Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella likes the Cubs, but apparently, he loves the Cardinals. That’s why he has proclaimed the St. Louis Cardinals the team to beat in the NL Central this year.
“We’re getting a little better, he said, “But look- St. Louis is the team to beat. Let’s not lose sight of that. They’ve got a good ballclub and they’ve added some nice firepower to their lineup, so let’s put the attention on them and leave us alone.”
Piniella would love for all the attention to be put on the Cardinals, but that’s not going to happen. And Las Vegas oddsmakers surely don’t look at the Cardinals as the “team to beat” in the Central Division.
“Vegas? What do they know?” Piniella said with a laugh. Hardball.
With the way Matt Holliday and Julio Lugo have played since their respective acquisitions, it is hard to argue that the Cardinals look like a better club up and down than the Cubs.
Of course, they will not continue to play that absurdly well – but neither will Albert Pujols continue to hit .230, as he has for several weeks. In fact, his breakout two-homer performance two days ago against the Mets should be a scary wake-up call to Cubs fans that perhaps the greatest reason the Cubs have clawed their way back to the top of the NL Central is because Pujols had ceased to be all universe. That was not going to last.