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Cardinals news and notes: Pirates, Holliday, and a grand conclusion

You can’t say the Cardinals didn’t go down without a fight

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the season is over. And unlike the previous four seasons of the Mike Matheny tenure, the season ended not with three consecutive losses but with four consecutive wins. Cardinals Devil Magic was strong, but unfortunately, Giants Even Year (expletive deleted) was one game stronger.

I wish the Cardinals were still playing, and I’m a little disappointed, but ultimately I am at peace. And as a fan not just of the Cardinals but of baseball, I am looking forward to the playoffs (though I am also looking forward to a lack of baseball tonight; the last couple weeks has me so tired and I’m gonna need to bank some sleep).

I am but one fan, but here is my personal power rankings of playoff rootability. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Viva El Birdos, but they should, because my opinions are impeccable.

10. Chicago Cubs: I don’t hate the Cubs in the conventional sense, and if in ten years, after building Hall of Fame level careers, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo bring a World Series title to Wrigleyville, I can’t get too upset. But the World Series will be likely be closed out by extremely gross human being Aroldis Chapman, and a world in which Joe Maddon is given more than minimal credit for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer’s front office mastery is not a just world. Some day, maybe. But not today.

9. Los Angeles Dodgers: Seriously, one game. You couldn’t win one measly game. You had Rich Hill, who has been unstoppable when healthy, you had Best Pitcher On Earth Clayton Kershaw against Ty Blach, and you had Kenta Maeda, and you had Vin Scully’s last series, and you couldn’t win one game against the worst team in the National League since the All-Star Break, who happen to be your arch rival? I’d normally be fairly apathetic to the Dodgers, but I hope they get absolutely destroyed. Yes, I’m bitter. Yes, I think I’m justified.

8. Boston Red Sox: They have until very recently been my least favorite baseball team, and the authors of most of my baseball consternation, but they have some super likable players young players, such as Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley. I am sick of the David Ortiz thing, though. Did you know he is barely the fWAR leader among AL East first basemen whose final regular season game was yesterday? And Mark Teixeira isn’t going to come close to the Hall of Fame.

7. San Francisco Giants: I do not hate the Giants, besides Johnny Cueto. But man am I sick of them. This is the point that I jump into being fully okay with teams.

6. Baltimore Orioles: Every once in a while, I remember that they are the former St. Louis Browns and that as an avid hater of the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals, and to some extent the Atlanta Hawks, I should hate the Orioles. It’s barely, but it’s enough that I could probably fake some sort of passion against one of the super-likable NL teams.

5. Washington Nationals: Local kid done good Max Scherzer is an obvious tie-in, though I have some built-up, mostly arbitrary displeasure towards Dusty Baker in my system as well.

4. New York Mets: Jose Reyes isn’t relevant to the Mets in the big picture, so they’re a little more palatable in that regard than the Cubs with Aroldis Chapman, but still.

3. Cleveland Indians: They’re in a blue-collar city that’s gone through some tough times, and while for some reason this isn’t a thing that enables people to root for the St. Louis Cardinals, I won’t hold that against the Indians. They’d probably be my #1 if not for the Cleveland Cavaliers winning a championship—how long-suffering can we really declare them to be? Also, the mascot.

2. Texas Rangers: Get Carlos Beltran a ring!

1. Toronto Blue Jays: They’re just so fun. Get Jose Bautista a ring. Get Troy Tulowitzki a ring. Get Josh Donaldson a ring. Hit a million dingers and since we keep winning Canada’s Stanley Cups, throw them a bone and let Canada have a World Series.

Anyway, enough about my arbitrary opinions. Here’s the news of the weekend in case you, for some reason, were not around for it.

The Matt Holliday appreciation hour

After Matt Holliday’s final appearance with the Cardinals on Friday (ahem), Ben Markham wrote about Matt Holliday and evaluated his rank among his contemporaries. Turns out he was very good.

The end of the season

The red baron wrote about the feelings that come with the end of the regular season. As it turns out, it referred to the end of the season as a whole as well.


The totality of the weekend was disappointing but the games were fantastic. IHeartBoog wrote (and titled) the Saturday game’s recap and WyoCardsFan wrote the Sunday recap. This was the first series in my life in which I attended every game. I think this was a good call.

For anybody worried that VEB will go dark with the offseason, noooooooope. There is still plenty of baseball to discuss and to paraphrase the words of Michael Scott (the Office character, not Michael Scott Matheny, the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals), “we are going nowhere.”