A Look Towards the Future

Ben Remis , Reporter

It’s long been a tradition for the last issue of The World to contain some sort of “senior rants.” As much as I would love to write about my time at JBS, I’m instead going to use this space to imagine (maybe predict?) the future.

When the class of 2018 first started at Burroughs, the Cardinals were just finishing up the first year of the Mike Matheny era. Through the highs of going to the 2013 World Series, and the lows of watching the Cubs end their curse, the Redbirds have been the perfect backdrop for what has been an eventful six years at the corner of Price and Clayton. Now we are leaving, and while Matheny might still be there, only Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, and Matt Carpenter have remained on the active roster. What might the team look when the current 7th graders graduate, all the way in 2023? Let’s jump into last year’s Potpourri time machine and check it out.

Flash Forward to 2023

Coming off their third straight year in the playoffs, the St. Louis Cardinals look poised to continue their growth into becoming one of the best teams in baseball. Manager Jose Oquendo quickly validated the firing of Mike Matheny after the 2018 season, and now he looks to lead his team to a World Series victory for the second time since he became the boss. On the pitching staff remains reigning Cy Young winner Alex Reyes, entering the first year of his new $200 million deal. Parts two and three of the triple threat, Jack Flaherty and Luke Weaver, are back as well. There are some questions about the rest of the rotation, however, as wily veteran Carlos Martinez looks to bounce back from his worst season and regain his 2019 Cy Young form, while recent signee and 2016 AL Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer (2 years, $10 million) tries to become the tenth pitcher to come back only three months after the new Tommy John surgery. Once again, the Cardinals should have one of the best bullpens in the game, led by future Hall of Fame closer Jordan Hicks.

The Cardinal lineup is going to look a little different this year. Although Manny Machado and Paul DeJong continue to make history as one of the best shortstop-third baseman duos in history, the loss of veteran leader Jose Martinez to free agency leaves a big hole at first base. Behind the plate, the up-and-down Carson Kelly will have new guidance this year, as Yadier Molina becomes the full-time hitting coach. The outfield is perhaps the biggest wildcard. The shocking trade of Tyler O’Neil and the retirement of Dexter Fowler leave a group of young prospects competing for the corner outfield spots around defensive wizard Harrison Bader. The O’Neil/Dakota Hudson trade to the rebuilding Houston Astros was successful in giving the Cardinals a strong second baseman, though, and despite the loss of much of his speed, Jose Altuve will be a valuable addition to the Cardinals lineup.

Present Day

The Cardinal Way, it seems, is here to stay. A player moves on to a new and exciting adventure? Bring in a talented rookie. Outsiders question them and call for their demise? The community grows even stronger. Rebuild over half the buildings they train in? A STAR rises to take their place. The constant is the people that live for the team, who support one another every step of the way. It is time to move on to a new adventure, but this author will truly miss going to games each day, attending press conferences in the morning (and he recommends really trying hard not to be late as much as he was), and celebrating victories with the community. It is with great pride that the baton is being passed to a new group and great hope that you too will feel honored to be a part of this special place. As the saying goes– it’s a great day to be a Bomber.