First, thanks for the kind words.
Second, I'm about to give you more information than you wish, but I want to be transparent.
Clubhouses have been closed to the media since early March 2020, and they have not reopened to the media.
We were not permitted anywhere near the field and players starting in early March 2020, and it was only when the Cardinals went to San Diego in mid-May that a Cardinal had the first in-person interview with an unaffiliated/non-rights holder reporter since March 2020.
(Paul Goldschmidt spoke to me at Petco Park. He was in the dugout. I was masked, vaccinated, and in the seats, not on the field. Albert Pujols agreed to meet me for a similar interview a few weeks later in June; it was his first in-person interview since March 2020.)
The field/batting practice/dugouts were closed to the media in early March 2020, and just reopened to the media who can prove vaccination the week before the All-Star Game. The Cardinals, like many teams, allow players to choose if they speak with the media, and if they prefer the media wear a mask during those interviews. For several weeks now, Shildt has met with the media in person before games.
This past week, due to the Delta variant, dugouts were closed to the media, though we still have access to the field and batting practice if we are vaccinated.
As far as lengthy interviews -- those are largely limited -- but they take the same planning and advance scheduling as they did before. Location becomes the question at this point. Nolan Arenado and I spoke for about 20 minutes or so for a story over the All-Star break, and we did that in person, in the dugout, at San Francisco.
Interviews from March 2020 through just recently were mostly set up over the phone, done via text, or in some cases, as was the case during spring training, set up for Zoom or Facetime either through the team or with the player/coach directly.