The St. Louis Cardinals will ask many questions this offseason but the most important should be what and how they will define their identity in 2018.
I thought I was over the lost St. Louis Cardinals season. I thought I was over the Las Vegas shooting. I am not. I am, however, confused by both things. And I imagine I am not alone in my confusion.
In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, the country is asking itself if this type of thing defines us. In the wake of the second year in a row to not broach the postseason, the St. Louis Cardinals are asking themselves if the organization is no longer a postseason threat.
Teams like the Cubs- who for decades upon decades- were not a postseason threat (I had to get that in here somewhere for my own enjoyment). During those glorious years, the St. Louis Cardinals were shoe-ins for the NL-Central crown. Are those days behind us?
The United States for so long was a somewhat peaceful country (please know that was said with a tongue firmly pressed in cheek). Other than skirmishes with countries outside our ocean-ed boarders, the United States lived in general 1950s “Somewhere That’s Green.” That all ended in the late 1990s when domestic terrorism found a foothold thanks to the abundance and ease of firearms.
So, in the wake of both the St. Louis Cardinals season loss and the recent outbreak of evil from the 32nd floor, I’m left wondering if these things have anyone else contemplating our identity or if that is just me?
Are the St. Louis Cardinals a middle-of-the-road organization?
Is the United States a violent country?
Or, to the contrary, are there members of the St. Louis Cardinals who prove the above question false? In other words, are there members who are postseason-ready players?
To the United States question, similar to the above contrary, were the acts of heroism displayed by “ordinary” people what defines the red, white, and blue?
Let me dig into the United States question first. To me, while I hate it, I believe that these united states are defined by both the acts of evil and the acts of selfless sacrifice and heroism. I believe the United States is a country filled with many different types of people: some good, some evil.
I also believe that denying this fact is what provides opportunities for the best and worst of these to show themselves. I think it would be very interesting if we as a nation admitted to the fact that we are violent, evil, compassionate, rich, poor, lost, and found individuals.
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What if we admitted this? Could we then actually address these elements with truth (since we would no longer be in denial) and find real and applicable solutions? To me, the real question is do we even want to change this identity?
To the St. Louis Cardinals then… I believe that the Cardinals have and had players who were well qualified for postseason play but, like the United States, were not willing to admit that the makeup of the team was such that they weren’t going to make it to the playoffs. I believe this was 2017’s downfall.
Here’s the solution, to me at least: the St. Louis Cardinals need to be honest about their makeup (roster and coaching). If the Cardinals were honest about their makeup then they could address said makeup appropriately. That is if they want to appropriately address the makeup.
I wish I believed that the St. Louis Cardinals were currently capable of self assessment but in light of the recent comments made by Mozeliak and DeWitt I’m not sold they can or will. In light of the fact that Mike Matheny is still the manager, I’m just not sold that the Cardinals know their identity.
Without true introspection, neither the country nor the St. Louis Cardinals will ever get better. The days of “we never thought it would happen here” are long in the rear view mirror. The time is nigh to look inward with the expectation that all good and all evil exist within and then change what we can.