Just 17 months ago, the St. Louis Cardinals were the newly-minted World Champions of baseball. Now the odds of this season's record being above .500 are, I'd say, roughly .500. Obviously, a great deal of the success of the '08 version of the Cards depends on how effective the starting pitching is and, related to that, when (if at all) will the injured starters return and to what effect. Nothing new there. Almost every team, every year, has pitching questions.
The big league Birds are in Springfield tonight and tomorrow for contests with their AA brethren. The Cardinals of St. Louis squeaked by this evening, 3-2. I watched most of it, and, I like many of the young Birds, St. Louis' and Springfield's. I think it was good that St. Louis began turning the roster over and is beginning to develop more of it's own talent. They may fall off a bit in the division, but I think it's good in the long run providing the drafts are effective.
Long and short of it, I think the STL Cards will be in the upper half of the division, not the lower. I think they will be a bit better than the national perception. If the Central is underwhelming again, they may even be in the race, like last year, until mid-September. I am assuming we get at least half a season from each of the four injured starters and that will mean the difference between contending and disappearing.
Random thoughts -
There is no arguing the fact that Tony LaRussa is a terrific manager, terribly sucessful and bound for the Hall of Fame. Why do I still feel about him like I did about substitute teachers? He's OK, but he's not a Cardinal and I'll glad when we get a "Cardinal" manager again. I know, I can't stand prosperity.
I do need to get new glasses, it's been a while since the last prescription change and I can tell it in little ways, like preferring to remove them to read. But there's something I'm seeing that I'm pretty sure an optometrist can't fix. Every time I look at Troy Glaus I see Tom Brunansky. Mercy.