Ed.: Occasionally, we like to surrender the front page to guest authors. Today, loyal reader Daniel Matthews is making his second appearance; in January, he reported from the Reds Caravan stop in Louisville. Today, he had a few things to say about “The Cardinal Way.”
If you’re like me, you are not only irked by the Cardinals, but you are even more so now that they are playing in their fourth Fall Classic since 2004. Their recipe for success seems to be traveling along at a pace that will not soon be unabated.
After moving to Louisville from Southwest Ohio a few years ago, I’ve run into more of the self-proclaimed “Best Fans in Baseball.” I teach them. I work with them. I go to church with them. And the worst part is going to GABP and seeing bunches of them scattered throughout the seats during a series v the Redbirds.
Additionally, a friend and I took a ballpark tour this summer, and Busch was our last stop. During a few of the in-between inning bits of entertainment, the fan cam actually had the words “Baseball’s Best Fans” on the jumbotron.
No wonder such self-made titles creep into the gullible brains of Redbird Country. They hear it from everyone, including Big Brother on the big screen.
But all these heart-warming feelings toward the BFIB can’t compare to what the real issue is: I think, deep down, we are jealous of the success of the Cardinals franchise. I know this is not an earth shattering theory here, but we must admit it. We abhor them because the Cardinals are not our club, and they do things ours doesn’t.
They just win…
90+ wins nearly every season.
Playoff games (60+ since ’96 compared to two for Cincy)
And world championships.
Eleven rings to be exact and maybe a 12th here in about a week. At this point, I’d cheer for the Yankees over St. Louis because when you almost have 30 rings, what’s another?
The amazing thing is that the Cardinals win – and have kept on winning – despite losing what most would call our generation’s best hitter. Carlos Beltran came in, and not only did the lineup not skip a beat, but in a lot of ways, it improved. Allen Craig emerged; Matt Adams is filling in nicely now. Can you imagine what would happen to our boys of summer if JV was no longer in the lineup?
For years, especially since Bill DeWitt Jr. purchased the Cardinals in 1996 and then hired TLR, St. Louis has owned Cincy and the NL.
The good news is that the Reds have Bryan Price in charge now. Dusty Baker never treated games v STL any different than games against the Cubbies or Astros, but I think Price will. He knows what this team needs, and more importantly, he knows who this team needs to dethrone.
I don’t foresee him throwing games away like DB did. Remember all those times he admitted that when a game was over, he conceded and waited until the next day to win or was at least saving pitchers and players for the next day just in case? EVEN in Game 4 v SF last year?
I believe those days are over in Cincy. A new era begins March 31, 2014 against none other than St. Louis.
And it can’t get here soon enough.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.