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Saturday, August 13, 2005


11 Game Lead with Your Best Players Injured...Priceless.

In these pages and the myriad of bytes around cyberspace devoted to the Cardinals, there is consternation of all sorts about various issues from the pen to filling the gaps in the field. However, you kind of have to step back and marvel at this team. We're winning games and maintaining the massive lead in spite of a level of injuries that befuddles even coincidence. At the beginning of the season the talk was that this would be a good team, albeit challenged to perform at the 2004 level without likes of Matheny and Renteria, not to mention Tony Womack, but there were still a number of pundits who saw success based on the sheer power of a lineup containing Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen and Walker. Well, we've now been without 50% of that power foursome for sometime, over a month, and we continue, for the most part, to out distance the biggest part of the league. Think about it. There has not been a for than handful of days during the summer where the Redbirds have been less than 10 games ahead in the NL Central, even with a red hot Houston that I really thought could be within 6 six by the middle part of this month. That's pretty impressive. Now, what happens when we get Walker or Reggie or Rolen back? The optimist/realist in me thinks that with the month of September to adjust and get their timing back they could be playing at levels acceptable for players of their caliber come October. The bench players that have been filling in so admirably in the last weeks, will be more than just bench players when they're back to stepping into the game in the 8th inning again. Oh, and there's that whole thing going on with team building and chemistry, which is something the Red Sox or Yankees and their mercenaries just don't have. 2005 is shaping up to be a big year for the Cardinals. BTW: If Pujols doesn't win the MVP this year, given his impact in the wake of the afore mentioned situation, there really is no justice in baseball. As Jimbo, one of the bullies on the Simpons once said, "I don't belive in nothing no more. I'm going to law school."
Just remember, the writers always find some reason to play "keep-away" with Albert. In 2003, the Giants made the playoffs, and the Cards didn't so, obviously Barry must be MVP, never mind the Giants had Jason Schmidt and a competent bullpen, while the Cards had Brett Tomko, and well, their 2003 bullpen.

Then last year, StL makes the playoffs, San Fran doesn't, and now Barry wins because the Cards had a better team around Albert. Basically, the criteria were reversed. Make up your freaking minds!

I'll be interested to see how the Cy Young plays out this year. Clemens beat Johnson last year, even though he was better in one category: wins, which is to be expected when Roger plays on the 2nd best team in the NL, and Randy plays on the worst. By that standard the Cy Young should be Carp's, but I'm sure the writers will flip-flop AGAIN.

And why doesn't anyone point out that the reason Houston has no lineup is Roger makes $18 million? How are they supposed to afford hitting when he takes that much payroll? Sorry for ranting.

I think you're exactly right. The writers seems to fawn for anything Clemens does, and Lee's a Cub so he's damn near a lock. I'd be less shocked by Clemens getting the CY Young over Carpenter than the MVP fraud, i think, maybe, kind of...
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