(KSDK Sports) -- The Cardinals will open Grapefruit League competition Saturday against cross-complex rival, the Miami Marlins. But before they put their game faces on, the Cardinals day began with some good natured fun: The crowning of the team's "bunting" champion.
Last September, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he would like to bring a "different look to the team's bunting approach" in 2013 after having so many mishaps with the play in 2012.
One of the few criticisms that were leveled at Matheny during his first season was the timing of his decisions to call for sacrifices. But on top of the timing issue, was the simple fact that the players did not execute when called upon.
So, this spring all the Cardinals in camp entered into a friendly competition to crown "Champion of Bunting." Today that champion was crowned. Minor League pitcher Michael Blazek received the honor this morning.
The competition was an example of the loose feeling of this year's camp. A looseness that Matheny says is a good thing.
"We were in the back room, trying to have a meeting and all we here is guys busting up and music playing, and my comment was "it doesn't appear they're too tight about today's game."
Click the video link above for more of Mike Matheny's comments.