The Cardinals enter the 2009 season 41.5 games back of the New York Yankees and just three games back of the Boston Red Sox and while it's not likely St. Louis will close out the decade with the best record, it is conceivable that they could finish second to the Yankees.
How do the other teams stack up to the Cardinals?
The Chicago Cubs have a record this decade of 724-733 and find themselves 139.5 games back of the Yankees and rank 16th in the standings.
Next to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Atlanta Braves are the most successful National League franchise this decade, in terms of won-loss record, 806-650, 57 games off the pace and 5th in the decade standings, behind the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals and A's.
Among some of the other teams; Houston Astros 758-699 (10th place, 105.5 GB); and the New York Mets 745-711 (15th place, 118.0 GB).
The Cardinals this decade have the third-best all-time winning percentage for the franchise, trailing only the 1940's (.623) and 1930's (.566) Redbirds.
The 2009 version of the Cardinals won't be able to eclipse the 1940's mark, but a record of 96-66 (.593) will make the '00's the second best decade ever in franchise history.
Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa a major factor in the great success the franchise has experienced during this decade of excellence is entering his 14th season as Cardinals skipper. During his time with the Cardinals, La Russa has guided his teams to a franchise record 1,141 wins and has led the team to seven Division titles, two National League Pennants and a 10th World Championship title in 2006.
La Russa, the future Hall of Famer and consument professional, currently ranks 3rd on Major League Baseball's all-time managerial wins list with 2,461 and 3rd in all-time games managed with 4,610. Last season La Russa surpassed Red Schoendienst for tops on the Cardinals all-time games managed list and now has managed 2,105 games in St. Louis.
As the 2009 season gets underway, the tradition of excellence will continue throughout this season and the organization is poised to continue this proud tradition well into the next decade.
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