A New Baby, Cardinal All Stars and Brendan Bashing

First, congratulations and welcome to the newest member of the Cardinals family, Arianna Molina, born this weekend to Yadier and his wife, Wanda.  Welcome to the club baby girl!  Your Daddy is a big reason for my falling in love with baseball!    
Cardinals Nation had other big news to celebrate over the holiday weekend as well:
Five Cardinals were named to the National League All Star team:
Albert Pujols – No surprise here. Albert deservedly snagged more votes than any other player in the National League.  I am of course very proud of Albert but we do expect greatness from him.  More noteworthy is that Albert turned down the invitation to participate in this year’s Home Run Derby.  I doubt anybody will blame him as he has participated three times before (’03, ’07 and ’09) and the Cardinals will need all the homeruns he can hit in the coming months!
Yadier Molina  – Molina may not be at the top of his game lately, but he is a worthy All Star nominee nonetheless.  I hope to see Yadi gunning down some American League All Stars next week.  After all, nobody does it better than Yadi “Arm like a Cannon” Molina.
photo from cardinals.com
Matt Holliday – I was pleasantly surprised to see that Matt made the All Star cut, figuring  his slow start to the season was too fresh in the minds of fans. (The players’ vote did get him the nod this year.)  But Matt does have a cute cameo in the All Star game commercial; so it would have been slightly embarrassing if he had not made the team.  Let’s hope he keeps showing off those All Star skills for the rest of the season!
Chris Carpenter – Despite the thankfully rare ugliness that was Saturday’s game against the Brewers, Carp is Carp.  The guy is a fierce, talented pitcher and definite All-Star material.  No argument there.
Adam Wainwright – Like Albert Pujols, Waino’s 2010 All Star spot was a sure thing in my book.  The Cardinals are blessed to have two pitching aces in Carpenter and Wainwright, but  Wainwright is undeniably leading the charge.  (How is this just his first All Star nomination??)
And Then There’s Brendan Ryan
I know the ‘Brendan situation’ is worsening when I get sympathy comments.  Friends are hedging their baseball opinions with “sorry Erika, but …”

The statements include:
– If Brendan keeps playing like this, he won’t be a Cardinal next year.
– Who can the Cardinals get for Brendan in a trade?
– It’s not just a slump anymore, it’s a bad season.

Being a Brendan Ryan fan has not been easy lately. With serial slumps and a procession of failed side-arm slings and fielding errors, rallying excitement for our quirky mustachioed shortstop has certainly become more of a chore.

Brendan’s amazing defensive skills last year were consistent and dependable. Even this spring when he was floundering and trying to find his swing, we were confident in the value of his glove. Call me naive or silly or just plain dumb, but I still have faith in him.  It is not time to give up on the Boog.

I prefer to be optimistic. Brendan’s troubles will fade. Baseball history is full of examples of players with prolonged slumps who bounced back and went on to have great careers in baseball.

The Cardinals do need something, anything, to shake out of this rut. If the priority is to fix what’s broken and win games, then let’s find the problem.  But Brendan’s performance is not the club’s only issue. Dumping a young player with proven talent would be a mistake.  Brendan has spirit, passion and an energy that brings more to this club than a box score could reflect. His potential far outweighs any current liability.

I may be stubborn, but I am loyal.  And while Brendan’s struggles may seem to send him further into the doghouse with fans, I would hate to see the Cardinals give up so soon.
Patience with Brendan, please.  This too shall pass.

0 thoughts on “A New Baby, Cardinal All Stars and Brendan Bashing

  1. >What we don't see are all of the things Brendan Ryan may be doing to try to get out of his funk. For all we know, he may be in a batting cage 20 hours a day or fielding hundreds of ground balls every afternoon. So criticisms of him need to be measured.That said, there are a number of things he has done this season that make him an easy scapegoat. The sidearm flips to first base that take Pujols off the bag – and you can tell by Albert's body language that he isn't happy about it.He is a very talented young man. As you say, he brings a spark to the team which can be a very good thing (in the right circumstances). He needs a reset and maybe watching Tyler Greene play in his spot may be just what he needs. At least you get to enjoy one of your other favorite "baby birds".

  2. >Thanks Bob!Finding a bright side in things – excellent. I guess I should be happy he is not being 'replaced' by Miles? ;)

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