Hope Is The Thing With Feathers*

It’s been a frustrating season, and my frustration has had its outlet over and over on this blog.  Frustration with this team’s performance for sure, but also frustration with Mike Matheny‘s management, and at times with John Mozeliak’s roster construction.  The issues have been many:  bullpen management, double switches, over use of pitching arms, double standards with regard to use of personnel, the list goes on.

The team has seemingly put it together over the last 5 games, a good sign, but there is still room for skepticism.  Who would not be skeptical considering the roller coaster ride fans of the Cardinals have endured for the past 5 months?  Right now things are very good; the Cardinals are in first place with a 3 game lead and the Brewers in a free fall.  The Cardinals have a knack for getting hot at the right time, and I am hoping that is what is happening now and not a brief surge before the inevitable regression occurs.

I saw another good sign yesterday.  One of the things I have complained about with Mike Matheny is his lack of demonstrable emotion expressed during and after the game, regardless of the outcome.  His robotic approach during post game interviews has always left me cold and lacking in any empathy for him.  I would sometimes see camera shots of him in the dugout and he always looked like he just smelled something nasty. It was off-putting to me, and only served to exacerbate my unfavorable opinion of his managing skills.

However, after yesterday’s 1-0 walk off win against the Pirates, I saw something completely different.  A joyful Matheny, smiling and gesticulating in the manner of victory.  It was…….different and unexpected.  I was feeling a sort of warm fuzzy, something I rarely associated with Mike Matheny.  Don’t get me wrong, this momentary emotional bonding on my part with Matheny changed nothing about my views of his managing skills.  It did serve to give me hope that he might be growing in some small way.

On to the game.  I didn’t get to see it in real time.  I was working and I only was able to listen to the final inning or so on the radio on my way home.  Fortunately that was the best part.  I saw many of the highlights after I got home, including the aforementioned emotional reaction of the manager.  It would be no surprise to anyone that I was extremely happy to see the role Peter Bourjos played in the climactic win.  I have been a fan of Peter’s long before he became a Cardinal, and I am a staunch advocate on his behalf.  I have seen first hand what Peter can bring to the table, and have been frustrated by the lack of opportunities he has been given to demonstrate it.  There is much more that Cardinal fans have not experienced; more glorious plays in the outfield, more blazing speed on the base paths, and yes, an inside the park home run.  He can hit much better too, something Cardinals fans would have experienced had the powers that be in the organization demonstrated some patience.  Alas, that is water under the bridge now.

The series against the Pirates was glorious and I hope to see a continuation of that glory in the series against the Brewers.  The Cardinals have always played well in Miller Park, and that gives me hope.   For the first time all season, I am feeling very good about this team.

Please let it continue.

 

*It’s the opening line in an Emily Dickinson poem

 

Thank you for reading.

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1 Comment

  1. blingboy

     /  September 5, 2014

    There was a lot to like about Bourjos and Jay in the outfield last night. Jay makes better right fielder than center, It would have taken a bunch of offense to equal the impact their defense had on the final score. Right now both are looking good at the plate and nobody is promising to supply more offense, so maybe Mike will stick with it. Both of them have bats that can and do go silent for long stretches though.

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