Several Astros attend Caminiti's memorial service

Saturday, October 16, 2004

HOUSTON -- Craig Biggio gave a tearful remembrance and Houston teammates Jeff Bagwell and Brad Ausmus also were in attendance Friday at a memorial service for Ken Caminiti.

Astros owner Drayton McLane, general manager Gerry Hunsicker and manager Phil Garner were at the service at Second Baptist Church, as were San Diego owner John Moores and GM Kevin Towers.

Caminiti died last Sunday in New York at 41. Tests are being conducted to determine the cause of death for the 1996 NL MVP.

Caminiti spent most of his 15-year career with the Astros and Padres. He made his major league debut with Houston in 1987.

"He took me under his wing when I got here," Bagwell said.

"Before I went to sleep last night, I was talking to my wife about our time together," the first baseman said. "I have nothing but great memories of Cammy -- nothing bad. If you say negative things about him, you obviously didn't know him."

Bagwell and Ausmus were late to the Astros' afternoon workout at Minute Maid Park and Biggio was absent.

The Astros plan to honor Caminiti before Game 3 of the NL championship series today. There will be a moment of silence and a video tribute, and a spotlight shining outside the ballpark shows his No. 11.

Ready Roger

Cardinals backup Roger Cedeno might get a chance to start in Game 3 of the NLCS, if manager Tony La Russa follows form.

Roger Clemens will pitch for Houston, and Cedeno has fine career numbers against the Astros ace -- 10-for-23 (.435).

Clemens pitched against the Astros four times this season, and Cedeno started in left field in three of those games.

Reggie Sanders started in left field for the first two games of the NLCS. Cedeno is 0-for-2 so far, though his RBI groundout produced the go-ahead run in the opener.

Warming up

While her husband is injured and unable to take part in the NLCS, Laura Pettitte will play a role. She'll sing the national anthem before today's game.

After the Astros finished their workout Friday, she practiced at Minute Maid Park, going through two renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and then doing a version of "God Bless America."

Pettitte has never performed the anthem at Minute Maid, but she has released two albums of Christian music.

Andy Pettitte's first season with Houston ended in late August because of an elbow problem.

Feeling Rammy

Even in the midst of the playoffs, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has found time to follow football -- St. Louis Rams football, that is.

La Russa has become friendly with Rams coach Mike Martz over the years, and players on both teams have gotten to know each other. Last Sunday, as the Cardinals were warming up for Game 4 at Dodger Stadium, word began to spread that the Rams were rallying from a late 27-10 deficit at Seattle.

"Towards the end of batting practice, some guy came running out, one of the guys in the clubhouse, said the Rams were coming back," La Russa said. "We thought about cutting short batting practice."

The Cardinals finished up in time to make it back into the locker room to see the Rams beat the Seahawks 33-27 in overtime. So La Russa decided to call Martz.

"Our guys were whooping it up. I dialed his number and put it on his voicemail right away. I said, 'Listen to this -- congratulations.'

"It was a big win for them. They pull for us, we pull for them. Pull for the Blues if they ever get out there."

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