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High Expectations Lead to Bigger Disappointment for Cards’ Fans

August 24, 2011
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Albert Pujols leads the National League with 31 home runs with a month to go.

Now that the Cardinal’s are out of contention in the National League Central Division (barring a miracle…), St. Louis fans are extremely upset and shocked by what we saw fade away in front of our own eyes. Just five weeks ago, the Cardinals were tied for first place with Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. But ever since then, the Cardinals have free-falled to their current spot 10 games behind the Brewers. I feel your pain. But let’s take a step back and get a better perspective on the situation. The Cardinals current record of 67-63 is by no means a great record. But also in no way is it a bad record. 67-63 is good for the 6th best record in the NL. The Milwaukee Brewers are simply just a better team, which is hard for many diehard STL fans to accept. Milwaukee has won 22 of their last 26 games, definitely the best streak by any team in the majors all year. The Brewers also possess the second most wins in baseball with 78. So while there is plenty of disappointment for us all to share, let’s face it: The Milwaukee Brewers are a better ballclub. Over the years, from Stan, to Gibson, to Brock, to Ozzie, to Albert, St. Louis fans have been gifted by a perennial powerhouse that owns second place all-time in number of World Series championships. The expectations for the Cardinals’ ballclub each year have become atronomically high. Anything short of the playoffs is a disaster, so it seems. Our superstar, Sir Albert, is batting over .290 and leading the league in homeruns. Yet, he is receiving lots of criticism for having a “down year”. We, as STL fans, have come to expect too much every year. Most years will end with us in the playoffs, but some years we will not be able to push through. But let’s take a look at the other top contenders in the Central division. Pittsburgh hasn’t had a winning season in 19 years, and even though they are seven games below .500 this years, Pirates’ fans are calling this season a success. And while STL, Houston, and Chicago have been taking all the division championships for the past decade, Milwaukee has been sitting behind the stage waiting for their turn. Talking to other STL fans over the past few days, I have heard a common theme, something along the lines of “We stink.” Even I have caught myself saying this. But at the end of the day, we still have a winning record and plenty to be proud of. Not every year can be our year, however disappointing that may be.

-KG

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