Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cardinals Front Office Continues to Prove why they are the Best

What comes to mind when you think of the Saint Louis Cardinals and Major League Baseball? For a while -- or at least for over the last decade before last season, most would have said Albert Pujols. Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Stan 'The Man' Musial, Whitey Herzog, or maybe even Tony LaRussa or even Mark McGwice? Any of them names could be a certain persons' rational thinking when it comes to this team, franchise, and organization -- and all of them would be fairly good answers.

Well, with all of the greats that have ever suited up and stepped a foot onto the field for the Birds-on-the-Bat, or that have gotten just one curtain-call from the greatest fans in the world inside Busch Stadium, also known as 'Baseball Heaven', will all tell you personally, that their isn't much better when it comes to pro sports and this organization that is one of the best in the entire world.

One thing that this franchise and overall organization does resemble though, is that they are almost always in contention to win a World Series title -- year in and year out. No matter the adversity that the team is up against to the fans, the critics, and the entire sports' and baseball world, they always show heart and that 'never give up' mentality -- even when the team on paper isn't very good. Never giving up is something that this organization has taken pride in, and is one of the largest reasons that 'Cardinal Nation' has one of the biggest families and most diverse fan bases in not only Major League Baseball, but any spots in the world.

Despite the team losing a lot of personnel in the front office -- as well as big players from their recent championship season in 2011, nothing has phased this team or have gotten them to play any different than they did with them. In fact, the second that LaRussa announced his retirement from baseball, Mark McGwire left as the hitting coach to go to the Dodgers, and when Albert Pujols left to join the Angels of Los Angeles of Anaheim -- not many people involved in baseball gave them much of a chance to do anything.

Well, we all know what happened then. Just a year after hometown hero David Freese became an October Legend thanks to his Game 6 heroics in the World Series against the Texas Rangers in 2011, first-year manager Mike Matheny not only managed another unbelievable come-from-behind playoff series win in Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals, but he also managed the team to a 3-1 series lead against the eventual MLB World Champion Giants before the team lost the final three games with a chance to go for back-to-back titles themselves.

This season the team has already gotten off to a remarkable start -- and it is once again turning heads all over the baseball world. The team is entering tonight's contest at Kansas City with a 33-17 overall record which is tops in not only the National League and the Central division, but also for the best record in all of the major leagues.

What makes this even more impressive though, is the fact that the team has already hit the injury bug with David Freese missing a little less than a month to start the season, no Chris Carpenter yet and Jason Motte being out for the season -- but also a season-ending injury to Jaime Garcia and an injury to Jake Westbrook in which could keep him out for quite a while.

With the young guns such as Carlos Martinez, Seth Maness, Travor Rosenthal, John Gast all performing excellent and way beyond expectations -- and the waiting arrival of AAA Memphis Red Bird' Michael Wacha still waiting to have his moment, this Cardinals team that General Manager John Mozeliak has put together for Matheny to run -- especially after the start that the team is off too -- has the ability and potential to continue to get better and better, as well as have a possible shot to win the franchises 12th World Championship.

With all of this being said though, the season is still early. Even with the fast start, afterall, this is most certainly a marathon and not a sprint to the finish line. As I will say though, this team has a lot of great young talent with a lot of depth and only time will tell what magical ending that this team has in store for us with some of the smartest baseball personnel around running this team.

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