Is It Time To Press The Panic Button?

Well, at least no one got hurt. (Carp’s elbow thingy aside) That’s about the only good thing you can say about the Cardinals first series of the season.

To answer my own question, no. No I don’t think it’s time to press the panic button. But that beat down by the Mets should wake up everyone. The team. The fans. The beer guys. EVERYONE. If anyone is still thinking another trip to the World Series is possible, then, WAKE UP! Because it’s not a lock that the Cardinals will even make the playoffs, let alone get threw two teams and make it back to the World Series to defend their title from 2006. The 2007 version of the Cardinals has a big, huge, honkin bulls-eye on them. Each and every team is gunning for them. And I am sure, deep down in the dungeons of their club houses, they are disrespecting the Cardinals saying they are far superior teams because the Cardinals *only won 83 stinkin games and no team should EVER win a World Series if they only win 83 games*. Franky, that is a tired and ridiculous argument voiced outside those club houses by uneducated blowhards who work for the WWL and other outlets, who know nothing about baseball. And by drunken flubs and bitter Mets fans. (No player has yet to have the balls to say it on the record.) So they will be ignored for the most part by true fans of the game. But that does not mean teams aren’t thinking and saying that amongst themselves, and won’t stop doing their best to put a beat down on the Cardinals just like the Mets did this week. Every team in the NL thinks they are better than the Cardinals. Heck, every team in the central is mad as hell the Cardinals won it all. They are jealous of our success over the years, and sick of our dominance.  So during the off season they threw money around haphazardly to anyone with a pulse in order to out spend the Cardinals trying to buy better players. (Good luck with all THAT  houston, flubs&Brew Crew)

The Mets, Dodgers, Giants, D-Backs, Braves, and yes, as much as it kills me to say this, even the flubs&Brew Crew are much improved from last season. The Mets showed us just how good they can be this week. I haven’t seen much of the others, but I’ve read a bunch during the spring. So after 4 games, where do our Cardinals stand? Well, first off our pitching can hang with the best of them. Wells & LOOP proved that. From the highlights, Wainwright looked outstanding against houston Friday night. Our bullpen on the other hand is still a work in progress. Our middle relief is the big question I think. Getting from the starters to IZZY might be, how shall I put this? Eventful. But hopefully not as eventful as I fear. We had plenty of  competition in the spring, and Tony said they brought the best team up to St. Louis when the season began. So I am cautiously optimistic that the bullpen will work itself out.

Now out hitting is another story. We have far to many holes in the line up. I said this Monday, and it rings true now. SO has got to go. Mookie needs to be a part time and pinch hit only player. JRod needs to be playing right field every night until Juan returns. If he ever returns. And the MV3 of Albert, Jimmy & Scottie need to start hitting. Albert is in a funk. Shockingly he is only hitting .077. No, that’s not a misprint. Scottie is only hitting .091. And he struck out Friday night with the bases loaded right after Albert was walked so they could pitch to Scottie. If he keeps doing that all season long, Albert will never get a pitch to hit. So here is what I think our everyday line up should be. ECK, Duncan, Albert, Jimmy, Scottie, JRod, Yadda, Kennedy. And when Jimmy has the day off, ECK, JRod, Albert, Duncan, Scottie, Skip, Yadda, Kennedy. Skip should start in center, when Jimmy has the day off. Not SO. Skip is better than SO in ever facet of the game. SO can’t hit, and he can’t field. I hate to keep pounding on the guy, but it’s a painful truth. SO has gotta GO.

Basically what it comes down to is, we are only 4 games into the season. Out of the 4, 2 had darn good performances from the starters. And Wainwright was simply on it Friday night. Carp had an elbow thingy and was not on his game Sunday. But he says he’ll be fine. So keep your fingers crossed. Because  IF Carp is hurt, then GOD help us all. We need a healthy and effective Carp leading our starters through the 6 month grind of the season. And we need Carp to be the Ace during the playoffs that shuts down a good hitting team like he did to the Tigers in last years World Series. Because without Carp leading the way, well, the Cardinals climb up that mountain to glory will be a rocky and bloody one. We can’t win a World Series without Carp. They proved that in 2004. And even though thousands of experts said before the season that our offence would be below average, I still don’t think that it will be as bad as they have been. I think if Tony make the changes I recommend, and the MV3 start hitting, our offence will be one of the top hitting teams in the NL. Some times guys just start off slow. They can’t be worse, can they?

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