Friday, December 31, 2010

Top Five Stories of 2010

So, long time, no post. I thought I would try and get back in the swing of things with the UCB's year-end project, the top 5 stories for the Cardinals in 2010. Here goes:

5. McGwire comes clean. Though it didn't have too much impact on the team, Big Mac finally admitting to using performance enhancing drugs was about the only thing people talked about associated with the team the first few months of 2010. It got a little play the first couple of weeks of the season with Big Mac as the new hitting coach, but then people seemed to stop talking about it. Personally, I'm glad he came clean, and I'm glad to have him back in the organization. Hopefully the team will hit better for him next year though!

4. Offseason Moves. Though they weren't the big splash some were hoping for, adding Theriot and Berkman should improve the line-up while keeping Westbrooke gives us potentially one of the best 1-5 rotations in baseball. Are we as good as the Phillies? Probably not, but if the team hits better than last year by say, 10%, then we should be pretty good.

3. Ludwick traded for Westbrooke. This is the unfortunate trade that worked for neither team as both the Cardinals and Padres appeared destined for the postseason at the time of this deal and neither made. Both of the players involved actually played OK, but their teams fell apart down the stretch. Heading into 2011, the Cardinals are probably the happier of the two with this deal, having kept Westbrooke and replaced Ludwick with Berkman, but you have to wonder if keeping Luds around might have made for a better 2010.

2. Pujols future still uncertain. Though both sides appear amicable towards making a deal, you have to wonder if it can get done. Pujols deserves crazy money. He's on track to the best right-handed hitter in baseball history. The Cardinals, though they have a pretty good budget, are not the one of the rich east cost teams that can spend 25 million or more on one player, no matter how good he is. Still, they probably have no choice as losing Albert would probably devastate the franchise for many years. Hopefully, this deal gets done and Albert is a Cardinal for life, but right now this is all any real Cardinal fan can think about.

1. Cardinals fade down the stretch in 2010. The 2010 started with some promise, but seemed to never really get on track. With so much talent, it seemed only a matter of time before they put it all together and made a big run. That run did happen, only in the opposite direction we all expected. In August and September, the Cards were simply one of the worst teams in baseball. Poor hitting and ill-timed errors were mostly to blame, but the 4-5 spots in the rotation rarely led to wins for the Cards as well. In an NL central ripe for the taking, this poor play was a bitter pill to swallow and was the dominating story for the 2010 Cardinals.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010