In a perfect world, the 2014 season would be a gas for Cardinals fans.
There would be no need for 64 different articles about the decline of Allen Craig‘s swing(I have accounted for 6 of those). There wouldn’t be a need for a baseball swing forensic analyst to consider looking at Craig’s broken swing. The veteran would be hitting well and challenging Matt Adams for at bats while Oscar Taveras gets his feet wet in right field.
There would also be no need for constant at bat number check ups on Taveras because he would tear the crap out of the baseball like Yasiel Puig did in 2013. He would be a part timer for the Cards or a full timer in Memphis because of Craig’s resurgence. Taveras wouldn’t have been called up on May 30th to be the savior to a severely ailing offense. He would be finishing up his final year in the minors before his ascension to the big leagues in September.
Mike Matheny wouldn’t be ripped by fans because he wouldn’t execute so many useless double switches. Matheny would have used Peter Bourjos better by not isolating him on the bench for weeks at a time. Jon Jay‘s bat would be pushed into a part time role and Bourjos’ defense would be utilized in late and close games and in occasional starts against right handers. In perfect world, Bourjos doesn’t strike out so much.
It would be lovely if Bourjos and Taveras both didn’t start so slow when the playing time did find them.
In a perfect world, there would be no need to consider mortgaging the fine young farm system talent for a pitcher like Jon Lester(a two month rental) or Cole Hamels(95 million guaranteed over next four years). Jake Peavy wouldn’t have attracted the eyes of our scouts. This wouldn’t be needed because Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia both wouldn’t hit the long term disabled list on the same day(June 22nd).
In a perfect world, Trevor Rosenthal doesn’t walk so many batters and pitch 48 innings before August. In a perfect world, Jason Motte has a rapid improvement and takes the occasional save from Rosenthal to save the younger arm from potential Tommy John Surgery. Yeah, that would be nice.
In a perfect world, Adam Wainwright gets more run support and collects 14-15 wins by the All Star Break and doesn’t give the Clayton Kershaw adorers much of a chance to debate who starts the All Star Game.
Matt Holliday doesn’t wait to slug above .400 until July 25th.
Jhonny Peralta doesn’t…..well, he’s been pretty good much of the season so I’ll leave him alone.
Matt Carpenter duplicates his 2013 season in one half of baseball so fans don’t label his 2014 season a letdown.
In a perfect world, Yadier Molina, the heart and soul of Cardinal baseball, doesn’t suffer a potentially regular season ending torn thumb ligament on July 9th, thus sending the team scurrying for catchers ranging from Kotteras to Pierzynski.
In a perfect world, Daniel Descalso never….ever…starts a major league baseball game for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2014. His 2012 heroics aren’t celebrated on Twitter as a defense mechanism to criticism of the legendarily average player.
In a perfect world, Allen Craig is indeed hurt and Oscar Taveras gets to start 15-20 games straight to see exactly where he is at in his development.
In a perfect world, Kolten Wong doesn’t experience rookie jitters and make the occasional bad error or mental mistake.
In a perfect world, the hottest topic on a cool late summer day isn’t whether Cards fans think Mike Matheny should be fired but how much better of a manager he can become with more years of experience.
In a perfect world, there aren’t 20-25 different Fire Mike Matheny Parody Twitter Accounts.
Matt Adams hits lefties more so people stop parading for a first base platoon and Carlos Martinez gives the team more innings in his starts.
In a perfect world, Jon Jay and Matt Holliday would be appreciated by Cardinals fans all season.
I could go on here but I will spare you the repetitive rambling nature of a hometown sports writer. A lot of things have gone wrong this season. Starting pitching has been lost for long stretches. Bullpen arms have been taxed. Revered bats have gone missing. Management has created more head scratching moments than wise nods from the baseball gods(those darn double switches and constant lineup changes).
However, a team finds out the most about themselves in trivial times. A young manager isn’t tested when things are going well. He is tested during tough brutal months of baseball where your team doesn’t hit and you run circles trying to fix things.
John Mozeliak believes in Matheny so I will remain a believer in the skipper. I have faith in Mozeliak making the right trade for the right price. He hasn’t flubbed too often in recent years, has he? Matheny is young when it comes to managing so these next two months will tell us a lot about his resolve, leadership and future. 2015 doesn’t get any easier with more young talent(Marco Gonzales, Stephen Piscotty and others) on its way up. When you are in possession of gold, the scrutiny for the owner is much higher. Mozeliak and Matheny don’t escape criticism ever but for now, I will trust them to do the right things.
It would great if Taveras could start ripping line drives everywhere, thus taking the pressure off Matheny to continue sending Craig to the dish for doomed recovery missions. That would be a step in the right directions and could have a big effect on the entire operation. Taveras hits and thus isn’t put on the trade market at all, narrowing Mozeliak’s search for help.
If only the game were that easy to analyze, partake in and admire. Baseball is brutal. March to October. Potentially 200 games. Few breaks. Lots of twists and turns. Injuries. Heartbreak. Every single season.
The trade deadline is 2 days away, ladies and gentlemen. This is no perfect world. Prepare for more challenging times but remember this. At the end of October, it may all be worth it.
Thanks for reading and find more instant doses via twitter, @buffa82.