Try as I might, I've never been able to get all that excited for the Cardinals-Royals rivalry. I hardly even consider it a rivalry - at least not when compared to the Cubs. It doesn't help that I barely remember 1985. I've also never lived in Missouri - let alone near wherever the imaginary line is in the middle of the state that separates the two fan bases (for Cardinals-Cubs in Illinois, this line would probably run east-west across Bloomington-Normal). And, for all intents and purposes, the very idea that this series even exists offends my baseball sensibilities as I don't care for inter-league play. In fact, I sort of hate it.
I'm on board with every other change that has helped shape modern baseball. The expanded playoffs are wonderful. Team expansion in the last 25 years seems to have worked out well. And replay, while clunky and slow-moving at times, is light years better than waiting for another Denkinger moment. But inter-league play still feels like more of an unnecessary gimmick rather than an improvement. It makes scheduling balance basically impossible. But most of all, in my eyes, it's taken a bit away from the All-Star game - which doesn't really matter - and the World Series, which most certainly does.
Prior to inter-league, the World Series was different from any other major professional sport in that the two teams facing off were guaranteed by design to be seeing each other for the first time. It was like watching the Olympics. Two separate worlds were colliding and the stakes were everything. That's all gone. The World Series is still perfectly fine, and this is akin to yelling at a cloud as it seems quite unlikely that baseball will ever roll back inter-league, but I'd be happy if they did and whatever negative energy is being wasted on the Royals by our fan base can be re-directed at the Cubs where it belongs.
Here's what you may have missed yesterday at VEB:
Last week Sporting News came out with their now much-talked about top 50 players. A notable snub was Matt Carpenter. Craig Edwards took a look at whether this was a glaring omission and based on Carpenter's play so far this year it probably is.
Down on the farm
Josey Curtis has the scoop on what's going on with all of the Cardinals' affiliates. We might be close to seeing Brayan Pena soon which is good news for those of us clamoring to see Yadi get more rest.
The Cardinals hit a lot of home runs on Sunday in Seattle. Let's watch all of them!
The Cardinals should destroy the Royals as Craig explains why in the series preview. Unfortunately, the Royals banged out six runs all on two outs in the first two innings last night which set the tone for their victory. If you want to relive it all over again you can read the game thread here.
Have a great Tuesday, everyone.