ST. LOUIS -- Everybody's saying the right things. Now it's a matter of working out a deal. Jake Westbrook would love to be back in St. Louis. The Cardinals would love to have him back. Whether that adds up to a 2011 contract will be determined in the coming weeks.
Westbrook has repeatedly expressed a willingness to come back to St. Louis after being traded to the Cardinals on July 31. He reiterated that feeling after his 7 2/3 shutout innings on Friday night. On Saturday morning, manager Tony La Russa said that as far as he's concerned, it's mutual.
"I think most of us agree, we need a legitimate starter for the rotation, and he's legitimate," La Russa said. "The market's going to dictate a lot, but I've read his comments, and I think he's enjoyed his teammates."
The Cardinals have a history of re-signing players for whom they trade at midseason.
"It's worked over and over," La Russa said. "People hear that it's a good place to play, and they end up seeing it for themselves."
Pujols checks on Olivo after 'scary' hit
ST. LOUIS -- After Friday night's game at Busch Stadium, reporters didn't get a chance to ask Albert Pujols about the first-inning at-bat in which he hit Rockies catcher Miguel Olivo on his backswing. Olivo was removed from the game after being struck in the back of his head.
The reason Pujols wasn't there, though, was that he was hoping to go visit Olivo.
"Pretty scary," Pujols said. "The only reason you didn't get to ask me was because I showered up right away and tried to rush to the hospital. On my way there, they told me that he was already back in the clubhouse. But I talked to him last night, and he told me that he had a little headache. It was pretty scary."
Pujols' bat hit Olivo as the catcher attempted to stand and make a throw to third base.
"I didn't even know that I hit him until I turned around and I saw him on the [ground]," Pujols said. "I was like, 'How did I hit that guy?' Because I don't have a long swing. I saw on the video that he was trying to stand up and trying to pick the guy off third. That's the whole reason, because my swing is so high that I won't be able to hit somebody like that unless somebody stands up."
Pujols said he was very pleased to hear that Olivo, a friend of his, was doing fairly well after being hit. The catcher had a mild concussion.
"It's something really scary that you don't want to happen to anybody," he said. "I did talk to him last night on the way home. He was already walking into his room, so I called the hotel. I'm really good friends with Olivo. We're pretty close. So I called and made sure he was OK."
Cards pay tribute to longtime organist
ST. LOUIS -- Longtime Busch Stadium organist Ernie Hays is always quick with a joke, often an off-color one. But on Friday night, Hays got a little choked up.
Hays is retiring from his Cardinals duties after this weekend's games, though he'll be available for occasional fill-in duty. So on Friday night, the Cardinals offered a tribute to him on the main scoreboard, and the fans at Busch gave him a standing ovation.
"I was [darn] near in tears," Hays said.
Hays said that for him, retirement doesn't mean doing nothing.
"I can't sit still," he said. "I've got 20 [piano] students to take care of, which I've always had. I've got more private parties, and I've got all kinds of other stuff to come around.
"It's been a heck of a good run. I've been able to share God's talent, that he's loaned me, with as many people as I could. Whether it be in entertainment or education, lessons. And that just makes my life."
The Cardinals recognized broadcaster Jay Randolph prior to Saturday's game. Randolph, 76, has worked in broadcasting for more than 50 years, and Sunday is expected to be his last Cardinals game. ... Albert Pujols was held out of Saturday's lineup to rest his sore hamstring and left elbow, but manager Tony La Russa said that the slugger will play in Sunday's series finale. ... The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis held its annual "Walk in the Park" at Busch Stadium on Saturday.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.