At the beginning of August, I began writing a post about why you should be disappointed in this 2017 Cardinals team. I shit you not, the very next day was the start of their 8-game win streak, so I trashed it. Ah back to the days in which hope peaked through the clouds of this dreary season and for a moment, there was promise.
That’s gone now. And again, I find myself with this same idea in mind. You should be disappointed in this 2017 St. Louis Cardinals team, despite the outcome of the remainder of their season.
That last part is important. The Cardinals still have a chance to make the postseason, and they still have a chance to win it all. However slim of a chance that might be, it’s still there. Despite all of that, you should not be satisfied with the way this year unfolded.
9 times in the past 16 seasons, the Cardinals have topped the NL central division. Only 3 times have they finished 3rd or 4th. Only 3 times since 2000.
We shouldn’t fall back into a pattern of accepting things as they come at us. We shouldn’t take success for granted, and we shouldn’t just say “hey, it happens” when we aren’t successful. We should demand more.
Let’s look back on my first attempt at a post, which came in the wake of that disappointing trade deadline.
The trade deadline provided many opportunities for upper management to go out and add components – or even just one single component – that this team is severely lacking. They miserably failed.
One might argue that the deals that came after with Mike Leake and Juan Nicasio, made up for that. But in my mind, those deals really come into play in 2018. While Nicasio gives the bullpen the added arm to potentially make it into the postseason, what happens then? He is unable to pitch and then we return to the on-and-off dumpster fire that we’ve been dealing with all season.
It’s not enough.
Let’s look at a hypothetical: A team has seen steady growth during every year that the current head coach has been in place. Recently, that coach got a contract extension. This makes sense, right?
Okay, so take another team. This team has seen a decline for consecutive years while under the current head coach. That coach also gets an extension. Does this make sense?
The first team is a college volleyball team, and the second team is the Cardinals (obviously). At what point do we cut off the influence that is contributing to the decline in success?
It’s not a lack of skill. You and I both know for a fact that if the Cardinals had the FUNDAMENTALS of baseball down, that they would be in a much better position than they are today. Base running (@ Piscotty & Marp) and defense are the Cardinal’s Achilles heel (still too soon?).
If you need proof: (s/o to the account with this video that Matt Adams flop has me dying every single time)
— Double Birds (@2xBirds) July 24, 2017
These are not problems that should persist in a professional baseball team.
I played softball in HIGH SCHOOL and if we had had as many errors/outs on the bases as the Cardinals have had, my coach would have made us run bases and work on defense until there were holes in our cleats and gloves.
The fundamental errors should not have continued past the first month of the season. And that’s generous.
So, if you still hold hope for the Cardinals to make a 2011-type run this year, you’re in my thoughts and prayers. And if they happen to win the World Series, you can DM me all about how I was wrong and how I’m not an actual fan for giving up when they sucked and blah blah blah.
I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who is disappointed in this season. I didn’t even touch on the bullpen and lineup management that we had to endure. But it should be a testament to the way things are run that a good majority of our everyday lineup are people who were coached in the minor leagues for at least some – if not almost all – of the season.
Here’s to hoping this sparks another 8-game win streak.