Cards' Freese ready to emerge … now

Updated: January 12, 2010, 3:01 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa obviously has had a lot to say this week, but I don't think his reflections on Mark McGwire will affect the 2010 fantasy baseball season much. Rather, I would like to hear his thoughts on the team's current third-base situation. So far La Russa has been pretty tight-lipped about it. General manager John Mozeliak has shed some light on things recently, touting David Freese as the internal option at third to reporters and on local St. Louis radio.

    "I think he's taking the right steps right now, and I think he's going to be given an opportunity. But now, he has to take ownership. If he continues to work and be responsible, he'll have a good chance."

Mozeliak wasn't speaking merely of Freese's ability, which I don't think is in question. Freese was arrested on a drunk-driving charge last month, so obviously the steps he needs to take aren't only in his season preparation and fine-tuning his swing. In terms of whether the kid can hit or not, let's just say that I think if the Cardinals sign Miguel Tejada, Joe Crede or someone else to play third base, it's a big mistake.