With the Milwaukee Brewers in town, the Cardinals will have a chance to check out a division opponent for the first time this season. The NL Central rivals will get acquainted anew during a three-game series at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals played their first 19 games of the season outside the division, so manager Oli Marmol and his players are looking forward to seeing how they measure up to a division rival.

The early-season schedule is weird. The Cardinals won’t play their next NL Central match until a four-game series in Milwaukee that starts May 9. The Cardinals won’t play the Cubs until May 24, go against the Reds until May 27, or clash with the Pirates until June 11.

And this regular-season schedule will turn strange again later in the season. The Cardinals won’t play the Cubs at Busch Stadium after July 14 or face the Cubs at all after Aug. 4. Only four of the Redbirds’ final 16 games will come in the division, a four-game home series against the Pirates from Sept. 16-19.

Did commissioner Rob Manfred and Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. have a falling out or something? This schedule doesn’t exactly promote booming business at Busch Stadium.

As you may have heard, attendance is down early this season, with Cardinals averaging 36,969 tickets sold per home game. That’s fifth highest in the majors.

The way local media and some fans carry on about the Cardinals’ home attendance, you’d think they were babbling about Oakland’s sparse home crowds of 723 per game instead of the well attended gatherings at Busch Stadium.

In a way this is funny. In the previous 28 years since the DeWitt ownership group bought the franchise, the Cardinals have had three losing terrible seasons and one truly terrible season (2023.) The rest of it has been filled with winning. A lot of winning. And a lot of fun.

Since 1996 the Cardinals are fourth in the majors in regular-season wins, have made 17 trips to the playoffs, are third in postseason wins, claimed four NL pennants, and clinched their two World Series titles at home.

We’ve been able to watch players such as Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, Scott Rolen, Chris Carpenter, vintage Nolan Arenado, vintage Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Holliday, Mark McGwire, Carlos Beltran, peak-years Matt Carpenter, Jim Edmonds, Edgar Renteria, Darryl Kile, Matt Morris, Lance Berkman, Larry Walker, Ray Lankford, Jason Isringhausen — plus World Series MVPs David Freese and David Eckstein and so many others.

Stop with that nostalgia, Bernie! 

Yeah, sorry about that.

It’s been a living hell around here for baseball fans, I tell ya. Just the worst experience a true baseball fan could possibly endure.

That 71-91 disgrace to all mankind last year – well, that wiped out everything that came before it. None of the past success counts or matters or should be acknowledged, and turn the Cardinals Hall of Fame into a smoothie store.

We are all victims.

No wonder no one goes to Cardinals games or watches the team on TV.

From what I can tell, here’s what the peoples seem to be most interested in. The baseball team itself did not make the list.

1. Home attendance. When will the franchise declare bankruptcy? Do you think we could get an MLB expansion team?

2. Jordan Montgomery. Also known as “Koufax.” Is there still a chance? I know “Monty”  signed with Arizona and didn’t want to come back here, but couldn’t the Cardinals make a trade for him and put him on the mound in a Cardinals uniform at Busch Stadium and make him pitch against his will?

3. Local TV ratings. Do you know anyone who actually still watches Cardinals games? The audience has gone to the Battlehawks.

4. OK, who’s the next manager? Oli Marmol isn’t going anywhere after signing a two-year contract extension that reaffirmed management’s firm support of his work. But never mind that. NEW MANAGER TIME. This frantic search that does not really exist and is only a figment of a drug-related phantasmagoria … but the “search” is down to Skip Schumaker, Mike Matheny, Daniel Descalso, Mike Shildt, Matt Holliday, Tony La Russa, Xavier Scruggs, Joe Torre, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Stubby Clapp, Yadier Molina, Bengie Molina, Jose Molina, Gary Bennett, Jon Jay, Tommy Herr, Jose Oquendo, Albert Pujols, and any living person who ever wore a Cardinals uniform. I spoke with Jim Riggleman this week and I’m thinking he’s ready to come out of retirement.

5. Former Cardinal players who are all thriving and accomplishing illustrious and remarkable feats for their new employers. The St. Louis front office never should have given up on any of these baseball heroes for any reason: Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader, Randy Arozarena, Michael Wacha, Zac Gallen, Sandy Alcabtara, Jordan Montgomery, Andrew Knizner, Adolis Garcia, Jordan Montgomery, Jack Flaherty, Pauly DeJong, Jordan Montgomery, Juan Yepez, Jordan Hicks, Ramon Urias, Jordan Montgomery, Edmundo Sosa, Dakota Hudson, Luke Voit, Carson Kelly, Richie Palacios and Jordan Montgomery.

6. It is time to sign Trevor Bauer.

7. It is time to bring back Jeff Luhnow.

8. It is time to sell the team, and maybe we can get that dude in Pittsburgh to buy it, because the Pirates are owner is 110 percent fully committed to big spending and winning and he knows how to win World Series. Cardinals fans deserve that type of leadership.

9. It is time for me to ask: where is the whining and the attempted scapegoating of the current hitting coaches? Since pandering media and fans who disliked Albert’s “Black Oak Arkansas” rock-n-roll long hair and sneaky, communist-like use of technology and up and ran him off, the Cardinals are 20th among 30 MLB teams in runs. But wait … and now the batting coaches get a free pass? What’s up with that?

10. It is time for me to stop writing this stupid column..

Before I go, here’s my Stat of the Day: New Cubs slugger Michael Busch has out-homered Nolan Gorman, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Jordan Walker this season. Through Thursday, Busch had six. The four Cardinals, combined, have five. I wish I was joking about that. But I’m not.

Thanks as always for indulging me …



Bernie Miklasz

Bernie Miklasz

For the last 36 years Bernie Miklasz has entertained, enlightened, and connected with generations of St. Louis sports fans.

While best known for his voice as the lead sports columnist at the Post-Dispatch for 26 years, Bernie has also written for The Athletic, Dallas Morning News and Baltimore News American. A 2023 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Bernie has hosted radio shows in St. Louis, Dallas, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

Bernie, his wife Kirsten and their cats reside in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood of St. Louis.