Lowered Expectations

I’ve been wondering all week about the how much pressure us fans put on the Cardinals to win. And if we are expecting too much out of the 2007 version of the St. Louis Cardinals.

If you think about it for a minute, it’s really unfair of fans us to expect this team to not only get into the playoffs, but get past the NLCS and into the World Series. And yet, that’s exactly what each and every one of us expect them to do. And why shouldn’t we? Not only did they get to the WS last year, but they won to whole kit & caboodle. BUT as we have all seen so far this season, this team is nothing like the team that won the WS. So with all their problems, a sputtering offense. A starting pitching rotation that last season 4 of it’s pitchers were in the bullpen, and the other was injured for most of the year. 4 key players on the DL, Carp, Marky Mark, Yadda, and Josh Kinney. ECK with a bad back, Chris Duncan is in the hospital with an infection in his left knee that is very, VERY serious. He probably should have gone in there sooner, and he probably will go on the DL and be out a while. The Imperial suffering from an allergic reaction from some meds. Juan still not up to full strength from his wrist surgery. The Cards stupidly ran Anthony out of town for not being able to follow Dave’s *pitch to contact* philosophy of pitching. Instead of just letting the kid pitch his game, they are being stubborn and trying to force him to throw anther way. Which I will never, EVER understand. Let’s see did I miss anything else?

So do you see my point? The Cards are not playing with a full deck. In fact their not even close. Yes I know, every team has it’s own problems and their own key players playing hurt or on the DL. But no defending World Champion has had to deal with so much adversity less than one year after winning it all. I guess if by some miracle the Cards were able to make the playoffs and then go deep into them, it would be much sweeter. But after all that has happened to them, and I didn’t even mention Josh’s death, I don’t think it’s fair for us fans to expect them to get into the playoffs, get to the World Series, and win it all over again.

So what you ask should we expect the Cards to do this year? Well, I don’t really know. I don’t think it’s out of the question to expect them to finish the year wih a .500 record. But if they do miss the playoffs, I don’t think we should be all that upset. They really don’t have the talent this season to compete for a World Series. So I don’t really know how to pull for a team that I know won’t make the playoffs. Should we boo a bad play? Maybe. But probably only if we feel that the player was not giving his full effort. Should we rip Tony and Dave for making or not making moves we feel would win a ball game? Maybe again. I think this is a fuzzy area. In years past, if Tony left a pitcher in too long, or didn’t pinch hit a guy in the later innings, I think it would be more than fair for us to be upset and voice our opinions. But now that Tony does not have all tools at his disposal that he is used to having, is it really fair if we rip on him for not pinch hitting a guy in the later innings or pulling a pitcher too soon or too late? That I don’t really know. I think Tony has earned our respect over the years, and I think he’s earned the benefit of the doubt. So for the rest of the year, I think we all should let up on him and the team as a whole. But come the off season the owners better do something to fix this mess. After all, it’s party their fault for constantly going cheep and expecting Tony & Dave to preform miracles.

Least you think this entry will be all doom and gloom. There are some bright spots that at least give us fans hope. The bullpen, especially Franklin and IZZY have been lights out. So any lead late in games has really been for the most part held and turned into a W. The MV3 are finally starting to earn that nick name. Scotty and Jimmy are finally hitting. They’ve had a good week so far. Albert’s been coming out of his funk for a while now. You didn’t really worry about Albert that much did you? Wellemeyer and Thompson have so far been HUGE surprises as starters. But how long can they keep pitching well? So there are some positives. And I am very grateful for them all.

Tonight’s game against Roy and the ‘Stros will be a tough one. Adam is really going to have his work cut out for him. I hope he does not try and be too perfect, and try and match Roy pitch for pitch. Because at this stage of his career, he can’t do that. Roy’s not going to give up a lot, if any runs against the Cards tonight. He OWNS the Cards. In his past 10 starts he’s 6-0 with an ERA just above 1.00, and the Cards are only hitting .222 as a team against him. So Adam defiantly will have keep the ‘Stros down and hope that the Cards get to Roy fast, or run his pitch count up and get him out of the game by the 5th or 6th inning.

No one said defending the title the Cards won last year was going to be easy. But then again no one in their right mind would have believed me if I told them in March that almost every thing that could go wrong for the Cards would. Let’s hope and pray from here on out our boys start catching some breaks, they heal their wounds. And can put some long winning streaks together. It is only June 1st, and the Cards are in second place, and are only 6 1/2 games back of the Brew Crew. So anything can still happen. We Cardinal fans learned that last October. Good things can happen. So try and stay positive. I know I’m having a hard time doing that. But I’m going to try. And I’m going to cut the Cards some big time slack from now on. I hope every one else does the same.

That’s all the knowledge I’m going to drop on you for now. I’ll be back soon, but until then this is Jonny Bone saying remember, always keep makin’ it bounce.



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