If it’s a new day, it must mean that someone else in the Cardinals organization tested positive for COVID-19. And whaddya know..
It is clear now that the Cardinals’ season needs to be wiped out. And I’ll be fair with you, dear reader, which as a policy I never am with “THE BEST FANS IN BASEBALL.” I have spent a good portion of my life dreaming of baseball without the Cardinals. Scores of us have. And in it, peace and understanding with my fellow Americans, and maybe even all people of the world, are possible. Our oceans and air would be just that little bit cleaner. A slight feeling of optimism and possibility suddenly manifests itself within everyone. Not enough to fundamentally change the planet instantly, but a seed to a better world of tomorrow. It’s just beyond our fingertips.
So I fully admit that just about the only joy I might glean from this absolute farce/monument to the greed and cold-bloodedness of lizard-people billionaire owners is watching the St. Louis Cardinals booted out and the aftermath from it. I wouldn’t just be nourished by Cardinals fans’ tears, I would become a whole other life-form Stan Lee wouldn’t have even considered. I also would hardly be alone. But it’s because of the fake nature of this season that the Cardinals need to be booted.
The facts are St. Louis has played just five games. As of right now, with Thursday’s double-header canceled at the very least, they have 47 games scheduled in the 45 days that are left in whatever this is. As you will have figured out, but Cardinals fans will need some scratch paper and their helper-donkey to do so as well, 47 + 5 is not 60. They’re eight short. Which means the league would have to cram eight games onto their schedule. Adding a double-header per week wouldn’t even do it, as there are just over six weeks left in the season. The Cardinals already have four double-headers scheduled for September, including two in three days against the Brewers.
If MLB even found a way to schedule eight more doubleheaders for them to make up the games, that means the Cardinals will have played 24 less innings than everyone else to get to 60 games. It might not sound like a lot, but that’s 5% less innings, which matters. It’s almost three games worth of innings they missed out on. It’ll be 60 games, but it won’t really be 60 games.
The Cards only have two more scheduled off-days, so you can’t cram that much into them. Even if you were to fist-fuck doubleheaders into those days off, that’s more travel and hotel stays for either the Cardinals or their opponents, depending on where either would have to come from. The idea of this divisionalized season was to avoid extraneous travel (which MLB didn’t even do well either, but that’s another topic).
One of those off-days is before a series against the Cubs, and the Cards have three games to make up against them, so conceivably you could cram a double-header into that off-day (Thursday, Sept. 3) and then possibly another one on the Sunday to make up all three games missed. But how’s that fair to the Cubs? Just like it isn’t fair to the Brewers to have to play five games in three days, not because of a torrential storm or the like, but through literally no fault of their own. Same goes for the litany of games with the Tigers the Cardinals have to make up.
Seeing as how the Cardinals have only played five games, you could simply wipe them off. Three were against the Pirates, so really, who fucking cares? The other two were against the Twins, which could be chalked off and then everyone in the AL Central and NL Central would essentially be playing the same number of games (50 for everyone in the NL Central other than the Pirates, who don’t count anyway, and 56 for the AL Central). The only complication is that the Royals were slated to play St. Louis six times instead of four like everyone else (in MLB’s incredibly deluded effort to maintain these “rivalry” games when no tickets are being sold), but seeing as how MLB has conceded not everyone’s getting to 60 games anyway, this can be dealt with, if the Royals even end up mattering at the end of this (they won’t). You’ll have long-stretches of off-days for all these teams that are unheard of in normal baseball. But this isn’t normal baseball, and seeing as how teams are only competing within their division this summer, no one is going to have a huge advantage because of it.
As for complaints that pushing a team out of the season altogether ruins the structural or the sporting integrity of this, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that horse bolted the barn long ago and is opening up a bar with his buddies in the Southwest somewhere. Seven-inning games, runners-on-second in extras, 28-man rosters, 60 games if you’re lucky. This was never a real season. It’s maybe, slightly more legitimate than the MLS Is Back tournament. Maybe. And with 16 teams in the playoffs now, these 60-ish games are really nothing more than a group stage.
Removing the Cardinals now barely affects the rest of the teams they would have played, if at all. It also just might act as a deterrent to any other players on any other team who figure one night out isn’t a big deal, though doubtful given the rock content between most baseball players’ ears.
If you’re not going to shut the whole thing down, something we at Deadspin have been calling for since the season’s shaky inception, do this, at least.
There’s nothing to hold onto here. So let go.