The St. Louis Cardinals have started in a funk. They were pasted by the Phillies losing two games 23-8. The pitching has been an issue, but so has the ugly specter of last year: timely hitting. Bernie looks into what might be causing this issue. It appears several St. Louis Cardinal players were bitching about their pre-season plans.

One thing you can say about Bernie Miklasz: He lets teams have it when deserved.

While this article isn’t scorched earth, it does rip into them fairly early into the season.

Bernie starts off by summing up an article from the St. Louis Cardinals beat writer, Joe Strauss:

In Sunday’s Post-Dispatch, baseball writer Joe Strauss quoted four Cardinals who criticized or questioned the team’s barnstorming itinerary after leaving spring training. The Cardinals traveled from Florida to Oklahoma City for two exhibitions, flew to Springfield, Mo., for two more goodwill games, then jetted off to Houston to open the regular season.

That sets the table. The next part pulls the tablecloth off:

What we have here is your basic 21st century baseball class struggle between the wealthy and the wealthier, the privileged and the powerful, the haves and the have-mores.

Fantastic. Excellent observation phrased well.

Bernie doesn’t stop there. He goes after the owners for being tight during the last season in Busch Stadium:

It’s obvious that the organization is squeezing pennies and nickels until moving into the new Busch Stadium. The Cardinals didn’t even bother to paint logos on the field to commemorate the 2005 season and the final season of Busch. But just wait until it’s time to start selling off the old Busch, piece by piece, to sentimental fans. There will be no financial shortcuts in the marketing campaign.

Bernie finishes the article with some good statistics and his psychic outlook:

Slow starts are nothing unusual for the Cardinals. They were 4-6 after 10 games last season and ended up with 105 wins. The 2003 and 2002 teams each started 10-12. The 2001 Cardinals were 8-10. A team can overcome bad baseball. But I don’t like the bad vibe this team is emitting in the early days of 2005.

Good points, but there should have been a little more on the bad vibe.

Score: 9 out of 10.