Is Oscar Taveras’ death a turning point for the St. Louis Cardinals?
When he died in a car accident on Sunday, Oscar Taveras was a part of the St. Louis Cardinals future plans.
It’s been said plenty by now how many people, including Cardinals GM John Mozeliak, how the outfielder was the best hitting prospect in the system since Albert Pujols. There’s no need to rehash this.
There was an article in my Google Alerts that caught my attention. Cathal Kelly writes in The Globe and Mail that Taveras’ passing could mark a turning point for the Cardinals. I have no problem with asking such a question. It’s an important one to ask even if we don’t want to ask it right now. The timetable for Stephen Piscotty, a right fielder in the Cardinals system, has certainly changed but I really don’t want to start focusing on that and how Taveras’ death has an effect on the Cardinals plans this offseason.
Where I do have a problem is drawing comparisons to Len Bias, who died from a drug overdose just days after the Boston Celtics drafted the Maryland Terrapins forward in 1986. Bias was a key to the Celtics future as the Big 3 of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish were getting older in basketball age. After the Celtics won the NBA championship in 1986, they would not win the title again until 2008 with a new Big 3.
Everything I have read points to no sign of drugs in Taveras’ system so that’s not to blame for his tragic passing. This is why I have such a big issue with comparing the two players. Had drugs been an issue, it would be a different story. From a talent aspect, I can see the comparisons of two can’t-miss prospects losing their lives before they had the chance to really shine at the next level. But from looking at how they both passed away from different circumstances, they just do not compare.
Could we be comparing the players twenty years from now? Maybe but that’s only if the Cardinals don’t make it into the postseason. I have enough faith the scouting department that they know what they are doing. The Cardinals will bounce back from this without a doubt.