It’s the Cardinals and Cubs this weekend at Busch Stadium.  The Cardinals are reigning World’s Champions. That’s a title that has eluded the Cubs for over a hundred years.  That’s too many years between titles—and I’m a diehard Cardinals fan.

Baseball needs a strong,  solid team on Chicago’s North Side. Imagine what this part of the world would be like if the Cubs made a habit of joining the Cardinals in the NL Central race. Imagine what Septembers would be like in the Midwest  if there were a few consecutive years where it was the Cards and Cubs on top of the division going into the last days of the schedule.  And what would it be like around here if there ever were a Cards vs. Cubs National League Championship Series? What if that series went to Game 7?

It’s a good bet that the Cards are going to be regular contenders for October baseball for the foreseeable future.

The Cubs have some work to do. We’ll see if Theo Epstein is up to the task.  He has shown the ability to maintain a contender with the Red Sox. The jury is still out on whether he can build a contender from the ground up.  Despite the 1 and 5 start, Epstein and the Cubs might get lucky in the short term as the Cardinals did in 1996 when a thin pitching staff stayed healthy and they got good production out of Gary Gaetti and Ron Gant.  Don’t forget, it took current Cardinal ownership, Walt Jocketty and Tony LaRussa until year #5 to put a perennial contender on the field. That didn’t happen until the 2000 season.