The St. Louis Cardinals should not view the Cubs as their benchmark in 2018.
Of course the St. Louis Cardinals want to surpass and displace the Chicago Cubs in 2018. But that shouldn’t be their main focus.
During the offseason, management needs to focus on building the best team possible and correct the errors of previous seasons. If the Cardinals occupy themselves with comparing their roster side by side to the Cubs, they’ll likely fall short.
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Instead, they should be aiming far above and beyond. Compile a lineup that’s the best St. Louis has seen in this decade. Build a bullpen that can hold any lead, large or small. Be the next best young rotation in baseball.
The St. Louis Cardinals need to aim for another World Series championship. Passing the Cubs is part of that, but St. Louis has the capability to return to excellence this season. They aren’t in a rebuilding phase.
The Cardinals can turn around the current downward trend. They’re already a better team today than they were when the final out of the 2017 season was recorded. They have time this offseason to make the roster even better.
St. Louis shouldn’t humbly accept the role as underdogs in the division. They have the pedigree as an organization and their players have the experience as favorites to play with confidence and the good sort of arrogance that can turn into plenty of wins once the season begins.
Internal expectations should far exceed expectations of a certain place in the division or a certain number of wins. Forget the Chicago Cubs. They’ll be the favorites again this year, sure. But the Cardinals need not pay any attention to that.
It’s the new year. The Cardinals can put the seasons past behind them and look forward to a fresh start in 2018. There’s three months to go until the next new year: Opening Day. But for now, happy New Year, Cardinal Nation. Here’s to a great 2018.