2017: Good Riddance.. (part II)

*** Ladies and gentlemen Welcome to the disclaimer. That's right the disclaimer This American apple pie institution Known as parental discretion. Will cleanse any sense of innuendo or sarcasm from the post that might actually make you think. and will also insult your intelligence at the same time. So protect your family. This post contains explicit depictions Of things which are real. These real things are commonly known as life. So, if it sounds sarcastic, don't take it seriously. If it sounds dangerous, Do not try this at home or at all. And if it offends you, just don't read it. ***

Oh, hey, @cardinalsgifs here,

Not going to lie... I actually admire you coming back for part 2 of "Good Riddance, 2017" Bruno already told you 10 miserable things from the last season. From Matheny's extension, Dexter Fowler putting family first, to fighting over Matt Adam's value, a lot was covered in that first post. I gave you all a disclaimer, but this is your last warning to stop reading.

Fine, don't say you weren't warned.

Here are 10 more things that, no matter what you thought of them personally, brought misery to you and everyone in some way. Happy Monday!


11. “That money might be redeployed elsewhere now. It will.”I’m almost too angry to write this one. I’m just going to give you a summary:

  • The Cardinals didn’t have a pick in the draft until the 3rd round

  • The Cardinals had essentially no international draft money

  • Robert was seen as a #1 pick, something the team never had

  • Robert only cost money, something the team has in droves

  • The Cardinals had been seeking a difference making offensive player.

  • The Cardinals let themselves get outbid by the Chicago White Sox.

Make no mistake about it. For all of the times the Cardinals have been criticized for being cheap, it’s awfully hard for anyone to defend them on this one. OK, so David Price was truly expensive. You can understand why a team would want to stay below the luxury tax line, and Price would have made that harder. You can understand why they wouldn’t want to go 10 years on Albert Pujols. Even if you wanted the Cardinals to make these deals, you can, given good faith, see why the deals weren’t necessarily not wanting to spend money.

But this was the very thing the Cardinals needed, and the very situation they wanted to get involved in. They also made it clear they believed in his talent. The White Sox, in the exact same penalty situation, gave up $52 million dollars. The Cardinals are believed to (with the penalty) offered somewhere in the 40s.

Of course the actual salary was much lower. There was no luxury tax implications to be scared of. This was a potential difference maker the Cardinals would have had control of for years and years to come. And they chose to pass on it.

The system will undoubtedly feel the pain of missing its top 3 picks from this year. The Cardinals chose not to fill that hole.

Viva El Birdos recently did an article explaining how this was actually a good thing. Now everyone over there is smarter than I, but, ehhhhh no thanks.

First of all, ranking Robert in the top 50 before he’s even played a minor league game is a testament to his talent, not a warning that the 20 year old might only be the 50th best prospect ALREADY.

Second of all, this worry or need by fans to make sure that each and every trade and contract is a bargain is plain silly. The goal is to win games, not win contracts. The need for bargains is real when a team’s finances are stretched.

Does anyone here seriously think that the Cardinals finances are stretched? Had they ended up overpaying by $10 million for Robert, well oh golly gee no! What a disaster!

Put it this way. Had the Cardinals paid $60 million for Robert, and he had never played a major league game, their ability to compete would have been altered by exactly 0%. I don’t care how the deal is for every single player in the entire organization. When you get a chance like this, freaking go for it.

As for the Mo assurance that the money would be redeployed, let me know when you see that extra $40 million dollars going towards something. That’s a lot of bow ties.


12. Ditch the Grich

For the 2nd time in as many seasons, the Cardinals gave up on Randal Grichuk finding his swing while with the MLB club. With his batting average in the .220s and his HR total at 4 in late May, Grichuk was sent to AAA Memphis – wait – that’s wrong. He was sent to SINGLE A in an effort to rework his pitch recognition. It was explained at the time that this was being creative. See, going to Memphis would have sent the wrong message that the Cards were giving up on him, but going to SINGLE A to get focused treatment on his swing showed just how much the Cardinals were invested in him.

Which is why 11 days later, Randal Grichuk was in AAA. I guess this was also to prove how invested the team was in him?

Then he spend 14 games in AAA where he hit minor league pitching very well – which he absolutely should – but showed zero signs of better pitch recognition with a solid 3 walks and 20 strikeouts. Given that that was the entire point of sending him to the minor leagues, you can imagine why the Cardinals decided to stay patient with him and continue reworking his approach.

By promoting him to the major leagues.

Back in the majors, Randal was Randal again. He hit for power the rest of the way, tagging a .539 slugging percentage. He also got on base at a sad .291 clip. Still, this is pretty much what one should have expected from Randal Grichuk, which is why the Cardinals have shown their support in him by having him enter next year as a 4th OF, unless he gets traded first.

It all makes a ton of sense.

And we haven’t even gotten into the fact that the Cardinals apparently didn’t employ coaches at the MLB level that are able to develop their talent, and instead keep people like Mark Budaska and George Green in the minors.

(Yes, Budaska had a temporary assignment in the majors as assistant leaving coach because of a leave of absence)


13. “A second-division club”

A frustrating part of being a fan, specifically a St. Louis Cardinals fan, is the idea that we’re spoiled. We aren’t. The idea is preposterous. We don’t have to love baseball. We don’t have to watch it. We choose our entertainment in all areas of our life based upon if we believe that entertainment is worth watching. Like when the Rams were pathetic, when a team is pathetic, people will spend their money elsewhere. You will only spend your money on the Cardinals if you feel they are a good investment for your wallet. And if they expect to keep getting money from you, they had best meet your expectations, whatever those may be.

When a team doesn’t meet those expectations, some will complain. And others will complain that they complain. It’s a beautiful bitch fest.

On May 30th the Cardinals were not the worst team in baseball. They were an average team, finishing the day a game under .500 at 24-25. But damn it’s hard to imagine watching a more frustrating team. And while there were those out there criticizing fans complaints by telling them it was still early, or by calling them spoiled, or for saying their expectations were too high, it was nice to get justification from Mike Shannon about the sloppy, shoddy play on the field. If Mike Shannon goes off on a rant about the team, then they are well deserving of the criticism.

Still, how embarrassing is it to make headlines when your beloved team Hall of Fame announcer goes off on an entire team, saying “we see this happen all the time with this Cardinal team?” We all shouted our agreement, but it was another sad day to be a Cardinals fan.


14. A Great Weight-Loss Technique

For the life of me I can’t figure out why John Mozeliak seems so brilliant 80% of the time, and so utterly, mindlessly stupid the other 20% of the time.

Someone explain to me how anyone in 2016 would have given Jonathan Broxton a 2 year deal worth 7.5 million dollars with a no trade clause, without the explanation that they are just plain stupid?

Was there anyone that didn’t groan the moment this deal was announced?

Broxton “earned” his money by being a replacement level pitcher in 2016. Blech. And following it up with a bad 2017.

How bad?

His WHIP was over 2. OVER 2. This meant if he pitched an inning and gave up 2 runners, THAT WAS A GOOD OUTING FOR HIM.

Broxton pitched in 20 games. He made it through an entire perfect inning exactly one time. It was a mop up inning against the Dodgers in which they allowed their relief pitcher to bat.

Broxton was making good money on a team that carried an extra pitcher all year long, and were desperate for bullpen help, and he STILL got released.

285 pounds gave us a 6.89 ERA. How did you not see this one coming, Mo?


15. Damn You Universe

Stephen Piscotty was the golden child of 2015 and 2016, putting up numbers that made Cardinals fans giddily compare him to Jason Heyward all season long.

He was good. He was fun to watch. He went to Stanford!!!

And he was 25 years old, signed to a long term deal. Piscotty seemed like he was Mr. Dependable.

2017 was terrible. Piscotty slumped, and slumped badly right from the beginning. Then his mom was diagnosed with ALS. What a punch to the gut.

Somehow Stephen produced like a champ for the next 3 weeks, becoming the Piscotty we all dreamed of seeing again.

It went away quickly.

I don’t know why Piscotty struggled. Baseball is hard. Your mother’s life weighing on you is hard. Recovering from injuries is hard.

Whatever the combination of reasons, watching Piscotty play out the 2nd half was painful, especially when, to top it off, he had a minor league demotion of his own.

You couldn’t watch Piscotty without feeling pain and seeing the anguish in him.

Still, Matheny kept playing him. A combination of injury necessity and managerial malpractice for a contending team, Piscotty racked up over 80 September at bats that were anything but impressive. He ended his Cardinals tenure on a 1-20 run. Just plain sad.

Gone was the youthful fun, the hope in the future. Instead we had a young man beaten down by baseball, beaten down by life, traded for a pair of minor leaguers so that he could be near his dying mother.

Sometimes it’s ok to be mad at God.


16. Make Me Miss Trump/Clinton Tweets Why Don’t You

Matt Carpenter, after enduring a lengthy slump, was moved into the leadoff role on June 6th and started hitting well again.

For whatever God knows why reason this pissed off Cardinals fans and became an insufferable topic of conversation for the rest of the season. We still talk about it now in the offseason. This is apparently because we’ve decided we don’t want to live happy and fulfilling lives, but would rather be inane and miserable. Go us.

Look, I delayed writing this section for an entire day because of you, dear reader. Whomever you are, you have firmly placed yourself on one side of the argument or the other of the Matt Carpenter debate and refuse to let any counter information enter your small and piddling mind, and while doing so have continued the twitter Hellscape that has continued ever since the Presidential elections. I didn’t tweet a whole lot in the 2nd half of this year, and while I had some very good real life reasons to stay away, I can say that it was made a lot easier by the constant and insane bitching that happened this year with Matt Carpenter.

The illogical anger that accompanied Matt Carpenter PLAYING WELL at leadoff was just nuts (along with every other Matt Carpenter conversation). Matt Carpenter has said he likes and prefers to lead off. Matt Carpenter has said he is also happy to bat anywhere Mike puts him. Matt Carpenter has said he prefers to switch positions on defense. Matt Carpenter has also completely agreed