St. Louis Cardinals: Three is always a crowd

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ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 28: Manager Mike Shildt #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals acknowledges the fans after being introduced as the new full-time manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in-between innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium on August 28, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 28: Manager Mike Shildt #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals acknowledges the fans after being introduced as the new full-time manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in-between innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium on August 28, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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For the third straight year the St. Louis Cardinals are on the outside looking in at the end of regular season play.

After holding a wild card spot a large part of the seasons final month, the St. Louis Cardinals could not play up to the level of the playoff bound Dodgers, Brewers, and Cubs.

I wrote an article at the beginning of last week saying that no matter which team clinched the second wild card spot, they really deserve it; and by contrast which ever team did not was simply not good enough.

Unfortunately, The Redbirds, for the third straight season are not good enough.

I’m sure most of Cardinals Nation is angry. We are not used to seeing the Cards not play in October; let alone three of them in a row. You have very right to be upset. The St. Louis Cardinals have competitive fans that come out to every single game for six months. I get it.

All things considered, the 2018 season leaves me unable to do anything but scratch my head. Was this season a failure? Was this season somewhat successful?

I have mixed feelings.

The best thing this season allowed was giving the St. Louis Cardinals a chance to let go of an ineffective manager. Not only that, but the Cardinals also got good looks at a lot of young players that will positively impact this team in the immediate future.

Furthermore, I think coming close but missing the playoffs again, will force the front office’s hand at looking at signing a player at the level of Manny Machado.

The Cardinals are close. However, when you market yourself as one of the best organizations in baseball, close is not good enough. We are not the Kansas City Royals. It is not acceptable to win once and say “okay we did it.”

St. Louis is building itself around this team. Downtown is revitalizing itself because of this team. Millions of dollars are going into Ballpark Village Phase 2. This is not the time to continue to throw out a cheap baseball team.

I understand the “Cardinal Way.” That worked when the Cardinals had Albert Pujols to build around. But there’s no Pujols to build around. So go get one. Go get a star player that costs some money – show the fans that you care about winning at all *costs*.

I expect big things from John Mozeliak this winter. I’m almost certain his job depends on it. I look forward to a full season with Mike Shildt as the manager, and I look forward to the many talented young players this team can utilize. On top of that, I look forward to a better bullpen and better fielding.

Next. An open letter to Adolis Garcia. dark

Most of all, I look forward to 2019. Chicago and Milwaukee – enjoy this; it won’t last long. They’re close Cardinals fans, hang in there.

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