It's a well-known fact that being a sports fan comes with the pursuit and consumption of alcohol, mainly beer. However, it would be unwise to forget that the players themselves don't need a drink or two to help with the athletic exhaustion of professional competition.
So, while the Manny Machado and Bryce Harper hot stove starts to warm up as the weather outside starts to cool down, let's talk about which St. Louis Cardinal I would like to have a beer with to take the edge off of my keyboard-gangster ways and his failure to be what fans aspire for him to become.
A little over a year ago, I wrote a piece for a wonderful local website called Drink 314 about Chris Carpenter being a guy I'd like to pound a 12-pack with, but here, I will stick with a current Cardinal.
My pick is simple: Jedd Gyorko.
Take one look at this guy and you'd think he was the dude who took you deep on field No. 5 at Forest Park during last week's softball doubleheader. A guy who would walk to the plate with a Pabst Blue Ribbon stuffed in his pocket, ready to shotgun it if he hit a double into the gap. Granted, a guy who would wear a baseball type uniform to the field, but only take the actual game halfway serious.
Gyorko would start the game at third base and end the seventh inning in right field because, in the end, nobody cares. If looks could kill on a softball field, the game wouldn't be as fun.
The 30-year-old infielder is indeed a legit Major League talent but doesn't come off that way when you watch him on the television or see him in person. He's quick to smile, crack a joke and just looks ready to bust a cold one open.
After the game, we'd hit up a bar close to the stadium for a couple quick Budweiser starter pints. Look, these are essentially lighter fluid in our livers for the entirety of what will be a legendary night of drinking. We would head down 8th street to 4 Hands Brewing Company for the next round of beers. It would be American Ale or Pilsner for Gyorko and I, a pair of brews that carry just enough sophistication to remind you that drinking is still a cool endeavor. Never mind the fact that Gyorko would sneak a Bud Light into the joint and shotgun it in the restroom.
Gyorko comes off as the dude who can be incredibly serious one moment and then full-blown delirious the next. There are certain baseball players who take the game home and can't cut the cord until late in the evening. Something tells me Gyorko doesn't belong to that group.
After a season like 2018, I could be wrong. Gyorko may want to sulk in the rigors of alcoholic consumption after a disappointing year at the plate. In a similar amount of games that he has played over the course of his six-year career (125), Gyorko saw his home run total (20 to 11) and overall OPS (.813 to .762) slip dramatically. Two years ago, he hit 30 home runs in 128 games, and he could managed a third of that total this year.
The man's power has dropped consistently over the past three seasons, which means the upcoming 2019 season, the last guaranteed in his five-year contract, may be his last in St. Louis. Maybe he doesn't even come back next year.
Either way, he's my pick for the Cardinal who I would like to down a few cold ones with. He doesn't seem like the jaded or egotistical type of player that floods the game with personalities that either carry too much salt or way too much color.
If it was 2017, I would have said Lance Lynn, because quite honestly, the man is a comedian hiding out in a professional pitcher's body. Since Lynn took his talents north and then east, Jedd is my guy, and his drinking ability seems far from dead.
Who would you like to drink with? Let me know on Twitter @buffa82.