Notes: Edmonds sits out

Notes: Edmonds sits out

ST. LOUIS -- Jim Edmonds took the field shortly before Saturday's Cardinals-Reds game, as a member of the All-Busch Stadium team voted on by Cardinals fans. Once the game started, however, the All-Star outfielder was in the dugout.

Edmonds was kept out of the lineup with a sprained right shoulder, an injury he first sustained diving for a ball in the outfield in Wednesday night's game against the Astros. He was removed from Friday night's contest in the fourth inning and scratched on Saturday. Manager Tony La Russa hopes that Edmonds can play in Sunday's Busch Stadium regular-season finale, but is not counting on it.

"He's got some sore areas and we decided not to push him," said La Russa, who started So Taguchi in center field. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow. Hopefully he can play tomorrow, but if he needs [another day off], he gets it.

"I'll be surprised if he plays tomorrow."

Edmonds, irritated by the tone of media coverage of Mark McGwire's return to Busch Stadium on Friday, chose not to speak at length about his condition.

"I got a sprained shoulder diving for that ball Wednesday night," he told reporters. "That's all I've got to say."

More hardware for Pujols? The Major League Baseball Players Association announced on Saturday that Albert Pujols is a finalist for its two most prestigious awards. Pujols is one of three candidates each for the Player of the Year Award as well as the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award.

Pujols, along with the Cubs' Derrek Lee and Atlanta's Andruw Jones, is a finalist for Major League Player of the Year honors, as voted by players in both leagues. The Yankees' Derek Jeter and Kansas City's Mike Sweeney are the co-finalists for the Marvin Miller Award, which recognizes achievement both on and off the field.

Other Cardinals in the running for Players Choice awards are: Pujols for National League outstanding player and Chris Carpenter, a finalist for National League outstanding pitcher.

Voting for the Players' Choice awards was conducted Sept. 13-14.

Happy accident: La Russa said that he didn't intentionally set it up so that Matt Morris would get the ball in the final regular-season game at Busch. However, it's quite appropriate, since Morris ranks third in wins at the old stadium and holds the mark for single-season victories at Busch with 15 in 2001.

"It's a really neat and special coincidence, but it's nothing but a coincidence," the manager said. "This wasn't set up to give Matt that kind of honor. We're setting things up to be as successful as we can in October. It just worked out that way, and it's a neat extra."

Bits and pieces: Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle and musician Bruce Hornsby were among La Russa's guests for Saturday's game. ... Red Schoendienst took down the No. 2 on the right-field stadium countdown clock, signifying the change from two regular-season games remaining to one. ... Reggie Sanders has driven in a run in five straight games, a team season-high.

Today in Busch Stadium history: On Oct. 1, 1996, Busch Stadium hosted its first playoff game in nine years. The NL Central champion Cardinals won Game 1 of the Division Series, 3-1, over the Padres. Gary Gaetti hit a first-inning three-run homer and Todd Stottlemyre pitched 6 2/3 strong innings for the win. Thanks to Project Retrosheet for the information.

Coming up: It's the end of the regular-season line for Busch Stadium, with a 1:15 p.m. CT start time for the last game. Morris will take the mound trying one more time for his 15th win against left-hander Brandon Claussen. Gates open at 11:15 a.m., and pregame ceremonies get under way at 12:45. Farewell festivities will start roughly five minutes after the game ends.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.