What if your Thanksgiving meal came alive and played left field for the Cardinals?
That’s the premise behind this completely absurd article. Anthropomorphism is when we invest inanimate objects with human-like characteristics. Inanimate objects, like your Turkey-day stuffing, don’t usually get up and walk around. Or field ground balls. Or play Gold Glove quality defense at third base.
But what if they did? We would probably run screaming into the apocalypse. Or blame it on the tryptophan and have a third slice of pecan (PEE-can) pie, thank you very much.
Today we’re pondering such inanity. Because what else do we have to do in the middle of the baseball offseason?
(A lot, actually. With a lockout looming, this is about the hottest November hot stove I’ve ever seen. There’s a better-than-you-would-think chance that the Cardinals will make a significant move today. Keep Twitter – and Viva el Birdos – on refresh.)
If we invested the menu of our typical Thanksgiving meal with the qualities and traits of current Cardinals, who would represent each dish?
Turkey – Adam Wainwright
Turkey is the core of a Thanksgiving meal. It’s just not Thanksgiving without turkey. Fried. Roasted. Smoked. Boiled (please don’t do that). Turkey is Thanksgiving. And when it’s cooked properly, it’s delicious. That’s the food. But there’s also “turkey” the personality. This can be used in lots of ways, but I prefer this definition from the Urban Dictionary: “A turkey is someone who has the appearance of being calm and even borderline monotonous but just when you think they’ve fallen asleep with their eyes open, they bust a cringe-worthy dance move, make a psycho face, or a variety of other random shenanigans that will probably cause you to laugh with them.” That’s 100% Adam Wainwright. The heart and soul of the Cardinals’ meal. The one that we just can’t be the Cardinals without. And he’s likely to break out into a little dance at any moment! Adam Wainwright is a turkey. In all the best ways.
Stuffing – Tyler O’Neill
Traditional stuffing is leftover bread mixed with sauteed celery and onion and literally stuffed inside the bird where it stops all those delicious turkey juices from escaping out into the bottom of your roasting pan. It’s delicious and incredible and as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best thing on the plate. Well, the most “stuffed” player on the Cardinals is Tyler O’Neill. TON probably hasn’t eaten a carb in three years but he’s packed something into all those muscles. Plus, he’s awesome. The problem with this argument is that Tyler O’Neill is Canadian. And Canada celebrated Thanksgiving weeks ago. Do Canadian’s even eat stuffing? According to Wikipedia, Canadian Thanksgiving sounds exactly like American Thanksgiving (except it’s on a Monday… weird). So, I think we’re good here.
Mashed Potatoes – Paul Goldschmidt
Mashed potatoes are kind of boring. Boiled potatoes. Milk. Butter. Whip. Serve. But when done right, they are smooth and silky and they’re the glue (sometimes literally) that holds your Thanksgiving plate together. Paul Goldschmidt is kind of boring, personality-wise, but take him out of the lineup and this meal suddenly stops being Thanksgiving altogether. Paul Goldschmidt is absolutely essential to the Cardinals’ lineup. And he’s absolutely essential to this Thanksgiving meal. Plus, when he’s on there’s no one better than Paul Goldschmidt. Have you ever had really, really good mashed potatoes? Not those lumpy messes, but the good grandma-level stuff? Yeah. That’s Paul Goldschmidt. The best mashed potatoes you’ve ever had.
Pumpkin Pie – Nolan Arenado
What’s the flashiest part of your Thanksgiving meal? For us, it’s pie. At our Thanksgiving feast, it’s our job to make the pie. Yes, make. From scratch. Apple. Pecan. Pumpkin. No, you’re not invited to share with us. I can make a mean pie dough and my wife can crimp circles around your grandma and her fork. We learned from the old ladies at our church, where we sell about a thousand pies every fall. If you’ve eaten Thanksgiving in Southeast Missouri and someone brought a “homemade” pie to the meal, they probably bought it from us. Frankly, our pies are the best. That’s Nolan Arenado. They win awards on reputation alone. Top them with Cool Whip and you’ve got a platinum glove of flavor.
Veggie Option – Tommy Edman
“Veggie option”. What’s the favorite at your house? Green bean casserole? Which, from what I can tell, is just canned green beans, a cream soup (usually mushroom… barf) and French’s fried onions. Terrible, sorry. Then there’s broccoli & rice casserole. Broccoli. Cream soup. Rice. Cheese? Better. Cheese makes everything better. Then there’s corn casserole. Instead of the cream soup, you just cream the corn. Then add it to a Jiffy cornbread mix and probably dump in some sugar. Top with … wait for it… cheese. Enjoy. The best. Regardless, every good Thanksgiving has one or two (or three) veggie options. Do-everything plate fillers that help you pretend that what you’re eating is healthy. This is Tommy Edman. When he plays outfield in place of an actual outfielder? Green bean casserole. When he’s leading off but still playing Gold Glove defense at second? Broccoli & rice casserole. Edman as the super-utility, doubles-hitting, BABIP-fueled, base stealer? Corn casserole.
My daughter just asked: “isn’t mashed potatoes the veggie option”? I’ve raised her well.
Gravy – Yadier Molina
There’s an art to gravy making. That art is not buying a McCormick packet, boiling water, and stirring it with a fork. It’s taking all those turkey insides you normally throw away – the gizzard, neck, spleen, pancreas… I’m not really sure what it all is – and cooking it down into stock, then scraping up all that deliciousness from the bottom of the roasting pan, adding in some cream or a roux, “tiny whisking”, and seasoning it up. That stuff goes perfect on everything. Turkey. Stuffing. Mashed potatoes. Some gets onto your corn casserole? It’s all good. Finish your plate? Use that one last bite of roll to sop that stuff up. It also plays well with your “day game after a doubleheader” post-Thanksgiving lunch on Friday. Yadier Molina is the team’s gravy. Complete with neck tattoo. I don’t really want Thanksgiving without the gravy. So it is with Yadi.
Mac ‘N Cheese – Dylan Carlson
I’m not talking about Kraft. I’m talking about the good stuff here. The elbow noodles, the roux, the melted cheddar, or Velveeta, if that’s your thing. Is it for the kids? Is it a main dish? Is it the best thing on your plate? Does it belong at Thanksgiving or not? Maybe all of the above. You’re not certain yet, but you still get a big helping of it because, hey, it’s mac and cheese. The youngest Cardinal, who might one day be the best. That’s Dylan Carlson. I guarantee that Dylan Carlson eats mac and cheese at his family’s Thanksgiving.
Cranberry Sauce – Alex Reyes
Sweet. Tart. Best in small quantities. Jellied. Pairs well with the turkey. Some people love it. Some hate it. We have a great cranberry recipe that is basically a pack of fresh cranberries, a half-gallon of orange juice, and every ounce of sugar in the Northern hemisphere. Boil it until the berries split, then chill and serve. Yum. Until you get that one berry that wasn’t quite ripe… and well, there’s not enough sugar to cover up for that. That’s a fair depiction of Alex Reyes on a baseball field. Sweet – k’s galore. Tart – walks even more. Tons of “stuff” – sugar. But just enough sour to make you afraid of the next bite. The best thing about cranberry sauce is that it gets better the longer it chills. So, maybe a winter of rest and some more seasoning, and it’ll be perfect.
There you have it. The perfect anthropomorphic Thanksgiving feast for the Cardinals. After eating all of that on Thursday, might I recommend going light on Friday? Maybe start the day with a simple Lars Nootbaar (which is coming to a grocery store near you sometime soon.)
From my family to yours, have a very happy Thanksgiving!