Adam Wainwright didn’t waste any time in greeting the press during his media session on Saturday morning. “It’s great to see you again,” Waino said as the room full of moving pens and recording devices laughed which made the staff ace ask what was so funny. This is Waino as a person in any environment. Certain players let the burn of the stage overwhelm them. Waino is the opposite. When asked right off the bat about coming back so quick after the World Series, he wanted more action.
“Short off seasons are good off seasons. When you think about what we did last year and in 2011 and this last season, we wouldn’t have it any other day.”
With Chris Carpenter out of the mix, Waino is ready to be the ace but also cautioned that other arms are joining him fast.”These young bucks are pushing me. I was so proud of Shelby. Lance Lynn pitching 200 innings. We have a great young mix and I am going to enjoy it while I can.”
Waino had a heavy workload in 2013 and that can always leads to questions about his health going into 2014. What did he do to balance the load?
“I pushed my throwing program back a couple weeks. I didn’t mess with my workout regime. I felt like pushing back throwing was a good idea. My arm felt exactly the same as it has in the past, but I felt like it was a wise thing to push it back. If I expect to go into the season thinking I’ll be tired, then I will be tired. It’s a mental game there “
Taking a different approach could be hazardous though. “Doing things too differently would be a mistake. I know what it takes to get ready for a season. I need to be ready for game 1.”
Are there side effects from losing the World Series as opposed to the National League Pennant? “
“You lose either way. Last year, I felt like we just got beat. I take responsibility because I didn’t pitch as well I should have. The Red Sox were playing great ball and so were we. The Giants series was more painful because we let them off the hook and we had a chance to win those games. The Red Sox just got great pitching and timely hits. Either time is losing.”
Waino didn’t hesitate when asked about whether Clayton Kershaw’s record setting contract made him have pause about signing for 6 years and 97.5 million last year?
“Absolutely not. I was so glad not to have to worry about that this off season. I am right where I need to be. I have no regrets. That was the deal that I wanted to sign. We worked to get to a number where I felt it was fair for both sides. This is where I wanted to be. I could have made more money elsewhere, sure, but you can’t buy happiness. I would not have been happier anywhere else but here.”
Many people raved about Michael Wacha’s season, but Waino made it a point to mention the role of Shelby Miller in his first full season.
“Lost in the shuffle is Shelby’s season. He won 15 games and was a rookie of the year candidate. One thing you have to know about Shelby is that he is probably the strongest man on the team(outside of the freakish Holliday, who doesn’t count). He is a bull in the weight room. He can shoulder those heavy inning loads. I am looking to see him make adjustments this coming season. I think sometimes we forget what he did for us last year, winning 15 games as a rookie.”
Adam was impressed about Wacha’s quick impact but was hesitant to throw too much pressure on the kid.
“Michael might be one of the most talented pitchers I have ever seen. I want to see it for a whole season.”
All in all, Waino was cordial with the media and met up to his high reputation held around the league as a true leader. He looks a little bigger than last season as part of the team has put together a new fitness regime.
At the end of the day, Waino expects the Cards to be back there gunning for the World Series again and isn’t thinking about last year too much.
Since he is the staff ace and new leader of the club, he doesn’t have time to live in the past.