St. Louis Cardinals: Postseason absence will be short-lived
Just like that, it’s over. The 2016 marathon of a baseball season, culminating with the playoffs, of which the St. Louis Cardinals were not a part, is complete. A new World Series champion has been crowned: the Chicago Cubs. Oh my!
I’m not sure if this is acceptable for Cardinal Nation. On one hand, we no longer will have to listen to the grumblings of the North Siders about goats and curses. Yet, on the other hand they will be reminding us for the next year that the Cubbies are baseball royalty.
It was a season unlike any St. Louis Cardinals fans have had to endure for a few years. With injuries around every corner and odd managerial decision-making rearing its ugly head, Cardinal Nation was left in dismay, reaching for a coveted playoff spot that came up just one game short.
As I reminisce on a season-that-was and was-not, the San Francisco Giants may have done the St. Louis Cardinals a huge favor. Their short-lived playoff life was most likely our destiny, as well. Our usual control of the National League Central was just not there. Our peaking moment did not come in September as we had all hoped.
So now we look ahead to a mid-February Spring Training that is sure to have a bit of a different look than in year’s past. Back for another stint will be Mike Matheny, who just received a new deal from the St. Louis Cardinals. I am not against this move, as I think 2017 will actually be the first year he will have his own team, not one handed down from previous regimes.
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Returning for St. Louis will be some strong arms in Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes, as well as the backbones of the Cardinals Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright and Matt Carpenter.
Gone from the team that failed to miss the playoffs for the first time in five years is Matt Holliday and probably a number of others. We have glaring needs to address, including outfield help, pitching and, sadly, infielders that can field the ball.
The one ingredient I hope to see back is third-base coach Jose’ Oquendo. I believe he was the missing cog to a team that struggled defensively and on the base paths. His leadership was clearly unable to replace. My hope is the St. Louis Cardinals find a way to put Oquendo back where he belongs.
The brief hiatus from October playoff baseball will be short-lived for the St. Louis Cardinals. We made it through a tough season and an even more difficult playoff season watching our arch-rivals win it all. That will simply make us stronger and more driven for a successful 2017!