5 thoughts from Cardinals series win over the Cubs
3. Adam Wainwright is a good leader
That does seem like an understatement, but it is very accurate. After a massive public relations nightmare into the handling of Willson Contreras and his move to be the team designated hitter while he learns the Cardinal Way of handling pitchers, Wainwright made sense of what was happening.
Waino noted a conversation he had with Contreras where he "poured into" him to let him know that they love and appreciate him and that he will be their guy behind the plate. He stressed how much he enjoyed that Contreras was a Cardinal and wasn't sure if he'd been told that, but he wanted to make sure he knew.
It is essential to know that you are valued and appreciated. It's excellent that Waino stepped up to let Contreras know this. It seems ridiculous that the two individuals who were critical of Contreras didn't vocalize this as they demoted him. National media was critical of Contreras being made a scapegoat by the president of baseball operations, John Mozeliak, and manager Oli Marmol for a pitching staff that didn't change over the offseason and couldn't adapt to a new catcher.
It's good that Waino stepped up to be that leader his teammate needed. It was refreshing to see him in the dugout talking with Contreras who seemed happy and relieved to know that someone has his back. While Jack Flaherty was apparently in this meeting, I hope others have stepped up for Contreras.
2. Willson Contreras shines in return to Chicago
Contreras' first game back with the Cubs was excellent. He seemingly thrived from the boos greeting the once-a-key figure of the organization.
On Monday, he was the offense. Contreras scored off a single from Dylan Carlson to left field in the second inning. In the sixth inning, Contreras doubled to centerfield, scoring Lars Nootbaar. He ground into a force-out in the eighth inning, scoring Nootbaar.
It was great to see Contreras thrive in his return to Wrigley. The return to Wrigley, plus his fellowship with Waino, should really kickstart his comeback.