The first month of the season is in the books. The month of April provided plenty of highlights for Cardinal fans. The Birds finish the month in 1st place with a 3 game lead over the Reds. They are six games over .500 with a record of 14 and 8 losses. Overall, it is a great start for the defending Champions of the World. They have won every series except for 1 and the Chicago umpires lent a hand in the loss of that series. Bad calls are part of the game and they are going to happen. It just hurts a little worse when they calls go against you instead of in your favor. I still don’t want to see replays make their way into the game. I will take the bad calls and live with it. It is part of the human element of the game.
Another human element that I have showing itself on the Cardinal team is the fun they are having playing this great game. Baseball has turned into such a business and there is no doubt it is a big money churning machine. Sometime many people forget that it is a game. This is probably most widespread among the people that are playing the game. They are living out the childhood dreams of millions of boys across this country and throughout the World. They are playing baseball and being paid a ton of money to do it. Good for them! However, I think sometimes it is easy for them to lose focus of the fact it is a game and it is fun.
I don’t think what the Cards have shown so far this point, having fun is not going to be a problem for this team. The outward appearance they are portraying is one of them having a blast doing what they are doing. While they are doing this, they are winning. The personality of this team has really been shining through since Spring Training. A team that could have hit the field thinking they have the weight of the world on their shoulders, they lost their star, they lost their manager, and they lost a pitching coach guru and on top that they had to defend their title. In contrast they have hit the field and displayed just the opposite demeanor.
They have come out with the enthusiasm of 10 year old boys living the American Dream. I think Lance Berkman started it this spring when he took infield with the fake mustache and then followed it up with the April Fool’s day joke on Adam Wainwright. That happy go lucky mentality has continued into the regular season. There has just been a vibe in the dugout that has not been present for the past few years.
Every time the camera pans into the dugout you see the entire pitching rotation cutting up and laughing with each other. A few nights you have seen some pretty good impressions of the Three Stooges. When someone does something everyone is talking to and congratulating everyone. It is not just a few sitting in one area and others sitting in others. In the past the cliques within the dugout were obvious. I don’t think you see that now.
Don’t get me wrong I am a TLR fan, but I think his managing style kept a lot of people uptight. It most definitely did not give the relaxed look that you see this year. I was also thinking the departure of a very big ego to the West Coast has improved the dugout vibe as well. I like seeing the club with the personality they are showing. I hope it continues as well the winning.