By Brian Feldman / News 4 Sports
ST. LOUIS -- 2015 has come and gone and with it a ton of good (hey, they won 100 games) and some not so good (losing to the Cubs in the postseason is never fun) for the Cardinals. For better or worse the year is gone and it’s never coming back. That means it’s time to bring on 2016.
Saying obvious things like I’d love to see a World Series title are too much. That’s obvious. Who wouldn’t want that? But seeing smaller things transpire along the way will go a long way in making that big goal come true.
Here’s what I’m hoping for in 2016 from the Redbirds:
-- The emergence of a new core
Jason Heyward wasn’t half right when he said the Cardinals core is getting up there in age. Matt Holliday (35), Yadier Molina (33), Adam Wainwright (34) and Jhonny Peralta (33) are on the back nine if you catch my drift. Their careers are much closer to the end than they are the beginning.
The Cardinals are in a crucial spot right now. They need to see a new wave of young players prove they can take over in the years to come. Stephen Piscotty, Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong are the best bets to carry the offensive torch once Holliday’s days are finished. Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez and I suppose now even Mike Leake are being counted on to carry the rotation one day.
It’s great to have a tremendous present day team. But if you can’t look into your three or five year window and like what you see that’s not good either. The current twenty-something players with unlimited potential need to show it in 2016. 2017 will be much easier to stomach if they can.
-- Better health than a year ago
OK. I know. This has nothing to do with anything but luck. The Cardinals have no say in this. You or I have no say in this. But, c’mon. There’s NO WAY the Cards can have as much bad luck as they had last year right? From Adam Wainwright’s Achilles to Matt Holliday’s quad to Matt Adams (quad), Carlos Martinez (shoulder), Yadier Molina (thumb), Matt Carpenter (extreme fatigue), Jordan Walden (shoulder) and several others it seems like…
You get the point. 2015 was just horrendous luck from the health department. And Lance Lynn is already out for all of 2016! This has to even out at some point. The Baseball Gods cannot possibly be this cruel to one team and make everyone get hurt. They just can’t. Can they?
-- Have a better year than the Cubs
To be honest with you, a World Series championship would be nice. It would be amazing to see. It’s the pinnacle of everything a team works for a fan cheers for. But only one team gets it at the end of the season. 29 others are just at different levels of failure.
No matter what, however, please just let the Cardinals have a better year than the Cubs. Whether that means finishing higher in the NL Central division standings or going further in the playoffs, it doesn’t matter. I don’t know if I can stomach watching that organization have more success.