For every time I hit the "Publish" button, there are a half-dozen unfinished drafts and discarded ideas. Most of what hits the cutting room floor either simply isn't good enough to meet even my relatively low standards or requires immense effort to make palatable. Instead of tossing away these drafts like a Tyler Greene baseball card, here are some excerpts of the best of the worst that almost made the cut.
The good news: The Cardinals reached the All-Star break just two games out of the division lead in the NL Central.
The less-than-good news: The Cardinals reached the All-Star break just 2.5 games out of the basement.
Thank goodness we have the St. Louis Blues, because the "other team" just isn't getting the job done.
Inevitably the glass-half-full crowd will point to the number of injuries and under-performing players and make a case built on the quaint notion that the injured will get healthy and under-performers will stop under-performing. Adorable.
All teams have injuries and players who aren't playing well. The Yankees have managed just fine without Stanton and Judge for substantial chunks of the season so far.
BACK IN MY DAY
I'm old enough to remember when Dexter Fowler's contract looked like the biggest albatross on the payroll, but with $37M due over the next two seasons, Matt Carpenter could take the title. While his projected decline curve probably doesn't include a 191-point OPS drop between seasons, it probably doesn't include an offensive rampage that could carry his team the remainder of the 2019 season either. That's not to say that it's time to give up on Carpenter, but it's probably time to give up on him as a leadoff hitter. Never mind. I did that years ago.
Kolten Wong's defense should play even when his bat does not. Unfortunately, most teams can only afford to carry one or two weak bats in the lineup, and the Cardinals have been sporting as many as three or even four at some points. One could argue that Bader fits into the same category, but the counter is that removing Bader leaves a spot for Jose Martinez who is one of the few players who has regularly demonstrated the ability to hit the ball into the field of play where it lands without interference from a defensive player's glove.
STUBBY CLAPP IS CANADIAN
No content. Just like reminding people of this.
YADI F-BOMBS ARE THE BEST F-BOMBS
There will never be another Yadi. There probably won't be another guy like him on baseball's most plain vanilla team. He's the ghost in the machine. The aberration. He's also very passionate about the fraternity of catchers.
I've watched the replay of Jake Marisnick going full Ronnie Lott on Lucroy, and his explanation just does not work. Maybe if he had attempted an actual slide instead of a decapitation move....
We're just months away from the Ballpark Village People raising their pitchforks in protest of John Mozeliak not forcing the Cardinals to win another World Series.
If you can't take him at his worst, then you didn't deserve him at his best.
He received an unreasonable amount of credit for teams that weren't great on paper outperforming expectations. He's also receiving an unreasonable amount of blame for a team that's pretty good on paper stumbling to mediocrity like Jack Clark at the home opener.
Just pick a lane.