March 8, 2021

The Cardinals Are Baseball’s Above-Averagest Team (FanGraphs)


St. Louis continued to set the bar for consistently solid, never-lousy baseball teams. (Photo: Jonathan Cutrer)

“I am, as I’ve said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.” – Billy Joel

The Cardinals are never really thought of as a small-market franchise, but in terms of the size of its media market — which is where the money comes from — St. Louis ranks between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Yet historically, the Cardinals have been able to punch above their weight, and built a fanbase much larger than you would expect from the size of the city.

One of the ways they’ve been able to do this is by building a consistent culture of winning. They don’t always make the playoffs, but the Cardinals are rarely a lousy team. There’s almost certainly no one alive who remembers a 100-loss Cardinals squad, unless I’m drastically underestimating the probability that one of the few remaining 116-year-olds was a Cardinals fan in 1908. The last time the team even lost 90 games was nearly 30 years ago, in 1990. And while I roll my eyes at the Best Fans in Baseball business, during the team’s three-year stretch without a…

Read “The Cardinals Are Baseball’s Above-Averagest Team” at FanGraphs