Enjoying the fruits of acquisition and labor, the Cardinals comfortably lead the National League Central Division by 9.5 games. The Cubs languish in second place and only "make up ground" when the Cardinals drop a few games. "Let them eat funnel cake," the Cards say from their lofty tour of NL Central dominance.
Sure, they just got swept by the Braves, the only team on the remaining schedule that can be called "descent," but trivialities like run support and tight fielding can be overlooked because they're guaranteed a playoff spot, am I right?
It is obviously the time to start preparing for the future. There are a number of eggs to get into the basket and everyone has their role in preparing for the 2009 playoffs. Here's how some of the Cardinals are getting prepared for the intensity of playoff baseball:
- Outfielder Rick Ankiel is getting some last minute bass fishing in before the Fall.
- Second baseman Skip Schumaker is going to the podiatrist to renew his shoe insert prescription.
- Relief pitcher Trever Miller has set his TiVo to record all new episodes of Sons of Anarchy.
- First baseman Albert Pujols is still trying to figure out how to get around this Mayan calendar thing.
- Outfielder Colby Rasmus is going to paint the wall he stares at for eight hours straight (SPOILER: brown).
- Catcher Yadier Molina is going to practice throwing out base stealers by throwing baseballs at rabbits in his backyard.
- Third baseman Mark DeRosa will deep fry all would be base stealers.
- Outfielder Matt Holliday has to clear out all the text messages on his BlackBerry marked "From: $cott."
- Pitchers Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright have to enclose themselves into cryogenic chambers to prevent injuries and/or save their pitching abilities for generations to come.
- Shortstop Brendan Ryan is playing pickup basketball games in Forest Park from dusk til dawn. He only sleeps three hours a day.
- Pitcher Joel Pineiro has to check the fine print on a contract he signed (not with the team).
- Outfielder Ryan Ludwick has to let the Meals on Wheels people he won't be available to drive the truck for a couple months.
- Pitching Coach Dave Duncan is still Googling "Chris Duncan" for slights against his son (Hi, Dave. Use an RSS feed.).
- Manager Tony LaRussa is enjoying a nice sherry and finding new and exciting ways to bat a pitcher in any batting order but ninth.