Fox Sports Midwest has announced that former Cardinals slugger Jack Clark won't be back next season as an analyst on its post-game broadcasts.
I think that's a shame because I like Jack Clark as an individual. I also like the idea of keeping former Redbirds in the fold, both as broadcasters and as coaches and representatives of the team.
It's a shame the Redbirds seemingly have a decreasing tollerance for people who are critical of their performance. And Clark paved his way out the door when he called the club out for being "quitters" as the season neared its end.
Clark was a bit graceless in his choice of words. I don't think he really needed to say that the Cardinals metophorically soiled their underpants. But, as anyone who reads my musings on a semi-regular basis knows, I agree with him.
Never in all my years of being a Cardinals fan have I seen the home team fold up for no particular reason and play like its components couldn't wait for the season to be over like the 2010 bunch did. It was disgraceful. And if a former major league player says a team quit, I think he has an awful lot of credibility on the subject.
Looking at things critically often leads to improvements being made. I am confident the bad apples are being weeded from the bunch -- the inattentive Felipe Lopez couldn't even make it until the end of the season before being sent home -- and we'll see a better product in 2011. But if everyone kept up the aw shucks routine that the Cardinals were victims of injuries and circumstances -- not a poor effort -- what would instigate the changes that are needed?
Part of the problem is the feeling of some within the Cardinals organization that Clark has it in for them since he is bitter about being passed over in his desires to coach for the club. Maybe there's tension between the two sides. But I still think he did a good job on the air.
There's not a lot of room in the broadcast booth for people who do nothing but tear down everything a team does. But that's not what Clark was doing. He was being honest about a team that underachieved. And I am sorry to see him go.