Following last night’s game, in which Bud Norris rode the bullpen cart in to the mound en route to collecting his 16th save of the season, the St. Louis Cardinals have posed the question–“Should we get a bullpen cart in St. Louis?”
In a word, no.
This not to be anti-nostalgic or a killjoy. As part of a throwback theme night, sure. On a daily basis, no thanks.
The pitcher and the batter. Two foes. Mano y mano. Like a gun duel in the Old West, two gunslingers walking into position on a dirt main street. Or two gladiators meeting in the central of the Coliseum.
The cart is for pageantry. These are warriors who walk boldly into the face of their battle.
Okay, so that’s over the top but let me ask you this question…
Which is more impressive–a pitcher seated and being driven in from the bullpen on a cart that looks better suited for a kids playground or an intense, focused reliever stalking across the field to the mound?
Imagine the scene of Ricky Vaughn emerging from the bullpen with “Wild Thing” blaring as the crowd shook Cleveland Stadium. Now imagine that scene with him finishing his warm-ups and then stepping onto a cart to be driven into the mound.
In sports, a cart is not a sign of strength. It’s usually a sign that a serious injury occurred and the player cannot walk of their own power off the field.
Nope, baseball has been just fine without the bullpen cart.
photo credit: Rick Scuteri, Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports