Really, St. Louis? Really?
So, the Cardinals are back in the World Series. Again.
By my count, that makes four World Series appearances in the past 10 seasons. The Cardinals were swept by the Red Sox in 2004, and then beat Detroit in 2006. This was after winning the N.L. Central with a record of 83-78. Really? In 2011, St. Louis took down the Rangers in seven games, and now, two years later, they are back again.
Since the 2000 season, the Cardinals have made 10 playoff appearances. Yes, that is correct. St. Louis has only stayed home for the playoffs four times in the past 14 seasons.
I cannot begin to describe the level of frustration conjured up by this continued excellence. I do not enjoy being envious of anyone or anything, but as a Chicago Cubs loyalist, these emotions are impossible to ignore.
The Cardinals appear to be impervious to change. Tony LaRussa retires after winning the World Series in 2011. Not a problem. They just bring in Mike Matheny, a former Cardinal catcher with no previous managerial experience, and the beat goes on.
The Cardinals let franchise player Albert Pujols walk via free agency after the 2011 season.
Pujols signs a monster deal with the Angels and immediately begins to decline. Meanwhile, St. Louis saves an obscene amount of money, both now and in the future, as well as securing the Angels first round draft pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. The Cardinals then select pitcher Michael Wacha with the 19th overall section.
So, how is Wacha faring thus far? Well, lets see. Oh, that’s right. He was just named NLCS MVP after winning Game 2 and then the decisive Game 6, outdueling Clayton Kershaw in the process.
It really should not be this simple.
Clearly, this continued run of success is by design, rather than some sort of cosmic accident. This organization knows what it is doing. They are able to sustain a quality farm system, producing homegrown talent consistently, while competing at a high level year after year. They spend money efficiently, and their team payroll is always under control. Honestly, this general competence is particularly annoying for a Cubs fan such as myself.
But it is more than that. There is something about this franchise that is just unnerving, even beyond the perpetual winning. There is a vague sense of arrogance and entitlement, as well as possession of some kind of abstract moral high ground, that seems to permeate the entire organization and fan base. Perhaps this is just my imagination, or perhaps not.
Speaking of the fan base, I have heard many accounts of Cardinal fans being completely boorish and overbearing. Personally, I have not witnessed such behavior. Of course, you will find examples of buffoonery in every fan base across MLB.
I am a Cubs fan living in Milwaukee. While I have not attended a Cubs/Cardinals game, I have been to several Brewers/Cardinals affairs at Miller Park. There were no incidents of note at these games, but I will say this. There is probably one thing that Cubs and Brewers fans have in common, and that would be a shared hatred of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Anyway, I realize this little rant is quite unproductive, and does not accomplish anything. However, I felt compelled to be spiteful after the Cardinals wrapped up Game 6 of the NLCS against the Dodgers and reached yet another World Series.
Posted on October 21, 2013, in 2017, Cardinals and tagged Albert Pujols, Angels, boston red sox, Chicago Cubs, Clayton Kershaw, Detroit Tigers, dodgers, Michael Wacha, Mike Matheny, Miller Park, milwaukee brewers, MLB Draft, N.L. Central, NLCS, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, Tony LaRussa, World Series. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.