Weekends And Baseball

I missed the game on Saturday.  I was in St. Louis but did not have tickets for the game.  I went to Ballpark Village for the first time with a friend, it’s a cool place.  I wanted to watch the game there, but it was so crowded that there was no place to sit, and I was not going to stand up for 3 hours.  We ended up driving around the city while my friend (who is a St. Louis native) showed me his childhood home and reminisced about his boyhood haunts.  We then had dinner and went out to a place in West County to watch Men’s Roller Derby.

I did watch Friday and Sunday.  Sunday night baseball is always a chore for me, waiting all day to watch the game and having to put up with ESPN and their biases.  I mostly watch the games on mute now, but I do turn on the volume when there is something going on for which I need an explanation.  I figured out ahead of time that there would be plenty of drooling over Clayton Kershaw, so the mute button was pushed at the very beginning.  I like Clayton Kershaw very much, it’s not his fault that the media drives people crazy with their incessant yammering about how great he is.  The Dodgers get more than their share of attention as it is, big market teams always do.  When you combine the best pitcher in baseball with one of the biggest TV market teams, it is a recipe for media overload.  For me it’s easier to mute, then I won’t be tempted to complain about the bias like other fans do.

Sunday night’s game was quite the roller coaster ride.  Controversial hit by pitches,  a home run off Kershaw from an unexpected source, and the usual WTF moments about Mike Matheny‘s decision making.  Why anyone by now would expect Mike Matheny to go beyond his comfort zone is surprising.  Matheny is nothing if not predictable.  Some people like that about him.  Most I would surmise are like me and find it tedious, boring, and infuriating.

Peter Bourjos had a good night.  As a fan I couldn’t be happier.  Of course, it won’t likely mean anymore playing time for Bourjos, because Mike Matheny has to play his favorites.  I have come to expect it all, as I have come to expect everything about this season as it has unfolded.  Like I said, Matheny is predictable and Cardinals fans for the most part are too.  They have their favorites and their whipping boys, their strict adherence to the Code of Batting Average, and other dinosaur stats that don’t really tell you much but they are comfortable standards.  The Eye Test and the Small Sample Size are alive and well and flourishing in Cardinal Nation.  Mention things like WAR and FIP and BABIP and ISO and most Cardinals fans get glassy eyed.  It has always been that change is difficult and slow.  I get it.

I enjoy my good moments and cherish them.  The bad ones I just forget and move on.  It is the cycle of baseball.   The next game, the next series, is coming.  The trade deadline is approaching.  We wait for what is to come and react accordingly.  At the end of it all we look back and analyze.  We debate and we talk about the changes in the offseason.   Then we wait for the new season to arrive.  The cycle begins again.

It is the life of a baseball fan.  It has its ups and downs, its excitements and disappointments.  We won the series against the Dodgers and that is a good thing.  We failed to sweep and that is not a good thing.  We rail at the actions of the media and the opposing team and fans.  We complain about the manager’s tactics, and individual player performances.  We agree and disagree.

Despite everything the Cardinals are in a good place.  Not the best place, but it is acceptable, for now.  There is still plenty of excitement and disappointment ahead.   Changes are coming to react to.  Never a dull moment for the baseball fan.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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