The Nail in the Coffin: Your 2008 St. Louis Cardinals

'Duk

As teams fall by the wayside and can no longer bank on the longest of mathematical odds to win their division, the Stew will be there to document their expiration with The Nail in the Coffin. Twelfth in the ground are the St. Louis Cardinals, who couldn't overcome the InBev takeover to endure the Old Style attack of the Cubs and the Miller Time moments of the Brewers.

So it is with deep sorrow that we note the passing of the St. Louis Cardinals, who leave their survivors in the very painful situation of having to rely on the St. Louis Rams for entertainment and company. In lieu of flowers, please send all donations to the Fund to Help Those Affected by The Sudden Death of the Ryan Ludwick-for-MVP talk. As always, luncheon at Steve's Lounge follows the service.

The 2008 St. Louis Cardinals

Time of death: Sept. 16 after 7-2 loss to Reds

Causes: Going 1-7 over two key four-game series with Milwaukee; Talking selves into believing that Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright were trade deadline "acquisitions"; Death of Jason Isringhausen's closing career; Scientists not able to clone Albert Pujols quick enough

PECOTA projection: 72 Current pace: 84

Moments in the Sun: Cardinals bullpen acquires handy cruising cooler, Rick Ankiel unleashes cannon twice in one game, Team proves Jeff Passan's first-week death notice wrong with 53-43 first half start

Moments of Despair: Albert Pujols' strength finally hurts someone else, Yadier Molina steamrolled by opposing pitcher; Team shuffles around to 27-31 second half (as of today)

Others remember: "Dear Cardinals ... Enclosed please find an invoice for my summer. Your recent six game losing streak (seven as I type this) that rather adeptly summarizes the later half of a once promising season has disenfranchised even the most loyal of us, the very fans corrupted in their most vulnerable years by exposure to your organization in the late 80s and early 90s. You have ruined my last summer (for awhile) and I demand some sort of remedy for that. High priced, lousy veteran free agents valued for their 'experience and leadership' will not suffice. The hours lost. The long evenings ended in despair by blown saves, the bottom of that lineup in bottom of the ninth. Platitudes and power struggles. No amount of sangria could repair the season.

"The whole thing sucks. Greedy owners. Fascist manager. Bureaucrat general manager. Lazy players. May your portfolios be filled with risky mortgages and banking stocks.

"Your indecency has even made children cry." — RVB, Cardinals Diaspora, 09.17.08

Death watch (w/division elimination #s): Houston (E), Colorado (E), San Francisco (E), Toronto (E), New York (E), Cleveland (1)