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September Again.

David Welker

September in St. Louis is a wonderful time to be alive.

Today is my mother's birthday, as well as an anniversary of a rather more unfortunate nature. On the upside, everyone remembers her birthday now. On the downside, well, pretty much everything else.

The Cardinals won last night, a beautiful game, and it was good. September baseball is one of the best things in the world, in fact, and here we are again, enjoying meaningful, stretch-run games they may sell us the whole seat but we'll only need the edge for.

Remember 2011? The Brewers were kings of the division, and the Cardinals were the chasers, trying to run down what appeared to be a clearly superior team, the longest of long shots as late in the season as the end of August. Two years later, and the fortunes of these two franchises have gone in decidedly different directions. The Brewers are now a second-division team; the Cardinals are the lead car. It's nice, and striking. We Cardinal fans are spoiled to an almost absurd degree; to be fans of a team metronome-predictable in their success. We're spoiled by September, to say nothing of October.

One of the biggest themes in my writing over the years has been how baseball affects your life, how the things we love make us who we are, and how we mark the time that passes. So it's September again, and stretch baseball is here, and I of course can only think of all the other things in the world baseball reminds me of. I wish it was different; I wish I was different. I would give nearly anything in the world to enjoy this sport I do love so much as entertainment alone; to be able to escape into a game, rather than have it tied up so much in all the rest of my life.

Last September, one day later on the calendar than this year, I wrote a very sad post about the misery of hope. This year, I find my September utterly hopeless, even as my team, and my game, should offer me all the reason in the world for optimism. If baseball was only baseball, and not something wrapped up in the fabric of life, perhaps it would be easier to simply enjoy. I'll stop here; I see no reason to bore you all with another maudlin' RB post. I'm short on time, too, which is really quite lucky. For all of you, anyway.

We come near the middle of September with our favourite baseball team leading the NL Central. My mother's birthday is here; an annual signpost for my own personal beginning of autumn and all it entails. Sure, it's still going to be 97 degrees for the high today here in St. Louis, but the walnut tree in my yard is starting to drop yellow leaves, one at a time, drips and drops of death that will grow to a deluge as the exhilaration of chilly playoff nights creeps closer. It's exciting, and it's awful.

Just like September in St. Louis.

Bye, everyone. Have a nice week, enjoy the baseball, and I'll see you all next Wednesday.