Plan For The Worst, Hope For The Best

Don’t ask me to explain the remarkable turn around that’s currently happening to the St. Louis Cardinals. When every thing that could go wrong, did go wrong. We all left them for dead. But some how, some way they sit 5 1/2 games back of the Brew Crew as they head to the land of the beer makers to start a 3 games series tonight.

To not give the arrival of Rick Ankiel some credit would be foolish. His remarkable story has obviously injected some life into a dying team. And now that AK’s out for the rest of the year, Brandon Ryan is back with the Cards. A player who never should have left in the first place. I don’t care about ECK’s feelings, Ryan should be the starting SS for your St. Louis Cardinals. Miles shouldn’t be starting either, but from the looks of things, Ryan is going to be playing back up to both ECK & Miles. Which is stupid. But at least the kids up here. Finally. Any way what Rick’s done is the stuff of legends and they turn stories like his into movies. But after talking with HUGE over the weekend, I’m going to try and pull back and try not to be too excited. (BTW HUGE is not a hater when it comes to Rick. I miss understood what he was trying to say. HUGE is very much a Rick Ankiel fan, he is just a realist and doesn’t want to go overboard with his excitement for the guy. Unlike Jonny here who can barely contain his excitement) As I think we all should. Like I said Saturday night, this is a team sport. It’s not Rick’s job to push the Cards past the flubs & the Brew Crew & into the playoffs. He can get all the hits we want him too, but if his teammates don’t do their jobs, then the Cards still won’t make the playoffs.

And that’s what I want to talk about today. Do any of you out there honestly expect the Cards starting rotation to keep firing bullets? I mean come on people! Were still talking about KIPPY here. Remember that guy? Well that guy is still pitching. And LOOP, gotta give Dave Duncan major props for making him a 10 game winner, but honestly, how much more can the guy give us? And Joel Pineiro was tossed aside by not only the Red Sox, but by Seattle. Who are in a race of their own out west. So it’s not like the guy was in high demand. Can we really expect to have caught lighting in a bottle like we did last year with Dream Weaver? Is it really fair of us to expect him to preform as well as he did on Thursday every time he takes the mound? No to both questions. And Anthony sure has done above and beyond what even the most hopeful of fan could have hopped for. But his record is still 2-11 folks. Lets not get carried away here. In fact Adam Wagonmaker is the only starter the Cardinals have that they can depend on to give them a quality start every time he takes the mound. Let’s face it, the Cardinals staff is on a hot streak. A hot streak because they faced some pretty weak hitting ball clubs in the Padres & Dodgers. The Brew Crew can mash folks. Flat out mash. Is it smart to expect this starting 5 to hold them down? No. It’s not smart at all.

And the Cardinals offense isn’t exactly firing on all 8 cylinders either. Albert is obviously hurting. His right elbow had fluid drained from it last week. His hammy is about to pop. Scotty is still swinging with only one good wing. DUNK is in a MAJOR funk. ECK & Miles are still not providing what the Cardinals need. YADDA is doing OK, and that’s really all we can expect from him. Jimmy is starting to get on base more, but just like Scotty we have to ask, where’s the power? LUD’s doing pretty good in a reserve role. But he can’t hit lefy pitching, and there is no way he should take at bat away from DUNK, Rick or Jimmy. Ankiel is doing his best Babe Ruth impression, but that most certainly won’t last. Will it?

What I’m trying to say is this weeks games first vs the Brew Crew & then the flubs will go a long way in deciding if the Cards are going to be playing in October this year or not. The Brew Crew are almost unbeatable at home, yet they can’t buy a win on the road. So to expect the Cards to go in there and take 2 of 3 or sweep is just not wise. We always hope the Cards can run over the flubs, but even with Soriano & Aramis out, they can still hit. And I hate to admit this, but their starting rotation is a lot better than the Cards and they seam to have a pretty good idea of how to pitch the Cards this season. I’m sure Marquis spilled his guts about all the Cards weaknesses after he sold his soul to the devil. So once again to expect them to take 3 of 4 or sweep the wee little bears isn’t a safe bet. What’s more likely to happen is the Cards win 1 game in Milwaukee and 2 in the windy city. Any thing more would be gravy of course. But to get your hopes up and expect more will probably lead to a serious bout of the blues come Monday morning.

So let’s be realistic folks. Don’t expect another miracle. The Cards used up all their miracles last October. What’s probably going to happen is the Cards will keep just close enough in the playoff race to keep us fans interested till the last week of the season. (And don’t forget they aren’t even playing .500 ball yet.) And honestly, if you had told me that a month ago, I would have called you batshitcrazy. So let’s just enjoy the ride Rick is taking us all on, while expecting the Cards to not make the playoffs. That’s the safest bet to make if you want to keep sane in this most crazy of seasons.

OK, it looks like Juan is on his way out. And I for one will not shed one tear for the guy. Every one knows how I feel about him, and now I think he’s being a whinny baby. Any body who knows all the history the Cardinals & Rick Ankiel have would have known Juan would be the odd man out if & when Rick made it back. And for Juan to go to the press and call out Tony & the Cards really shows us what kind of guy he is. Which is apparently a whinny baby. I don’t care what the Cards get in return, but Juan has to go. Trade him for the PTBN and get him out of there. Nothing good will come of this. Goodbye Juan, thanks for, well, thanks for your very average offense, and your very below average defense in right field.

That’s all the knowledge I’m going to drop on you for now. Remember, when it comes the to 07 Cards, especially now, it’s smart to hope for the best, while planning for the worst. Let’s just enjoy this ride Rick and the kids are going to take us on. It’s been a hell of a trip so far, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next. Make it a great week every one.

Till next time this is Jonny Bone reminding every one, yes, even you. That the light at the end of the tunnel may be you.

Keep making it bounce.



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