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Journey Never Said it Better, "The Party's Over"

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Journey Never Said it Better,

"Oh, bye-bye, baby
The party's over,
I have gone away.
The party's over,
I have gone away.
The party's over,
I have gone away.
The party's over,
I have gone away.
Oo, the party's over,
I have gone away."

Journey's never said it better when it comes to the St. Louis Cardinals. The fight has been there, but the spark was blown out on Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals were swept by the Houston Astros, thereby ending their unpredicted run to the National League Central Division and Wild Card titles.

The Cardinals tried to keep pace, but July 31 was the turning point. Some might say it was that four-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium.

The Brewers swept that series, pushing the Cardinals from one game up to three games back.

The Cardinals had every opportunity to win this shindig, but parity got the best of them.

It was the weekend of July 4, when the Chicago Cubs rolled into town. The Cardinals were a mere two-and-a-half games back of the Cubs in the Central standings. A Cardinals sweep would put the Cardinals in first place, a half-game up on the Cubs.

It didn't go the way the Cardinals hoped. Thanks to a Rick Ankiel walk-off hit, the Cardinals managed just one win, pushing them to three and a half back.

The ship started sinking.

The Brewers rolled into town, swept a four-game set, and the Cardinals were suddenly in third place, trying to make that uphill climb.

The ship was close to being sunk.

The Non-Waiver Trade Deadline passed, and the Cardinals didn't make a single move to improve the ballclub.

Tony La Russa and company were waiting for a plane to fly overhead, find them in their dinghy, and save them.

The plane flew right overhead and didn't even bother to look down.

That dinghy washed ashore in Houston, and the Cardinals were hoping that they could burn the Astros and use the smoke to signal a plane.

Yeah, that didn't go so well.

Ok, now if you've kept up with me, I applaud you. I kind of lost myself in that, but it was fun to write. Anyway, the Cardinals are looking forward to 2009 now. They are six-and-a-half games back of the Brewers in the wild card (and a full game behind the Philadelphia Phillies), not to mention 11 games behind the Cubs.

With a combined 15 Cardinal losses and Cub wins, the Cardinals will officially be out of the Central chase.

Yikes.

Let's see the real crime.

The Cardinals started the season with a 18-11 record, tying them with the Cubs for first place. Since the end of April, the Cardinals are 56-52. That's right, four games over .500. That's mediocre, and that's the problem.

As Bernie Miklasz pointed out in his recent article, the Cardinals are 52-51 since May 6, and, brace yourselves, 34-36 since June 12.

Yikes.

Maybe 2009 will be better? The Cardinals will be shedding $26 million after the season is over, so they'll have the money to go out and make a move. Excuses will be washed away. Let's see how the Cardinals handle this postseason.

Here's a news alert. I haven't seen this article that was pointed out yet, but according to "kyace" on the STLtoday Cards Talk (fan forums), the Yankees are wanting a left-handed hitting outfielder and are willing to trade Robinson Cano and/or Phil Hughes to land the outfielder. The Cardinals could be dealing Rick Ankiel. Source

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