One of the good things about veteran baseball players is they aren’t afraid of any question and they are ready to answer completely without thinking about it. Mark Ellis, fresh off facing the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series and since joined the Redbirds, is the epitome of candid honesty.
Standing in front of the media, Ellis shed plenty of light on expectations, why he came to St. Louis with playing time a question mark and facing young pitchers like Michael Wacha.
Q-Were you surprised the Cardinals got a hold of you?
A-Yes. Very surprised. I have always been attracted to this team. I didn’t know that Matt Carpenter would be playing third base. He just had 200 hits and was playing second base so I didn’t expect it.
Q-What did they tell you about Kolten Wong?
A-They like him from an organizational standpoint. He’s a good young player. They didn’t promise me anything. I just want to play baseball. I’ll back up Yadi. Being a part of a winning organization. No one wants to be a mentor but that’s a role you take on being a veteran player. You want to help the team win.
A-Help this team win. I want to help Kolten and they will decide what they want to do. My game plan is go out there and get prepared and be an everyday player. I want to win a championship.
Q-Comfort level at other positions.
A-I’ll play wherever. I’m a baseball player. I played shortstop and third base. I’ll play wherever. I’ll show up with a bat, glove and spikes.
Q-Were there other opportunities?
A-Sure, good ones with good teams. This was the best chance to do what I want to do, and that’s win a ring.
Q-When was the last time you competed for a job?
A-Every year. That’s what you do as a baseball player.
Q-Thoughts on Clayton Kershaw’s 215 million dollar contract?
A-If 215 million dollars is a good deal, it’s a good deal. He’s as perfect of a ballplayer as you could want. He works harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s 25 years old. He has an impressive resume and great in the community. He is similar to Adam Wainwright in a lot of ways. 215 million is a bargain in a lot of ways.
Q-Hitting free agency, what role does pitching depth play in your choice?
A-I am not sure about depth. Talent plays a part. Until you stand in the box, you don’t really know about them. I faced this team(the Cards). I know they have good pitching. They have good pitchers here. You see that fastball come out of Wacha”s hand and you know he’s good.”
Mark Ellis is here to play baseball and win. Period. Details will come later but for the most part, this veteran baseball player likes where he is and is excited to gun for a World Series Championship ring.
Keep coming back for more Winter Warmup Coverage from The Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri.