Archive for Friday, February 27, 2004

Sanders ready to help Cards

Major-league journeyman confident St. Louis can succeed

February 27, 2004


— Reggie Sanders played for six teams during the past six years and helped take two of them to the World Series.

He hopes to do the same with his seventh team, the St. Louis Cardinals.

Sanders, signed as a free agent, will play right field, replacing often-injured J.D. Drew, who was traded during the offseason to the Atlanta Braves.

"When I was playing against the Cardinals in Cincinnati, I was well aware that St. Louis had a winning organization, and the fans were amazing," Sanders said Thursday.

The 36-year-old spent last season in Pittsburgh, where he hit .285 with 31 homers and 87 RBIs. Despite his many travels since breaking in with the Reds in 1991, Sanders has a reputation as a quality run-producer and teammate.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa downplayed the importance of Sanders' clubhouse presence.

"No, no," La Russa said. "What he brings out there (pointing to the field) is what matters. All the other stuff takes care of itself. I mean, if he were a real jerk, we would still take him. But the fact that he is not, helps."

Sanders' good-guy reputation makes his frequent moving even more perplexing. After spending his first eight seasons with the Reds, Sanders has played for San Diego, Atlanta, Arizona, San Francisco and the Pirates.

He helped the Diamondbacks win the 2001 World Series and helped the Giants beat the Cardinals in the 2002 NL Championship Series.

"I would love to help to bring a World Series here," Sanders said of St. Louis. "It has to be a collective effort, but it is rewarding."

In 13 seasons, Sanders has a .268 average with 249 homers and 262 stolen bases.

  • Cardinals notes: La Russa on Albert Pujols playing full-time at first base: "I believe that Albert will win a gold glove at first base at some point in his career." ... Outfielder Jim Edmonds continues to nurse a sore shoulder, but La Russa said team trainers and doctors didn't expect him to be out long. "They are talking about Jim being available about the middle of the camp games," La Russa said.

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