Just over a year ago, I became a displaced fan of the Birds on the Bat. It also happens to coincide with arguably the most insane 12 months in St. Louis sports history. Whether or not you believe in fate, the bottom line has become this – the Cardinals are one of the last four teams standing. At any point outside of maybe acquiring Goldy or when the Blues raised the Cup, any thought of making the National League Championship Series would have gotten strange looks in Missouri yet alone anywhere else on the globe.
And still, that’s the reality about to take place in just over an hour.
No matter how you want to frame things moving forward, one thing can simply not be taken away regardless of which team advances. The Cards have returned to that level where they have to be noticed and more than anything, that’s a win in my book. Every year when Albert was scowling at the plate and even the first few after he left were all the same – Cardinals Devil Magic. Go ahead and do a quick search and that phrase pops up again after being MIA for far too long. That’s why as much as I hate to admit it, this series just doesn’t have the same pull as it should.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still can be a one-man cheering section at any bar just as I was in 2011 and may do that again if it ends up Houston and St. Louis. There’s nothing quite like being the only one yelling when the whole establishment is in shock. Of course that might not be the smartest move to make again but hey, you only live once! Part of the caution surely has to do with Washington’s unbelievable starting rotation and knowing just how hard each game will be against that triple threat.
More than anything else, however, this roller coaster has taken its toll. I’m not a spring chicken anymore and really dating back to when Matheny was given his walking papers, it has been great highs and crazy lows literally non-stop.
Let’s break it down shall we while waiting for first pitch.
July 2018 – pretty sure we all remember this and can chalk it up to a positive month.
August 2018 – beginning of the end with an unfortunate break putting many more moves in motion.
September 2018 – so many to choose from but watching Chicago celebrate surely counts as a negative.
October 2018 – playoff baseball can’t hold a candle to this signing by the Cardinals.
November 2018 – small positive by bringing back an organizational piece but one who made his debut in 2019.
December 2018 – not sure it even needs an intro, but best news I ever received sitting in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
January 2019 – Secret Weapon count as a plus and minus?
February 2019 – Another small move that paid off in a big way for the NL Central champs.
March 2019 – Want to imagine if Goldy hadn’t signed his extension? Me either so keep the positive coming…
April 2019 – Sadly the Cardinals got extension happy which means the fast start can’t overcome the Carp.
May 2019 – Oh, if ever a month to skip. Lots of negatives but really hard not to pinpoint this one.
June 2019 – Yup, we won’t talk about baseball for this month but hey, still a positive!
July 2019 – Three words is all you need – Paul F’n Goldschmidt!
August 2019 – Okay, so this is a writer cheating but still upset about St. Louis not doing squat at the deadline.
September 2019 – Just the start of the baseball world learning all about Flaherty, Jack Flaherty.
October 2019 – Already a positive no matter what because of # 4! And Ozuna, Waino, Goldy – the list keeps going!
And there you have it – man, already exhausted before getting to take in Game 1 under the Arch! What a crazy, insane, more times than not speechless (Game 5 first inning anyone?) year and change it has been since the man, the myth, the legend Mr. Shildt has taken over. He was the perfect anti-Matheny that was needed at just the right time with an ending yet to be written.
Hope everyone enjoys it as much as I will, even if it means scaring my wife and furry one by speaking gibberish or practicing voodoo or both together if that’s what it takes!