We talked about Adam Wainwright a long, long time ago. That doesn’t mean we can’t do it again, especially when there are a few new bits to discuss. But, basically, Adam Wainwright is an amazing person and I’m fine talking about him whenever.
Last week, Ken Rosenthal wrote a nice piece about the Cardinal legend in The Athletic, talking about various issues. The biggest, of course, was his $250,000 donation to More Than Baseball, designated to help out Cardinal minor leaguers during this time of pandemic. It was interesting to see that he first approached the Cardinals to see if they could do something like that through Cardinals Care, only to be told that was a bit outside of their scope.
That’s not a knock at all. I think it’s pretty smart to see a non-profit realize that it can’t do everything. Cardinals Care helps out in the community and with kids. Wainwright thought of his own charity, Big League Impact, only to also realize that it wasn’t real compatible with their idea of feeding the hungry and providing clean water to those in need. We talk so often about a batter “staying within himself” but it’s fascinating to see organizations be able to do that. The temptation to try to do things they aren’t really designed for had to be strong, but it’s better to find people that know what they are doing in these situations.
Unsurprisingly, Wainwright didn’t want this donation to reach the public, but the guys that MTB had a good point–putting it out there might encourage others to do help out in a similar fashion. Daniel Murphy and Shin-Soo Choo donated afterwards, though there’s no telling whether they were inspired by Wainwright or were planning to do so anyway. Hopefully others have done so as well, though with no publicity, because the idea of just three MLB guys helping out here is sad. (I mean, it could be better than what the owners are doing, but it’s still sad.)
(It was also interesting that Wainwright not only wants to see minor league pay increased, he has talked to front office types about it. Whether that is just John Mozeliak and Mike Girsch or some others throughout the game, it’s nice to see it’s at least one of his priorities.)
Wainwright also talks about staying in shape, playing catch with Kwang-hyun Kim, and some of the other things that he’s doing in this off time. Then he drops the big news.
Health has brought me back into a place of not wanting to be done yet. When health was an issue, and my arm hurt taking a spoonful of cereal, I knew it was maybe time to hang it up. But now that it doesn’t hurt anymore, hurt when I throw a ball, hurt when I’m lifting, I’m having fun again. And now right when it’s gotten fun again, I’m not playing.
I talked to my wife the other day. I said, “Jenny, I just don’t know if I’m ready to stop playing.” She said, “I guess not, especially since you haven’t been able to play this year. You’re going to have to play next year, right?
So, to answer your question plainly, I’m not done yet. I’ve got more in the tank. That can change on any day. But I’m having way too much fun doing what I’m doing. My wife loves St. Louis. My family loves St. Louis. As long as (the Cardinals) will have me, I’d love to play again next year.
Wainwright returning is still a bit reliant on performance, of course. If he goes out and has a rough season (assuming there is one), I don’t know how much benefit he’s going to get from the idea that it was a wonky season and things probably shouldn’t be taken seriously. That said, it will be a factor, and if Waino is open to another deal like he’s had the last couple of years, with a lower base salary and good money in incentives, I could see the Cards bringing him back unless 2020 is just a complete disaster.
So the idea of Wainwright and Yadier Molina walking out together lives on! Baseball isn’t often a fairy tale, though, so chances of it happening are still slim. It’s something to dream about, though, perhaps finishing up with another World Series ring!