The Cardinals figured prominently in Yahoo's list of top MLB disappointments for the first decade of the 2000s. But that's not all bad news.
While they were on the receiving end of some of the punishment, they proved during this Christmas season that it is still better to give than to receive.
The 2005 Redbirds ranked ninth on the top 10 list by finishing the regular season with 105 wins -- 10 more than the next closest National League team -- only to get bumped in the NLCS by the wild card winning Astros. To add to the disappointment, the Cardinals' game six loss to Houson was the last game ever held at Busch Stadium II, an unfitting end for the venerable old ballpark. The old stadium almost didn't even get to take a final bow, however. It was only Albert Pujols' memorable monster homer off of Houston closer Brad Lidge that brought the series back to St. Louis for one more game.
St. Louis was on the good side of the third biggest disappointment on the list, the 2006 New York Mets seven-game loss in the NLCS. The Mets high dollar line-up and pitching staff was outdueled by the likes of Jeff Suppan and rookie closer Adam Wainwright on the mound while So Taguchi and Yadier Molina provided unlikely offense. The Vision of Wainwright freezing 2004 playoff villain Carlos Beltran with a knee buckling curveball to end game seven with the bases loaded is something Cardinals -- and Mets -- fans will never forget.
It's funny how things work themselves out. In 2004 and 2005 the Cardinals seemed loaded for bear. But they stumbled before grabbing the big prize. The 2006 Birds didn't seem to hold a candle to its predecessors on the hill or at the plate. But that club took the whole thing.
Although they weren't specifically mentioned, the Birds factored into number three on the hit parade, the 2004 Yankees choking up of a three-game lead to the Red Sox. Who knows what would have happened in the 04 Series if the BoSox weren't whipped into a frenzy by their comeback?
Click here to read the Yahoo story and see the complete list.