This is probably not the best idea, on a night when sleep is elusive, writing a blog post about the Cardinals at 1:30 a.m after a heartbreaking loss to the Dodgers. I’ve had a lot of not the best ideas in a 53 year old life that has been pretty hard for the last 4 of those years. But here I am, typing away anyway. It’s not like I have something earth shattering to say that I must put in writing before I die, or that I’m afraid I will forget by morning. My mind is a jumble of thoughts, not all of them Cardinal baseball related, but the baseball ones are the only ones relevant in this instance.
I really wanted to win this game. It was a night when a confluence of things came together. My favorite Cardinal player was pitching; it was the Dodgers, the hottest team in baseball and the team that everyone was watching and praising to the nth degree. The national media can’t get enough of them or of their young phenom, Yasiel Puig. I have had Puig shoved down my throat by the media for the last month and a half. It is not precisely his fault that he has been hyped to the point of making most non Dodger’s fans sick. But I have been repeatedly told that it is somehow my solemn baseball duty to embrace and love this kid because, well, he’s exciting to watch and that’s good for baseball. And I have been made to feel that I am deficient as a human being for not just loving him and all he stands for. Well, he doesn’t play for my team, he plays for a team that for right now is my enemy, and so no, I don’t love him, you can’t make me. I want him to fail. I want the entire Dodger team to fail. And if that makes me a bad baseball fan, then so be it. I really wanted to win this game. I really want to win them all. I want to pound the Dodgers into the ground and stomp on their heads (metaphorically speaking, mind you).
So, why did we lose? We lost because I really wanted to win. And when I put all my hopes into one game, I usually end up on the short end of it. Yes, there were mistakes made that caused the game to be lost. Adam Wainwright made a bad pitch to Nick Punto. Zack Greinke hit a pitch for a bloop single that 9 times out of 10 nobody would have hit. Allen Craig was thrown out at home when he probably shouldn’t have tried to go there just then. Carlos Beltran inexplicably bunted with two men on base and we will probably never know what the heck went on with that. I felt like this game was just given away. I know that is irrational, but sometimes irrational is all I have to hold on to in a world where nothing seems to be right anymore, where the good guys don’t always win, and where bad things just seem to multiply inexhaustibly.
Pretty melodramatic stuff about a baseball game, right? That’s what happens when you mix life with baseball; it all seems to mesh together somehow when you love something as much as I love baseball. It’s hard to keep your disappointments separated into their individual prioritized boxes. But try I must; even at 2:00 a.m. when I can’t sleep, and losing to the Dodgers seems to be the worst thing that happened to me in the last 24 hours. It’s not easy keeping your priorities straight. That is something I need to work on. Because there are worse things than losing a baseball game. Much worse.