Rolen doesn't appear to be a tough sell. As a child he watched Cardinals games from the upper deck of Busch Stadium with his parents, who drove three hours from their home in Jasper, Ind. "The people there are so excited, I bet they could make it in two hours now," Rolen says. His parents, who now live in Bradenton, Fla., drove a mobile home to the weekend series in Atlanta and planned to continue to St. Louis to see his home debut on Tuesday.
"Even if I had finished out the year in Philadelphia, this would have been first or second on my list," Rolen says of St. Louis. "I don't think there's a better place to play. The support is great and they're committed to winning, and that's what I'm looking for. If they want to talk to me about a contract, I'm more than willing to listen."
Rolen banged out four hits in his first eight at bats with the Cardinals, then fell into an 0-for-15 funk. "Nobody's putting any extra pressure on me," he says. "I know that. But it's human nature to put a little pressure on yourself to show everybody with a new team what you can do. I'm guilty of that."
St. Louis wore the look of a weary team last week. Sunday's game ended a 23-day span in which the Cardinals had played only five games at home. In one stretch of their losing streak they did not have a lead for 38 consecutive innings. Before Saturday's loss several St. Louis players sniped at one another about the choice of music playing on the clubhouse stereo before somebody snapped it off.
A healthy pitcher or two—particularly the battle-tested Williams—or an outside acquisition such as the Kansas City Royals' Paul Byrd would be the shot in the arm that the Cardinals need, but as far as Morris is concerned, no one can fill Kile's shoes.
"You can't take the place of somebody like that," Morris says. "We can make a trade, and somebody could come in here and go undefeated. And you know what? He still won't replace Darryl Kile."