Newly signed pitcher Matt Belisle is excited to be part of the St. Louis Cardinals.

“I’ll just say this, I just was extremely humbled and honored when they reached out to me quickly in the free agent process and said ‘we have a desire for you, we want you’,” began Belisle.  “When that’s shown–you talk about throwing kerosene on a fire that’s already lit. I just play to win and I’ve been around a lot of losing recently, but I’ve tasted it in ’09. I try to be as prepared as possible everyday to take the ball in whatever situation is asked of me to try and win the game that day.”

Having spent his first five years in Cincinnati and the last six in Colorado, Belisle’s admiration for the Cardinals developed long before they offered him a contract this offseason.

“I’ve always looked across and watched La Russa and now Matheny just beat up on us and say that’s how you play the game,” he explained. “I’ve watched the Giants as of late be scrappers and stay together and really know how to play. Those are teams I always aspired to be on and said what’s it take…I’m just ready to be Matheny’s soldier–the team’s soldier. Whatever’s need be because I just want to be the last game of the year, holding that trophy.”

A veteran of 11-seasons, manager Mike Matheny has challenged Belisle to “walk with a lead” in the clubhouse–especially with the younger bullpen the 34-year old right-hander will be a part of.

“I continue to learn so much that this game’s between the ears and this game is about being selfless,” said Matt. “There’s the process of each day to your piece for the team, but you’ve got to play for the guy next to you. You’ve got to play for the big meaning. I’ll just let that come to me and see–you’ve got to get to know your guys first. I feel like part of being a good teammate and leader is going by example, but also being personal with your new family. I like to get know everybody and just let it unfold.”

Belisle has already reached out to the training staff to acclimate himself to how the Cardinals go about Spring Training and plans to arrive a few days before pitchers report in February.

“I’m just very honored to be wearing a Cardinal uniform and I mean that with as much sincerity as I can explain right now.”

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