Let’s just get this out here right now: I’m a huge Cardinals fan.  I’m eternally optimistic about the Cardinals.  However, it’s not like I think they’re going to win 110 games this year.  So, what do I think?  Well, I guess you’re about to find out!

Biggest Additions: Lance Berkman, Ryan Theriot, Gerald Laird, Nick Punto, Jim Edmonds, Brian Tallet, Miguel Batista

Biggest Subtractions: Brad Penny, Brendan Ryan, Blake Hawksworth, Jason LaRue, Aaron Miles, Randy Winn, Jeff Suppan

Offseason Review: Perhaps the biggest thing the Cardinals had to do this offseason was sign Albert Pujols to an extension.  They didn’t, and now the slugger is poised to test the open market.  It’s the biggest story of the season so far.  Jim Edmonds re-signed with the team… and then retired.  Adam Wainwright was lost before games even started this Spring.  Of the losses the Cardinals endured this offseason, only Hawksworth provided some hope for Cardinal fans.  Brendan Ryan was always fun to watch in the field, but his inconsistency was enough to drive people crazy.  Penny pitched great while he was there, but missed a majority of the season with an injury, so he won’t be missed.  Miles, Winn & Suppan were mid-season acquisitions that probably shouldn’t have been made in the first place.

Season Preview: Despite losing Wainwright for the season, things still look pretty good for the Redbirds.  The rotation is solid (though, I’ll admit I would feel better with Wainwright pitching, not rehabbing all season).  The lineup should also be pretty solid.  Berkman is healthy, which couldn’t be said last year, and is a potential threat in the middle of a lineup that features one of the best players in the history of the game in Pujols, Matt Holiday and the young Colby Rasmus.  All in all, I think Cardinals fans have reason to be optimistic.  Never look past a LaRussa-led team.

Final Record: 92-70, 1st in NL Central