Cheap Seats

There goes the cavalry

I don't believe the Cardinals are as bad as they have been playing for the last week or so.

But, that being said, watching the Birds failures in virtually all aspects of the game -- weak and unfocused hitting, sloppy defense and pitching unable to overcome the miscues -- is a sobering thought. Simply stated, there is no cavalry coming. What you see is what you get when it comes to the Cardinals. The bench is weak and the minor league cupboard is mostly bare. So it's up to the players who are currently playing so poorly to find a way to turn things around.

It has boggled my mind since spring training began as to why the team would spend $120 million on Matt Holliday -- and then refuse to part with the couple million bucks it would have taken to add a major league veteran in the bullpen or some additional infield help on the bench. Instead of adding, the Birds subtracted by shipping off Julio Lugo after they got a deal for Felipe Lopez they couldn't refuse.

I understand the need to make the budget balance. But not spending when the market is good could backfire when you're desperate for help and you have to pay inflated prices -- like giving away Chris Perez and Jess Todd for a broken down Mark DeRosa. The Redbirds' overly conservative spending habits are also what got the team into the whole Kyle Lohse mess.

In 2008 the pitching Cupboard was as bare as it could get with Chris Carpenter hurt and his future seriously in doubt. The Cardinals refused to pay market value for pitching to keep the talent pipeline reasonably full. So, converted relievers Braden Looper and Todd Wellemeyer were holding the fort while Joel Pineiro was stumbling badly. Lohse, who couldn't get a multi-year contract over the winter of 2007-2008 came to the pitching desperate Cardinals $4.25 million half way through spring training, then begged for an extension all year long. Likely fearing they could be left with nothing, the team vastly overpaid to the tune of four years and $41 million for a pitcher with a sketchy track record at best.

There is no shortstop to be had on the free agent market at this point to cover for Brendan Ryan's toothpick of a bat or his suddenly holey glove. There is no pitcher in Memphis who can come up to the big leagues and do a better job than Lohse. There is little within the organization left to try to bring help via a trade...

We're going to have to dance with the players we brought to the party.