hey best fans in baseball; it's okay to be pissed.
i mean, how could you not pissed after the last two nights' drubbings?
i guess you could shrug them off as two meaningless losses in a long, long season; you could console yourself with the knowledge that the cards have weathered albert's 15-game (so far) absence with their division lead intact; you could look forward to this evening, when we get treated to another rare glimpse of an intriguing young pitcher; you could look forward to next week, when pujols will presumably be back in uniform.
those would all be rational reactions. so would being pissed.
why be pissed? be pissed that the team that embarrassed ours the last two nights did everything the cardinals didn't this past off-season --- viz., honestly assess its roster weaknesses and hungrily seek upgrades. be pissed that the pitcher who beat the cardinals tuesday night, javy vazquez, might have been st louis' #2 starter if the owners had been willing to pick up some salary. be pissed that the flabby underbelly chicago has slashed open -- the starting rotation -- has been jocketty's overriding concern since last november, yet remains unimproved. be pissed that the player now charged with restoring order to this shambles of a staff, anthony reyes, has been needlessly trapped in the minors all year and just a few days ago was dismissively termed "not ready" by the cardinal manager.
don't be pissed at the st louis players; they're putting forth honest effort, almost to a man. they've fought courageously and admirably through pujols' absence; no faulting them. i won't even fault last evening's punching bag, jason marquis, who manfully hung in there 5 innings to spare the bullpen, at the cost of a mushrooming welt on his earned-run average -- and a commensurate reduction in the value of the contract offers he'll field this autumn. jason no doubt wants to cash in after the season, but he apparently wants to win a championship more.
alas, those priorities seem to be held in reverse order at stadium plaza. while the white sox -- who after going 11-1 last october had every reason to be complacent -- were aggressively addressing their roster's flaws last winter, the cardinals made a conscious choice to live with theirs, and take solace in the 81 sellouts and the token playoff appearance.
best fans, you deserve better. better than another empty division title; better than a bunch of forgettable wins against milwaukee and pittsburgh and kansas city; better than the tell-em-what-they-want-to-hear dissembling of the team brass. we deserve a full-on commitment to winning a championship at every level of the organization. we're seeing what that looks like during the cards' visit to comiskey -- on the white sox half of the diamond. and we're seeing just how far behind that organization we lag. the magnitude of the beatings may exaggerate the effect -- indeed, the scores are so farcical that it becomes easy to pretend the games never happened. but as a gauge of the cards' title-worthiness, these two games are no aberration. they're a depressingly accurate illustration of what we already knew before the series began: these cards are too flawed to go all the way.
you deserve better, dammit; be pissed. be pissed that the cards were too cautious to deal one of the walk-year pitchers during spring training, when those guys still had some trade value. be pissed that the open sore in left field has been allowed to fester all season, without treatment. be pissed that, moving forward, the options for rebalancing the roster for october are very limited -- and not very promising.
some bestfans believe that being pissed is at odds with "supporting the team" and therefore suppress negative emotions; very unhealthy. others refuse to get pissed because they think it's a sin committed only by very evil fans from impure places like new york and philadelphia; another fallacy. you can be angry, even disgusted, and still be a great fan who loves his/her team; discernment and high standards are likewise permitted. exercise them. be pissed. your BFIB membership credentials will not be revoked, nor will you be barred from busch iii -- and the cardinals' self-esteem will not suffer a fatal collapse.
this is not about the last two games. it's about the 7 months of complacency that led up to them. be pissed about that, bestfan. be pissed and stay pissed until this organization proves itself worthy of your devotion. keep rooting like hell for the players; they're worthy. but the men in the suits evidently don't care as much as you do.