For the final round of interviews, we were able to meet with Skip Schumaker and World Series MVP David Freese. While both of these guys are incredibly similar in demeanor and desire to play, they are very different in one respect. David Freese has a very set role in the lineup. Skip Schumaker … doesn’t.
Though if you talk to Skip, it doesn’t bother him. It’s kind of been the case since he was in the minor leagues, he’ll tell you.
On his preparation:
“The work is always going to be getting ready for the second base role … Obviously I’m more comfortable in the outfield because I’ve played there more … I’m working hard to compete for a job in spring training. I’ve fought to get in the big leagues, and I’m fighting to stay and fighting for a job … If you hit, they’ll find you a job.”
On this season’s team:
“The core guys are still there. Lance Berkman, Holliday, Carp. You add Waino … I don’t think the clubhouse dynamic is going to change … Anytime you have Berkman and Carp, you’re going to be ok.”
“He doesn’t speak much, but when he speaks, it has some substance to it.”
On staying with the Cardinals:
“I enjoy winning, and that’s what we do here.”
It’s the same attitude that just seems to run rampant around the team. Solid group of guys, well-rounded players, a willingness to do whatever is necessary, and a knowledge that this team wins, this team fights back, and this team will band together in the face of ridiculous odds.
Our conversation with Freese was a bit shorter, as he was getting ready to go sign autographs, but it was great to hear him tell everyone that he feels great and healthy. He’d love to play all 162 games if he could.
Given that this off-season hasn’t been spent in rehab, he said it’s been different, but still great.
“It’s going to be different because it’ll be like ‘Hey Dave, go play.’ … If I’m healthy, I can do my part … This year I’m not nervous.”
On losing Albert and gaining Beltran:
“[Beltran] fills a void. You can’t just fill Albert’s shoes, but Carlos Beltran is an elite talent, and when he’s healthy, he’s scary, for sure … Twenty-five guys win a championship, not one.”
Freese told us he’s feeling great, that he’s not worried about his legs at all, and that he’s ready to get out there. The MVP has shown us just what he’s capable of when push comes to shove, and I for one am entirely ready to see that sort of play come to fruition for the entire season.