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edmonds-grabThis is the fifth and final installment in Bleacher Nation’s 2009 preview of the National League Central – specifically, how every team not named the Cubs is going to suck. Previously: Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros.

Welcome back to Bleacher Nation’s foray into the other teams of the National League Central, and their prospects for 2009 success. But, as it’s boring to just preview a team and predict their finish (boring/too hard), we do things a little differently here. It’s much more interesting (easy) to simply examine why they currently suck and are going to suck in 2009. So I guess the prospects we explore are the prospects for failure.

Up this week is the St. Louis Cardinals. Mmmm. Let me say at the outset that it has truly been a pleasure writing this particular article. The Cardinals evoke for any rational Cubs fan a completely irrational response. We hate them. We just do.

And thank God they’re going to suck this year.

Baseline for Suckitude

The Cardinals were 86-76 last year, but a healthy 11.5 games out of first in the NL Central – all the way down in fourth. That includes a completely meaningless 6-game winning streak to end the year, too. Still, the suck bar is set kind of high. Expect it to get worse this year, Cardinal fans.

Sucky Offseason Moves

Sad Arrivals: LHP Charlie Manning (waiver claim from Nationals), SS Khalil Greene (trade with Padres), LHP Trever Miller (free agent), LHP Royce Ring (free agent), LHP Dennys Reyes (free agent).

Happy Departures: RHP Matt Clement (free agent, signed with Blue Jays), INF Felipe Lopez (free agent, signed with Diamondbacks), SS Cesar Izturis (free agent, signed with Orioles), INF Aaron Miles (non-tendered, signed with Cubs), OF Juan Encarnacion (free agent, if he plays again, it probably won’t be for the Cardinals and/or won’t be well), RHP Jason Isringhausen (free agent, signed with Rays, not expected good), RHP Braden Looper (free agent, signed with Brewers), LHP Ron Villone (free agent, not expected back), LHP Mark Mulder (free agent, not expected back), RHP Russ Springer (free agent, signed with A’s), LHP Randy Flores (non-tendered), LHP Tyler Johnson (non-tendered), RHP Mark Worrell (traded to Padres), OF Josh Phelps (free agent, signed with Giants), Felipe Lopez (free agent, signed with Diamondbacks), Adam Kennedy (dumped, signed with Rays).

Yo. That’s a lot of people stoked to be getting out of St. Louis. Most of them sucked anyway, so it’s not a huge loss to the Cardinals. The ones likely to hurt the most are Russ Springer (been quietly dominant for years) and Braden Looper (recipient of Dave Duncan starting pitcher voodoo magic). Fortunately the Cardinals replaced all of those losses with, um, Khalil Greene.

Their Very Own Blogoverse Thinks They Suck

Before brilliantly noting that the Cardinals 2009 rotation is a major concern, Viva el Birdos delightfully describes the problem:

Pineiro was caught smack-dab in the middle of the vortex of suck last year. We got a better performance from the fact that he ate up so many innings as opposed to giving them to Mitch Boggs (last year!). The point is that the Cards’ rotation had depth, but not strength and, for us to really be a strong team, it’s going to have to have some strength.

Cardinals Diaspora doesn’t even need to say it in a post. They’ve got tags that include: “09 is Gonna Suck,” and “The Cards are Gonna Suck.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

The Suckiest Part of Their Suck

I know what you’re thinking – it’s got to be on the pitching side. After all, the bullpen looks like crap after the departures of Springer and the formerly-effective Jason Isringhausen, and the rotation is held together with the thin hope that Chris Carpenter can somehow come back – again – and perform as a solid 2 or 3. How could I not select something within the portion of the team that throws stuff?

But nope. It’s the lineup.

Take a look at what’s going on outside of Albert Pujols. Yes, Pujols is the best hitter in baseball, and is the equivalent of three solid hitters. But the other 7 regulars are also the equivalent of three hitters. And those three kind of suck.  With Troy Glaus out for an indeterminant period of time, the rest of the lineup sports Rick Ankiel’s un-juiced arms and goatee, Skip Schumaker, the guy who played way the hell over his head last year but you’ve still never heard of him (his name is Ryan Ludwick, by the way), and then crap.

It’s going to take uberprospect Colby Rasmus breaking through and several more career-like seasons from the middle of the order for this lineup to be above average in the NL Central, let alone the NL.

And in the End

They suck.

God it feels good to say it. The St. Louis Cardinals suck.

There is little reason to believe Chris Carpenter will make it through most of the season both productive and healthy. That means that on as many as four out of five days, the Cardinals will be trotting out a mediocre, at best, starting pitcher who will be hoping to last seven or eight innings so as to protect the equally mediocre bullpen.

Pujols will get his. And some douche you’ve never heard of will blow up and have an All-Star season because, well, it’s the Cardinals. Outside of that, I don’t see where the runs will come from.

If this team were wearing anything other than Cardinal red, I have a hard time believing anyone would expect this team to break the .500 mark. I just don’t see it on paper. Much like every other team in the Central, the Cardinals are probably worse than they were last year.

BUT.

Given the team’s unsuccessful overtures this offseason toward Brian Fuentes and toward acquiring Matt Holiday, it is likely the Cardinals will have extra money in the coiffers to make an addition. One move will not, of course, take them from suck to not suck, but it might be just enough when combined with the Cardinals’ uncanny superability to play over their heads to be a thorn in the Cubs’ side.

As things stand, they look primed for a third place battle with the Astros and Reds. Here’s hoping they fall off sooner rather than later, diminishing the likelihood of a major acquisition, and shutting the trap of smug Cardinal fans.

Oh. And did I mention they suck?

*I can’t believe I made it through this entire preview without so much as a scandalous insult hurled at Tony LaRussa. Well. You know what they say about pictures.

  • STLCards

    10.5 out……more over than over.

  • Butcher

    Next season, Ace should do a “Why the Cardinals Fanbase Sucks,” and then just post this comments section verbatim.

    Cardfan seems to be the exception ’round here, of course. I like that dude.

    • Ace

      I tend to think there’s a WHOLE lot of selection bias in which Cardinal fans actually post (that is to say, it is by nature the douches that care enough to comment). At least that’s what I tell myself, lest I believe that 90% of Cardinal fans are … like this.

  • Steve

    I hate the Braves… anyone else hate the Braves?

    • Ace

      I could get on board with hating the Braves. Do you have a manifesto I could read?

    • Cardfan

      I’m in…

    • Steven

      I should clarify…I hate their fans.
      Here are a few reasons…
      1) They make my fellow Cardinal fans look upscale and classy.
      2) They could not pick Dale Murphy out of a police lineup.
      3) They are incapable of naming more than two Hall of Famers that played for the franchise.
      4) Many fans also consider themselves die hard Dallas Cowboys fans. This should be number one.

      Wait…did I mention that most tend to be Confederate sympathizers? Of course a number of the Lowest Common Denominator Cardinals Fans (L.C.D.C.F? Hey, that works for the Cubbies, too!) are also guilty of this treasonous behavior.

      Why do you hate Braves fans?

      • Cardfan

        I thought it was a retorical question, but ..hey… there’s your manifesto!

        You could also add a fifth point and reiterate their ability to fill any NASCAR event to capacity and still allow for the availability of Braves playoff tickets the day of the game.

        I would, however, caution you from venturing into justification due to moral failings and the widespread destruction of the fabric of the USA. If that were valid criteria, then I would have to revisit my feelings on the Cubs, given what the city of Chicago has thrust upon our national leadership.

        • Steven

          Yeah…started retorical…but what the hell. What else am I going to do at work?

  • STLCards

    11.5 out

    • Cardfan

      STLCards-
      Your on a site for Cubs fans, written by a Cubs fan (a talented one, at that). When this article was written, the Cardinals were bound to suck. I said so in my post a few days after he wrote this back in March. We didn’t know if we would have a healthy Carpenter, Wainwright was shakey in preseason, Wellmeyer was…well, Wellmeyer, and management hadn’t addressed the closer role. Who the hell knew that Franklin would have the season of a lifetime, Carpenter would return to 2006 form and straighten out Wainwright’s delivery in the process, Piniero would soar, and we would finally land Holliday. At least I could count on Wellmeyer sucking. Bottom line is that we were going to suck and we don’t. I couldn’t be happier.

      So let’s enjoy the success we’ve had this year. Leave the mindless barbs alone. If you do want to talk smack, at least come up with something pithy and engaging. I am all for a good throwdown, just keep it above the elementary school level.

      • Ace

        The Cardinals have been excellent, and – Lord it pains me to say – they are also very well built for the post-season. They don’t actually suck. I just liked saying they were going to.

        You continue to be the man, Cardfan.

  • STLCards

    Hey Cardfan, and Ace…you are correct. I’ve been talking some shit, but only in response to some mindless cubfan shit. Maybe I’ve lowered myself by doing so. I just do not understand cubs fans who talk shit about other baseball fans! In my opinion, they should at least win a Championship first…then I’ll at least understand their shit-talking!
    By the way, I love Chicago as a town…if I lived there I’d probably weigh 400 pounds. The food is great…perfect hot dogs and pizza! What more could anybody want?!

    cubs fans though? the trash talking is crazy to me. I don’t get it!?

    cub’s fans, I know the cubs have spent a lot of money this year (without many positive results), and I know they should be good as a result (but arent), but please quit trash talking the Cardinal Baseball Club and Fans! When cub fans do this…you just make yourself look more stoooopid than you already are by rooting for a team that hasn’t won in 101 rears!
    GO CARDS!!!!!!

    • Ace

      That was really spectacular contrition right there.

    • Cardfan

      That was “pithy and engaging” not “pitifully enraging”…

  • Scott

    good call on the bad cardinals season… but the cubs did good right? i dont see how anyone can talk shit on the cardinals, espically a cubs fan. But hey, maybe the one hundred and third time is a charm, right?

    • Ace

      Great points, all of them. Brand new, too. Well said. You are a scholar, and now, a friend.

      • Scott

        haha i didnt have time to read the comments above before i said that and i see that you said the cardinals are good and will have a solid postseason team… i now feel like a jackass…

        • Ace

          It happens.

  • STLCards

    It’s been a bad two weeks for the Cardinals. They’re about to win the division anyway…almost by default. As much as I hate the Cubs, the crap they’re going through with Soriano and Bradley makes me almost feel sorry for them.

  • Bill E Goat

    Aaaahhahhhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha

    What a great literary masterpiece.

    I look forward to your next one.

    http://www.stltoday.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=662708

  • str8carter

    I feel bad for the Cubs as well. What the hell was Hendry thinking? His ass needs to be fired.

  • Butcher

    I can’t say this with any degree of certainly because I’m not the kind of guy to seek out rival teams’ blogs…but I would guess that there are blogs dedicated to the discussion of St. Louis Cardinals baseball out there. And I would also venture a guess that those same blogs would welcome as much “Cubs suck! 100 years! Goats! Bartman!” idiocy as anyone would care to participate in.

    I hope that’s helpful.

  • Dougc2004

    its obvious that this artical was written by a Cubs fans, and i only have 2 things to say.
    First if the Cards suck so bad then why are we the central division champs AGAIN and the cubs arent. and second when was the last time the cubs won the world series cause the cards did it again in 2006

    • Ace

      Wow. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the “2004″ in your name is for when you were born.

  • Brian

    God you’re dumb

    • Ace

      If that isn’t the most ironic three word comment I’ve ever read, I don’t know what is.

  • http://www.hotmail.com holliday for president

    CUBS SUCK ALWAYS WILL SUCK ALWAYS HAVE SUCKED….CARDINALS HAVE MOST WORLD SERIES WINS IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE…..CUBS FANS CAN SUCK A BIG CARDINALS WEINDER

  • http://www.hotmail.com holliday for president

    WEINER***

  • Gargantua!

    WEINDER was waaaaay more poetic, Mullet…good work.

  • Cardfan

    NOONE CAN OVERCOME THE COMBINED FORCE OF McDRINKIN AND McROID’IN.

    IT LIVVVVVVVVVVES!!!!!!!

    • Ace

      Cardfan is the man. It’s just that simple.

  • Cardfan

    I’m waiting………………………..

    • Ace

      Today’s the day…

  • http://cassettecdrecorder.info Cassette CD Recorder

    Its always advantageous to discover ideas like you share for weblog posting. Because We simply started posting comments for blog and facing issue of a rejections. We think your own suggestion will helpful for me. We will in it’s work for me too.

  • Andy

    ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS CUBS SUCKS STL.. CARDINALS ALL THE WAY…

    • BT

      Wow. Timely AND deep.

      • Ace

        I’m rethinking my fandom.

        • jim

          It must be true, its in all caps.

          • Ace

            I AM VERY GOOD LOOKING!

            • Cardinals

              Far from it buddy!!!!!

              • Ace

                Stop looking in my window.

  • Cardinals

    Why does every one decide to hate on the cardinals when there the best team alive? Now answer me that question.

    • Bric

      Because you guys don’t know the difference between there and they’re. The real question is how can an internet article posted almost 2 years ago continue to get responses? Screw all these tech guys who rave about the immediacy of the internet. We could all just go back to books. Or at least newspapers.

  • http://SOI veryzer

    Wow. I just read every post in this thread and it pains me to say that outside of one guy, every Cardinal response came from someone who is either 10 years old, severely retarded, inbred, or just plain stupid. All the signs are there: misuse of your/you’re and their/they’re/there? Yep. ALL CAPS? YEP. all lower cases? yep. 103 years? Yep. Cardinals rule? Yep. Massive dyslexia? Yep. It goes on and on and on….

    If I was a Cardinal fan, and thank God I’m not, I’d be very very embarrassed for my fellow fans. I’d call them imbeciles, but there’s no way they’d know what that means.

    • Ace

      Tommy? Capitals and punctuation? I … don’t know what to think.

      Either way, brilliant response.

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