I enjoy baseball, and I used to love it. I still love playoff baseball. As a Cardinals fan I have been spoiled by usually good, and often great, baseball for the past sixteen years or so.
So, today, a couple of quick hits on the AL and NL Championship Series.
The most storied franchise in the AL got swept by the Tigers. So, Yankees players, why did you get swept? "It was our fans' fault."
And while A-Rod blamed two weeks of postseason futility at the plate, saying it “sucked the energy out of us," another player privately made a far more indicting observation: that the ballclub was affected by the hostility from the fans at Yankee Stadium last weekend.
“I really think the booing spooked a lot of guys," the player said. “A lot of guys hadn’t been booed before, and they couldn’t believe how nasty it got in the stands."
Obviously Nick Swisher admitted to being sensitive to such treatment after Game 2, but the player said Swisher was far from alone in his reaction.
“A lot of guys were talking about it in the clubhouse," he said. “I was surprised by how much it bothered them. I really don’t think they ever recovered."
If that’s true, well, so much for the big, bad Yankees.
I thought, well, that sure makes New York fan/media/team dysfunction the polar opposite of the fan/media/team treacly-sweet love fest we have in St. Louis.
I mean, anyone who has lived in this town for a day, or who even waits out a layover at Lambert Airport (do we still have any of those?) has had to endure the mantra of how St. Louis has the best fans in baseball, the most knowledgeable fans in baseball, etc. In short, the best baseball town anywhere. Baseball heaven, right? And, we have absolutely no chip in our shoulders towards more 'happening' cities on the coasts, do we? ;-).
Thus it was a chuckle that I read this little quip from a Grantland roundup by Shane Ryan of yesterday's sports action:
Adam Wainwright threw seven innings of four-hit ball and the Cardinals offense roughed up Tim Lincecum in an 8-3 win over the Giants, giving them a 3-1 lead in the NLCS. As usual, St. Louis fans used the win to congratulate themselves for their moral superiority over America's coastal cities.
OK, just one more, from the day before:
Matt Carpenter, subbing for an injured Carlos Beltran, hit a two-run homer to lead the Cardinals to a 3-1 win over the Giants and a 2-1 lead in the NLCS. "Look, we're not saying for sure that Jesus is rooting for our team," said a statement released by Cardinals fans. "But how many times can you be led by a Carpenter before you start saying, OK, maybe something's happening here? Are we crazy? Are we being unreasonable? Or deep down, are the rest of you jealous that Jesus is a Cards fan? Be honest."
Look for this guy in an XXXXL size Prince Fielder replica jersey during the World Series. Wait, an authentic replica of a Fielder jersey? Then that's just a Medium.