The St. Louis Cardinals will announce later today that Madison County Record courts reporter Steve Gonzalez has been selected to serve as an assistant press secretary for the 2008 season.

Gonzalez said he will juggle the new assignment on an "as-needed" basis for the Redbirds while continuing to work full-time for the Record.

"It will be an honor to work for the Cardinals," Gonzalez said.

He said his responsibilities will include helping the team keep track of player "off-field exploits" by monitoring court records in Missouri and "away" counties, particularly Cook County in Chicago.

In a phone interview Monday, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said the special position was created because of recently discovered litigation filed by Cardinals reliever Jason Isringhausen.

In 2005, Isringhausen filed a class action lawsuit in Cook County over misleading beer advertisements during down time before a night game at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.

Mozeliak said team officials didn't learn about the suit until a settlement was recently reached.

Isringhausen's compensation for serving as a named plaintiff-- a coupon for a free case of Miller Lite-- put him in breach of Cardinals' sponsorship agreements.

Mozeliak said Gonzalez was the club's top choice for the job.

"Gonzalez is an intrepid reporter who possesses the kind of legal savvy we're looking for," Mozeliak said.

The official announcement will come during a press conference today at 4:01.08 p.m.

Update: 1:48pm
April Fools!

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