St. Louis Cardinals: Definition of a Franchise in Reverse

Brett RamseyContributor IDecember 24, 2008

First it was low-hanging fruit. 

Now it's dry powder. 

What's next? 

The economy is down, I know.  But when you look at the St. Louis Cardinals, you see a team in dire straits.  This is a club that finished fourth in the division and has obvious holes that still need to be addressed. 

A shortstop and a lefty reliever were the primary needs coming into this "aggresive" and "creative" offseason. 

Both have been addressed: Khalil Greene and Trever Miller. 

But what about the rotation?  A closer?  A big bat or a second baseman?  General Manager John Mozeliak must be aware of these matters. 

But I say the blame has to go to the top.  Owner Bill DeWitt is a scrooge dedicated to pocketing his money, hence the nickname 'DeWallet'.  DeWitt has the 11th highest payroll in baseball at just over $100 million. 

The Cards seem to be a big market team, but how seriously can they be taken compared to the Chicago Cubs and their $120 million dollar payroll and deep pockets? 

The Cubs are in play for starting pitcher Jake Peavy.  The Cards deemed such a pursuit not in the best interest of the franchise.  They already have three key starters locked in long term: Chris Carpenter, Kyle Lohse, and Adam Wainwright.  The club would like to add a lefty to this mix, someone like Oliver Perez or Randy Wolf. 

The Cardinals are aware of the effect a quiet offseason will have on the attendance next season. 

I beg Cards fans, please don't go! 

A competitive team is what we deserve.  Plus, DeWitt will earn his share of income due to the All-Star Game.  I am as avid a fan as any, but we have to draw the line. 

2006 was the beginning of this downfall.  2007 proved that we needed to get younger, a job Mo embraced by trading Scott Rolen and centerfielder Jim Edmonds away. 

The Cards have a core of young talent coming up: Colby Rasmus, Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen, and Daryl Jones.  The list goes on. 

The team has an abundance of minor league righties, third basemen, and outfielders.  Mozeliak should balance out the roster by making a few key moves.  Do I want the birds to be like the Yankees?  No way!  But at least some commitment to winning would do.  Keeping Adam Kennedy at second base shows they couldn't care less.

My ranting is over.  Do the right thing: demand a competetive and talented team, or don't show up until it happens. 

I won't. 

Remember the days of 2004 and 2005, with the likes of Rolen, Edmonds, Larry Walker, Reggie Sanders, and Tony Womack dotting the lineup card?  Now it is Kennedy, Greene, Skip Shumaker, and Ryan Ludwick. 

We are a franchise in reverse.  With some boycotting—and maybe some pillaging—we can turn this thing around.