(KMOV) -- I don't know about you, but I had the Cardinals penciled in as NL Central Division Champions before spring training. I didn't see any other team in that division coming close to competing with St. Louis. The only question I had was how far the Cards could go in the playoffs.
Entering Wednesday seven games behind the Cincinnati Reds, the division title is almost a lost cause. They're four games out of the Wild Card spot and have to jump a couple of good teams. Certainly with the Cards' talent it can still be done, but I asked some business owners today if they're concerned about what will happen if the Cards don't make the playoffs. They are.
A guy who owns a sports bar in Creve Coeur told me if the Cardinals make it to the World Series he can count on an extra $10,000 in sales. If they miss out on the playoffs, he'll miss out big time.
And it's not just businesses in St. Louis. Hotels in the Metro East and in St. Charles and all over the area fill up with Cardinals fans who live in other cities and fans from whatever team is playing here. Combined there are likely millions of dollars at stake for businesses in the region. Wow.
Clearly there are plenty of people, many who may not even care about baseball, who have a significant stake in whatever happens with the Cardinals.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.