On top of this, ever dollar spent at the event goes to Cardinals Care,  the teams charity fund that helps sick kids in need. This year, Cardinal newcomers Andrew Miller, Drew Robinson and Paul Goldschmidt along with other current and former players were there, signing and meeting fans.

“I enjoyed myself. It was nice to meet the players and be in the whole atmosphere of baseball in the winter. I am very ready for baseball to be back in season after this weekend.” sophomore Connor Schulte said.

Miller had his introductory press conference, where he was given his first Cardinals jersey and took questions from fans. President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak also took questions throughout the weekend, mostly about future signings that the club could make before Spring Training camp breaks in mid February. The general consensus was that the Cardinals are comfortable with their major league squad, and would only sign a player if their price falls considerably, and if they would greatly impact the team. This basically would eliminate any fans hope at a signing of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Craig Kimbrel or Marwin Gonzalez.

“The Winter-Warm Up was fun. I got to meet Jordan Hicks, Tyler O’Neill, and a few others. It was a lot of fun and I can not wait to do it next year,” junior Blake Haffer said.

Other players had lots to say about their offseason and what they hope for in 2019, the most interesting being first baseman and outfielder Jose Martinez. Martinez, who was a main focus among trade talks this offseason before the club changed their mind, discussed how much he loves the city of St. Louis and the Cardinals fan base. He followed that up with showing his loyalty to the team as long as he is here, no matter what role.

Also interviewed was former Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa. LaRussa discussed what kind of welcome former Cardinal Albert Pujols should receive in his first game back in St. Louis in June, due to what he had done for the team and what he still does for the city in the winter. On top of that, he shared his opinion on the firing of former manager Mike Matheny, sharing that he did not feel as if it was the right way to handle business, but going on to say that Mike Shildt was the perfect manager to replace him.

The fans also got to have a little bit of fun with the presentations on the main stage, as on Monday, the Cardinals spanish radio broadcasters Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina got up to demonstrate how much fun they have in the booth, eventually singing and dancing to Shakira on stage. On top of this, the fans got their fair share of questions answered, serious or not.