The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Fans React to St. Louis Cardinals’ Woes

AP Newsroom
Wilson Contreras sits in the dugout after an 11-3 loss on June 13, 2023.

The St. Louis Cardinals are in the midst of their worst season since 1995.

As of Aug. 24, they have a .438 winning percentage, are last in the National League Central and have the fifth-worst record in Major League Baseball. This is a rare situation for the Cardinals, as they have not finished a season below .500 since 2007.

Junior Ethan Stewart, who rated himself an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10 of fan dedication, is frustrated with the team’s performance.

“It’s just embarrassing,” Stewart said. “Everybody thinks it’s embarrassing. [Fans] came in with high expectations and now we’re 20-something games under .500.”

These preseason expectations were not just hometown bias. Before the season began, the Cardinals were given a 67.4% chance of making the postseason and were projected to win the division, according to FanGraphs, a website specialized in baseball analytics and projections. 

Since April 21, the Cardinals have been unlikely to see playoff baseball. Now, the team sits with a 0% chance of playing in the postseason.

A primary factor for the team’s underperformance is the pitching staff. The team allows 5.02 runs per game, which ranks 24 out of 30 teams, and has given up the second-most hits in MLB. 

Adam Wainwright, a pitcher who has played for the organization since 2003 and has the third-most wins in the organization’s history, is the chief culprit. He has given up the second-most hits on the staff while throwing only half the innings of the pitcher with the most allowed on the team, Miles Mikolas.

Math teacher Libby Koonce, a lifelong Cardinal fan, has noticed the issue.

“From the few games that I saw, there were a lot of opportunities,” Mrs. Koonce said. “We were getting the hits; we were getting the runs. We just weren’t able to stop the other team from getting more runs than us … I think [Wainwright] needs to retire.”

The student body agrees with Mrs. Koonce. In a poll regarding fan reaction to the Cardinals’ season, a question was asked about the most disappointing part of the season. Of the 33 responses, 18 mentioned pitching. 

Sophomore Levi Wedel, a dedicated Cardinal fan, thinks that blame can be assigned to general manager John Mozeliak. “… he had the money to go get pitching and a catcher and he only got a catcher,” Wedel said. “Pitching has been the team’s weakness since 2020.”

Mozeliak has been the team’s general manager since 2007 and in that time no Cardinal pitcher has won the Cy Young award or led the National League in saves.

As a result of this disappointing season, ticket prices have plummeted. On Aug. 28, 2022, when the Cardinals were in the middle of a division-winning season, seats in the left field landing were being sold for $105.90. 

Tickets for the same seats are being sold for a game on Aug. 28, 2023, for $55.90. However, even the 47% decrease in price may not be enough to entice fans to go to games.

“I’m not spending my money [on tickets] if they’re going to play badly,” Stewart said. Stewart has attended eight games this season compared to the 15 he went to in 2022 and said that this decrease is due to the poor team performance.

Despite the team’s down year, some fans remain dedicated.

“I am still a fan,” Mrs. Koonce said. “I’ve been a fan my entire life, and a couple of bad seasons aren’t going to change my mind about my favorite team.”

About the Contributor
Zach Kennett
Zach Kennett, Sports Editor
Zach Kennett is a first-time journalism student and first-time member of the Claw. He currently serves as the co-editor-in-chief of The Tiger, which is the school’s yearbook. He formerly served as the managing editor. He has also won two sectional titles in scholastic journalism, with one being in news writing and the other being in sports writing. Zach enjoys spending his (dwindling) free time with his dogs, playing video games, cooking or driving his truck, Hank. Being a member of the Claw is important to him in that he was previously mentored by former Claw members and looks forward to leaving his mark on the publication.