It’s been said that misery loves company.
The 2010 St. Louis Cardinals can certainly appreciate that expression. The season has been a disaster for the last two months.
The Cardinals are the worst team in baseball since August 14. That’s quite an accomplishment. It means their I-70 rivals from Kansas City have scratched out more wins. So have the not so lovable losers from Chi-town who have been done since May. The Diamondbacks, Pirates, and Mariners have all lost fewer games than St. Louis. And the list goes on but you get the point.
It’s been brutal for the Redbirds. Injuries only provide swift, hard kicks to the club while they’re down.
Jaime Garcia, baseball’s top rookie hurler, had a scare earlier this month and was nearly shut down for the remainder of the season. For a young pitcher who has already had Tommy John surgery, the first whispers of arm trouble were certainly ominous and all the more troubling considering his brilliance this season. The last thing the Cards need is to lose a major piece of their future. But that seems to be life for young pitchers these days.
Jason LaRue announced his retirement Sunday. While not a big blow to the future, it doesn’t help the plummeting morale in a losing clubhouse. LaRue’s retirement came as a result of a severe concussion caused by Johnny Cueto during the August 10 scrum. LaRue was kicked in the head by Cueto in the chaotic mess and now, he’s done with baseball — it’s too dangerous. He may have only had one or two years left, but it’s still a sad story. The Cardinals could have used the veteran presence to calm the ship as it was sinking.
The Cardinals could have used him to finish the season with their pride intact because Yadier Molina will join him on the sidelines until spring training. Molina is likely done for the year with inflammation in his right knee. He has been fighting the pain since August. He saw doctors Thursday and will likely not need surgery.
"Mozeliak said there is no reason to think that Molina will require surgery to correct the problem."
"“Another way to think about it is, if we were playing two weeks from now, he could be ready,” he said."
Well, that’s encouraging? Or maybe it’s upsetting. The Cards general manager has been using the playoff card to frame problems this month. He used it in explaining the team’s plans for Garcia’s arm fatigue. Now, he’s using it to put Molina’s injury into perspective.
Except it makes no sense. The Cardinals (barring a miracle) will not be playing two weeks from now. Mozeliak is in denial and it only adds to the bewilderment of this season. Not much has worked out since the start of the year.
The frustration has given way to misery.
Like a bad dream, Mozeliak and the Cards just want it to be over. In about six months, they will have new life and a chance to redeem the mystifying failure of 2010.
Matt Pagnozzi and Bryan Anderson will split time behind the plate to get the Cardinals through the remainder of the season.