In December of 2005, the Cardinals were coming off of back to back National League Central Championships and trips to the NLCS. They had the heart of the rotation in Chris Carpenter, Mark Mulder, Jeff Suppan, and Jason Marquis returning, as well as the MV3 of Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, and Scott Rolen, and other cromulent starters such as David Eckstein and Yadier Molina. The only real loss from the 2005 club was sometimes right fielder and all around awesome guy Larry Walker.
The Cardinals were well positioned to win a third consecutive division crown, all it would take was a few tweaks by their General Manager Walt Jocketty. Jocketty went on a player acquisition frenzy during the Holidays of 2005 in order to finally win an elusive tenth World Championship.
His first move came on the dawn of the Thanksgiving, when Scott Spiezio signed as a free agent. Spiezio would go on to play two seasons for the Cardinals, quickly becoming a fan favorite with his red soul patch, timely pinch hits, and frequent leaves of absence to deal with substance abuse issues. The super sub would be released in Febuary of 2008 as his life (and car) quickly spun out of control.
On December 8th, Jocketty traded away Ray King for Larry Bigbie and Aaron Miles. Ray King was an overweight black man, presumed to be jolly, who (after pitching 1/3 of an inning) enjoyed chasing tail into the wee hours of the morning with his pal J-Rod. He was basically a Tyler Perry character if Tyler Perry ever did a TV show featuring a baseball player. (Which he probably has. That guy has a lot of TV shows.)
Larry Bigbie batted .240 in 28 plate appearances for the Cardinals before his intestines fell out of his belly button. It was later learned that Bigbie was a steroid user, making him the second worst Cardinals steroid user of all time, behind Cody McKay.
Aaron Miles started 71 games at second base and 33 (!!!) at short stop for the 2006 Cardinals. He hit .263/.324/.347 for an OPS+ of 74. He frustratingly played three years for the Cardinals, all of them terrible, before signing with the Cubs, being even more awful for them, being traded to the A's, and then the Reds, before finally being cut because of his incompetence as a baseball player. He then signed again with the Cardinals and I contemplated suicide. Last year he played for the Dodgers. He was horrendous.
Next, Jocketty signed starting pitcher Sidney Ponson. Nicknamed "The Fat, Sweaty Whale", Ponson surprisingly had endurance issues, often somehow pitching negative innings in a game. After eating the entire buffet in the Champions Club during a game he was pitching, the Cardinals released him on July 7th.
On December 23rd, Juan Encarnacion was signed to a three year contract. Although he had been an average player in the past, Jocketty trumpeted him as a cornerstone player for the franchise. When Encarnacion went on to put up numbers totally in line with his previous seasons, the fans turned on him. Also, he looked lazy, like a Dominican Colby Rasmus. That didn't help either. Though he was prone to time travel, which endeared him to at least one man.
On August 31st, 2007, Encarnacion's career ended in a most horrific manner. While standing in the on deck circle, he was hit directly in the eye by a foul ball. The foul ball was hit, of course, by that son of a bitch Aaron Miles.
With these incredibly awful roster moves Christmas of 2005, the Cardinals somehow went on to win the World Series in 2006.