While spring marks are inherently made to be forgotten, the St. Louis Cardinals have been very consistent over the Tony La Russa years. Since the manager’s arrival in 1996, the club has posted just two sub-.500 springs – in 2003 and 1998.
Following Saturday’s bottom-of-the-ninth loss to the Marlins, St. Louis’ 2011 spring record dropped to 13-14, only tenth-best of the 15 Grapefruit League teams. Three Florida games remain, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday – the latter with an asterisk.
By Tuesday, the major leaguers will have headed north for an evening exhibition with their Double-A club in Springfield, MO. The “major league” club also has a Tuesday afternoon game scheduled in Jupiter that seems destined to be staffed by minor leaguers.
Yet, the outcome of that game may be the difference-maker in the 2011 Cardinals having a winning spring record.
The spring and regular season won-loss tallies over the La Russa years follow. Over that time, the Cardinals have played slightly better in Florida than during the regular season, .556 to .543.
St. Louis Cardinals spring and regular season records, 1996 through March 26, 2011
|Year||FL wins||FL losses||Ties||Pct.||FL rank||NLC rank||NLC rank||Pct||Reg wins||Reg losses||PS Result|
* three games remaining
3/29 Update: On Tuesday, St. Louis absorbed their seventh loss to Florida in eight spring tries and concluded spring training with a 14-16-1 record.