I am a Disney movie fan.
Not only am I excited for this weekend’s release of the much anticipated “Beauty and the Beast” live adaptation of the timeless cartoon classic, I spent much of my Monday listening to the soundtrack, reading cast interviews, and re-watching trailers.
Wait, this is a St. Louis Cardinals baseball blog, what the hell am I talking about.
I guess I can make this work.
If you have never seen Beauty and the Beast, first of all, you are not an American (halfway kidding), and two, you are definitely missing out, because it is one of the greatest sports movies of all time.
Yes, you read that right, it is a sports movie.
A tale of both tragedy and horror, yet courage and grace, B&B (only the scholars will get that acronym) has a true story that really can be applied to any situation, but I will use it here on our beloved St. Louis Cardinals, and the upcoming 2017 season.
There are some key messages that can be applied both in life and in baseball, and I thought I would weigh in.
“Never judge a book by its cover”
Your mother probably told you this time and time again, and every role model (if you had any decent ones) should’ve reiterated this to you as well.
“Beauty and the Beast” portrays this phrase, or “tale as old as time,” perfectly.
But how in the hell does that apply to baseball, or specifically to this 2017 roster for the St. Louis Cardinals you make be asking yourself?
I’ll give you an answer.
You look at the St. Louis Cardinals’ roster, and you don’t see any player physically (sorry Matt Adams) that stands out.
Not one guy that you look at and think “Christ he scares me.” Or, “We should probably walk that guy.”
For many baseball analysts (including myself to some degree), this worries me.
Gone are the Matt Holiday/Albert Pujols type bats I grew up watching as a boy, the same young lad who still has Beauty and the Beast on VHS.
But what I do see now as a guy in his later twenties (good lord where has time gone) is a line-up that is interesting and almost intimidating in its own way.
A lot more lean and mean, contact-driven, and maybe even more complete one through nine.
What you will see this year are a lot more doubles, base stealing, bunts, hit and runs, and honestly, probably a lot more interesting games from a fan excitement standpoint.
Bottom line, don’t judge this team by it’s “cover.” They are going to surprise some people this year, and do things a little different than you are used to.
I’ve got your attention now don’t I?
“Believe in magic”
Whether it be an enchanted rose, or a team that is picked to have an average or “down” year (in comparison to most years) by many publications across the internet spectrum, fans across Cardinal nation must take their cue and believe in magic.
Yes, “Beauty and the Beast” teaches us that some things in this life are extra terrestrial, mythological and out of our hands. Whether it be a higher power, a kiss from a smoking hot brunette that walks in from the local village, or some other form of outside being, many things control our life and we ultimately do not have a say in it.
That was the case in B&B, and such is the case with this 2017 season.
We started off the year losing Alex Reyes on one of the first days of camp, after much hype surrounded a guy that throws over 100 miles per hour, and was ready to take a big step forward in his major league career.
The St. Louis Cardinals have a pitching staff that features an aging Adam Wainwright, rebuilding Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn, and now conversion project Trevor Rosenthal as he tries to convert from reliever to full time starter.
The line up does not feature a superstar bat (as I stated before), just a collection of guys that will hit for average, with some occasional pop.
Meanwhile, we look up at our north-side rivals, the Chicago Cubs, who seemingly are full steam ahead, projected to win 95-plus games, and have an offensive juggernaut of a lineup.
So how do we overcome these dark and treacherous times?
You believe in magic.
I’m talking Anthony Reyes pitching against the Detroit Tigers in the World Series magic.
Yes, I am asking each of you, as Cardinals fans, to grab on to the Disney inside of you, and see the good in the situation that is the 2017 season. Learn something from “Beauty and the Beast,” as you watch the movie. Obstacles CAN and are overcome, and NO enemy or force of nature is immortal.
Sometimes, you just need to hold on to what is important, and believe in a little magic.
Thanks for reading.
For more Disney inspired tweets and nonsensical thoughts, follow me on twitter @TonOfClayton