Ah, October baseball! The exhilaration, the stress, the joy, the agony — and now, for two straight postseasons, watching 10 other teams continue to play throughout this month while the Cardinals are done. It was a week ago yesterday that the 2017 Cards season essentially ended, since they were eliminated from postseason contention, and it marked another step back in the Mike Matheny era.
It’s very good that John Mozeliak is not content with this finish, which he spoke about on Tuesday during a season-ending press conference: “Look, we do not find this acceptable … We certainly understand the expectations of our city, of our region, of what they expect of this organization. All of us know there’s pressure from that. Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to get ourselves back.”
And it was even better to hear Mo say this: “For us, we have a talented team, but when you look at our club, no one stood out as an All-Star, that threat. I think for all of us up here, it’s trying to find what that might look like.”
I know what I want that All-Star, that threat to look like: Giancarlo Stanton.
Yep, I know the immediate objections. The contract. The injury history. The tremendous cost it would take to acquire him in a trade — there’s a proposed trade at Viva El Birdos earlier this week to acquire Giancarlo that made sense, though it would involve giving up a lot — and thus the prospects the Cards would lose. The risk of that …
Totally worth it.
Obviously Giancarlo Stanton would be that impact bat Mo mentioned. You are probably as familiar as I am with what Giancarlo did this season, leading the majors in home runs with 59 and RBI with 132 in compiling an MVP-caliber season. I am likely a bit more familiar with how he did over the final week of the regular season, because I had zero interest in watching the Cardinals play the Cubs — or, really, zero interest in watching the Cubs clinch at Busch Stadium — and then, since they were out of contention, zero interest in watching the Cards play the Brewers so I instead watched every Marlins game. I saw Giancarlo struggle at Coors Field, going 1 for 12 with a double and four strikeouts. And I absolutely enjoyed seeing him blast two home runs last Thursday night in Miami, of course, but also was pleasantly surprised to see him drive in runs in each of those four games against the Braves. He had a more complete season than you might expect, plus can make some entertaining catches in right field too.
The production he would bring is the most important factor in obtaining him, of course — which is what Mo is looking for. But there’s something else Giancarlo would bring to the Cardinals, something mentioned by David Wilhelm of the Belleville News-Democrat: “He would create more excitement at Busch Stadium than the fans have seen in years.”