Why the St. Louis Cardinals will not even make the playoffs next year?
The St. Louis Cardinals made us all remember how important it is to never give up, even in the very end. With their come-from-behind victories in games six and seven, thanks to third baseman David Freese’s heroics, the Cardinals won their first Championship since 2006. But I am afraid to tell you Cardinals fans that this is the last Championship for a while.
With the departure of Tony La Russa, arguably one of the best baseball managers ever, the Cardinals don’t know where to turn. So far, they have been searching through the minors, looking for a young, rising star coach. But right now, the foundation of their winning franchise is retired, and does not want to return. Leaving them with no leadership.
Probably the biggest reason why the Cardinals will not be a winning team nest season, is because they are about to lose Albert Pujols, the cornerstone of the franchise, and arguably the best player in all of baseball. Pujols has been the face of the team ever since he was brought up in 2001. Winning rookie of the year that season, Pujols quickly developed himself into one of the most feared hitters in the game, and with his passion for the diamond turned himself into one of the greatest baseball has ever seen. Pujols carried these characteristics into the 2011 postseason and carried the cardinals on his back all the way to the World Series.
But, the problem is not that Pujols is aging, it’s that he may not be wearing a redbird jersey in 2012, which is incredibly hard to imagine. Pujols is now a free-agent, and the cardinals are trying to gather enough money to pay the immensely talented player, who is looking for Adrian Gonzalez money that the Cardinals just don’t have right now, due to being tied up in the contracts of Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman and Adam Wainwright. If Pujols doesn’t return, its safe to say that the Cardinals will not be a contender.
Another mystery in the world-series winning franchise is their pitching staff. This is because their only reliable pitcher, Chris Carpenter, is constantly injury-prone, and is their only truly reliable option on the mound. No one knows what Adam Wainwright (their obvious second-best option on the team) is going to look like after missing two whole seasons by getting Tommy-John surgery. He very may well turn out to be another Brandon Webb, who showed much promise, but career ruined by the popular medical procedure.
The Cardinals will not be a good team in the 2012 season, and most certainly will not repeat for a ring. The reasons are blatant and every analyst is unanimously agreeing. I think that the cardinals should do everything they can to rebuild for a brighter future by trading everyone away and investing in young prospects. But for now, well see what they can do with what they have.