The Winning Reboot

There was talk this year of rebooting the classic, The Princess Bride, which sounds like an okay idea at first but may not be easily executed. The Princess Bride was one of the best movies of its time and making an even better version of it sounds damn near impossible. The St. Louis Cardinals learned how difficult it can be to reboot a classic when they tried their new take on the 80s victory blue uniforms. And well, it didn’t work. The 80s powder blue color and the current uniform style worked together about as well as peanut butter and gasoline. But the team itself turned out to be a bit of an 80s reboot that did work, thanks to improved base running and defense. So, in honor of both a classic movie and a classic style of play, I’m handing out awards in the form of movie lines to the 2019 St. Louis Cardinals from one of the best movies of its time, The Princess Bride.

No one asked me to do this.

"He is only MOSTLY dead. Not ALL dead. You can bring them back to life if they are only MOSTLY dead. Now, give me that stick..."

This informative Miracle Max line could only be given to the one and only Dexter Fowler, who had one of the worst offensive seasons in baseball last year. Well, this year Dexter grabbed his stick and found his life, becoming one of the team leaders in On Base Percentage and taking over for Matt Carpenter in the leadoff spot. He’ll be a shoo-in for comeback player of the year.

"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

This incredibly negative yet very true statement belongs to Matt Carpenter, who had the worst offensive year of his career. Here’s hoping he can find his stroke next year because he’s getting a lot of money and we could really use his bat.

"Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world - except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomatoes are ripe. They're so perky, I love that."

To the blond-haired uniform jersey model, Harrison Bader. Falling in love with his defense was incredibly easily done but the truth is I’d have rather had a sandwich than his 2019 offense. Here’s hoping he can get it together next year and be the 5 WAR player of my dreams.

Miracle Max: Beat it or I'll call the Brute Squad.

Fezzik: I'm on the Brute Squad.

Miracle Max: You ARE the Brute Squad!

One of Miracle Max’s quickest retorts goes to Left Fielder Marcell Ozuna, who fell off walls, tripped over his own feet at times and bashed the ball like a total brute. No one hit them harder this year.

Inigo Montoya: Who are you?

Man in Black: No one of consequence.

Inigo Montoya: I must know...

Man in Black: Get used to disappointment.

To Shortstop Paul DeJong, who played some of the best defensive shortstop we’ve seen in years and set the Cardinals shortstop homerun record all while being as unassuming as an accountant keeping score at his son’s little league game. We see you Paul.

Inigo Montoya: You are wonderful.

Man in Black: Thank you; I've worked hard to become so.

Inigo Montoya: I admit it, you are better than I am.

Man in Black: Then why are you smiling?

Inigo Montoya: Because I know something you don't know.

To second baseman Kolten Wong, who finally received a full season as a starter and got to show all of Major League Baseball what it did not know: Kolten Wong is very good at baseball.

"We are men of action, lies do not become us."

To Paul Goldschmidt, the first Cardinal in the history of ever to tell the BFIBs to cool it with all the dang curtain calls.


Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

The most important word of the movie goes to the biggest surprise of the season: Tommy Edman, sparkplug extraordinaire. The kind of player who seems destined for a utility role, he spit in the face of his doubters and took a big steamy excretion on the projection systems as he showed all of us that just because it makes no sense, does not mean it cannot be done.

Inigo Montoya: Isn't there any way you trust me?

Man in Black: Nothing comes to mind.

Inigo Montoya: I swear on the soul of my father, Domingo Montoya, you will reach the top alive.

Man in Black: Throw me the rope.

To Yadier Molina. From the Winter Warm up days, when a little known player for some Chicago team insulted his fair city, to the last days of the season when each pitcher needed him to guide them through some close games against talented foes, every fan of the St. Louis Cardinals knows one hundred percent that they can trust Yadier Molina to do everything within his power to get his team a championship. Here’s hoping for one more ring for the greatest catcher his father ever raised, which is saying something.

"Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning."

To Michael Wacha. I really hope I never have to see you pitch in a Cardinal uniform again. But thanks for your hard work down the stretch this season. I hope you catch on somewhere and have a great rest of your career.

Miracle Max: You got any money?

Inigo Montoya: Sixty-five.

Miracle Max: I've never worked for so little. Except once, and that was a very noble cause.

To Adam Wainwright, who swallowed his pride, looked deep inside himself and had the best year of his last four for a journeyman reliever’s salary. Sometimes, there’s only one person you need to prove it to, and that’s yourself. Sometimes, you just want revenge. And a lot of the time, it’s a little of both.

Fezzik: How long do we have to wait, before we know the miracle works?

Inigo Montoya: Your guess is as good as mine.

Westley: [Opens his eyes] I'll beat you both apart! I'll take you both together!

Fezzik: I guess not very long.

To Dakota Hudson and Jack Flaherty. Honestly I had no idea how well these two would do and I was shocked at their second half success. It was easy to think they’d be good, it wasn’t easy to predict how soon though.

Vizzini: Finish him. Finish him, your way.

Fezzik: Oh good, my way. Thank you Vizzini... what's my way?

Vizzini: Pick up one of those rocks, get behind a boulder, in a few minutes the man in black will come running around the bend, the minute his head is in view, hit it with the rock.

Fezzik: My way's not very sportsman-like.

To the St. Louis Cardinals Bullpen. Jordan Hicks and Carlos Martinez excelled in their closer roles this year and the Cardinals got great help at different times this season from precisely every reliever they had not named Mayers. Watching your team go to their bullpen and knowing that you’ve still got a good shot at winning feels really good. And I hope I can still say I feel that way come the playoffs.

Vizzini: Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?

Man in Black: Yes.

Vizzini: Morons.

To Manager Mike Shildt. After six years of Mike Matheny, this dude literally seems like a genius. Hopefully he does not develop an immunity to learning and growing because I feel he could be the skipper at the helm for a long time if he keeps on keeping on.

The St. Louis Cardinals have drastically improved their play from last year. As a result, they’ve managed to produce a strong team that’s learned how to maximize their abilities. Hopefully, they can take all that they’ve learned and accomplished this year and apply it to the 2019 post season. The playoffs are a crapshoot. Anyone can win. And sure, we may be one of the least favored teams to win it all this year but anything’s possible if you work hard enough. Shildt and company likely will be approaching these playoffs with a very informed plan and a team hell bent on executing said plan.

And it’s the playoffs baby. Miracles happen every day around there.