Foot juggling and trivia: Go behind the scenes as the Cardinals film in-season promos
Go behind the scenes as the Cardinals film promos
In addition to the bullpen sessions, PFPs (pitchers fielding practice) and long toss that have become staples of these early Spring Training workout days, there is a much more entertaining element to these February days in Florida. You just can't see it.
In the hours before and after workouts, players are whisked away from the clubhouse for video shoots that take place in a converted cafeteria within the Cardinals' spring complex. The mood is light, but the work necessary, as the Cardinals set up these shoots each spring to collect footage that will then be used for commercials, promotional videos and Jumbotron segments. The video is also archived so that when MLB Network, ESPN or some other outlet comes calling, the Cardinals can provide.
"We have to think beyond the 25-man roster and go to 30, 35 guys who we think may have a shot to make the team," said Cardinals broadcaster Dan McLaughlin, who directs the video shoots. "It's our only time to get them. I do tell them this, too: This is a reflection of you. Have fun with it, enjoy it."
Players begin by going through a series of poses and then take a stool for a hodgepodge of questions that will be used for various in-season features. They spill dirt on their teammates -- Marco Gonzales is the most patient player in the clubhouse, Steven Bean the least so, according to Sam Tuivailala -- and showcase hidden talents. Nick Greenwood showed off his ability to juggle a ball with his feet, something he often does while shagging flyballs during batting practice.
It's all caught on camera for fans to enjoy later in the year.
"It's a long season and this is the start of it, so any time you can have a little fun answering questions, I think fans like it," Greenwood said after his shoot. "And even us. We get on each other a lot. I enjoy it."
There was also taping for new between-inning segments that will be featured at Busch Stadium this year. One will be a game in which a fan will try to name more items in a given category than the player does in this pre-taped segment. Tuivailala (things in an ocean) and Tim Cooney (things that can fly) set the bar high.
Greenwood, well, he at least provided solid entertainment value. Asked to name as many jungle animals as he could in 15 seconds, he offered the following: Aladdin, Tarzan and the Loch Ness Monster.
"I didn't know Aladdin lived in the jungle," McLaughlin quipped.
With Joe Kelly gone, Adam Wainwright and Trevor Rosenthal stand out as some of the most entertaining in the filming, which can take close to an hour for the most established players. The Cardinals hope to wrap up shooting by Feb. 25.