Leadoff: The St. Louis Cardinals
A.J. Reilly: So let's travel to the St. Louis Cardinals for the lead off today. And the way that they handled two of their legends, Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols. Stepping away from the game of baseball after two fantastic, fantastic careers and there's some speculation as to whether or not another legend of theirs, Adam Wainwright, will also step away from the gain.
Game as well at the end of the season. Now he hasn't been very clear on whether or not he's going to step away, and it's going to be very interesting to see if he comes back for just a little bit more with a little bit left in the tank. But what is so amazing about the way that the St. Louis Cardinals handled this situation .
Is their manager Carlos Marmol. He did a phenomenal thing in Sunday's finale. It was the last home game that these three will play together, and the starter for that game was Adam Wainwright. Now, they had retirement ceremonies before the game for Yadier and for Albert Pujols. Pujols also hit number 701 and 702 while they were in St. Louis this week.
And when Wainwright was gonna be removed from the game. Marmol comes out and not only removes Wainwright, but he also removes Pujols, and he also removes Yadier Molina and allows them to exit stage left to the applause of. Their hometown crowd. Now they're gonna have more home games because the playoffs are right around the corner and they won the division.
And, and we've talked about playoff breakdowns and all that in the last episode. So if you wanna check that out, make sure that you're hitting that episode number 36. Cause we got all the playoff predictions and, and breakdown of things that transpired prior to this weekend, which everything's basically been decided except for the NL East and the NL final wildcard spot.
But that's not for this. This show is specifically about the St. Louis Cardinals in the lead off today and the way that Marmol and the Cardinals handled this. Now, he could have just gone out and, and taken Wainwright out of the game, but he let these three have their moment. And too often in sports, I think we worry so much about, you know, the winning of the game, which rightfully so.
Winning the game is the utmost important. It is the thing that has to precede every other motivation in the game. But this game wasn't necessarily meaningful in the sense that it affected their standings. The division had already been locked up. They cannot challenge for the best record in the NL to have home field of Vaness throughout the playoffs because the Dodgers are at 110 wins.
So more, most of that bag and took an opportunity to honor three guys who have given decades to this franchise. They got their curtain call. They were able to walk off the field together as they walked onto the field together so many years ago. Pujols, Wainwright and Molina are three integral parts too, The Cardinals and the success that they've had.
Now we know that Pujols left and went to Los Angeles for a number of years, but he was always one of the Cardinals. Molina and Wainwright just set the record for the most appearances together as a battery pitcher and catcher combination. When you talk about Cardinals' history, you would be bereft to not mention these three guys together.
When you talk about some of the greatest players integral parts to the success of the franchise. You have to mention them together, and Marmol did a great thing by letting them have their moment to walk off together.
It's been incredible. It's been an incredible run. Pujols was for sure, Surefire Hall of Famer. Lot of speculation as to whether or not Yadier will be a Hall of Famer. And we can get into that discussion at some point.
I don't know if there's, you know, a lot that can be said here, but when you're talking about a guy who you know, for his career has been one of the best defensive catchers to ever play the game. And as Wainwright said, other than number five over there, he's one of the most, most clutch players that he's ever played with as well.
There's, there's definitely going to be some debate. Do I think that he gets in first ballot? No. I don't think Yadier gets in first ballot, but when we're talking about a career guy who amassed numbers that are, you know, pretty good for a defense first catcher. It's the case is there, I mean, 2100 hits, 176 home runs over a thousand RBIs,
and that just takes into his offensive, you know, statistics, A 277 career. Just goes in to, to build the resume. And I definitely think that there's going to be a case for Yadier, but, But what's not to be lost in this whole discussion is this. The way that Marmol handled this and the way that he honored these three guys is fantastic.
Is gonna be exciting to see them have one final run in the playoffs cuz they've earned it. These are three guys that have been at the top of their profession for a long. And I'm glad that Marmol did exactly what he did in order to make sure that they had their moment riding off into the sunset for the final regular season game at Bush Stadium that they have.
I'm not rooting for the Cardinals in the playoffs, to be honest with you. I don't really care with the Tigers not in. I don't really have a team that I pull for when it comes to the playoffs. I just like watching exciting baseball like the Mets and the Braves. This weekend was phenomenal. Just like watching exciting baseball.
I'm not necessarily pulling for them, but it wouldn't be a bad thing to see, you know, two guys walk out with the World Series Championship, kind of like Peyton Manning did when he retired after winning the Super Bowl. I don't think they'll get there. I mean, there's too many good teams in the NL, but stranger things have happened, right?
And so it's going to be very interesting and very fun and very exciting to watch these guys play their final games at the beginning of this week and then heading into the playoff.
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