Cheap Seats

The Cardinals are so bad, they're downright disgusting to watch

Greg Holland reacts on the mound after giving up a home run.
Greg Holland reacts on the mound after giving up a home run. AP

I'm glad the St. Louis Cardinals managed to hang on to win a game Philadelphia Phillies.

But I find it absolutely miserable watching this baseball team. I think I have changed the channel more this year than all of the past five years combined. Usually my limit is when the club gets down by four runs. Sometimes, however, I feel the need to switch when the Birds are tied or even ahead on the scoreboard because they made a couple of bush league plays and I can feel my blood start to percolate.

When the Cardinals win, they look an awful lot like dumb luck. The Cardinals bumble their way through games making error after error, piling up strikeouts by the bushel basket and, when they do manage to get on base, they make stupid mistakes to kill would-be rallies. Then there is the fact that they seem like candidates almost every game to be the victim of a no-hitter. But the worst part, by far, is the fact that no lead is safe for this club. It blows four and five-run leads with regularity and fans can't even be relatively content with a two or three-run lead in the eighth inning.

On Monday, they scored in extra innings to go ahead. But I never, not even for a second, believed they weren't going to lose the game in the bottom of the frame. Especially not when manager Mike Matheny took closer Bud Norris out of the game after one inning or work and put in Matt Bowman who was fresh off the disabled list. After Bowman predictably blew the game, we found out that he was pitching hurt with a condition that causes him to have numbness in the fingers of his pitching hand. Gee, I wonder if being able to feel the ball is an important thing, skipper. So, anyway, Bowman is fresh back ON the disabled list.

On Tuesday, the Cardinals stunk for most of the game, again piling up the strikeouts and kicking the ball around in honor of the World Cup. Somehow, they managed to get a 6-4 lead late. Stop me if you've heard this one before, but they blew the lead again in the eighth. They somehow managed to score in the ninth and hold on to their second chance. But, at some point, when they play this sloppily, their luck is going to run out.

I find it to be unacceptable to allow the team to continue to play this way and hope for better results. The Cardinals need to either find a way to get the players they have to make better contact, catch the ball better and make fewer mistakes — or they need to find other players who do a better job than the ones they currently have. It's funny that they used to jam the "Cardinals Way" stuff down our throats at every turn. But, suddenly, horrid defense, little league mistakes and a complete lack of fundamentals is acceptable? I am embarrassed that a team wearing a patch honoring the late, great Red Schoendienst plays so shoddily.

It would almost be better if this team went down in flames and had a 70-92 season than it will be when it manages to go 84-78, narrowly missing out on the second wild-card berth.

When that happens, the front office will give Matheny a fourth chance to prove the downward trend in this team's play is a fluke and the club will once again try to make Matt Carpenter its missing three-hole hitter. It will probably even sign Adam Wainwright and Greg Holland to contract extensions and the general manager will go on all the local televisions stations to declare that this team is much improved and ready to make a run for the playoffs — even though Alex Reyes threw a ball to his dog in November and his right arm fell off.

The Cardinals need a first baseman who can catch the ball, a second baseman and a right fielder who can hit their weight and to find a way to cut team strikeouts by 40 percent. These are some major changes we're talking about. signing one middling free agent and making a couple of dumpster dives isn't going to cut it this winter. This team needs to demand better from its players or its coaches. This isn't St. Louis baseball — even when the team with STL on its caps manages to hold on for a win.

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