Adam Wainwright understands the questions. So in attempt to address the elephant in the room, the St. Louis Cardinals hurler summoned the media together this morning to “make an announcement” regarding a potential retirement after this season, which is his last under contract with the team…
“It would be great for me if everyone would, I don’t know if respect is the right word. If everyone would embrace the idea that I love being a St. Louis Cardinal. I’ve loved my time here. And I really want to get the most out of what I’m doing here right now and I would love to not answer that question for the rest of my life or the rest of this year when I do an interview.
“So let’s get it out of the way right now. I’m not thinking about anything past today right now. I’m not thinking about–tomorrow I won’t think about anything past tomorrow. What I want to do is I want to be the very best St. Louis Cardinal I can be today and then tomorrow I want to be the very best St. Louis Cardinal I can be tomorrow and we’ll do that every single day until the end of the season and then we’ll see what happens.
“If something happens before then, I promise, I’ll let you know. How about that? I don’t think I’ve lied to you guys too many times. Any more questions?”
There were just a few.
For example, what does success look like for Adam Wainwright in 2018 compared to years past?
“You’re going deep on me,” he replied. “Success to me it equals the same thing–we need to win and I need to win. When I take the mound every fifth day, I need to know that in the bottom of my heart, I can beat that team. I can beat that other pitcher. I can go deeper than him and I’m going to give our team a great chance to win. When I do that, things usually work out pretty great.”
Often the most difficult task for a veteran athlete is gaining a realistic understanding of what they can and cannot continue to do. The mind is willing but sometimes the body isn’t. Always a competitor and strong believer in his abilities because of his success, how much better of an evaluator is Wainwright today than a few years ago?
“Well, at no point in time five years ago would anybody have even mentioned mediocre to me, I don’t think,” pointed out Wainwright. “So the fact that has become an issue, is a real problem for me. That’s why I need to focus on today, because I don’t want people to ever say that I’m mediocre.”
Wainwright also shared he’s leaned out–in the past he bulked up to be bigger and stronger. Now he’s coming into camp at 225lbs compared to his 249lbs of last year.
“Lost a lot of fat, got into really good shape–that’s why I said I might steal a few bases,” quipped Wainwright. “Functionally, my hips are moving a lot better. Knees, hips moving a lot better because did a lot of mobility stuff this off-season. But we won’t know til we know, will we. If I start crushing balls off the top of the fence, then you’ll see me pounding some cheeseburgers.”
video credit: Brian Stull/STLBaseballWeekly.com
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI