St. Louis Cardinals: So Tired of the Same Cubs Refrain
The St. Louis Cardinals took on the Chicago Cubs last night in the first Sunday night game on ESPN and I’m disgusted by it despite the wonderful outcome.
I am a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals; this much is clear and true. I don’t honestly hate the Chicago Cubs. That said, I hate the media-drooling that happens around and about the Chicago Cubs.
Let me start this rant with this: if it weren’t for the shots of Busch Stadium, one might not have known that the Cubs were playing the St. Louis Cardinals thanks to the lead-in by ESPN. The immediate drooling commenced the moment the first pitch was released in the Yankees-Rays game when ESPN took it upon itself to promote the marvelous, unstoppable Cubs playing in the nightcap.
Fast-forward to the start of the actual Cubs-Cardinals game and little was said about the Cardinals but much was said about the Cubs. Then came the first pitch and it seemed as though ESPN had already crowned Chicago the World Series Champions.
Let me take a step out of this rant for a moment to say this: for all I know, this was the kind of praise shower that fell on the St. Louis Cardinals for the past several seasons. Now that I’ve admitted that, you can take my effigy off the stake and extinguish your torches.
If true, however, this does not excuse the nauseating media erection that has been evident since the middle of last season for the Chicago Cubs. I apologize for the crude metaphor here but, in all honesty, it it just too bad. Just listen to Baseball Tonight or MLB-Network and you will hear more praise heaped upon Chicago than on any other team.
Let me also take a step out here to admit that the Cubs are a good team. I don’t think they are as great as the media WANTS them to be but they are good. Let me also say that I think they will win the NL-Central but to award them the World Series at this point is just too premature.
Having admitted that the Cubs are good does not- at least to me- diminish my admiration for the St. Louis Cardinals who I feel are also good. Last night proved that. While I believe that the Cardinals are good, I’m not sold that the Cardinals believe it. Maybe they have listened to the media too long.
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Here’s a great example: during the sixth or seventh inning last night, the ESPN announcers commented that Carlos Martinez‘s command had been off the whole night BUT he hadn’t walked anyone. Let me clear this up: Martinez had struck out six batters at the time and hadn’t walked anyone. His command seemed fine.
My biggest complaint about this is the use of BUT. Had the announcers said YET then my ire wouldn’t have been raised. In addition to this, each replay, each near miss by the Cubs fielders was somehow slapped as a slight of the Cardinals; somehow the fault of the Cardinals.
But wait… not two innings later, ESPN crowned Martinez as the game changer after having griped about him not an hour earlier. Are we dealing with a media that is essentially Jekyll & Hyde?
I’m just honestly sick of the praise on the Cubs without equality given to other clubs. In the media’s defense, this was the same tactic and reaction to the Los Angeles Dodgers of a few seasons ago. Or Zach Greinke a few seasons ago. Or… I think you get the idea here: the media is fickle and will latch onto the hot topic.
Look, the St. Louis Cardinals need to play great baseball. End of story. If they do this, then the pendulum will swing back in their favor and the media can drool over them.
Next: Five Spring Training Winners
Am I holding the media in too high a level of expectation? Probably. And speaking of that, maybe I should hold us all to a higher expectation. I don’t know. I want the Cardinals to win and I want all other opponents to lose (and that includes with the amount of attention they get from the media). So, sue me.