St. Louis Cardinals: At a complete loss for words both good and bad
The St. Louis Cardinals sit tied atop the NL-Central while the rest of America sits on pins and needles atop of a pile of potential energy the country hasn’t seen in decades.
The St. Louis Cardinals have won and won and won and have their Busch Stadium brooms poised and ready for another potential sweep in their home stadium. Simultaneously, the country sits in anxious anticipation as democracy, diplomacy, and unity fall apart around us all.
I have often used my editorial pieces to write from my heart and that is precisely what this shall be as well. Having said that, I am at a complete- complete- loss of words. I wanted to sit down and pen this incredible, heart-felt expression of my justified ire and angst at what surrounds the country.
I wanted to write about how baseball will cure my feelings; about how the St. Louis Cardinals are finally playing baseball in the way they were intended to play all season. I planned to write about the struggles and battles that Cardinals like Yadier Molina, Dexter Fowler, and Matt Carpenter have faced and overcome to lead this team into the wins of late.
It would have made my day to sit down with the ability to quote plenty of statistics to show just how the bullpen has come together; about how Trevor Rosenthal is finally the closer he once was. And yet, I sat down today full of these plans but found a complete lack of words to support them.
I was at a loss of words. I am at a loss of words.
This week, the country surprised me (as did the St. Louis Cardinals quite honestly). The United States of America- my home and birth country- often places itself into the business of others without invitation. It is our history. It is one of those things that make America great (according to some). This past week we witnessed this insertion once again focused on North Korea.
The gross bravado that was hurled around this past week sent my head spinning. While the Americans and the North Koreans have failed to see eye-to-eye (period), our current leader turned this up ten-fold.
All I’m left with is… why? I’m all about standing firm in defending our country and our assets but to overtly challenge another country just hasn’t been in our making for decades. I wish I knew what to say to make things even slightly better. I wish I knew how to adequately explain this to my children, but I don’t.
What I do know, and what I can explain to my children, is the reclamation pieces of Adam Wainwright and the tenacity of Jose Martinez. I can explain to them how the St. Louis Cardinals refused to give up in recent games when they were down 2-3 runs early in games only to come back and overtake their foes.
These are the things that I can teach them while I sit, as an adult, worried about their future in light of international affairs.
Then enter Saturday’s events in Virginia. Disgusting. There is no way around that. Hate is hate and will almost always appear when two sides differ. What the country witnessed on Saturday was a severe perversion of hate– a gross dysfunction of differences (if you would like to know my feelings regarding differences, read this).
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Again I was left scratching my head as to how to explain to my children about a world and country that would allow such distasteful hate to breed and grow. In our house- a house with two white parents and six “chocolate” children- differences are embraced but, in the world, these differences lead groups of people to ignite tiki torches and present homage to the greatest hate groups of all times- the KKK and the Nazis.
What I can show them are the moments when Matt Carpenter or Luke Voit turns to an opposing player who has just singled and congratulate them on first base despite their being on different teams. I can show them how Carlos Martinez– a player not from the USA- splashes Fowler- a black American- when he homers.
Or even better, how Molina will welcome the home plate umpire and almost each batter from the opposing team as they approach home plate. I can show them how Michael Wacha (or any other MLB pitcher) tips his cap at an opposing batter after he has plunked him at the plate accidentally. All of these things illustrate how two sides can battle for the same outcome without losing their humanity.
There are good things that exist in humanity whether they have not been on display this past week. Despite my being at a loss for words, my wish is that today’s baseball contests- America’s pastime- might remind us all of the better components of our humanity.
I find myself unable to explain much but this doesn’t steal from me my ability to dream. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a day when differences would not lead us to the explosions we have witnessed this past week. Perhaps his wish is being embodied by baseball. I urge our leaders to take note and learn from what is being displayed on the grass and dirt diamond.