Cheap Seats

St. Louis Cardinals stumble out of post all-star game gate, seal fate in 2017

The St. Louis Cardinals were gifted a chance to get back in the playoff hunt after the All-Star break, despite a losing record.

But with games against a pair of bottom-dwellers and then against the team closest to them in the standings, the Redbirds were unable — yet again — to rally. The final straw was losing two of three games to the Chicago Cubs, games the Birds led late but fumbled away as is their custom lately.

These were games St. Louis needed to dominate if it was going to get back in the race. But instead of making a push for first, the Cardinals have settled down even farther in the standings, falling to fourth place in the National League Central.

If the front office isn’t going to wheel and deal to try to make this team better right now, I wish it would throw up the white flag on the 2017 season and call up these kids we’ve been hearing so much about.

If Harrison Bader isn’t going to be flipped to bring an established power bat into the middle of the Cardinals lineup, bring him up and see if he can help the big club right now. Could he do any worse than the current outfield crew?

Bring back Luke Weaver in the place of one of the stiffs in the bullpen. The Birds have already promoted catching prospect Carson Kelly (which is weird because of all the kids in the farm system who could contribute, he’s probably going to play the least, serving as all-star catcher Yadier Molina’s understudy.)

I wouldn’t mind seeing Magneuris Sierra back in the big leagues or an appearance from fellow speedy outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia. How about giving third baseman Patrick Wisdom, who has 22 homers in the minor leagues this season, a shot to try to give the offense a boost? Worst-case scenario, at least the team will get an idea if these kids are going to be able to help in the future or if the club will have to fill holes from outside the organization.

Instead of going for it — or giving in — it seems the Cardinals are content to go on forever in mediocrity. And I have just about had it watching the same cast of characters bumble through games, turning what should be wins into losses.

While fans wait for the front office to do something — anything — to improve a club with obvious flaws, the powers at be continue to “evaluate” the club instead of making any moves.

I can’t imagine what’s taking so long. I am no expert, but it was fairly obvious to me in January that it was unlikely that a team that made only a couple of minor tweaks following a poor 2016 season was going to be much better. The defense was terrible and still is. This team struck out too much and it still does. The baserunning was terrible and it remains terrible. The bullpen was awful and the bullpen is still awful.

If the Cardinals aren’t going to do something to make the 2017 team better, they need to start doing things to give the 2018 club a foundation to build upon. The first step is to get rid of the underachievers, the players who are content to collect a paycheck instead of going all in on trying to make themselves and their team better.

Please, give us something to look forward to.