Holiday Gift Ideas for the Cardinals

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Hanukkah is more than halfway over, with dreidels having been spun for five nights now. Christmas is just around the corner. Those still searching for gifts are fast running out of time. In the giving spirit of the holidays, I’ve put together a suggested gift list for some members of our favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals. Their loved ones can thank me later.  

  • Bill DeWitt: Perhaps a small loan from Steve Cohen, the Mets owner who spends money like he’ll never run out of it? (Spoiler alert: he won’t.) It might help boost payroll after news about a potential bankruptcy from Diamond Sports Group. You know what else might help revenue? A 12th World Series title, the greatest gift of all.
  • John Mozeliak: A fancy new bowtie is a no-brainer, preferably in Cardinal red. But some overdue gratitude from fans is deserved, too. Look, I’ll be the first to argue that the Cardinals too often get in their own way, stopping just short of turning the team into a true contender capable of making noise in the playoffs. And we all know about the free agency blunders and the Sandy Alcantara’s who got away. But Cardinals fans should remind themselves how good we have it and give Mo a round of applause. Or at least a polite golf clap. Sustained contention doesn’t always sound exciting but it’s been a long time since we had to endure a September that meant nothing. We shouldn’t take that for granted.
  • Oli Marmol: Ten fully-functioning, blister-free fingers for Ryan Helsley. But a frontline starter for the rotation would be nice, too. Free agency options at this point are limited and unlikely to be an upgrade over current options (or options already let go, like Jose Quintana). So how about another big trade? Pablo Lopez or Shane Bieber would sure look nice wearing red. Mo could even wear his new bowtie to the press conference!
  • Adam Wainwright: A season of health, one where he reaches 200 wins and bolsters his case for Cooperstown. A chance to retire as a World Series champion. And how about a new contract for next year? No, not to pitch – he’s already said this year will be his last. But sign him up to join the TV booth, where he’s already a natural.
  • Willson Contreras: An easy transition to Imo’s after years of experiencing deep dish pizza. And a spring training visit from Yadi to make the passing of the torch official.
  • Nolan Arenado: Free drinks in St. Louis for the rest of his life. Have you seen the contracts handed out this winter? It’s crazy to think how much he may have made if he had opted out of his contract. Instead, he affirmed his love for the team and this city. The least we can do is buy him a cold one every now and then.
  • Paul Goldschmidt: A short memory. It was a season to remember, except for the ending. Here’s hoping Goldy puts September and October behind him and follows-up with another MVP season in 2023.
  • Mike Shildt: Another chance to manage a ballclub. And a better explanation from the Cardinals as to what happened that led to his firing. I know, I know, he’s not a Cardinal anymore. But it’s hard not to root for the guy. And while he certainly had some head-scratching bullpen moves, it’s hard to argue he’s anything less than a quality skipper.
  • Jordan Walker: Patience from fans. It’s hard not to let our imaginations run wild with what he might be capable of. But let’s remember that not everyone – heck, pretty much no one – can start their careers like Albert Pujols did. He may not make the team out of spring training. He may have his ups and downs. Let’s hope he’s given the space and time to navigate through them if he does.
  • Alex Reyes: A reunion with the Cardinals. A fresh start probably makes the most sense for both team and player, given the roller-coaster ride that Reyes has endured over the years. But after all that the Cardinals have invested in Reyes, it makes too much sense for the two sides not to find a reasonable, low-risk deal to bring him back into the fold.
  • Jack Flaherty: Health, first and foremost. A bounce-back year to reestablish himself as an elite starter. And how about a nice pen to then sign an extension with the Cardinals? He can still spend winters in California, if the upcoming bomb cyclone doesn’t sound too appealing.
  • Giovanny Gallegos: A stopwatch. Other than Dakota Hudson, Gallegos may be the pitcher most impacted by the new pitch clock. He’ll need to learn how to cut down on the time spent in between pitches. Here’s thinking he’ll figure it out and share closing duties with Helsley next year.
  • You, the Fans: A fun, satisfying, and winning 2023 season. A division title should be the bare minimum, a deep playoff run should be expected, and a title would be the cherry on top. Also, a giant thank-you card from me. I joined Redbird Rants this year and have enjoyed writing about the team and seeing the passion from our readers. Thanks for making this year such an enjoyable one and I can’t wait to keep it going in 2023. Happy holidays, everyone.

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