ST. LOUIS â€“ St. Louis Cardinals fans love to tell anyone who will listen how theyâ€™re the smartest in baseball, and on Wednesday night they may have proven it.
They knew better than to show up and watch this team.
Oh, the Cardinals won, an 8-3 romp over the National League champion Colorado Rockies, and that was well and good if not for the huge pockets of empty seats at the new Busch Stadium.
Sounds like someone had a story ready to go and he had to put a caveat in there because the Cardinals won the game.
For the first time in 165 games, and since the stadium opened in 2006, the Cardinals didnâ€™t sell out. They were nearly 8,000 heads shy of capacity, a rather damning indictment seeing as the season is two days old.
I was there. And I bet Passan wasn't.
It was friggin' cold...and windy...and there was a chance of rain. Everyone was buying hot chocolate and blankets.
It was quite miserable.
Who cares if they didn't sell out? They've sold out 165 of the last 166 games.
â€œItâ€™s just bad weather more than anything,â€ Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen said. â€œItâ€™s cold out. Kids have school tomorrow. You know, thatâ€™s the way I look at it.â€
Well, yeah. The Cardinals have paid Isringhausen about $50 million in his seven seasons here. The least he can do is give them good excuses.
Well then why did you quote him, dumbass.
The reality differs. The Cardinals are a mess. Last week, they lost 10-3 to their Double-A affiliate, Springfield, in an exhibition.
An exhibition game??? He is using an exhibition game to make his point? An exhibition game in which nobody really cared about against Springfield?
This week, their pitching coach, Dave Duncan, got in an on-air fight with a local radio gasbag.
Passan apparently doesn't know the details of this.
Kevin Slaten ambushed Duncan and put him on the air without telling him. Duncan had every right to be upset.
Gone, along with their credibility, is longtime general manager Walt Jocketty, forced out in a power struggle in spite of building the 2006 championship team, which seems like eons ago. Maybe because few from it are left.
Edmonds - His career is almost over, it was good to dump him and get something for him.
Rolen - He was a clubhouse nightmare. Good riddance. Glaus will be a good replacement at 3B. Rolen can't stay healthy, and is a shell of his former self....and he's injured already...again.
Belliard - Everyone knew he was a rental in 06
Suppan - Not a huge loss. Would have been nice to keep around...but not worth crying over.
Weaver - He's been horrible since he left.
Marquis - He was awful...awful.
Bennet - Is anyone upset he's gone? Good guy, but he was the backup catcher...let's move on.
Eckstein - They have arguably gotten better at SS with Izturus. But I liked Eckstein.
Encarnacion - He was a waste of a roster spot.
Taguchi - I was sad to see him let go.
A few of the guys may have been nice to keep around...but one was a bench guy, one was a less than stellar starting pitcher, and one was a small shortstop with limited range and arm strength but a lot of heart.
This team has gotten a bit younger...and one could argue, will hit a little better this year.
They still need starting pitching help...which may come when Carpenter and Mulder return in a couple months.
I wish Jocketty were still here...but what are you gonna do? People/players don't stick around forever.
And most of the player moves were good ones.
One look around the Cardinalsâ€™ clubhouse and the turnover is staggering. The only regulars from the championship team are first baseman Albert Pujols and catcher Yadier Molina. A few pitchers remain, notably Adam Wainwright, who closed out the World Series and now is the Cardinalsâ€™ No. 1 starter.
He inherited that mantel because Chris Carpenter is injured and out an undetermined amount of time.
Or...because Wainright is pretty damn good.
So is Mark Mulder, another big-name acquisition gone bad.
No arguement here...but everyone knows this.
Two of St. Louisâ€™ biggest free-agent signings this offseason, Joel PiÃ±eiro and Matt Clement, are on the disabled list, too.
It's two games into the season...and Peneiro and Clement are hardly key pieces to the puzzle. One was a late pickup last year to eat some innings, and another is a low risk gamble we picked up.
True enough, though the Cardinals seem stuck in that abyss of mediocrity that swallows so many teams.
Two years removed from a world series championship...and we are stuck in an abyss of midiocrity?
This sounds like an article about the Cubs...not the Cardinals.
â€œWeâ€™ve got great fans here in St. Louis,â€ Washington said.
Didnâ€™t take long to brainwash him, either. Cardinals fans think highly of themselves because they clap for a strong throw or a well-executed sacrifice or hustle to prevent a double play.
Players everywhere say that about the fans they play in front of.
St. Louis has great fans...as do a lot of cities.
In reality, itâ€™s their blind loyalty thatâ€™s most admirable, their willingness to pack stadiums even when the Cardinals stink.
Or, maybe it's their love for baseball and the fact that this team has a successful history that the fans like and make it fun to be a Cardinals fans? Nah...that couldn't be it.
Again...this sounds like it is written about the Cubs.
Blocks of four tickets in the second-most-expensive section of Busch are available for todayâ€™s series finale against Colorado.
It's Colorado for crying out loud. Yeah, they are the defending NL champs...but I don't think anyone is overly excited to see them play.
Even for the first game of the season against the hated Cubs, one ticket in the most expensive section, costing $250, can be had.
So, he is saying there is one ticket available to a Cubs game...which isn't until May?
OMG.....SAY IT ISN'T SO!!!!
I'm guessing that one gets sold sometime in the next month.
And if they donâ€™t sell, hey, the seats in Busch are red, the same color as the majority of fansâ€™ garb. Theyâ€™ll be able to obscure whatâ€™s not in the stands.
Which is better than they can say for whatâ€™s on the field.
What's this guy's problem?
They don't sell out a game for the first time in 165 games...and all of a sudden "the fans aren't showing up"..."the team sucks"..."the fans are sheep"...etc.
If the Cardinals get decent pitching until Carpenter returns, I think they could contend. I think the offense could be pretty good as well. This team can hit.
And the Cubs, whom some are picking to win the division...don't really impress me that much. I don't like their pitching and they have a makeshift batting order. Hardly a team that is head and shoulders above anyone in the Central.
It wouldn't surprise me if they aren't as good as advertised.
Again...this article seemed more appropriate for the Cubs.
Passan is a tool.