"Feels like a two-month road trip," said manager Mike Matheny. "We've been [living] out of a suitcase since February."
The pomp and circumstance of Opening Day at Busch Stadium will be elevated this season as Cardinals fans welcome back their team after a strong start to the season, and for a much-anticipated World Series championship celebration.
"I'm looking forward to getting that ring, for sure," Lance Berkman said. "There's a little extra swagger to being [defending] world champs. That experience gives you confidence."
The Cardinals will hold an optional workout from 1 to 3:30 p.m. CT on Thursday. "For the guys who need it," Matheny said.
For the veteran players, it will be a chance to get moved in and get reacquainted to their surroundings at Busch Stadium.
The Cards anticipate an emotional scene on Opening Day, but say they'll remain focused on the task at hand.
"All of that is for the fans, mostly," Berkman said. "This is 'Groundhog Day' for a baseball player. It's another game, another day. Because of the brevity of the offseason, it feels like we were just there."