Notes: Cards hit road before opener
Redbirds visit Oklahoma City, Springfield this weekend
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The Cardinals are making the rounds before opening the season on Tuesday in Houston.
St. Louis broke camp in Florida on Wednesday after playing to a 5-5 tie with the Orioles in their Grapefruit League finale. Now the Cardinals are back at it against the O's in an unfamiliar locale.
The Cardinals are playing two games against the Orioles at the home of the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate.
After the series in Oklahoma, the Cards will play two games against their new Double-A affiliate in Springfield, Mo. The Springfield Cardinals replaced the Tennessee Smokies in the St. Louis system.
So far, Oklahoma City is a popular place among the Cardinals' players.
"This is all for the fans," St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols said. "We have a lot of fans in Oklahoma and this is good for the fans and for baseball."
The Cardinals made their first visit to Oklahoma City since April 3, 1993, when they played the Phillies. St. Louis came out on top, 5-3, in that contest.
What about this year? St. Louis made a run to the World Series last year. Can this year's team do the same?
"We don't have anything to prove," Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen said. "I think we have a real good ballclub, and we have a lot of confidence. We expect to win."
Reggie Sanders took a more philosophical view.
"Last year was last year," Sanders said. "It just didn't end like we wanted it to."
Cable guy: Larry the Cable Guy was the most popular guy on the field before Thursday's game.
The famous comedian was sporting a Cardinals hat with a fish hook on the brim. He was also wearing some vintage Nike hightops, not exactly in mint condition.
Known for his country stylings and his catch phrase, Get R done, he wasn't exactly getting much of anything done in the batting cages. He struggled during batting practice, but he's a comedian. Maybe that's why there were so many players laughing as he took his cuts.
Happy reunion: Former Cardinals pitcher Steve Kline was on hand Thursday joking and laughing with former manager Tony La Russa.
Kline has a 1.64 ERA in 11 appearances with the Orioles this spring.
Number change: Mark Grudzielanek has gone 9-for-16 since switching his jersey number to 12 five games ago. He's reached base in 18 games in a row this spring.
Coming up: Jason Marquis will take the mound in the finale of St. Louis' two-game set against the Orioles in Oklahoma City at 7:05 p.m. CT.
Andrew Gilman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.