Wednesday Morning Musings
I spent yesterday doing anything but thinking, reading, or hearing about baseball. I needed to do that. After Monday night’s defeat in Game 7 of the NLCS, I knew I had to get away from it, to regroup and recharge. The thing is, I didn’t even watch Game 7. I was at an event that I had previously committed myself to, so I was only able to keep updated about the game from my phone. There were other people at this event that were doing the same, so the Game was definitely on my mind, but I couldn’t watch it. I think that was a good thing for me. To be perfectly honest, I had the feeling after the Game 5 loss, that it was going to end the way it did. It was a strong enough feeling that I kept it to myself. I did not interact with fellow Cardinals fans on Twitter and on blogs like I usually do for the last two games. I didn’t want to bring other people down with my negativity. Yesterday, I just needed to not think about my disappointment, and yes, I was disappointed despite my strong feelings that it was not going to end well. Even when you are sure bad things are going to happen, you are still sad and depressed once they actually do. So I wallowed in my misery yesterday, watching videos and trying not be sad even though I was.
Fans enter Busch Stadium prior to game five of the 2012 NLCS between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
I am now a day removed from it all, and ready to talk about it. I’m sure there have been a lot of post mortem discussion by Cardinal Nation about what went wrong. I did not partake in any of it so I do not know what others have said. What I do know is that somehow the dream died and it’s time to move on. Sure, I have my own theories about what happened. If anyone even cares to know, I think what happened is that the Giants played better than the Cardinals. Yep, that’s my theory. Pretty simple. The reasons why they played better are perhaps not so simple. I’m sure there are plenty of opinions out there. My personal belief is that the Giants’ pitchers figured out the weaknesses of the Cardinals’ offense and exploited those weaknesses, whether that was pitching inside a lot or throwing a lot of breaking pitches, or whatever else any particular hitter had an issue with. And the hitters didn’t adjust. As for the weaknesses in Cardinals’ pitching, the same could be said. Baseball is a fluid game. Pitchers pitch differently to get hitters out and hitters adjust. If a team’s pitchers don’t adjust to the opposing hitters and the hitters don’t adjust to the opposing pitchers, well, bad things usually happen. The Giants had a good game plan against the Cardinals and they executed it. The Cardinals failed to adjust and they lost. That’s it. That’s baseball.
I’m not going to engage in the usual falderal that upset fans generally engage in when a team loses big like this. I won’t blame umpiring, even though I do believe that MLB umpiring, as a general rule, has been atrocious. I won’t make wild accusations that the team didn’t want it badly enough, or they gave up, or any of the other character assassination nonsense that fans often engage in. I’m not going to blame Mike Matheny, even though I have often railed against some of his management decisions, especially during the postseason. The loss was not the fault of any individual, it was a team loss. Pitchers failed to pitch and hitters failed to hit. The rest is all just noise.
We as fans of the Cardinals suffered a loss. How each fan deals with that loss varies. There will be a lot of stuff going on for a while, stuff that is upsetting. Fans of other teams may gloat or say things about the Cardinals. Apparently much of non Cardinal baseball fandom wanted the Cardinals to lose. I talked about this a little in my last post. Other fans are free to think what they want. I would only say that it has been my experience that what fans of other teams complain about with respect to the Cardinals and their fans, is not unique to the the Cardinals and their fans. Other teams and other fans engage in similar behavior, it is just a fact of human nature that we often see the speck in the other guy’s eye while failing to see that same speck in our own. To those fans that think Cardinals fans feel entitled, yes they do. So do the fans of any other team who have recently won a championship. Once you have one, you believe you deserve another. I remember seeing and hearing many a person complaining about “entitled” Giants fans last season. And if the Giants are fortunate enough to win the Series this year, I can guarantee you I will hear it again. I hear it constantly about Yankees fans. We always resent when the other guy has what we want. So hear me Cardinals fans, when you hear the gloating and the other stuff, just remember that we have been to the promise land and we will get there again. Everything else is just crap.
To the fans of the Giants and the Tigers I say good luck to you. May you go to the promise land. I wait to go there in 2013. And thereafter if God willing and the creek don’t rise.