Thursday, May 03, 2007

Nice Knowing You


I think the time has come to say 'so long'. It's been a nice ride.

Circumstances being what they are, I don't see this team recovering from all that has happened to it.

I know it's only May, and that usually we wait until June to make a conclusion on what we've got, but this team just looks old and broken. Once again one must accept that nothing lasts forever in this world.

It's been a nice run since 2000, and it culminated last year into one World Series champion. But the magic and energy now seem drained.

Then, today, we have a funeral for Josh Hancock. And because of it I don't think too many care that this team is 10-16 and has lost 5 straight games. Or that this is just not a very good team. On paper or on the field. But in a figurative way, we could just as well have been having a funeral for the Cardinals as we have known them.

I miss the feeling of seeing the first pitch and knowing, most assuredly, we were going to win. I miss the feeling that, if we were down 3 or 4 runs in the 5th, we were still going to come back and win. It was just a matter of guessing when it would happen. Now a 3 run deficit equals a sure loss.

I miss the swagger of those teams stepping on the field. Of the MV3 years. Of balls flying out of the park. This team is a shadow of its former self. Pujols has been off. Rolen also. Edmonds should have retired after the WS. Where Reggie Sanders and Larry Walker used to patrol left and right field, we're now subjected to a steady diet of So Taguchi, Preston Wilson and Skip Schumaker. Molina can't hit or run. And Eckstein, though I can't say anything bad about him as a player, is having a bad year also.

Then there is the pitching. Carpenter has pitched in one game this year. Mark Mulder, if he ever returns to his former self, is not available until at least July. Anthony Reyes problems are a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Amazingly Jason Isringhausen has not been bad.

And Jason Marquis, now a Cub pitcher, is bewilderingly unhittable.

Almost every part of our machine has been broken this year.

What to make of it all?

Things happen in cycles. We've been on a downward cycle the past 2 seasons. Thank God this team won last year, because it was obviously their last chance as a group. And our last chance to see a championship for the forseeable future.

I know it is still early, and there's still time to make up ground. But let's face facts. That isn't going to happen. This is a mediocre team. At best. Even if this team lucks out and goes on a winning streak, who in their right mind believes they can win it all again this year? No one except the crazy folk.

I'm not whining. Heck, we just won. According to Bartlett's Fan Etiquette, there's no right to whine until your team hasn't won a championship for at least a decade. (And it gives me more fodder to write about. Rush Limbaugh always said liberals winning elections made his job easier. I now know what he is talking about).
I'm just a little sad to see it all end. When it's been eight years since your team has stunk, losing is depressing. It's been so much fun the past eight years, ten if you count the McGwire home run years. And this team is the farthest thing from entertaining you can get. Dare I use the b-word? Boring?

Predictions?
-We're about to get much younger. I mean infielders and outfielders, not pitchers. (If that happened we'd have guys who still had voice crackings).
-Rolen will be traded before the deadline for some youngin's. I don't believe LaRussa will ever let last fall's feud be erased from his memory bank.
-Pujols and Carpenter stay.
-Edmonds will retire honorably with one year remaining on his contract after this dreadful last year.
-Isringhausen will be allowed to become a free agent.
-Eckstein will be allowed to become a free agent. It's just an age thing, man.
-With all that salary gone, at least one or two big trades or big free agent signings this winter. I'll let Walt Jocketty worry about who and where.

But, as my distant cousin, Bon Scott, used to sing- "It's A Long Way To The Top". (Gratuitous plug for my favorite AC/DC song- enjoy!)

And not just if you wanna rock 'n' roll. It's a long way to the top in baseball, too.

One last thing. Thank God we did win last year. Watching this team this year makes me conclude- it really was a miracle.

14 comments:

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Impressive use of bagpipes in a rock 'n roll band!

We'll gladly welcome you as a part-time Indians fan, Scottius. They're looking great this year, although our bullpen could be better. But whose bullpen couldn't?

It's got to be hard on a team to lose a player in such a fashion. Perhaps the last nail in the coffin for the Cardinals' season. Their run last year was fun though.

Rev. David M. said...

It's early yet. Marquis could still fold. I'm a Cub fan, but I'm also a realist.

The Cubs don't look much better than the Cardinals. The Cubs have to play perfect baseball to win. I don't expect the Cubs to finish much above .500, if they make it to .500.

Designated Knitter said...

It is with great sadness that I agree with you. About all of it. Especially after this - they just look tired, and old.

I became a fan in '97 - I always say that the home runs were tons of fun, but I fell in love with baseball on a June day when Delino DeShields stole second, then third, then came home on a squeeze play! It was my first time in the stands of a MLB stadium.....and the last ten years have been grand.

I'm not nearly done being a fan, and I still love my Cardinals. I just feel like I understand how fans of a lot of other teams feel. When you really don't expect great things from your team. When even if they go on a winning streak, you don't really think it will last. When sometimes it's almost too embarassing to watch the rest of the game.....because while they MIGHT come back, you don't really think they will.

I'm so glad they won last year. Because it looks like they're gonna be breaking my heart....

Scottius Maximus said...

Barb!

I've been a Cardinals fan from birth, and that is never going to change. I'm just coming to the stark realization that the team I've known for so many years is dead.

I am a part-time Indians fan already. They are my favorite AL team. However, it's hard to keep up with a Cleveland team when you live in Illinois. Perhaps if someone would blog about them once in awhile it would be easier! [A hint for Cleveland folks]

Scottius Maximus said...

Rev. Dave!

You are right about Marquis and the Cubs. Marquis will remember who he is eventually. His problem has always been between his ears.

Remember 2004, when both teams were good and there was excitement when the teams played each other? Those were the good ol' days!

Scottius Maximus said...

DK!

Losing games 3-2 or 4-3 would make me take a wait and see approach to the year. But losing games by 5 or 10 runs just means we stink. And I was hoping we could make a run at a title defense. Not going to happen, unless some drastic changes are made.

I'll never be done being a fan. It's just hard to adjust your expectations when you have been used to winning. But, this too shall pass. Hopefully sooner rather than later! Walt Jocketty just HAS to know the product this year is inferior, and this is the time to reload.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Scottius! I wouldn't expect you to be a fair-weather fan to your Cardinals. But maybe you can have fun watching the Indians like I had fun watching the Cards last year. The Indians were so bad for so many years when I was growing up; I can relate!

There already is an Indians blog here. I don't know who runs it. I'm hoping to get to a Tribe game soon; I'll blog about it for sure if I do!

Scottius Maximus said...

Barb!

Absolutely! I'd be happy to follow along with you. Maybe something unexpected will happen for the good, like last year for me.

Thanks for the link. But what about you keeping your blog crammed full of Indians posts?

TKls2myhrt said...

Maybe this will cheer you up: My son and I will travel to Detroit in May and we have the chance to attend a rematch of the 2006 World Series between the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals. I'll take photos and post on the game. I am a fan of neither team, but we'll be in town for a hockey tournament and don't want to miss the game.

Scottius Maximus said...

TK!

I'm totally jealous. Buy yourself an STL hat before you go to the game. Or I could send you one for borrowing.

Photos and posts are the secrets to bloggo-journalism. I'll just sit here in expectant-waiting-mode.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I guess I just don't want to be a baseball blogger, Scottius. We are going to a game on May 17. I'll be sure to post pics then. We're not playing the Cardinals in interleague play this year, or else I'd be sure to go!

Scottius Maximus said...

Barb!

Yes, please post the pictures, thank you very much. Since I'll probably never make it to the Indians' park, try to take as many different views as possible please.

Your cooperation is much appreciated.

The Management

TKls2myhrt said...

You mean we shouldn't show up in our Twins gear like we did at the White Sox game in Chicago a couple of years ago. You will have to mail us some kind of Scottius Maximus Cardinal souvenir and we'll take photos at the game. I think we are going to the Saturday night game. The block of tickets were given to our team by the Tigers at a reduced price of 10.00. I'm assuming that's a deal, but who knows.

Scottius Maximus said...

TK!

That's a great deal.