I know the NBA was complete madness today. I cannot remember a trade deadline as action packed as this one was. But there has been one story that has been bothering me all day. And it has to do with Major League Baseball. Today’s hot topic in the MLB pertains to a monumental loss suffered by the St. Louis Cardinals. Their ace, and arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Adam Wainwright, will miss the entire upcoming season and undergo Tommy John surgery. All I have heard all day from people is the following. “The NL Central is now a 2 team race (Cincinnati and Milwaukee).”
So due to the loss of one player the Cardinals are toast? They mine as well start worrying about the 2012 season. Why even bother going to Spring Training? Baseball doesn’t work that way people.
Sure Wainwright is arguably the best pitcher in the game. Sure the guy has finished in the top 3 in the NL Cy Young voting the past two years. I realize the guy has pitched over 230 innings in each of the past 2 seasons. I am well aware the guy has a combined 39 wins over the course of the past two years. The guy’s combined ERA over the past 2 seasons is under 2.5. I will be the first to admit it. The loss of this ace will hurt. But baseball is a team game. And it is a long, long, season. It is a 6 month grind. There are 162 games to be exact. Want to know how many games Wainwright played in last year? Try 33. That is about 20% of the games. It is a decent chunk. But it is not an astounding number.
People are acting like the rest of the St. Louis staff is a bunch of no names. Guys that they just plucked off the street. I mean they have Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, and Kyle Lohse. They still have a solid staff. Compare this to the defending NL Central Champion Red’s pitching rotation. Cincinnati has a bunch of young arms both on the staff and in the bullpen. But who do they have that even compares to Adam Wainwright? Who do they have that is even as good as Chris Carpenter?
Also I think people are forgetting that St. Louis still has the greatest weapon of any team in the League. They have the best player in the game hands down. Plus they have Matt Holliday, who can really protect Mr. Albert “Call me better than Babe” Pujols in the order. As much as I would love to see the Reds take home another NL Central title, do not sleep on St. Louis. Just because one guy went down does not mean they are dead yet.
Injuries happen. Trades happen. It is a long season. I love the excitement in February. But expect a 3 team race in the Central.
Unless Albert Pujols is lost for the season. That loss would be insurmountable.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.