Sunday, January 20, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #30

Welcome to my 30 Teams in 30 Posts Series.  The point of the series?  To countdown my favorite MLB teams (as of this moment) from #30 (the worst) to #1 (the best).  

While you all should know what my #1 team will be, there may be some surprises in terms of the other 29 slots.

We begin with my least favorite team in MLB right now.

Truth be told, I had a difficult time figuring out which team was going to finish as the worst of the worst.  There are old faithful teams that everyone loves to hate (Yankees, Red Sox), there are rivals of the Reds present (Cubs, Pirates) and Reds past (Dodgers, Braves), there are teams with questionable business practices (Marlins, Athletics), and so many other teams to consider for the worst spot on the list.  That said, there is one team that seemed to meet the majority of those qualifications for worst of the worst:

#30:  The St. Louis Cardinals

As a Reds fan, the Cardinals are basically the perfect team to hate.  St. Louis is a fairly small market (much like Cincinnati) but Cardinals fans will forever tout themselves as being "real" baseball fans while Reds fans are depicted as nothing but Kentucky hillbillies*.  There's not a lot that's more annoying than a smug fan base.  What makes St. Louis even worse is that they seem to always be at least a tiny bit better than the Reds (though lately just about every team has been better than Cincinnati).

*Admittedly, as someone who lives in Pennsylvania and mostly only gets to watch the Reds on TV, the Reds do seem to have a bunch of Kentucky hillbillies at their stadium most nights.  The god-forsaken "woo-ing" that some vocal fans do HAS to stop. 

The Cardinals are also a perfect #30 team because they have had a number of players over the years that are so darn hate worthy.  For starters, you've got one of the seemingly cockiest catchers to every play the game in Yadier Molina.

As a Reds fan, I don't know if there was a more fun game involving Yadi than the one where Billy Hamilton stole his first MLB base against Molina.  While Billy may never have really panned out for the Reds, I'll always have that moment in my memory since I happened to watch that game live on TV.

The Cardinals have also had some pitchers worthy of scorn.  Chris Carpenter and his "what will my kid think" come to mind, as does someone like Adam Wainwright.  I don't typically take particular joy when a player is no longer as good as he once was, but I will admit that I like Wainwright being nothing but a very hittable shell of his former self.

For Reds fans, the Cardinals also are annoying because they seem to have a magical touch in terms of taking old Reds rejects and turning them into something good.  Case in point:  Kyle Lohse.

The dude was awful for the Reds in his two years, posting a 4.57 and 4.58 ERA going a combined 9-17.  Then he ends up in St. Louis where he eventually posts a season with an ERA of 2.86 and a 16-3 record.  Even worse for the Reds, it seems that most of their reject Cardinals that they claim end up completely sucking for Cincinnati (Skip Schumaker comes to mind immediately).

My dislike of the Cardinals goes back much further than the 2000s though.  In fact, the Cardinals first earned my ire because of Ozzie Smith.

Or, perhaps more accurately, because Ozzie always seemed to overshadow my favorite player:  Barry Larkin.  I could never understand why people went gaga over a guy who could do a backflip when there was obviously a much better shortstop playing to the north.

Some grudges take a long time to go away, what can I say?

Of course, I can't be totally negative about St. Louis (or any other team, really).  The Cardinals did employ Pujols for the majority of the prime of Albert's career.

While Pujols certainly did damage against the Reds (and virtually every other team), Pujols never seemed to explicitly murder the Reds more than other teams (unlike say guys like Lance Berkman or Thames from Milwaukee).

The Cardinals also, occasionally, sign a guy who I kind of like to see play.  Jim Edmonds is one such person, though I don't think Edmonds ever reached the same level of stardom playing for St. Louis as he did for the Angels.

All in all, the Cardinals top the list as my least favorite team in MLB this year.   Join me as I continue my series ranking the remaining 29 teams!  By the way, the cards featured in this post are all up for grabs in a single PWE.  Just say the word (and maybe send me something I'll like in return)?


P-town Tom said...

You better hope Yadier Molina doesn't see this post and go off on Instagram like he did against Kris Bryant and the Cubs yesterday.
I look forward to seeing where you placed the Cubs. If they somehow make it out of your bottom five, then I'll buy you a beer if you ever come through Peoria! You are taking bribes, right? lol

Nick Vossbrink said...

Yeah I'm a Giants fan but the Cardinals are my #30 spot too.

David said...

It's inconceivable that the Yankees or Red Sox aren't #30 for every fan in baseball. And Adam Wainwright is objectively one of the most likable players in baseball.

Peter K Steinberg said...

The Cardinals are a great selection here for this #30 spot.

Brett Alan said...

I can't imagine trying to do a full ranking like this. I know the Mets are my favorite, with the Royals and Red Sox probably the next two, and the Yankees are last. But trying to figure whether I like the Rays more than the D-Backs or the Mariners more than the Blue Jays...just not happening.

Fuji said...

I've ranked my teams in the past, but it was way too difficult to rank #'s 6 to 26. #1 (A's) and #30 (Yankees) are by far the easiest.

Nachos Grande said...

Ranking all 30 teams was tough! I think there will be some surprises in my list (heck, even I was surprised a bit when I actually tried to decide where to place a bunch of the "middle" teams). I also highly doubt any can correctly guess my Top 5 right now!

madding said...

Just gonna leave this here...

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