The Wong stuff

By now, I’m sure you have read or heard that Kolten Wong will be platooning at second base at the beginning of the season, which is only 6 days away.  And I’m sure you have heard that he is unhappy about it, and spread the word by spouting off to Ben Fredrickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about it in an interview.  Kolten later “clarified” his statements, which only made things worse.  If Kolten was unhappy about being part of a platoon, he should have complained to his manager about it rather than airing out his dirty laundry in a newspaper interview.  Kolten may not have found himself as part of a platoon if his spring batting average had been greater than .170.  Last year, his spring training batting average was .304.  That looks like a slump to me.

There have been efforts made to make Kolten comfortable and give him confidence. When Kolten was made the starting second baseman in 2014, Mark Ellis was signed to provide guidance.  In 2016, the Cards gave Kolten a  five-year, $25.5 million dollar contract.  I don’t know about you, but that would make me really comfortable and confident that the team I played for loved me.  That would make me want to work hard and not rest on my laurels. Unfortunately, that large contract is the reason that Kolten will not be traded like so many people have been clamoring for.  No team is going to pick up that large contract for a player that currently only hits .170. The only way Kolten gets traded at this point is if the Cardinals were willing to eat some of that contract.

So Kolten needs to put up, bat up, and shut up.  He needs to make his bat do the talking and not his mouth.  In the end, winning games is what it’s all about, not whether a player is happy or not.  I’ve worked at jobs before that I’ve absolutely hated, but I’ve stayed with those and not complained because I needed that job. Kolten needs to do the same.

You may be wondering (or not) why I am posting in the middle of the afternoon instead of being at work. I took today off to attend the visitation for my ex-father -in-law, David Peery, Jr. My mother-in-law died last month and Dave died last week.  People close to me, please stop dying.  Thank you.

My ex-father-in-law was a great guy. He was like a second father to me. He loved to barbecue, garden and listen to Cardinals baseball on the radio.  He enjoyed drinking beer as well, and he and I drank many a beer together.  When his son left me for a guy just a month after I gave birth to our daughter, he and his wife took us in and let us stay with them for over a year until I had the money put together to move out to a place of our own.  I will be forever grateful to them for that.  They also watched my daughter while I worked for a few years after we moved out.  I will miss him.

Dave was a big Cardinals fan.  We used to discuss Cardinals baseball when I visited. When I and my daughter visited Dave during her brief detour into being a Cubs fan, I asked her why she had gone over to the Dark Side and he laughed uproariously.  Dave told me once that he almost was a Cardinal.  He had signed with the team (probably in 1957, after he graduated from high school) but made an unwise decision to play a game of pickup football the weekend before he was to report.  He broke his ankle during the game and that was the end of his baseball career. Isn’t it amazing how much one bad decision can affect so many lives?  If Dave had become a Cardinal, I would probably never have met his son, married him and had our daughter. I wish I could find out whether Dave actually signed with the Cardinals or if he was just pulling my leg.  If anyone could come up with proof that he did sign with the Cardinals, I’d be eternally grateful.

Thanks as always for reading.  See you next time!

Diane

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Yadi’s contract extension – my thoughts

MEMORANDUM

TO:                  John Mozeliak and William DeWitt, III

DATE:            March 21, 2017

FROM:            Women Who Love Cardinals Baseball

RE:                  Yadier Molina’s contract extension

============================================================================

Gentlemen:

As you know, Yadier Molina’s contract is up for extension at the end of the season.  It is my understanding that negotiations have begun.  Could we get this deal done soonest, preferably before the season starts?  Yadi deserves to play without having to worry about his contract all season.  The fans deserve not to have to worry when they go to a game whether this is the last season they will see Yadi in a Cardinals uniform.  Sure, Yadi has an option for 2018, but why make him wait that long? To make a great Opening Night even better, you could announce that Yadi’s contract extension has been taken care of.

It would be heartbreaking for Yadi to be seen in any other uniform but a Cardinals uniform (especially a Cubs uniform). Yadi is one of the few players in recent years to still be with the team that drafted him.  Please let Yadi retire a Cardinal and don’t let him walk.

I shouldn’t have to remind you about Yadi’s importance and contributions to the team, but I will.  Yadi has many deserved accolades – eight consecutive Gold Gloves, four Platinum Gloves, one Silver Slugger and he is also a 7 time All-Star.  He played in 83 consecutive playoff games. Yadi has also broken the Cardinals’ all-time games caught record.  He is the best defensive catcher in the game.  His passion for the game, as seen recently in the World Baseball Classic, is contagious.  His pitch calling is second to none, and his batting average has improved over the years as well.

Yadi is not asking for much time wise, only 3 more years.  He’s not asking for 10 years, like Albert did.  He will be 37 years old at the end of this contract extension. Like a fine wine, Yadi is only getting better as he gets older.  Should Yadi need a day or two of rest (or God forbid, he gets injured again), Eric Fryer is a more than competent backup catcher.

Carson Kelly, Yadi’s successor, is probably anxious for Yadi to retire.  But the young grasshopper must wait patiently. Yadi’s shoes will be hard to fill, so Carson needs to learn all he can so that he can be ready when the time comes for him to step into Yadi’s position.

Mo and Mr. DeWitt, as a Cardinals blogger and a lifelong Cardinals fan, I implore you:  make Yadi a Cardinal for life.  Then 5 years after Yadi retires, he will be voted into both the Cardinals Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame, for Yadi is one of the best catchers in modern times and he deserves to join the immortals.  When Yadi is inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame,  being the emotional woman I am, I will cry buckets, just like I did when Ted Simmons was inducted.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Diane Schultz