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FROM THE HOME OFFICE: Screw “The Cardinal Way”

Where the magic happens.

This weekend the Chicago Cubs had some scrimmages in Wrigley Field, largely because their scheduled games against the St. Louis Cardinals were postponed due to the Cardinals’ COVID breakout as the result of members of their organization visiting a casino.

They then exacerbated the already bad situation by trying to return to workouts too soon, by their own admission.

They are now up to 17 positive cases, and one player who tested positive stayed and traveled with the team, and also worked out with the team prior to their shutting down again. They have also canceled their series with the Pittsburgh Pirates that was scheduled to begin today.

EDIT: A scheduled Thursday doubleheader against Detroit has also been canceled.

The fact that players chose to jeopardize not only the season, but their own health and the health of others, is one more illustration that the myth of “The Cardinal Way” is exactly that – a myth.

At this point, we can go back almost 30 years to when Tony Larussa brought his traveling medicine show to town, and Mark McGwire (among others, including more than one Cub – if you believe everyone not named Sosa was clean, stop reading now.) juiced his way to 70 home runs in 1998.

Rick Ankiel got busted in 2007 for getting a huge supply of Human Growth Hormone in 2004. There was the Cardinals hacking of the Astros’ computer system in 2013 and 2014. Which in itself is pretty funny, stealing from thieves.

So what we’ve got here is a pretty solid history of pretty shitty bevahior by the Cardinals. But there’s this mythology of “The Cardinal Way”, where somehow the game of baseball is more sacrosanct under the giant croquet wicket, and the red-clad denizens of Busch Stadium are somehow the purest disciples. It’s all bullshit.

Caught up in that mythology is that somehow Yadier Molina is a first ballot Hall of Famer. In fact, it’s a myth that he’s a Hall of Famer at all. A catcher with a career wRC+ of 99 should only get into the Hall of Fame if he buys a ticket.

“But his leadership!” – pretty sure any leader of a team would at least tell the guys in the clubhouse, “Hey, we’re in a pandemic. Maybe skip the casino.”

So maybe we can, once and for all, dispense with the bullshit that “The Cardinal Way” is a thing. They’ve done a pretty fair job of shitting all over the game for decades.

Updated: August 10, 2020 — 4:25 pm

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