The 2017 St. Louis Cardinals were disappointing and one name in particular stands as a surprisingly polarizing figure among the best fans in baseball.
The St. Louis Cardinals must decide how to best address the disappointing 2017 season. They have addressed this in the way of adding Marcell Ozuna and others. But even after these moves, the Cardinals still need a closer.
Enter my far-fetched reach at being creative and suggesting using Adam Wainwright as the closer in 2018. I openly admit that this is unlikely and is quite far-fetched. But I never imagined that Waino’s name would be so polarizing among fans.
The moment my piece published, countless social media accounts went on the offensive. Simultaneously, several social media accounts cheered for the idea. Some, sadly, went personal and attacked me for coming up with a topic for discussion.
Here’s the real skinny: I fully believe that Wainwright will be in the starting rotation. I also fully believe that he is NOT a bad option to consider at closer. Do I think the St. Louis Cardinals will actually use him as closer? No, but a creative manager might give him the shot if he can’t hack it as a starter.
Here’s the other thing: why is Wainwright so polarizing for St. Louis Cardinals fans? I understand that he was once the ace of this team but he is no longer this. I also understand that he is quite frankly one of the faces of this organization but he is not the ONLY face of the organization.
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I also understand fans getting all up in arms when I had suggested last summer that Wainwright was finished. Hell, I even understand Waino himself getting upset by my writing that he was done but I don’t understand fans getting overly upset about a creative suggestion for keeping Wainwright as a functional piece of the team.
I guess I was just confused about Waino being so polarizing. Let me be clear: I have nothing but admiration for Wainwright, as I said in last night’s Official Redbird Rants Podcast. I do honestly worry that Wainwright- at 36 years of age- will have a tough time as a starter but am more than willing to let it play out through spring training.
If Wainwright cannot hack it as a starter, then I’m simply suggesting that I want the St. Louis Cardinals to get creative and find a way to keep Wainwright as a Cardinal in 2018 and beyond. Which I said in the piece in question.
Let me also say that I love readers responding to me both good and bad, I just never thought that Wainwright was to be the polarizing figure that would cause the Best Fans in Baseball to encamp themselves in one side or another. To that end, please keep reading and please keep sharing your opinions with me!
The St. Louis Cardinals will be better in 2018, of this I am sure. As the calendar flips after Sunday, let’s continue to watch the front office make the team better and keep our eyes open during spring training for creative ways to continue to grow and keep our best assets on the team.