The city of St. Louis is in shambles.

The St. Louis Blues are wrapping up a blunder of a season, the Rams were 60 minutes away from a Wild Card berth but couldn’t seem to top a backup quarterback at best, and general manager John Mozeliak and the rest of the Cardinals front office accomplished virtually nothing during the offseason when dealing with the best player Major League Baseball has seen in decades…maybe ever.

And to add insult to injury, the city has watched the Cy Young runner-up of the past two seasons fall victim to Tommy John surgery. The city needs a pick-me-up, and as faithful fans always do, St. Louis will look to the diamond.

So much rides on the shoulders of the 2011 Redbird season. Success is a must. The Cardinals haven’t been in the playoffs since they were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2009 NLDS, and haven’t won a playoff game since taking home the 2006 Series. It’s time to stop messing around.

With competition returning to the National League Central, the Cardinals find themselves finishing third in most predictions. But by no means should this team be counted out. A rough 2-3 record, and the loss of their clean-up hitter to an appendectomy for a few weeks highlights the 2011 season early on, but Mozeliak still stands firm saying, “There’s a high level of optimism with the team.” And there should be. 

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