I never thought I’d see the day where the thought of Adam Wainwright taking the mound would upset so many Cardinal fans…
But before the first home series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks, I saw just that. Throughout social media, fans from all over shared their disapproval over the 36 year old getting the start. “He’s done,” “He is not what he used to be,” “Why did we send down Flaherty?”
All I can say is… I’m disappointed that it’s come to this. Wainwright was more than just a pitcher. His presence in the dugout and the locker room meant just as much as his time on the mound. We will never have another Adam Wainwright. It’s true… He isn’t what he used to be…in some respects. I honestly think 2018 might be his last season not only with the Cardinals, but in the Major Leagues. And what a career it has been. Highlighted by pitching in two World Series, 4 top 3 Cy Young Finishes, 4 seasons with 19 or more wins, plus hitting 10 HR’s, Waino did the Cardinals proud.
One of my favorite Wainwright moments was from one of the first Cardinals games I had the privilege of attending. Wainwright was the starter and pitched an absolute gem. On April 13, 2013 (I’m kinda young) Wainwright goes 9 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers, gives up four hits, strikes out 12 without allowing a run. I was transfixed. I didn’t realize a pitcher could control a game that way. According to ESPN, it was the 7th best game thrown in the National League (11th in MLB) that year with a 91 game score. It was a dominant performance.
Wainwright has a bulldog mentality. He will truly give it everything he has as long as he thinks he can do it. He isn’t done. Not until he says so. The fanbase says otherwise, but not Waino. I understand he isn’t the same pitcher he was in 2013 when I saw him pitch, but he has the same mindset, the same drive, the same passion, and I respect that. I wish Cardinal Nation did the same.
At the end of the day, we want the Cardinals to win, and most fans don’t want an aging Wainwright to hinder the Cardinals chances to win… And I get that.
I want Waino to succeed. As I’m sure most of you do as well. I don’t want him to go out on a bad outing. He isn’t completely gone. If Wainwright is done, I want him to make that choice. Flaherty and Reyes will have a long career with the Cardinals. I have no doubt about that. However, let’s not completely give up on Wainwright just yet. There is still some promise left. Despite his rough start against Arisona, he put up good in the spring (I’m aware it’s just the spring). I hope he proves us all wrong.
Thank you Adam. You’re one of the reasons I love the game of baseball. Watching you pitch has been one of the greatest gifts for me as a Cardinals fan. If this was your last start, or your last season as a Cardinal, I must extend my gratitude. You represent the best about the Cardinals and the game of baseball. Your work ethic, goofiness in the dugout, and dominance of opposing batters has been an honor to see. A couple of those Cy Youngs should have been yours. If your time with the Cardinals is coming to an end, it’s been a fun ride. I just want it to end on your terms. You deserve that at least…
Thank You #50
Thanks for reading!