Not That Long Ago In A Farm System Very, Very Close

Today is May the Fourth, which has been appropriated in geek culture as “Star Wars Day”, due to the general saying of the Jedi.  If you don’t understand why May the Fourth was chosen, it’s likely you’ll want to back slowly out of this post.  Assuming you can catch that basic reference, though, you’ll feel right at home in this tortured mashup.

If you are a regular reader, you know I’m a big Star Wars fan.  If the fact that all the podcast titles didn’t clue you in, last year’s work for the Cardinals’ Star Wars Night probably did.  Right now is a wonderful time to be a fan, with the last season of The Clone Wars just coming out on Netflix, Star Wars: Rebels coming this fall on DisneyXD and, of course, that little thing they call Episode VII they are working on.  The Force is strong with us all!

I have often around this time tried to put the Cardinals into a galaxy far, far away.  So many times that, well, it becomes difficult to make things interesting and fresh.  To recap, besides assigning players to characters last year:

I imagined questions for Mike Matheny‘s press conference last year.
I wondered what certain movie scenes would look like with a Cardinal twist.
I assigned players to characters again.
And my original post, where I said which characters players would go as on Halloween.

Yeah, we gotta get more original.

To that end, I present the following.  So often we’ve tried to take the Cardinals to Star Wars, but what about bringing Star Wars to the Cardinals?  What if John Mozeliak, Matheny, and Director of Baseball Administration John Vuch sat down to talk about some of the upcoming prospects, folks down on the farm that might be able to help the current squad……

[SCENE: JOHN MOZELIAK's office. MIKE MATHENY and JOHN VUCH are shown in by MOZELIAK's secretary.]

MO: Mike, John, great to see you.  Take a seat.  Can I get you anything to drink?

VUCH: No, if you don’t mind, I’d like to jump right into these minor league reports.  I think there could be some players here that might be worth considering given the recent struggles of the squad.

MO: Here’s where the fun begins!

MATHENY: I don’t know, I’m kinda fond of my guys.  They’d have to be pretty good to replace folks like Jon Jay in my mind.

VUCH: I hear you, Mike.  However, we’ve got this outfielder down in Memphis, Luke Skywalker.

MO: Skywalker?  He’s got to have a great OBP, I’d think.  Knows the strike zone, not afraid to trot down to first?

VUCH: He does have that skill set, for sure.  He seems to have a lot of natural talent, some good bloodlines as well.  The only problem with him seems to be his focus.  We’ve seen him give away at bats because his mind is always looking away to the horizon, to the future.  He often doesn’t seem to focus on where he is.  Though, to be fair, he’s learned patience so maybe the other can be taught as well.

MATHENY: Sounds like he craves the excitement.  Don’t know how that’d fit in the clubhouse, honestly.  A Cardinal really doesn’t crave such things.  Really needs to always be at peace.

MO: You said something about bloodlines, John.  He’s not related to that guy that was in the Cubs system a while back, is he?

VUCH: Yeah, this is his son.  The Cubs actually tried to draft him, but he didn’t want to go over to the dark side.  Now his father sits in the stands wearing a Cardinals cap, so I guess he kind of redeemed his old man.

MO: That’s an interesting story, one to keep in mind to get to FOX Sports Midwest if we ever bring him up.  Mike, you don’t think that should be right now, though?

MATHENY: I’d hate to have him come up and sit and I’m not sure he’s ready to unseat the guys that we have.  I’d probably hold off a bit if it were my call.

VUCH: Well, moving on, there’s another guy, plays the outfield in Springfield, goes by the name of Han Solo.  Speedster, always bragging about his records.  [chuckles] Doesn’t always play by the dress code, either.

MO (smiling): A bit scruffy-looking, huh?

VUCH: At times.  He’s not always a team player, either.  Has a lone wolf attitude, though he never does anything to undermine the team and, actually, can come through when you don’t expect him too.  They were down a run recently in the late innings and everyone thought he’d be looking long ball–he does have a bit of pop–but instead he laid down a squeeze bunt that got the tying run in.  He’ll surprise you.

MO: But not necessarily going to follow The Cardinal Way.

VUCH: Not necessarily, right.  He seems to think we put a little too much focus on it.  Called it a “hokey religion”, I believe.

MO: Mike, what do you think?

MATHENY: I’m trying not to.  Still, the guy’s got spunk.  I don’t know, you think a player like him and a manager like me…..

MO: No.

VUCH: I’d probably say Solo needs a few rough edges knocked off before he makes the jump to lightspeed, as it were.  Also in Springfield, we’ve got this pitcher Palpatine…can’t seem to find his first name.  Must be on a different form.  Anyway, guy’s got a real electric fastball, can really shock a hitter with it.  Has an intangible quality around him when he’s pitching, too.  Batters are all the time flailing at bad pitches like they didn’t want to swing but had to anyway.

MO: Sounds like he should at least get the bump to Memphis.  The ‘pen’s not a huge issue right now, but if he’s that good, he’s definitely worth keeping a close eye on.

MATHENY: I remember that guy from the spring, I think.  Real good deception on his pitches.  You’d swear that it was going to be a straight and true pitch, just to see it completely go a different direction.  On the field, he’s outstanding.

VUCH: The only drawback I’ve heard is that he tends to get into clubhouse politics.  Tries to get one side against the other, kinda works behind the scenes to get his way.

MATHENY: That won’t fly up here, but I think guys like Adam Wainwright will keep him in line.  Or we could get an expert in to work with him.  Fear of Chris Carpenter has a way of keeping the local players in line!

MO: That it does.  Hey, John, I remember hearing something about a guy named Thrawn.  Good leader type, real cerebral, strong force on a club.  What’s going on with him?

VUCH: Well, there was a hitch with him.  Found out that he was older than we thought and the leagues he’d been playing in off in the outer rim–you know, Japan, China, etc.–turned out to be unsanctioned leagues.  Basically, you have to toss out all of his stats and see what happens going forward.  We may see him pop up with a new name in one of these places, but I think on the whole he’s not something we really need to worry about.

MO: Hate to hear that.  The rumors and reports I’d gotten about him made him seem like a guy that you could really build something around.

MATHENY: John, I was wondering.  We’re playing Mark Ellis right now, but I wouldn’t mind having a little more veteran presence on the squad.  Is there anyone down there that can bring us some gravitas?  I don’t know that they have to hit much, just be a guy to help out, almost be another coach.

VUCH: Let me see. [scans reports, shuffles papers] This might work.  There’s a guy way off in one of our low minors, goes by Ben Kenobi.  Bit of a hermit, doesn’t really interact much with his current team, but he’s had some good years in the past.  I actually think I remember him working with Skywalker some when Luke was just getting started.  I mean, he’s pretty old for his league, but he seems to be a guy that wants to pass experience on.

MO: I’m not sure we can clear a spot for that kinda guy, Mike.  I mean, I understand what you are saying but there’s only 25 spots and I’ve already shuffled things quite a bit with more decisions to be made soon.

MATHENY: That’s true.  Maybe we can convince him to voluntarily give up his career?  He could be taken down there, but become more valuable as a coach.  He could reach heights we couldn’t possibly imagine right now.

VUCH: I can give him a call.  I think that’s a pretty good idea, honestly.  I could see him working well with Yadier Molina.  Ben and Yadi could be the basis of the next great Cardinal coaching staff.

MO: Anyone else? I hate to rush you but I’ve got to be at a ceremony here in a bit to hand out medals to the new Cardinal Hall of Fame class.

VUCH: I think that’s about it.  I’ll be sure to forward on reports of these guys as the season goes along.  I’d give some more thought to bringing up Skywalker, though.  It’d be a blockbuster, I think.

MO: My own counsel will I keep on who is to be a Cardinal.  But I’ll be sure to factor that into my decision.  Mike, good luck in the game today.  John, see you next time.

[VUCH and MATHENY exit]

MO: Man, you make one questionable move and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!

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