St. Louis Cardinals: Power Ranking potential in-game interview candidates
If mic’ing players becomes a regular ordeal, there are plenty of players on the St. Louis Cardinals that we would love to see do interviews. Who’s at the top of the list?
Mic’ing up players is one of my favorite ideas of how to both spice up broadcasts of baseball games as well as market St. Louis Cardinals players to the world of baseball. So far, we’ve seen it in spring training and in the 2019 All-Star game, but never during a regular old season game. It seems like an easy slam dunk.
I do feel like the Cardinals’ media team has done a fantastic job with their recent run of advertisements with top players Jack Flaherty, both of the Paul’s, Kolten Wong, and of course Yadi and Adam Wainwright, but there’s a whole different level that fans could get to know these players at if they were interviewed on the field while they were playing.
The Cardinals do have plenty of personalities on the field, so if there are going to be in-game interviews, who would we like to see get interviewed most? Keep in mind that for this list, pitchers and catchers are omitted because they have the most responsibility each pitch and would likely not want all of what they say communicated across the broadcast.
No. 5: Matt Carpenter
Matt Carpenter hasn’t been a fan favorite in the past 12 months, but he has plenty of personality to show off. Whether it’s his salsa ads or other published interactions, Carpenter is an extremely smart player that knows the game extremely well on both sides of the ball.
Any player like this who’s a bank of knowledge is worth listening to, even if he had a 2019 he’s not proud of.
No. 4: Paul Goldschmidt
First base is one place where a lot of conversation happens. We have seen it with Anthony Rizzo mic’d up during spring training, among other things. Paul Goldschmidt may not be the most outspoken leader in the world, but the superstar certainly knows what he’s talking about. Also, anytime we can get a glimpse into those conversations that go on at first base would be great insight.
Some fans may think that first base is an easy defensive position to play, but I would venture to say that if we got in the mind of Paul Goldschmidt while he played first, he would be able to explain the intricacies of the position.
No. 3: Kolten Wong
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Kolten Wong is another player that would be fascinating to hear from about how he views every pitch as a second baseman. The Gold Glove winner has turned some of the best double plays fans have seen in the past five years and has plenty of other web gems to add to his resume.
How does Wong get such a good jump on balls? What’s going through his head pre-pitch?
Any of these can be asked postgame or another time, but say a certain batter is up right then and there, what does Wong know about this guy specifically? What does Wong think about when he’s playing the extreme shift? From a defender who can make such flashy plays, it’d be great to hear his thoughts.
No. 2: Dexter Fowler
Whether or not you love the player, it is not up for debate whether or not Dexter Fowler is a great human. With his infectious smile and lighthearted personality, Fowler always gives a fantastic interview.
Fowler is also a 12-year vet in the MLB that has played more than 11,000 innings in the outfield. Much like Kolten Wong, Fowler is a smart enough defender that hearing how he approaches a ball in right field, how he’s thinking about a certain batter, and more is something that I’d love to hear about.
No. 1: Harrison Bader
As much as Kolten Wong deserved his Gold Glove at second base and has his own highlight reel, Harrison Bader is not far behind him. As one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball, Harrison Bader’s gameplan in the field would be so much fun to hear about. There’s something about center field and how much ground there is to cover that is infectious to learn about.
It also helps that Bader, a player who has no problem saying what he feels, would be fun to listen to.
Bader’s confidence in the field sets him apart and while most fans know him, hearing the way he talks about baseball while he’s playing would be a different experience.
I would assume players wouldn’t be able to talk much while batting or baserunning, but in the field, this idea has plenty of fun implications. Interviewing players in the field could also serve as an opportunity to talk about the opposing pitcher’s attack plan or a previous at-bat mid-game rather than afterward. Fans have never gotten coverage like that before.
I know some players would have no interest in attaching a microphone to them while they play, but the Cardinals have personalities that I think are undermarketed and under-appreciated by fans. Letting these guys talk about how they view the game could not only let fans get to know them better, but could help young aspiring athletes learn from them as well.