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Monday, October 15, 2012

Leitch: I know you’ll never love the Cardinals as much as I do.

I have spent so much time watching the Cardinals, reveling in their victories and agonizing in their defeats, that I had forgotten that the rest of the world was watching them, too. (I forget this sometimes, too. I love my sports teams so much that it almost seems strange that the other sports fans notice them at all. Sometimes I’ll see an Illini score on the ESPN crawl and it’s like Anderson Cooper doing a news item on how your cousin’s final exams at a college are going.) And the rest of the world, to my astoundment, hates the Cardinals. The rest of the world was cheering for the young, likable, fiery Washington Nationals, with their superstar youngsters and their facial hair and their natty natitude. The Cardinals weren’t the heroes to them; they were the brutish villains, the Cobra Kai, the Empire, stomping on the dreams of the upstart rebellion.

When did you start hating the Cardinals? Obviously everyone hates them now, but for me it was October 19, 2006. The Braves suddenly were no longer the team Phillies fans viewed with envy and hatred, for whom everything seemed to work out better than expected (in the regular season at least). The Cardinals easily slid into their place after destroying the hopes of the Mets and ruining what should have been an all-time classic moment (Endy Chavez Game 7 catch ... but his team lost). Since I know a lot of Mets fans and have never met a Cardinals fan, this was a formative moment.

Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 15, 2012 at 10:33 AM | 258 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, evil, fandom, nationals

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   1. bunyon Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4271002)
Yeah, 2006 was the year they stopped being a team that won lots of games in the regular season and were clearly very, very good and started being the guys that would just hang around, slip into the playoffs somehow and then go on a run while all the talking heads spoke on and on about how they "just knew how to win".

Yeah? Well then why don't they do it as much as everyone else?


I've pointed this out a few times: if the Tigers and Cards go to the world series, ten teams with better 2012 records will be home watching on TV. They're records are 11th and 12th. So, in the top half, at least. But barely.


EDIT: So, I don't actually HATE the Cardinals. Had they won their division or won 93 or 94 games or something (the latter being better, IMO), I'd be perfectly fine with them. There is nothing wrong with the Cardinals. There is something wrong with naming as champion someone who was barely better than average most of the year.
   2. Anonymous Observer Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4271003)
This will be a fun thread to read once all of the Cardinals haters have their say. I can't wait!
   3. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4271008)
Definitely 2006. But it wasn't really hatred then, it was mere disdain, with the inchoate sense of dread that comes from realizing that, like a Halloween or Friday The 13th flick, the Cards were going to keep doing this, again and again and again.

Then Friday happened.

Now I want them dead, I want their families dead, I want their houses burned to the ground, Untouchables-style.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4271011)
   5. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4271015)
The question is false. We have always been at war with Eurasia.
   6. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4271018)
More in the spirit of the game, I think I realized exactly how despicable these Cards were when Yadi Molina got sand in his vagina, started a fight with Brandon Phillips in which Chris Carpenter lost his #### and turned it into a serious event, and then Cards nation had the wherewithal to ##### and moan about Johnny Cueto trying to defend himself.
   7. AROM Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4271031)
We have always been at war with Eurasia.


That pretty much sums up the whole premise here. A few days ago the rest of the world wasn't "cheering for the young, likable, fiery Washington Nationals". The Nationals were hated because how dare they not give Strasburg the ball for the playoffs.

For me, I can't work up enough hate or love for any of the remaining teams to really care about what's left of the postseason. I'm sure there will still be some good games.
   8. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4271033)
I like the Cardinals. I liked them as a kid with McGee, Ozzie, Herr, Clark etc...and I still like them. They always seem to play the game right in the sense that they are fundamentally sound and they seem to have fun with it.
   9. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4271036)
They always seem to play the game right in the sense that they are fundamentally sound and they seem to have fun with it.


This is a good reason to hate the Cardinals. People who say #### like this about them.
   10. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4271042)
I wonder if Pujols is enjoying the off-season knowing that his old team is making another run at the World Series?
   11. Srul Itza Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4271052)
I have hated them since the Whitey Herzog years. The last time I didn't hate them, Bob Gibson was still pitching for them -- and I still rooted for the Tigers in '68.

   12. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4271055)
I wonder if Pujols is enjoying the off-season knowing that his old team is making another run at the World Series?


Shitstained self-entitlement. A complete failure to recognize the brute, random bullshit that has simply bounced the franchise's way the last few seasons. The becoming-Yankees-fans of the self-righteous "best fans in baseball."

The question isn't "why hate them." It's why would you not?
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4271056)
I liked the Cards of the '80s just fine, but as with so many people, LaRussa and his flexible ethics and perpetual outrage machine pretty much killed that. I think the game that turned me against them for good was the one where Julian Tavarez got caught doctoring the ball, and he threw his cap into the stands so the ump couldn't check it, and then LaRussa got all huffy about his suspension and tried to claim that he'd just been giving a souvenir to a fan. Bullshit! Bullshit bullshit bullshit!!!
   14. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4271063)
There's also the fact that you're the new Marlins, winning "Championships" you don't deserve. So you have that too.
   15. Guts Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4271077)
winning "Championships" you don't deserve

This is outstanding.
   16. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4271083)
I lived in St. Louis when I was a kid, and liked the Herzog Cardinals, but I've definitely turned into a hater over the last few years. There was no defining moment -- the irritation just built up over time.
   17. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4271084)
I get very tired of hearing what a great baseball town St. Louis is. Downtown St. Louis is a depressing dump.
   18. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4271088)
The question isn't "why hate them." It's why would you not?

The Cardinals have become a unique blight on American sports, an admixture of head lice, herpes, and leprosy. Their postseason accomplishments are random and silly and Exhibit A against Bud's ridiculous "One Moment in Time" postseason. If baseball was still structured properly, they would have finished 10 games out and be counting down the days until spring training 2013.
   19. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4271091)
I get very tired of hearing what a great baseball town St. Louis is


Yep. It's like hearing about "True Yankee fans," only the Yankees actually won something, whereas the Cards are just this decade's model of the Marlins.
   20. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4271092)
I wonder if Pujols is enjoying the off-season knowing that his old team is making another run at the World Series?

And if the Cardinals do win it all, then will you guys get over it?

The more comments like this you guys make, the more obvious it becomes to everyone how absurd the Joe Buckian myths about Cardinals fans are.
   21. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4271098)
EDIT: So, I don't actually HATE the Cardinals. Had they won their division or won 93 or 94 games or something (the latter being better, IMO), I'd be perfectly fine with them. There is nothing wrong with the Cardinals. There is something wrong with naming as champion someone who was barely better than average most of the year.


Kind of disingenuous to call them "barely better than average". They had a 93-69 pythag (second best in league; giants 88-74, ATL 92-70, CIN 91-71, WSN 96-76) and they didn't have Chris Carpenter most of the year, or Miller or Rosenthal in the bullpen. This is a team that lost it's starting SS & starting 1B to injury (and backup 1B, for a month), and still led the NL in runs scored for most of the year, playing in an extreme pitcher's park, and finished second in R/G but with the highest team OBP and OPS+ (and a 104 ERA+).
   22. Greg K Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4271102)
For me, I can't work up enough hate or love for any of the remaining teams to really care about what's left of the postseason. I'm sure there will still be some good games.

This is me. Last weekend was tragic. I suppose I can muster up the energy to root against the Yankees in an abstract sort of sense (but not enough to actually watch the games), and a good friend of mine is a Giants fan so I guess I could be happy for him if they win again.

But in two days I went from...."ooooh look at all these interesting teams in the playoffs!" to "perhaps this new computer game will give me something to pass the time".
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4271104)
Yeah, 2006 was the year they stopped being a team that won lots of games in the regular season and were clearly very, very good and started being the guys that would just hang around, slip into the playoffs somehow and then go on a run while all the talking heads spoke on and on about how they "just knew how to win".


2006 was the year that they stopped caring what their final season record was going to be with about three weeks left in the season and ended up going from the 2nd best record in the NL to the poor record they ended up with. I'm not sure what "knew how to win" means. Every team that wins in the post season is going to get that label, it's a writers cliche.



More in the spirit of the game, I think I realized exactly how despicable these Cards were when Yadi Molina got sand in his vagina, started a fight with Brandon Phillips in which Chris Carpenter lost his #### and turned it into a serious event, and then Cards nation had the wherewithal to ##### and moan about Johnny Cueto trying to defend himself.


You mean in which 1. Yadier Molina was antagonized by Phillips, as it was a violatile situation both teams were on edge, and Phillips (who I happen to like) tapped Molina on the shins with his bat. Or after the Reds hit a homerun fireworks going off, and Carpenter being told by the umps to wait for the smoke to clear before pitching, that somehow the whining announcers/press of cincy(not the players or coaches mind you) interpreted as Carpenter "losing his head".

I like the Cardinals. I liked them as a kid with McGee, Ozzie, Herr, Clark etc...and I still like them. They always seem to play the game right in the sense that they are fundamentally sound and they seem to have fun with it.

The current iteration of the team isn't that fundamentally sound.

The question isn't "why hate them." It's why would you not?

I imagine a fan base that can sell out a post season game is a reason to not hate them, the hatred for those self entitled Braves fans and "america's team" was legitimately earned.

   24. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4271105)
Nobody cares about their pythag. Games are played in 9-inning increments and nobody wants to see a postseason tournament based on pythag wins.

All the other stuff is a typical byproduct of a baseball season. If you're a good team and a key injury means you don't win your division, tough ####. That's baseball, Suzyn. Or at least it was, until Bud's tournament ruined it.
   25. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4271108)
I wouldn't say the Cardinals "don't" "deserve" "their" ""championships"". It seems that they always have good players and their in-season record often doesn't reflect the high quality of the team they have at the end of September. My complaint is that they always have good players. Try to put together a list of players, since the beginning of the McGwire era, who A) joined the Cardinals (whether as free agents or from the minors), and B) were disappointing with the Cardinals.

1) Jose Jimenez
2) Marlon Anderson
3) Mark Mulder
4) Anthony Reyes

Is there anyone else, other than flyers on various veterans who were not expected to do much anyway? (Khalil Greene, Preston Wilson, Kelly Stinnett)

Maybe Eli Marrero, he was supposed to be a star and that never happened. He was pretty good though.
   26. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4271109)
I think I realized exactly how despicable these Cards were when Yadi Molina got sand in his vagina, started a fight with Brandon Phillips


People who hate the cardinals are just a bunch of whiny #######.
   27. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4271116)
Try to put together a list of players, since the beginning of the McGwire era, who A) joined the Cardinals (whether as free agents or from the minors), and B) were disappointing with the Cardinals.

Mike Maroth proved that Dave Duncan couldn't fix everyone.
   28. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4271117)
But in two days I went from...."ooooh look at all these interesting teams in the playoffs!" to "perhaps this new computer game will give me something to pass the time".

That's the curse of the LDS. By the time the first week in October rolls around, everyone is ready for playoff baseball and the games are pretty compelling -- then you realize that they've made the LCS and the World Series far worse than it should be. The complete apathy in NYC for the LCS is a compelling leading indicator of just how diluted the postseason is and how fans are finally figuring it out. The Yankees are not selling out LCS games, in a stadium that seats less than 50,000 people.
   29. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4271118)
This is me. Last weekend was tragic. I suppose I can muster up the energy to root against the Yankees in an abstract sort of sense (but not enough to actually watch the games), and a good friend of mine is a Giants fan so I guess I could be happy for him if they win again.

But in two days I went from...."ooooh look at all these interesting teams in the playoffs!" to "perhaps this new computer game will give me something to pass the time".


Me too, but the Tigers are an interesting team, and they haven't won in 30 years. So I'm pulling for them.
   30. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4271123)
I wouldn't say the Cardinals "don't" "deserve" "their" ""championships"".

In 2006, they won 83 games. They beat a better team in 7 games in the LCS, and in the World Series played a team that had swept them in the regular season (*), and gone 15-3 against the NL Central, the Cardinals' division. The better team had an absurd 9 (or so) days off between their pummeling of the A's in the LCS and Game 1 of the "World Series." The games in St. Louis were played in a cold drizzle/downpour.

It doesn't get any more undeserving than that.

(*) Interleague play has also diluted the postseason and taken away part of its charm.
   31. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4271128)
I imagine a fan base that can sell out a post season game is a reason to not hate them, the hatred for those self entitled Braves fans and "america's team" was legitimately earned.


Did the sand from Yadi's wah wah migrate up yours, now? As New Yankee Stadium can attest to this week, any team that is in the playoffs with regularity will eventually lose fans in the first rounds of the Selig's Neverending Post-Season Tournament.

Granted, with the cows that come out for "Cardinal nation" you do have a better than average chance of filling that stadium, what with the two-to-one ratio of ass to seat you guys provide.
   32. tshipman Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4271136)
It's the poor records in weak divisions, it's the way they always pick up white guys who have good years, it's the way their role players always seem to have good playoffs.

Their whole strategy seems to be, let's have a bunch of guys all get hot in October and we'll win the WS. And it ####### works. That's bullshit.

Probably my least favorite team in the NL. Especially now that Pujols is gone.
   33. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4271140)
Me too, but the Tigers are an interesting team, and they haven't won in 30 years. So I'm pulling for them.


Is this true? Huh. I guess I confused the Tigers and the White Sox.
   34. esseff Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4271153)
I liked the Cards of the '80s just fine, but as with so many people, LaRussa and his flexible ethics and perpetual outrage machine pretty much killed that.


For what it's worth, there are quite a few Cardinals fans who feel the same way about TLR.
   35. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4271156)
The Tigers were awful from the late 80's until the current run started in 2006. They had a couple of 87 win seasons here and there, but they must have had the worst record in baseball over that period. Everyone remembers the Spiders-esque Trammell team in 2003, but they had several other seasons during that period that were comparable. And of course they lost the 2006 WS to the hated, 83 win Cardinals.
   36. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4271158)
David f-ing Eckstein, World Series MVP. I'd forgotten about that.
   37. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4271160)
In 2006, they won 83 games. They beat a better team in 7 games in the LCS, and in the World Series played a team that had swept them in the regular season (*), and gone 15-3 against the NL Central, the Cardinals' division. The better team had an absurd 9 (or so) days off between their pummeling of the A's in the LCS and Game 1 of the "World Series." The games in St. Louis were played in a cold drizzle/downpour.


Again, they had the second best record and the division locked up and stopped caring in 2006 with about two weeks to go. Standings as of September 16th From that point on, they were focused on setting up their lineup for the post season, resting players during games, etc. They just did not care, yes they had nearly a Braves level historic collapse because of that lack of caring, but ultimately they squeaked into the post season, as they knew they were going to. Then they faced a New York team that had a couple of key injuries, while the Cardinals team was healthy for the first time since the middle of the season. They weren't the same team in the playoffs as they were in the second half of the regular season.
   38. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4271161)
I guess I started disliking them in 1975ish, with that hideous mustache gang of Sizemore Reitz and Hernandez. At the time, the extreme dislike was for the Phillies and Pirates, but they were disliked as well, and when Joe Torre showed up on the Mets, well, then I really hated them. Then the mid-80s when the team was overrun with alleged pedophiles.

   39. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4271164)
I guess I started disliking them in 1975ish, with that hideous mustache gang of Sizemore Reitz and Hernandez.


You should have waited a year for Vern Rapp to come along, bye bye mustaches.
   40. Bourbon Samurai Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4271165)
The Cardinals have always been right at the top of my "the actual teams I root for are out, who is left?" list, but after last year I can't muster up much remaining enthusiasm for them.

I hold no ill will against them for beating the Nats- their fans were mostly pretty classy about it , and its not like they pulled anything underhanded. They just beat the #### out of the ball when it counted.

   41. ASmitty Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4271167)
Is this true? Huh. I guess I confused the Tigers and the White Sox.


Well, technically it has only been 28 years. The Tigers last won the WS in 1984.

I dislike any and all Wild Card champions, and the Cardinals have exemplified that in recent memory. I think winning one's division should be a pre-requisite for winning the league as a whole. I felt the same way about Alabama's BCS title last year. They didn't win the SEC, why should they win the BCS? It's just something that aggravates me in sports.
   42. GuyM Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4271169)
In 2006, they won 83 games. They beat a better team in 7 games in the LCS, and in the World Series played a team that had swept them in the regular season (*), and gone 15-3 against the NL Central, the Cardinals' division. The better team had an absurd 9 (or so) days off between their pummeling of the A's in the LCS and Game 1 of the "World Series." The games in St. Louis were played in a cold drizzle/downpour. It doesn't get any more undeserving than that.

(*) Interleague play has also diluted the postseason and taken away part of its charm.

Man, it must really suck to be you.

This does provide one more reason to hope Jack Morris falls short in this year's HOF vote (not that any more are needed): the perfect super-nova of SBB agony and self-pity that will follow.
   43. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4271171)
I had nothing against Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Larry Walker, McGwire, etc. Not even TLR. But the last two seasons, sneaking into the playoffs with a rabbit's foot up their butt, is really irritating.

EDIT: essentially what [32] said.
   44. phredbird Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4271173)
More in the spirit of the game, I think I realized exactly how despicable these Cards were when Yadi Molina got sand in his vagina, started a fight with Brandon Phillips in which Chris Carpenter lost his #### and turned it into a serious event, and then Cards nation had the wherewithal to ##### and moan about Johnny Cueto trying to defend himself.


i knew this was going to be a fun thread.
   45. Greg K Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4271175)
That's the curse of the LDS. By the time the first week in October rolls around, everyone is ready for playoff baseball and the games are pretty compelling -- then you realize that they've made the LCS and the World Series far worse than it should be. The complete apathy in NYC for the LCS is a compelling leading indicator of just how diluted the postseason is and how fans are finally figuring it out. The Yankees are not selling out LCS games, in a stadium that seats less than 50,000 people.

While this may be true in a larger cultural sense (I don't know), it's certainly not the sentiment behind my original comment. It just so happened that this year the teams I wanted to win had high win totals (Nats, A's, and to a lesser extent Orioles). My complaint with the Tigers and the Cardinals isn't that they didn't win as many games as the other guys, it's that I don't particularly like the Tigers and Cardinals. OK, well I don't dislike the Cardinals...I just think they've won enough lately so I'd like to see someone else do it.

For me, a flawed team making a run and winning is a good thing in a system rather than a bad thing. My interest in the NHL playoffs or the NCAA basketball tournament usually wanes once all the teams that clearly don't belong there are eliminated. I don't claim that it's a widely held view, or that anyone else should hold it, but for me a playoff system that always puts the best team against the best team in the final is kind of boring. Maybe I'm being selfish but the purpose of a tournament isn't for the teams to settle between themselves who's better...it's to entertain me.
   46. phredbird Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4271179)
I liked the Cards of the '80s just fine, but as with so many people, LaRussa and his flexible ethics and perpetual outrage machine pretty much killed that.


the cards started out with good ideas but then they went to far.
   47. bunyon Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4271181)
They had a 93-69 pythag

Despite being a "thinking" fan, I don't give a rip about pythag records. Wins are wins, losses are losses.


Again, they had the second best record and the division locked up and stopped caring in 2006 with about two weeks to go.

SOunds like a good reason to hate them. Although I do get it - the early 00s Cards got ripped off several times and they made an adjustment. Perhaps what I hate is that they symbolize the modern idea of championship baseball: do just enough to get into the playoffs and then catch some breaks. It's ugly.

That isn't really on THEM, of course. But if you are going to be a symbol, people are going to shoot at you.
   48. cmd600 Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4271183)
2006 was the year that they stopped caring what their final season record was going to be with about three weeks left in the season and ended up going from the 2nd best record in the NL to the poor record they ended up with.


You keep saying this, but I feel it's quite misleading. With exactly 3 weeks left in the 2006 season (Sept 10) the Cardinals actually had the 3rd best NL record, but with six teams within five games of them. That's not a time to say "ok, let's lay off the accelerator". They were also 6th in the NL in run differential at that point for anyone that likes those numbers. I can't find a day after their Aug 1 loss that year where they had a win pct that would put them at even 90 wins.

Their 2006 could just as easily be interpreted as such: They had a hot April (17-8) and benefited from such a crappy division that playing not even .500, but close, the rest of the way would have been more than enough to make the playoffs.
   49. bunyon Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4271184)
For me, a flawed team making a run and winning is a good thing in a system rather than a bad thing.

If it happens once in a while, yes. If it happens every ####### year, no.
   50. ASmitty Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4271186)
Maybe I'm being selfish but the purpose of a tournament isn't for the teams to settle between themselves who's better...it's to entertain me.


This is something I like about soccer. The Champion's League is important and great fun and all, but it is distinct from the underlying Championships, which are just based on standings. Best of both world's.
   51. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4271191)
But I *really* hate the Cardinals.
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4271192)
SOunds like a good reason to hate them. Although I do get it - the early 00s Cards got ripped off several times and they made an adjustment. Perhaps what I hate is that they symbolize the modern idea of championship baseball: do just enough to get into the playoffs and then catch some breaks. It's ugly.


I'm not defending or arguing against the hate. I don't care if people hate or like the team, I just prefer that they are factually correct in their hatred :)

The 2006 team was not the 1987 Twins level bad of a team that didn't belong in the post season. Their final record was more complicated than that.

You keep saying this, but I feel it's quite misleading. With exactly 3 weeks left in the 2006 season (Sept 10) the Cardinals actually had the 3rd best NL record, but with six teams within five games of them.


I posted a link on my comment, September 16th, the Cardinals had the second best record in the NL, had a 6.5 game lead over the Reds(not the Astros who had a fantastic finish to make it a contest) with 15 games remaining. The Cardinals were going to win that division and played like a team that didn't care.
   53. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4271194)
Man, it must really suck to be you.

This does provide one more reason to hope Jack Morris falls short in this year's HOF vote (not that any more are needed): the perfect super-nova of SBB agony and self-pity that will follow.


Not at all; I just see objectively. The 2012 Tigers are a flawed team too, and 88 wins is nothing special -- though they at least can say they won their division. If the Tigers and Cardinals play in the World Series, I'd expect it to pass Rays-Phillies for lowest-rated World Series ever. If I wasn't a fan of either team, I woudn't watch either.

More "intellectually," a Tigers-Cardinals really isn't the "World Series" in the true meaning of that term, as it doesn't match the two best or two most-accomplished teams from the American and National Leauges. It's the "MLB Playoff Finals." We shouldn't kid ourselves and pretend that break from tradition hasn't diminished fan interest -- it clearly has.
   54. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4271195)
If it happens once in a while, yes. If it happens every ####### year, no.


I agree with this. Of course I'm going to root for my team no matter how they make the post season, but ultimately you want to see the best team (or arguably the best team) win it all a majority of the time.
   55. Tippecanoe Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4271196)
I get very tired of hearing what a great baseball town St. Louis is. Downtown St. Louis is a depressing dump.


Well, the "best fans in baseball" tag is not the right way to say it, which I'm sure some people find irritating. Cardinals fans are no better or worse than fans of other teams.

But St. Louis really does care more about the local nine than any other city, if determined by the following method: Sample the population in a 50-mile radius of the stadium of every major league team, quantifying each individual's level of devotion. St. Louis would have the highest fandom/capita. It is a smallish city with a poorish economy that sells tickets, merchandise, etc. with ease. And this was equally true prior to 2006, even though at that point they'd had 8 consecutive failed trips to the post-season and 24 years since a title.

IOW there is a pretty reasonable rationale by which St. Louis is the country's best baseball city. There is just no other metro area that becomes one giant baseball pep-rally to the degree that it happens there.
   56. phredbird Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4271205)
Not at all; I just see objectively.


*rolls eyes.*

If the Tigers and Cardinals play in the World Series, I'd expect it to pass Rays-Phillies for lowest-rated World Series ever.


since when does anyone on BTF care about ratings? the writers and some other pundits will get their panties in a bunch over this since it gives them something to write about, meanwhile MLB as a business will continue to gross over $5B, neck and neck with NFL without the skeezy gambling factor.
   57. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4271208)
Although I do get it - the early 00s Cards got ripped off several times and they made an adjustment.


No. They did not 'make an adjustment.' They got lucky.
   58. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4271210)
But St. Louis really does care more about the local nine than any other city, if determined by the following method: Sample the population in a 50-mile radius of the stadium of every major league team, quantifying each individual's level of devotion. St. Louis would have the highest fandom/capita. It is a smallish city with a poorish economy that sells tickets, merchandise, etc. with ease. And this was equally true prior to 2006, even though at that point they'd had 8 consecutive failed trips to the post-season and 24 years since a title.


Local TV ratings is constantly among the highest in the sport, not the highest every year, but generally speaking the tv shares are higher than almost any other city (New York and Boston do pretty well) heck even exhibition games like the All star game, gets high ratings. Of course TV ratings isn't the end all be all of fandom, but it's a starting point.

Logically speaking, the city has not much other entertainment, it's not like real cities and has a night life of any significance, doesn't have a theater district(it has two theaters---not movie I'm talking about for plays) so it doesn't have the broadway shows to compete against, strong portion of minority population in a city without a professional basketball team (or even a good college team) means that the sporting interest is split among a crappy football team that threatens to leave every year, a hockey team that has never won anything, and the Cardinals.

The Cardinals fan base is strong, because we don't have any other #### out here.

Edit: meant to add, that this year the Tigers and the Reds had the highest rating shares in MLB.
   59. ASmitty Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4271211)
But St. Louis really does care more about the local nine than any other city, if determined by the following method: Sample the population in a 50-mile radius of the stadium of every major league team, quantifying each individual's level of devotion. St. Louis would have the highest fandom/capita.


This seems...totally unverifiable. And also probably not true.

I've spent time it STL. Their fans are like any other fans. It strikes me as a city with only one long-term big-three sports franchise that also happens to be really successful.

EDIT: Coke of sorts to cardsfanboy
   60. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4271216)
The hatred of the Cardinals really confuses me. I'm as astounded as the writer at it. Having lived in New York, Los Angeles/Anaheim, and Oakland/SF, I really do think the fans are better here. The fact that people keep repeating the "best fans in the country" thing can be irritating to people in other cities, but in my experience it's basically true. The depth of affection for the Cardinals easily surpasses anything I experienced in California, and there isn't the self-loathing angst that I found in New York. I just don't see the hatred for individual Cardinal players that I saw for Met and Yankee players in New York. If the Cardinals lose a close series in the playoffs as they did in 1985, 1987, 1996, 2001 and 2005, it isn't because somebody "choked", or because somebody lacks fortitude, it's because baseball is a game with winners and losers and sometimes other good teams win. I don't see the attention-seeking whining that I saw among Met and Yankee fans in New York. A's fans are similar, except there aren't very many of us.
   61. Tippecanoe Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4271217)
This seems...totally unverifiable. And also probably not true.

If it is true, we'd see things like great attendance, high local merchandise sales, high TV ratings, and a reputation as a great baseball city. The collateral things that one would expect to see if it was true are there. So I think it is unverifiable, but probably true.
   62. ASmitty Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4271227)
If it is true, we'd see things like great attendance, high local merchandise sales, high TV ratings, and a reputation as a great baseball city.


And these things are true only of St. Louis? The Cardinals are a good team in an otherwise unoccupied sports market; I would expect a good sized fan base.

Best in the entire sport? I don't know how anyone could say that claim was "probably true"
   63. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4271228)
Despite being a "thinking" fan, I don't give a rip about pythag records.
Every fraternity needs a Stork.
   64. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4271234)
The fact that people keep repeating the "best fans in the country" thing can be irritating to people in other cities, but in my experience it's basically true.


I like that badge, but it's a purely subjective badge of honor. I imagine that Boston/Philly/New York/Chicago fans are as devoted as Cardinal fans, but due to difference in "personality" they exhibit it differently. The Reds fans are probably the most comparable to Cardinal fans. Cardinals get the reputation partially earned and partially as a self fulfilling repetition.

You hear national announcers all the time praising the Cardinal fans when they come to the games, part of that is because of the moniker, but some of that is coming from comments they are getting in interviews of other players and their own observation of the fans. But again this is because they are looking for these positives. Just like in Philly, they aren't the only city who has had bad fan actions, but when a bad fan actions happens in Philly it gets remembered because that is Philly's rep. Same action in another city and it's "just a bad seed".


Same with St Louis, yes St Louis will applaud another teams player good performance. An opposing pitcher leaves the game in the 8th inning with a shutout, he is going to get an applause. I'm sure other cities do that, I find it hard to believe that St Louis is the only city that would do that. Another player makes a fine play, he's going to get an applause. We are paying fans, paying to see the best, when they do something exceptional, regardless of the uniform, you have to appreciate it. I'm sure other cities are the same way and it just doesn't get mentioned because they don't have the self created moniker of best fans in baseball.

Those are the actions that people are pointing to when they point to best fans. They are a mostly positive group, booing is kept to a minimum(more now than there was 10 years ago as the population makeup has changed) Even applauding a guy having a bad game to "give him energy" isn't unheard of. But again, this is probably standard in other cities, just not reported as much. Standing ovations for new players acquired in mid season, I'm sure every team does that.
   65. bunyon Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4271240)
Having lived in New York, Los Angeles/Anaheim, and Oakland/SF, I really do think the fans are better here.

MLB should expand outside those locations.


Despite being a "thinking" fan, I don't give a rip about pythag records.

Every fraternity needs a Stork.


Always important to be super specific here, I guess: I don't give a rip in determining who won the season. If you asked me about next year, sure, I'll take it into consideration.
   66. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4271245)
Always important to be super specific here, I guess: I don't give a rip in determining who won the season. If you asked me about next year, sure, I'll take it into consideration.


The inability of stat dorks to distinguish predictive analysis from "things that have actually happened in the world" is...tedious.
   67. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4271255)
The Tigers were awful from the late 80's until the current run started in 2006. They had a couple of 87 win seasons here and there, but they must have had the worst record in baseball over that period. Everyone remembers the Spiders-esque Trammell team in 2003, but they had several other seasons during that period that were comparable.


1996 Tigers - worst pitching ever.
   68. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4271272)
Having lived in New York, Los Angeles/Anaheim, and Oakland/SF, I really do think the fans are better here.


Yes, we all particularly enjoyed the classiness of Cardinals fans threatening Keith Tkachuk and his family during the 2004 WS because Tkachuk had the gall to attend the game and root for his hometown team in the WS despite saying repeatedly he enjoyed playing for the Blues.

The fans are no better there than anywhere else. It's a bunch of poppycock.
   69. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4271274)
cfb

your frame of reference is off if you regard the reds fans base as a net positive

this is the fan base that:

--drove adam dunn out of town
--harrassed and nitpicked ken griffey jr thoughout his stay
--booed barry larkin (don't anyone call me a liar. i was there not once, not twice, but three random times for booing of barry larkin. barry larkin people. barry larkin booed--unacceptable)
--had many empty seats in the stadium just this past september as their team was winning the division


to their credit they adore brandon phillips.

but this is a rough fan base with little memory save for perceived slights and perceived failures

rough crowd. rough, rough crowd
   70. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4271282)
for the record i blame marty for some of this nonsense. he really whips folks into a frenzy.

he must have been a roman coliseum play by play guy in a former life
   71. GuyM Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4271283)
The inability of stat dorks to distinguish predictive analysis from "things that have actually happened in the world" is...tedious.

It is you who are confused here. Citing the Cards' pythag record directly addresses the objection that the "best" teams deserve to be in the post-season. This year they are clearly one of the 2 or 3 best teams in the league. If someone wants to say "the teams with the most wins should be in the playoffs," then fine -- pythag is obviously not a relevant response to that.
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4271284)
your frame of reference is off if you regard the reds fans base as a net positive


I'm mostly going on by the last couple of years over anything, their press sucks and having Marty Brenneman as their announcer, will color their actions, but it was the only team that I could think of who's fans have a similar temperament of the Cardinals with a long history of baseball. I think they are a little bitter right now, but that is only temporary in my opinion.

edit: missed the booing Larkin part. That is unacceptable. (but Cardinals have booed star players in the recent past Edmonds, Lankford being the most obvious)
   73. ASmitty Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4271289)
Yes, we all particularly enjoyed the classiness of Cardinals fans threatening Keith Tkachuk and his family during the 2004 WS because Tkachuk had the gall to attend the game and root for his hometown team in the WS despite saying repeatedly he enjoyed playing for the Blues.


Don Denkinger also appreciates their passion.
   74. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4271292)
Don Denkinger also appreciates their passion.


He honestly does. He was at the Cardinals baseball writers dinner, he signs autographs with pictures of the play, he attends lectures in St Louis.
   75. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4271296)
Citing the Cards' pythag record directly addresses the objection that the "best" teams deserve to be in the post-season.

No it doesn't. This is like the third time you've tried this gambit and it's still a massive fail. Other than to a rump niche of clueless and needy stat dorks, "best" is measured by actual wins, not pythag wins.
   76. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4271301)
The hatred of the Cardinals really confuses me.


In addition to my remarks in #13, let me take a moment to point out that absolutely no other team is dumber or more belligerent about throwing at batters. They retaliate for things that were obviously accidents, they escalate during retaliation by going for the head or the knee, they'll keep on retaliating for two or three days without any return provocation, and then when you call them out on it, they whine like a dog watching a plate of bacon. It's maddening.
   77. Tippecanoe Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4271312)
The Cardinals are a good team in an otherwise unoccupied sports market; I would expect a good sized fan base.

Well, they have an NFL team that won the Super Bowl and have kept an NHL hockey team for the last 45 years. It is no less "occupied" than KC, Cinncinnati, Milwaukee, and any number of other major league towns.

Also,I haven't made any statement that the city's baseball-centricity has arisen without causes - of course it has. But that doesn't mean it isn't a fact.

Best in the entire sport? I don't know how anyone could say that claim was "probably true"


Where did I say "best"?
   78. salvomania Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4271314)
More "intellectually," a Tigers-Cardinals really isn't the "World Series" in the true meaning of that term, as it doesn't match the two best or two most-accomplished teams from the American and National Leauges. It's the "MLB Playoff Finals."


For the last 43 years---about 40% of the time the World Series has existed---teams other than those with the best record in each league have played in the postseason, and in many of those years these lesser teams have won.

Your point seems to be that at least (pre-1995) those teams had won something, i.e., a division title (even if it came with the league's 3rd- or 4th-best record), whereas now, some sh!tty team with the league's 5th-best record (among 33% more teams than pre-1994) can make it in without having the decency to even win their own division.

I get that, and part of me agrees to an extent. Would four 4-team divisions and the elimination of the Wild Card make things better? No, because that 96-win second-place team will be bitter about the 83-win other-division-winners getting in. So you have to have a Wild Card.

Maybe the second Wild Card is the straw that breaks the camel's back; without it, the Cardinals don't get in this year, and the hate that seems to have metastasized in 2012 would exist only as smaller pockets of fans done wrong by earlier Cardinal teams.

But now, by squeaking in a second year in row, with their previous "championship" in 2006 almost universally viewed as lame (even by me), I understand the "hate," although I think it's more like people are just sick of their act and would rather see anyone else advance.

   79. salvomania Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4271321)
"best" is measured by actual wins, not pythag wins.


I'm with SBB on this. CFB, nobody cares about Pythag records. A 93-win team is a team that wins 93 games, not an 88-win team that "should have" won 93 games.
   80. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4271325)
I think teams that have equal Pythag records are equally good. If one of them won five more games than the other one, that means they were five games luckier. Does that make me a stats geek?
   81. salvomania Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4271329)
Does that make me a stats geek?


Of course it does! The only "lucky" teams are the ones that only win 88 games but still get to play in the postseason!

By the way, does the fact that the Cardinals lost seven games in 2012 in which they had the lead with 2 outs in the final inning evidence that they are unlucky, or evidence that they're bad?
   82. phredbird Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4271331)
The depth of affection for the Cardinals easily surpasses anything I experienced in California, and there isn't the self-loathing angst that I found in New York.


see? they're not doing it right.
   83. phredbird Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4271335)
The Reds fans are probably the most comparable to Cardinal fans.


actually, i think this is not a bad comp. similar demographics (midwestern town with not a lot otherwise for major sports), long tradition. i've heard cincy fans being described with the same sort of phrases as card fans. the slavish devotion to pete rose speaks well for their fandom, not so much for their judgment, but hey they are fan-atics.
   84. ASmitty Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4271336)
Where did I say "best"?


Sorry, "cares more about their team per-capita than any other fan base."

I've lived in STL, it's a good baseball town, but not appreciably more than other places I've lived, which have included Detroit, the afore-mentioned Milwaukee, and four other cities with MLB teams. Perennially good teams tend to have perenially good fan-bases, with the possible exception of the big wallet-big expectation northeastern markets. Just because the STL fanbase likes to call themselves the best fans in baseball doesn't make it so. There are plenty of markets where fans care a lot about the team on a "per-capita basis."
   85. GuyM Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4271337)
Citing the Cards' pythag record directly addresses the objection that the "best" teams deserve to be in the post-season.

No it doesn't. This is like the third time you've tried this gambit and it's still a massive fail.

By "best" I simply mean most talented. For example, if you were trying to determine which NL team(s) were most likely to win the WS over the AL pennant winner, you would be better off using pythag than actual win totals. I don't see how anyone (even SBB) could disagree with that. If you want to say the teams with the most wins are most "deserving" of playing in the post-season, that's fine. Or choose any word you want. My point is simply that to the extent someone believes the strongest teams should compete to win the pennant and play in the WS, pythag record is a perfectly valid way to establish that.
   86. BDC Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4271340)
I think teams that have equal Pythag records are equally good

That can be obviously misleading in the short run. Let's say the Dodgers play the Cubs in a five-game series, c1966. Koufax, Drysdale, Osteen, and Sutton throw shutouts and the Dodgers win each game 5-0. The Dodgers decide to let Soupy Sales pitch the next game, and lose 25-5. The teams' Pythagorean records are thus identical. But the Dodgers are better, and would win any series they played, long or short, against the Cubs. Admittedly, Soupy is a weakness.

We assume that over 162 games such effects will even out, but I think one would have to look in a pretty "granular" way at what happened in the discrete games, to make sure it evened out.

A more basic point where I'd totally agree is that five games in the standings isn't a heck of a lot of an edge after 162. Two teams can have the appropriate Pythags for the five-game difference and still be equally good for most intents and purposes.
   87. ASmitty Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4271345)
I think teams that have equal Pythag records are equally good. If one of them won five more games than the other one, that means they were five games luckier. Does that make me a stats geek?


Meh. Pythag is supposed to be better than W-L because it smoothes the run distribution over one big event rather than 162 smaller, discrete events. But it's still not necessarily a determinate of "best." What about teams that have a Pythag influenced by injuries or trades or call-ups? And then there's the unbalanced schedule.

I'm not saying you would disagree with that, of course, but I'm just pointing it out. It's not like every team plays the same schedule with a non-changing lineup of players. There's room for interpretation in the data.
   88. BDC Posted: October 15, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4271353)
And as to the Cardinals – they were a team that I grew up not hating so much as fearing (I was raised a Cubs fan c1966, so the Cardinals were always rivals and always better than the Cubs). Indifference set in during the 1970s; I really liked the 1980s version of the team (who couldn't like Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee? and ex-Dernière was a big Cardinals fan, which helped reconcile me to them). Indifference grew again in the 1990s, when I watched mostly AL ball, and by the time the Cardinals were prominent again, they just didn't have players I really liked. I don't hate players, but I didn't thrill to Jim Edmonds somersaulting all over the place; Pujols was a distant guy to me, hard to like; David Eckstein is sort of the anti-Ozzie; I didn't much have an impression of Rolen; who can really cheer for Jeff Suppan? I dunno. It's extremely subjective; they just rubbed me the wrong way. And then the 2011 Series happened and I can't imagine liking the Cardinals again in this lifetime.

I do think the world of Chris Carpenter. There is apparently no way to stop him in the postseason. His start tonight might just entice me to watch.
   89. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4271358)
I'm with SBB on this. CFB, nobody cares about Pythag records. A 93-win team is a team that wins 93 games, not an 88-win team that "should have" won 93 games.


At no point in time did I mention Pythag records in this thread.

I think that a teams won/loss record is what you start examining a team by and using other evaluations to examine how good the team really was, but ultimately won loss record matters.

I have only mentioned that the 83 win Cardinals were a better than 83 win team, because they just didn't care, up 6.5 games with 15 games to go and the second best record in the NL, is an indication of a pretty good team, regardless of what happened afterwards. Obviously the Mets were the best team in the NL that year, to argue different would be silly.
   90. salvomania Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4271363)
Ok, At no point in time did I mention Pythag records in this thread.


Sorry, CFB, collateral damage: I've never let facts get in the way of my comments before, and I'm not going to start now.
   91. Tippecanoe Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4271366)
Just because the STL fanbase likes to call themselves the best fans in baseball doesn't make it so

Didn't the "best fans" notion get legs from national MSM types like Jason Stark, not from some self-designation? I can remember hearing it on national TV broadcasts since the '80's. If it was just the Mayor of St. Louis saying it or the local broadcast team then nobody would give it a second thought.

   92. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4271371)
bob

i am a one trick pony when it comes to carpenter. he is the modern day spud chandler. hurt a lot but when healthy he's pretty great

   93. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4271372)
Didn't the "best fans" notion get legs from national MSM types like Jason Stark, not from some self-designation? I can remember hearing it on national TV broadcasts since the '80's. If it was just the Mayor of St. Louis saying it or the local broadcast team then nobody would give it a second thought.


Yes and no, it originated in a Sporting News article, but the Sporting News was produced in St Louis at the time, so their perceptions were colored. The national media picked up on it and ran with it. Along with the St Louis fans constantly repeating it.
   94. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4271373)
My complaint is that they always have good players. Try to put together a list of players, since the beginning of the McGwire era, who A) joined the Cardinals (whether as free agents or from the minors), and B) were disappointing with the Cardinals.


I don't like the Cardinals either, but this is a pretty poor reason to hate them. Maximizing the performance of your players isn't luck; it's a skill. It comes from careful player evaluation, combined with coaching, training, setting a proper course of expectations, and attitude. And maybe steroids.
   95. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4271375)
I hate the Cardinals with the white hot burning intensity of a thousand suns:

1) Tony LaRussa, the man who singlehandledly increased the time of a game by a half hour
2) Smug, self satisfied fans
3) Continually sneaking into the playoffs with inferior records
4) Having quadruple A guys get hot at just the right time
5) Sneaking cash into incompetent umpires pockets to "interpret" an infield fly call like Rodney Dangerfield in "Caddyshack"-- "keep it fair, keep it fair".
6) Joaquin Andujar
7) Joe Buck
8) Jack Buck (just for fathering Joe Buck)
9) Ozzie Smith's stupid backflips
10) "Busch" beer

None of this has anything to do with Friday night, of course.

   96. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4271378)
phredbird knew he was going to take a lot of crap in this thread, but he deserves a primey for #46.

When did you start hating the Cardinals? Obviously everyone hates them now, but for me it was October 19, 2006


I didn't hate them in 1985. I thought it was cool that two teams from my home state were in the World Series.

But this pretty much sealed the deal as the Cards being one of my most hated teams.

If the Yanks become mediocre, and the Red Sox don't bounce back, I can see the Cards becoming the team everyone loves to hate.
   97. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4271379)
Your point seems to be that at least (pre-1995) those teams had won something, i.e., a division title (even if it came with the league's 3rd- or 4th-best record), whereas now, some sh!tty team with the league's 5th-best record (among 33% more teams than pre-1994) can make it in without having the decency to even win their own division.

That's a big part of it. The old postseason wasn't so much "playoffs" as it was matchups of teams that had already won something challenging and worthwhile and were just trying to win what the Euro/Anglo soccer fan would call more "silverware" by winning each of the next two postseason series.

That, IMHO, is a model more in touch with the uniqueness of baseball and I still don't really think the "playoff" model, with its extra "excitement" and "upsets" works for baseball. (Aesthetically, of course. It very well may be better for business, but that's an empirical question.)
   98. UCCF Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4271388)
When did you start hating the Cardinals?

Who can remember that far back? It goes back past the 1984 Sandberg game. It's like it was part of puberty - at some point you grew up, put away childish things, and started hating the Cardinals.

(What perpetuates it, of course, is this notion of "OMG greatest fans in BASEBALL #1#1#1" that gets put forward. I can easily root for them to lose just so that those greatest fans can choke on it.)
   99. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4271390)
cfb

apparently folks forget it now but it was bob costas who took the ball and ran with it as the nbc ballgame of the week guy

between the st louis roots of tsn, bob and joe g one could allege it was a 'plot'

ha, ha
   100. BDC Posted: October 15, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4271391)
Harv, my one association with Spud Chandler is this amazing Charles Conlon photograph. It's of his wife and son at a game in 1942. Nothing in it truly identifies it as a baseball photo, yet somehow the idiom and the way it's framed make it impossible to be anything else. I have seen few photos that made me wish more that the people in them had happy lives.
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