MLB-TV's coverage of Cardinals camp Thursday night was exceptional.
Unlike what you'd expect on other sports networks, MLB's dedicated channel showed an in-depth and lengthy report on the Birds that included interviews with several players, the manager and the GM. It's all part of the station's 30 teams in 30 days series that chronicles one team each day.
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The channel's experts, including former Redbird Joe Magrane, acknowledged that the team has a lot of question marks. Magrane, specifically, was concerned about ace Chris Carpenter's ability to stay healthy and the ability of the youngsters in the bullpen to close out games without incident.
But the prediction was that the Cardinals offense is for real and that Ryan Ludwick will prove 2008 was no fluke and that the team will score enough runs to give the team a chance to win.
The defense was a big concern. Not only with the attempts to make Skip Schumaker a second baseman and Joe Mather a third sacker. But, when the report talked about defense, it was over a montage of Chris Duncan missing ball after ball in the outfield. And the tape appeared to be new, not something that was pieced together from a few isolated incidents over the years.
The consensus was that the Cardinals didn't quite have the horses to win the National League Central as they sit right now. But the team could finish as high as second and make a run in the wild card race if everybody is healthy and the Birds get some breaks.