So I like the St. Louis Cardinals. My friend Josh also likes the Cardinals. I’ve become a pretty casual baseball fan over the last five years or so; I’m not as hard on the Cardinals as I used to be. I recognize their imperfections and am frustrated by them at times, but I still love them unconditionally and will defend them no matter what. And, in the spirit of my last entry about being a champ and not a chump, the only major criticism I have, and this is an opinion Josh and I have long shared, is that the Cardinals don’t have any personality. They’re all nice enough guys, great role models and all, but they have no attitude. They’re all midwestern hospitality. Everybody feels like a homogenized, generic baseball player, like the dude you play through Career Mode with in MLB: The Show.
Call me a radical, if you will, but at the risk of wrecking the entire team dynamic, I want to see the Cardinals turned up to eleven. I wanna see more John Kruks, Rick Vaughns, and Bob Gibsons, fewer “gotta take things one day at a time” guys. I want fire and adrenaline and excitement, like the game really means something to them. They need to be intimidating. Clubs shouldn’t like visiting Busch Stadium because of the best fans in baseball or whatever; they should fear St. Louis because they know they are going to get the mess beaten out of them every time they visit. They shouldn’t be worried about if they’ll lose, but how badly they’ll lose, how much embarrassment they’ll have to endure as the Cardinals stomp them into a pile of blood and slime. They’ll be stomped with class and dignity, mind you—these are still the historic and respected Cardinals you know and love, but now they are a team of misfits and renegades who have joined forces to save the world! And possibly win a World Series while they’re at it!
Josh recently mentioned the lack of intimidation factor in a Facebook post, and rather than sit around waiting for the Cardinals to develop attitudes, I decided to give them some, myself! One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I had a whole list of players with complicated backstories, purpose, and who take no guff. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2017 St. Louis Cardinals!
John Gant – should be billed as the angrier, more talented, more motivated son of Ron Gant, even though he’s not his son, and isn’t even the right ethnicity.
Miguel Socolovich – is now called the Russian Nightmare. What? He’s from Venezuela, you say? Not anymore.
Tyler Lyons – grew up with real lions. The “Y” in his last name makes him seem even more intimidating.
Seung Hwan Oh – never speaks, calls upon mystic ancestral powers to power up pitches. (This isn’t culturally insensitive at all.)
Michael Wacha – big fan of Fozzy Bear, but don’t talk to him about it or he’ll fly into an uncontrollable rage.
Adam Wainwright – a broken man coming to grips with the possibility that he’ll never win a World Series as a starter. He has become dangerous and unhinged, but no less effective.
Yadier Molina – Gains superpowers when one of his tattoos, that of an ancient glyph, magically alters his body, giving him the power of flight and throwing things even harder than before. When not playing baseball, Molina defends the city of Cincinnati from the forces of evil, vowing to forever protect the city that hates him.
Matt Adams – Once a happy, carefree galoot, his baseball career is, in actuality, a quest to prove his mettle to his fiancée. Before she would wed him, she requested an unusual trinket: a World Series ring. Adams has grown stoic and gray with age as his quest continues—he yearns only to fulfill the wish of his fiancée and marry the love of his life, no matter the cost to himself or those around him.
Dexter Fowler – Embraces the “dark side” by joining the Cardinals after a World Series winner with the Cubs because they were the only team in the league to give him a chance as he eclipses 30 years of age. He is at first reluctant to give his all to the team he grew to hate as a Cub, but ultimately delivers the Cardinals in their time of need in the second half. It’s a redemption story.
Randal Grichuk – Extremely handsome. But, if you get him dirty, he is offended that his good looks have been compromised and he powers up exponentially.
Matt Carpenter – Develops a fear of flying and has to drive a Jeep to away games and has amazing adventures between series. He sees some shit.
Aledmys Diaz – is now Ozzie Smith’s wizard apprentice. His wizarding skills are mediocre EXCEPT when applied to baseball and saving the world, areas in which he is exceptional.
Obviously I didn’t get everybody, but I’m feeling a lot better about this team already! When their powers combine, evil—and possibly even the combined forces of the American and National Leagues—don’t stand a chance! Watch out, World (Series)!