How Long Do The Cardinals Stand Pat?
Don't let two St. Louis Cardinal wins over the Brewers fool you. It is amazing how this season is paralleling the 2014 season for the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2014 the Cardinals were struggling like they are now. I remembered writing about it so I went back and looked up what I wrote then and it fits today as well. Here is what I wrote on August 14, 2014.
"In all my years of playing baseball, every winning team I was on seemed to have one or two guys who had that spark or edge about them when they played. Usually it was a player, but sometimes the manager was the person that lit the fire for the team. With that said, the St. Louis Cardinals had better find that person soon or they will be home watching the playoffs in October.
A team usually takes its cue from its manager. If he is feisty, the team will follow that path. If he is complacent, the team will be complacent. Cardinal Manager Mike Matheny has provided no spark to this team. Even when the team wins, he addresses the media in the same monotone way as if they lost the game. Show some excitement, Mike! If the manager lacks spirit even after a victory, how can you expect the players to be upbeat?
Is it Mike Matheny's fault the Cardinals are not playing well? No! These are professional players and they are not hitting and haven't been all season long. There are six weeks left in the regular season.That's six weeks for Mike Matheny to show some personality and lead this team to October because nobody else seems to want to."
That was in 2014. Now in 2018 the scenario seems to be the same albeit a few more injuries this season. Here's what I would do if I ran the Cardinals.
I'd trade Jose Martinez to the American League where he could be a Designated Hitter. I know he's one of the team's better hitters, but he's a huge liability at first base. He has some value there. I'd use a steady lineup as well. The rotation of infielders is mind-boggling.
Leave Matt Carpenter at second base, Jedd Gyorko at third base and Paul DeJong at short when he returns from injury. The outfielders should be Marcell Ozuna in left, Tommy Pham in center and Harrison Bader in right. Dexter Fowler needs to be sent down to get his eye back. Bader and Pham at least show a desire to play hard each night.
As far as the pitching staff is concerned, everyone is expendable except Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Hicks, Miles Mikolas, Luke Weaver and Alex Reyes.
Back to the excitement factor. Right now only Bader and Pham show a desire to play hard each night. Everyone else seems to be going through the motions including Matheny. That doesn't mean they don't want to win, but show some life out there once in a while. Mike, get thrown out of a game once in a while. Call Joe Girardi, he was a master at doing that.
I said weeks ago that this team (The Cardinals) needed to get into a brawl or something to shake them up and I thought they were going to against the Brewers Friday night. They all ran out there and stood around. It was like they all brought a match, but never lit it. Man they need a spark!