Friday, September 05, 2008

Mulligan explains the singing bullpen

JUPITER, Fla. – The deciding game in the Florida State League's three-game East Division playoffs is less than an hour away. It will start on time, a feat which a few hours ago seemed as likely as Michael Phelps drowning.

Phelps, in fact, could have used those Aquaman skills around these parts. Tropical Storm Hanna brushed the coast, dropping as much as six inches of rain in the area. The fact that they are even considering playing this game, let alone starting it on time, only further elevates the Roger Dean Stadium grounds crew to the top of the food chain. No other FSL ballpark could have experienced these last 20 hours of rain and still considered playing.

Palm Beach hosts Daytona tonight to decide who advances to face Fort Myers for the FSL title.

The Dugout caught up with Cardinals reliever Casey Mulligan (photo) a little while ago. He’s the self-appointed ringleader of the Cardinals bullpen. That’s the same crew that sang the National Anthem before their ballgame last week.

Like many bullpens, the Cardinals keep a list of rules that all players must adhere to or risk being banished to the dugout. One of those is that everyone must sing along to the National Anthem.

“I thought we did pretty good,” Mulligan said of the bullpen’s first performance in front of a crowd. “We kept it low. We didn’t struggle at all.”

Even the non-American natives got into the act.

“Our closer, (Francisco) Samuel , he knows all the words now,” Mulligan laughed. “He’s getting much better. We taught him well.”

Mulligan volunteered the bullpen as Anthem singers again, but that seems unlikely now that the playoffs have started. That’s a shame, considering the response the bullpen’s version received from the Roger Dean front office.

“They said they’ve heard a lot worse out of the Anthem singers we hear every day,” Mulligan said.