What a ride it has been…the end.
Okay, so that sounds more like how the weekend series for the big club went, but the truth is this was much harder to do after an amazing run. It feels like there is so much to say in a short amount of space, and I’ll do my best to include everyone responsible. By no means is this a sad post, however, and I’ll always be around the Twitterverse as well as supporting the UCB in anything I can do.
The Conclave recently celebrated a year of bringing the best Birds on the Bat content to the masses, and it was at that point I was faced with a decision. Not THE decision like that one basketball guy but finding time to fit everything in finally reached a crossroads. Not everyone can be Shoptaw or Buffa after all!
I’ve been a sports writer for 20 years and never in my wildest dreams did I think getting to meet the GM of the Cardinals would happen, let alone multiple times. So it is fitting I provided the comedic relief this time around for my last installment of UCB weekend. Your faithful scrappy utility blogger has a higher calling (Graduate School) as well as a talented daughter to keep on her own college track that will now be my focus. I wouldn’t be here without Mrs. Scrappy-Utility-Blogger, and I know she is ready to not have to share me with St. Louis baseball.
But the trio of readers left at this point didn’t show up for reminiscing tales — this is still the Preacher’s last ride! And the only way to finish it off has to be a final bold prediction. It is trade season but this campaign has surely not turned out as anyone predicted. The club is missing something and no, it isn’t more cowbell. Another strong voice in the clubhouse would bring that competitive fire back, and it would just be icing on the cake if said voice also happens to be left-handed.
As I hinted at earlier, I’m going in a different direction even after David Price keeps mowing down the competition.
Getting ready for my final Conclave post. Teaser – how would Lester look wearing the Birds on the Bat?
— Joshua Gilliam (@aprfool79) July 6, 2014
Yup, you read that right. I do want Mo to pull off a trade for an ace and even from the AL East but not for a bidding war. Let the Blue Jays, Giants, and Dodgers play Price is Right and give up half their top ten prospects. Unless the Rays come back to Earth, it makes no sense to deal unless Longoria suddenly ends up in the conversation and well, Tampa hasn’t suddenly been taken over by TLR as far as we know. It also hurts any possible deals now that the cellar belongs to the other surprise team of the division.
Boston fans can certainly understand the grumbling felt by the Cardinal backers, but they will also point out that St. Louis is still in playoff consideration. While the Red Sox continue to admire their hardware from last October, a possible big problem resides on the horizon. Depending on which reports you believe, contract negotiations with ace Jon Lester have stopped and not everyone is happy about it. Would that provide the necessary window for another Holliday-type deal in the making?
As Daniel has told me many times, In Mo We Trust, and I would support a deal for a rental in this case. Why when the cost would still be high and sending prospects to Boston seems like a really bad idea you smart people say? Trades on paper rarely ever make sense but look at what the Red Sox need. They lost one outfielder to free agency and have struggled to put talent on the field since beating the Cards. Obviously I’m not looking at Taveras or even Piscotty in this exercise, but Grichuk and even a healthy Ramsey certainly seem like a strong starting point.
For me, though, I honestly can see this deal getting done more than any other because Boston has very little to lose. The chances of locking up Lester may be slim, but I’m reminded of what Nick said about championships — players come and go but flags fly forever. Lester is exactly the type of ace needed to pair with Wainwright and throw in a Brock Holt type, shopping list complete. Of course this is easier said than done because surely even less than half a season of an ace would cost at least a pitcher too, right?
Well, would anyone miss a Cooney or Lyons (sorry Daniel) if it certainly brings the pedigree that Lester has to offer. And hey, he may truly like the National League and everything St. Louis has to offer as one of the other truly great cities to play in…okay pipe dream aside, they have to make a move so why not reach for the stars! I’ve been blessed to share a room with great people and will never forget the times shared over the years. To Nick and Daniel, thanks for bringing me along for the ride and bring home title No. 12 because odd numbers are no fun!
Till we meet again – Preacher