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Mark Ellis is not going to sabotage Kolten Wong

Mark Ellis is an excellent—unnervingly excellent—backup second baseman. But it's up to the Cardinals to believe in their plan.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

One of the non-PED ways I've learned to deal with ADHD over the last couple of years has been to accept just how terrible my willpower is. We like to believe we're the incorruptible, the diligent, the determined, but I, at least, am not any of those things. If I'm working and I have a chance to read an Agatha Christie novel, or watch an episode of Poirot, or really just put the words "agatha christie poirot" into Google, I will take that chance, because my brain is poorly equipped to deal with a world in which I can immediately read or watch basically anything. Self-confidence is important, but all those years I spent failing classes it turns out I probably needed less of it.

Mark Ellis is not a top-tier Agatha Christie novel, as potential Kolten Wong distractions go—he's 37, and bats the right way for a natural platoon—and the St. Louis Cardinals do not appear to have any dopamine problems. But he's good enough, and Kolten Wong's major league introduction was bad enough, that Wong falling behind and ending the season on the wrong side of that platoon isn't difficult to imagine.

It happened last year, after all; Wong came up last year at a moment when it looked like David Freese would be benched, and ended up getting benched himself. It's not even indefensible—Wong is only 23 next year, and being Mark Ellis's backup is not even a little bit like being Yadier Molina's backup.

So I understand the bad Wong scenarios (great '90s alt-rock album title) and I understand, very personally, that keeping yourself away from situations in which your stupid brain can trade long-term contentment for short-term pleasure is an important part of actually achieving long-term contentment.

But if you are, like me, completely spineless, it's also helpful to look at the things you're being distracted from. Distraction doesn't appear unannounced at the moment Netflix adds The Mysterious Affair at Styles to instant streaming, it bubbles up from the things you think you should be doing instead. Sometimes you should be doing the repetitive task your rational side is trying to keep you pointed at; other times the compulsion to do literally anything else is a sign that the task you're avoiding was never important to you at all.

If the Cardinals sabotage Kolten Wong—sabotage him in the way we assumed they were sabotaging Anthony Reyes, I mean, before we watched his arm explode—it won't be because they signed Mark Ellis and they just couldn't help themselves. It'll be because they were never really comfortable with him as a starting second baseman at all.