With the trade deadline exactly seven days away, this upcoming week will be a big one for the Cardinals franchise.
The team that takes the Busch Stadium field tonight will not be the same team that leaves for Milwaukee on August 1st. Moves will be made and those moves will shape the near future for a team coming to grips with the reality of their place in Major League Baseball’s hierarchy.
They may be big. They may be small. Moves, though, will come.
Since the start of the 2016 season, the Cardinals are 133 – 127 and trending heavily towards their second consecutive season without a postseason addendum.
They are middled.
And need a plan to re-build or re-load.
You’re just a fan. While you’ve spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars and countless hours of your time over the years supporting the Cardinals, the team has never – not even once – reached out to you for your opinion on what they should be doing with their roster or coaching staff.
In fairness, that’s not the way professional sports teams operate. 99.99% of the time, at least.
But you’re tired of this:
So what do you do?
You know what’s real easy for Cardinals ownership, front office and coaching staff to ignore?
Every Tweet. Every blog post. Every comment on a message board or on a columnist’s column.
All of it… all the time.
Even though you have a strong visceral response to the continued sloppy play and losing night after night, when you lash out, it’s screaming into the void. It might make you feel a little bit better in the moment, but Coach Wooden might warn you to not confuse activity with achievement.
The only thing that any professional sports franchise will ever pay full attention to is money.
You’ve got it. The Cardinals want it. Seems like leverage to me, no?
If you’re disappointed in the Cardinals play and you feel like there are real, fundamental problems that aren’t being addressed in the way you feel are appropriate?
Take a time-out.
Don’t go to games. Don’t watch games on TV. Don’t listen to games on the radio. Don’t eat dinner at Ballpark Village.
They will notice.
They will eventually make changes.
For 15+ years now there has been a beautiful relationship between the Cardinals and the fans of the Cardinals. They have made a strong commitment to winning and the fans have made a medium-sized market much more profitable for the team than many major markets could ever dream of being.
I’m not here to tell you to have an opinion on the direction of this team one way or another. If you think that the Cardinals are in a good place, far be it from me to try to tell you how to spend your time or money. Carry on as-is.
If you do expect more, just know that unlike the Rams (who were always planning on leaving), the Cardinals aren’t going anywhere.
If you want to take a break from the team and let them get their house in order… they’ll be here when you’re ready to come back.
You have power, though.
You definitely have power.
The question is: are you strong enough to use it?
Photo: Brookfield Park