2012 St. Louis Cardinals Preview
Part III of my National League Central preview discusses the–and it kills me to say it–World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Thanks to Nick at Pitchers Hit Eighth for pretending to be interested in my questions.
The Cardinals needed every one of their 162 games to get into the playoffs last season. While it was fun for an outsider like me to watch/root-against-the-Cardinals-with-all-of-my-might, the last couple of weeks must have been incredibly stressful for Cardinals fans.
Speaking for myself, I had kind of abandoned expectations by the end of August. So by the time they got to game 162, the entire season had me pretty emotionally spent as the Cardinals went. If they snuck in, great. If not, at least they put together a month and made it interesting. Now the playoffs, THAT was stressful. I think I woke up the neighbors watching Game 6.
Winning the World Series last year (son of a…) without Adam Wainwright has to make the loss of Chris Carpenter this season a little easier to stomach. That is to say—if you can do it without Wainwright, you can do it without Carpenter.Agree or disagree?
Agree. The Cards have a lot of pitching depth all of a sudden, and there’s still hope that Carp can make it back by summer. Kind of hard not to see this coming after 273+ innings last year.
Last March I asked you about the Pujols situation. This is what you had to say:
I stand firmly on the fence about Pujols.My appreciation for history wants him to retire as a Cardinal. My good sense tells me the Cardinals could replace his production with two or three other guys and plug some holes in the defense/lineup at the same time. The conspiracy theorist in me still believes that a deal is already done in the 8/$240mm range.
Now that you’ve had a couple of months to digest the fact that Pujols is an Angel of Anaheim, how do you feel?
Relatively the same. The heart wanted the “lifetime Cardinal” thing and the Hall of Fame, and the next great ambassador for the club after Stan. The head is happy to not have to wish on a 42 year old first baseman putting up 5 WAR. Guess I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, eh?
So what about that Votto deal?
I get the feeling that the Cardinals/Reds rivalry is a much bigger deal along the banks of the Ohio River than it is the Mississippi River. World Series victories (son of a…) tend to keep trivial things in perspective. Do you think the Reds/Cardinals series will be as hate-filled this season, or can we just chalk it up to two teams that don’t like each other very much?
I would agree with your feeling. I also think it’s largely just something to fire the teams up. For me, the game could use more teams/players unwilling to giggle with each other at first base. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say “hate-filled” but there are enough holdovers on both teams that I’m sure there’s no love lost.
Tony LaRussa is gone. That’s not a question, I just like writing that.
And yet, Dusty Baker is not. I’m ok with that.
There’s an unwritten rule that says fans of a team can’t complain for five years after winning a world championship. I expect this to be a herculean challenge for Cardinals fans.
But, but, but… I am running out of room for all of this World Series memorabilia! Where am I going to put it all? Wahhh…
Lastly, please pick the final record and division-standing for the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals. And yes, I will acknowledge that last year you correctly guessed 90-72, second in the NL Central, NL Wild Card. Son of a…
Goodness, that’s some pressure. I’ll say 94-68, NL Central Champs.