Opinion: The Cardinal Way and Why it Needs to Change
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We are the “Greatest Fans in Baseball” who live in “Baseball Heaven.” The center of baseball resides here in St. Louis, home to the most dedicated fans of one of the greatest franchises of all time: the Cardinals. And holding all of that together is our sacred mantra: The Cardinal Way.
We are courteous and nice to everyone. We don’t have to go and spend $50 million on a big budget star because we are better and don’t buy into that big city, big club nonsense.
But why not? We haven’t made the World Series since 2013 and haven’t really come close since 2014. The Cardinals full out missed the playoffs last year. There are countless problems, obviously. Whether that be the lackluster offense or the hot and cold pitching, the Cardinals are in dire need of an upgrade. Everywhere.
That starts with deviating from our Way. We need to step down from our high horse and be willing to invest a bit. Marcell Ozuna was a fantastic example and could prove to be a very worthy investment. It’s likely too close to the start of the season to make a trade here, but more money could be thrown at bigger names again, come the trade deadline.
With exception to players like Matt Holliday or Albert Pujols, the Cardinals are often seemingly afraid to chase huge names. Dexter Fowler was a great start last year and hopefully Ozuna can push the team further.
The other aspect is the manager. Mike Matheny hits close to home, having played here in St. Louis. But regardless of that, he really hasn’t done much but inherit the LaRussa team. The front office needs to switch some things up and find a more proven manager, someone with more experience to utilize the tools we already have.
Again, the modest, homegrown attitude of St. Louis is starting to get in the way of things. They’re shooting themselves in the foot. I’m not saying we have to go and find the most showy, egotistical big shot the Major Leagues has to offer, but some money should be spent. Some deviation must be made, or we will surely be caught in a vicious cycle of being caught with mediocre teams.
We might actually be the best fans in baseball and be the center of one of America’s most popular sports, but that doesn’t change the fact we need to keep that legacy up. Eleven World Series’s is a lot, but how about twelve? 2018 could get that ball rolling, toward what could be a new, better Cardinal Way.