Cards News: Coach Ozzie Smith, Waino falls to Bucs, The ‘Pen

By Editorial Staff
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Cards News and Notes

Coach Ozzie?

Ozzie Smith has denied any interest in coaching or managing as recently as this year’s All-Star break. The Wizard has been content staying busy with his family, charity commitments, speaking engagements, and working with the Hall of Fame’s Education program. Smith has stayed in the public eye since retiring from the game and he still has the same love for the game. Smith spoke in Iowa at the Cards Quad Cities affiliate Sunday and helped with a youth clinic. Coaching came up again and this time Ozzie was singing a different tune.

"“I will never be able to escape this game. It is who I am,” Smith said."

"“The happiest days of my life have been spent on the baseball field. I get asked a lot if I would like to coach, and typically I’ve said that hasn’t interested me. As I get older, that interest is starting to change.”“For the first time since I retired in 1996, I’ve agreed to go to a Cardinals baseball fantasy camp, and I’m starting to think more about getting back into baseball and maybe coaching. The bug is coming back, and whenever I’m out on the field it feels like home.”"

Smith had to fight for everything he got as a small, scrawny shortstop starting in the minors. If he was going to make it, he was going to work hard and earn it.

"“I was never what they would call today a bonus baby,” Smith said, recalling that he signed with the Padres organization “for $5,000 and a bus ticket to Walla Walla, Washington, to start my minor-league career.”“That maybe illustrates that I wasn’t a business major, but I was determined to earn my way to the big leagues. Blood, sweat and tears is what it takes, and that hasn’t changed,” Smith said.“I was never the biggest, the fastest or the strongest player on the field, but I was able to approach every day like it could be my last chance to play, and I did that. I never took anything for granted, and that allowed me to achieve my goals.”"

That attitude and his infectious personality would probably translate well in coaching. I say, go for it. Young players could learn a lot from the greatest shortstop of all-time.

Waino goes down

Adam Wainwright was cruising to another win Wednesday until something amazing happened — the Pirates scored two runs each in the sixth and seventh to beat the Cy Young favorite. Before the struggles late, Wainwright had a 2-0 lead through five and seemed destined for his 18th victory. Neil Walker handed Wainwright the 4-3 loss with his two-out two-run single in the seventh. His ERA rose to 2.18. Matt Holliday provided the offense early with a two-run shot in the first. St. Louis scored one in the ninth but couldn’t put together a comeback. The Cards fell to three games back of the Reds for the NL Central lead.

The ‘Pen

Jason Motte will begin his rehab assignment Wednesday and hopes to rejoin the big league club by the weekend. Motte, the Cards set-up man, was having an outstanding season for a surprisingly good Cards ‘pen. St. Louis has one of the best bullpens in the league and Motte has been a key to its success with a 2.70 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings.

While Motte works on his return from injury, Dennys Reyes was placed on the 15-day DL with elbow soreness. Fernando Salas who has been called up for a whole lot of short stints will once again join St. Louis to fill the void. Salas has a 2.51 ERA in 12 innings for the Redbirds but he hasn’t been able to stick. Here’s another chance for him to shine with the team in need.

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