St. Louis Cardinals Squeeze Lemonade From a Wrench


So, the new guy you traded for, the down-on-his-luck, recently elite hitter, hurts his foot stepping on first base in his first game with the new team. No biggie. He tells trainers he “tweaked” his ankle, and just needs a day. He comes to the ballpark the next day and says it’s sore, and he just needs another day. After further consultations with medical staff it’s revealed that in fact it is not his ankle he hurt, but a re-aggravation of a serious foot injury that occurred eleven months ago. An injury that almost kept him out of the entire postseason, which included a World Series. An injury which has changed the player to this day.

He is on the disabled list after one game with his new organization. If you’re the Red Sox, what must you be thinking? Perhaps, per the “availability heuristic”, (Wikipedia it), you remember the guy as the valiant warrior who came back from injury to do damage against your team when it really mattered.

But he wasn’t forthcoming about Friday’s injury. You take a closer look at his stats. Maybe you call upstairs. Maybe, you start to wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into.

I asked “Dan” of the Red Sox media relations department if he would comment on the trade and he hung up on me. I also had a back-and-forth on Twitter with Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold on Wednesday. I asked Goold why Craig wouldn’t explain that the foot was hurting him at the plate:

I asked Mr. Goold how Boston could take damaged goods:

What is common to the player, the organization, and credentialed media is that this business is their livelihood. This sport, its vitality and appeal, depends upon each entity within the industry functioning well. We accept human frailty, and somewhat understand the pressures players, general managers, and reporters deal with.

What we mustn’t accept is a Pravda-like operation where no one is telling the public why it is that cleanup hitter Allen Craig has fallen off a cliff. Is it honorable to “never use injury as an excuse”? Is it proper to run out there knowing you’re physically limited?

John Mozeliak dragged the St. Louis Cardinals into the reality community, abruptly. No more spinning fantasies, as Al Hrabosky does on Fox Sports Midwest, telling us “It’s just a matter of time before those grounders turn into line drives”.

You have to hand it Mozeliak. He sure knows what to do with lemons. I just didn’t want lemonade. I desired a Wrench, to fix things on a summer night.