Hi guys. My name is John, I am a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, and I don’t mind the San Francisco Giants. I even, dare I say, like them.
Now, let me be clear: I rooted against the Giants on Thursday, I rooted against them last night, and I will root against them again tonight and on Sunday. But considering they have been the cause of some of my greatest Cardinals frustrations, I’ve always found them likable.
In 2002, before Twitter informed me that a lot of people actually did like Barry Bonds, it was a small bit of iconoclasm to root for him, to respect his incredible ability as well as his obvious disinterest in being beloved. Mid-season acquisition Kenny Lofton is one of the most underrated players of his era—the next three center fielders behind Lofton on the career fWAR leaderboard are all in the Hall of Fame (Max Carey, Andre Dawson, Richie Ashburn), while Lofton received 18 Hall of Fame voters (not eighteen percent; eighteen votes) because life is an unfair mess. Also, their first baseman was J.T. Snow, not a great player but the son of delightful Rams radio color commentator Jack Snow. Perhaps not the profound reason to like a player, but I enjoyed the team nevertheless.
2010’s edition brought a new cast of likable players. While Brian Wilson’s act eventually got a bit stale, and his formerly iconic facial hair eventually became a weird joke, he was an offbeat personality in a sport where most players follow a fairly standard template. Tim Lincecum was a visually striking pitcher to watch and while his decline was relentless, he was a delight (also, as a side note, he totally deserved that 2009 Cy Young he won over Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright; to borrow a bit of Twitter parlance, do not @ me on this matter). As a formerly quite overweight man, seeing somebody with Pablo Sandoval’s physique succeed in sports (often while displaying legitimate athleticism) was inspiring. And the presence of Edgar Renteria, a terrific ex-Cardinal, didn’t hurt.
And the mainstays of the Giants this decade have been difficult to knock. Buster Posey, whose greatness is unfortunately used as a weapon to detract from the independent greatness of Yadier Molina, is nevertheless wonderful. Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt have been admirably steady forces on the Giants infield, and Joe Panik has been both a good player and an endless source of terrible Smiths puns. Madison Bumgarner is a starting pitcher who can not only hit, but can pitch five shutout innings of relief in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series—Giants fans who claim that he is better than Clayton Kershaw are incredibly wrong and yet I cannot blame them for holding this opinion.
Sure, there is Johnny Cueto, and Johnny Cueto is bad. But this is an overwhelmingly likable team and I wish them well in general. I hope they lose every game for the rest of the season. Plus we’d get to see mad baseball writing genius Grant Brisbee document it all.
Anyway, here’s some stuff about the St. Louis Cardinals, the actual baseball team this website is about.
I revisited the David Price non-signing. I’m still not sure if he would have been worth the risk, but it only seems fair to mention Price when raving about the Cardinals passing on Jason Heyward.
Speaking of the Giants, whom I may have mentioned earlier in this post, the Cardinals unfortunately played them last night, losing 8-2, and the game was recapped by mister_manager.
Have a wonderful day. Eventually the Cardinals will play during it.