Bernie Miklasz looks at the beginning of the St. Louis Cardinal’s season is a piece entitled¬†Cardinals bring back winning formula from 2004 for an encore. ¬†Bernie does a good job of covering what the new season means to this club.

Bernie starts off with a great line:

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa reacted with a small, tight smile Tuesday night when a wise guy congratulated him on breaking a four-game losing streak.

Excellent. This really sets the tone for his article. Bernie usually does a very good job of pulling you into the article and this is another example.

Bernie moves onto a discussion of last year and then busts out the laugh stick. When talking about the statement the team made he says:

The opening night public-service announcement seemed to be along these lines: We are the 2005 Cardinals. We won 105 regular-season games in 2004. And despite what some people may think, the NL Central is still our division, and we plan to dominate it. Thanks for attending tonight’s game at Minute Maid Park. Please drive home safely.”

Classic Bernie. Funny, tight and powerful.

He goes over the top later in the article:

The Cardinals played in fields of gold. This Gold Glove defense never rests or rusts.

Doesn’t that strike you as a little easy? I mean was he listening to Sting while writing this? I don’t equate fields of barley with the Cardinals, but to each his own.

Bernie does a great job at the end, though:

The Cardinals are replacing the departed Kiko Calero and Steve Kline and will have to show long-term stability before we exhale. Keep the antacid bottle handy for a while.

Bernie’s been accused of being wishy washy in the past, but he’s no homer, which makes him an even better columnist.

Score: 8 out of 10.