Additional St. Louis Cardinals Info
The St. Louis Cardinals organization is one of the founding fathers of modern day professional baseball. Founded in 1882, the Cardinals franchise has had four different names in their history. In their inaugural season of 1882, they were known as the St. Louis Brown Stockings. However this lasted just one season, and in their second season, their name was changed to the St. Louis Browns. This lasted until 1889, when they changed their name to the St. Louis Perfectos. This also lasted just one season, and n 1900, they became known as the St. Louis Cardinals. Unlike many of the older teams who have played in numerous building, the Cardinals have called just four buildings home in their long history. From 1882 to 1892 they played in Sportsman's Park. From 1983-1920 they played at Robison Field. In 1921 they moved back to Sportsman's Park. In 1966 they moved into Busch Stadium, and in 2005 they moved into the new Busch Stadium.
The St. Louis Cardinals organization is baseball's equivalent of the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. The Cardinals are buried deep in tradition and mythology. It would take too long to list all of their accomplishments throughout their long history so summing it up is a better option. The Cardinals have won 19 National League Pennants in their history. They have also won 11 World Series Championships, the most recent being 2011. It was in the 2011 World Series that professional sports had perhaps its greatest father son moment ever. In the bottom of the 11th inning in game six, David Freeze came to the plate with the bases empty. He hit a walk off home run to deep left center field. Why is this so special? 20 years to the day earlier, in game six of the 1991 World Series, Minnesota Twins centerfielder Kirby Puckett hit a walk off home run to deep left center in the bottom of the 11th inning. Why is this a father son moment? Jack Buck called the 1991 walk off, and his son Joe Buck called the 2011 walk off. Joe even used the same words his father used in 1991, "we will see you tomorrow night". In total, the Cardinals have 38 players and 7 managers in the hall of fame, soon to be 8 when Tony La Russa joins the hall of fame this summer.
Cardinals Versus Cubs
The Cardinals have made many rivals over the years. Their best rival is the Chicago Cubs, and the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry might be the best pure rivalry in baseball, and it pre-dates modern civilization. Known as the "Route 66 Rivalry" the Cardinals and Cubs began play 125 years ago, and they've been at each others throats ever since. The Cardinals and Cubs don't play each other again until after the All Star break.
The St. Louis Cardinals finished the 2015 season with a record of 100-62, the best record in the game and the only 100 game winning team from a year ago. The Cardinals were the best team in baseball during the regular season, but lost to their division rival, the Chicago Cubs, in four games, in the NLDS. This did not sit well with the Cardinals, as the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry is one of the most tradition-rich in North American sports. To make matters worse, outfielder Jason Heyward left in the offseason for the Chicago Cubs. Still, the Cardinals plowed on, as they are the Cardinals, and they don't get rocked easily. The Cardinals needed a starting pitcher this offseason, and got a great deal, signing Mike Leake to a five year, 80 million dollar contract. They also extended their star young second basemen Kolten Wong to a team friendly five year, 25.5 million dollar contract.
The Cardinals entered 2016 as the “weakest” of the National League's “top” eight teams. The Cardinals were predicted by some to finish third, and according to how the other NL standings shook out in these predictions, the Cardinals were left sitting at home in October. As the standings currently sit, the Cardinals are 66-57, good for second place in the NL Central, and are literally playing for a Wild Card spot as the Cubs are 12 games ahead. The Cardinals are in this position despite a lack of production from Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday as well as starting pitching issues. This could be a dangerous team in September and October if they can get some of these issues fixed.
The St. Louis Cardinals 2016 season could almost be considered substandard according to their expectations over the last decade or so. They finished the season with a record of 86-76, which was good for second place in the National League Central, also finishing 1.5 games out of the second wild card spot. This offseason, the Cardinals, despite their age, decided to patch up a couple of holes and give it one last go in 2017. After extending manager Mike Matheney for three more seasons, the Cardinals traded Jamie(Pronounced Hi-Me) Garcia to the Atlanta Braves for three players- left-handed pitcher John Gant, right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis and second basemen Luke Dykstra. Their big move this offseasonb though, was signing free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five year, 82.5 million dollar contract. Next up they settled arbitration with players such as closer Trevor Rosenthal and first basemen Matt Adams. Their final move was to sign talented starting pitcher Carlos Martinez to a five year contract extension. Some people believe it may be time for the Cardinals to start getting younger, we will see if they are right in 2017.
The St. Louis Cardinals have long been baseball’s staple of efficiency. Year after year the Cardinals are right there, contending for postseason play. How have they sustained all of this success? By making smart decisions and taking what they do very seriously. The shining example of this is Albert Pujols. At the end of the 2011 season they let first basemen Albert Pujols, the best player of his generation and one of the greatest hitters of all time, walk, after another marvelous season. Pujols signed with the Angels for 10 years and 254 million dollars and the Cardinals moved on. Meanwhile Pujols has declined every year in Los Angeles, now to the point where they want him to be a full-time DH instead of first basemen. The debacle that the Albert Pujols signing has turned out to be is one of the contracts that has led to the stalled market this offseason, where teams are refusing to give that many years to players over 30.
The Cardinals meanwhile have continued to win and win some more without Albert. Each season since Pujols left the Cardinals have won more games then they have lost. In fact, the last time the Cardinals finished under .500 was 2007 and the last time they won less than 70 games was 1995. There is a cause for concern though. They have missed the postseason in each of the last two seasons and their prospects for getting back there this year don’t look so good. Their bullpen has issues and that offense has come to a complete stop. They need to fix those issues if they want to play in October again.
The St. Louis Cardinals had another solid season in 2018, finishing 88-74, but missing out on the second Wild Card spot by just a few games. Their top priority this off season was to fix their woeful offense, which has been stuck in park for about two years now. So far, they did just that.
On December 5, the Cardinals, after frustrating negotiations with the top bats on the market that went nowhere, went another route, trading for the best first basemen in the game, Paul Goldschmidt. In return, the Cardinals sent the Diamondbacks right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, infielder prospect Andy Wright, and a competitive balance draft choice for 2019. Goldschmidt’s arrival in St. Louis means Carpenter will possibly move back across the diamond to third base. In addition, the Cardinals added a pair of left-handed pitchers to their bullpen, Chasen Shreve, and Andrew Miller. They also brought back veteran starting pitcher Adam Wainwright for one more season. In January they signed right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha, right-handed pitcher Dominic Leone, and outfielder Marcel Ozuna to one-year contracts.
They are all set for another good season in 2019.