General Manager Steve Keim is calm and collected when it comes to Cardinals personnel moves, and that steely reserve has helped build a Super Bowl contender.
He was decidedly less cool on Tuesday night as the moments ticked down to his ceremonial first pitch before the Diamondbacks-Blue Jays game at Chase Field.
“I’m extremely nervous about that pitch tonight,” Keim told a group of fans during a question-and-answer session before the throw. “I just pray that I don’t dribble it to home plate. I promised (former Cardinals safety and current scout) Adrian Wilson, who dribbled it himself years ago when he threw, that I would do a much better job. I did bring the heat when I was younger, but it’s been years and years since I threw a baseball.”
The toss ended up high and a bit outside, but Keim accomplished his goal of not hitting the ground. Afterward, he watched the game from the stands with his family, soaking up one of the final days of leisure before training camp ramps up next week.
Keim’s mind is never far from football, though, and he took some time after the first pitch to answer a few questions:
* Keim confirmed that Chris Culliver will visit the Cardinals next week. The former 49ers and Redskins cornerback signed a four-year, $32 million contract with Washington in 2015 but tore his ACL and MCL on Thanksgiving and was released in May. Keim likes the fact that Culliver is a “longer, athletic press corner” but knows the injury history. Culliver, 27, has suffered two serious knee injuries in the past three years. “He’s a guy that’s had some success in the NFL and is coming off the ACL, so we’ll see where it goes next week.”
* Three or four players will likely start training camp on the physically unable to perform list, Keim said. While he didn’t give names, educated guesses would include safety
* Keim on contract extension talks with players like Mathieu and defensive tackle
* Offensive tackle will be a position Keim keeps an eye on, but he raved about the strides made by last year’s first-round pick,