Izturis endures off-day odyssey

Izturis endures off-day odyssey

CHICAGO -- Dealing with immigration paperwork tends to be a difficult task for nearly anyone. But Cesar Izturis had to work even harder than most people.

Izturis had an appointment regarding his residency in New York on Monday, the Cardinals' off-day between series in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. In what seemed like a routine travel plan, he was to fly from Pittsburgh to New York on Sunday, then from New York to Cincinnati on Monday.

Then the remnants of Hurricane Ike intervened.

Izturis' flight out of Pittsburgh was canceled on Sunday night, and he couldn't find a way to get to New York. Ultimately, he reached a deal with a taxi driver to take him the entire way to New York, a trip of approximately 10 hours.

Yet even that didn't go as planned. About halfway through the trip, Izturis noticed that the driver was nodding off. He got the driver to pull over, then took over himself for the last few hours.

"It was a yellow cab -- not a limo or a Town Car," Izturis said. "It was hard, a hard night. At like 4:30, 5 in the morning on Monday, all the trucks are going into New York. There were a lot of trucks. The cab had no air conditioning. It was tough, but eventually I got there in time and got my appointment taken care of."

He didn't even sleep, just checking into his hotel and getting shaved and showered before going to his appointment. But it was all worth it to Izturis, who maintains residences in both the U.S. and Venezuela.

His next concern is squaring away his baseball future, and Izturis said he'd like to be back in St. Louis for another year if it can work out that way.

"I would like to, yeah," he said. "Especially with the group of people here. They want to win. They want to play hard, work hard. I like Tony [La Russa], the way he handled the situation."

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