10 Games that dropped the STL into the land of the suckatatious.
The Cards had three key problems: 3rd base, shortstop, and bullpen. Bullpen takes a little bit of luck, I admit, but the other two problems?
Let's examine the years had by some Cards "alumni":
Scott Rolen (3b): All star, anchored hot corner for division winner Cincinnati, ave .290, ops .870
David Eckstein (SS): Switched to 2nd base, but batted .270 and plays for division winner San Diego Padres.
Cards got rid of these guys....why? Rolen they traded for Troy Glaus, and Eckstein was not signed as a free agent. Now, Glaus was , and played in MLB since 1998. His lifetime is .255. Rolen's lifetime is .285.
Glaus was 32 at the time of the trade, and not surprisingly he came up lame. Sure, Rolen was 33 at the time of the trade, but Glaus was not much younger. And .030 on a lifetime average is a lot of hits over the course of a season. And Rolen is a much better defender than Glaus.
Rolen was traded because Tony decided he didn't like him. And Eck was let go because of money.
And now the Cards suck. Can you even name the current third baseman? I can name a parade of five clowns, but their aggregate batting average is (seriously) .224. And that's actually better than shortstop Brendan Ryan's truly remarkable .221. These schmoes are automatic outs.
It's not that hard. The Cards suck because their 3b and SS players suck.