Arguably the most fateful moment of 2018 for the Cardinals came when Adolis García, representing the tying run in a crucial late-September game against the Brewers, tripped while rounding third base to mark the final out of the eighth inning. Within seconds, St. Louis’ playoff hopes were also dealt a crushing blow in Denver when David Dahl blasted a three-run homer to give the Rockies a 5-0 lead. The Cardinals would suffer a 2-1 loss while the Rockies cruised to an easy 14-0 victory. You remember the rest all too well: a third straight year ending without a postseason berth.
Like many Cardinals fans at that juncture in time, I was cursing sports’ very existence and questioning why I bother investing so much time and emotional capital into inevitable anguish. Now, however, I look back on that play a little differently. I treasure the ability to lose myself in those five, albeit brief, seconds of sheer euphoria between the throwing error and Garcia’s tumble. Despite the sting of defeat–and believe me when I say that I hate losing even more than I enjoy winning–I acknowledge everything I have to be grateful for.
This gratitude extends well beyond the historic on-field success of the Cardinals. That I have the opportunity to engage with such a passionate, insightful readership is a testament to the immense support and privilege I have received my entire life.
At the top of the following hour, managing editor Josey Curtis will ring in 2019 by overviewing where the Cardinals stand with pitchers and catchers set to report to Spring Training in about six weeks. We are all obviously hoping the Cardinals further bolster their roster this offseason, but no matter how they perform record-wise this year, don’t lose sight of everything we love about baseball. However cliché it may sound, there truly is joy to be had in both the wins and losses that a 162-game season is bound to entail. Regardless of the final score, we are in a situation where we can analyze and discuss baseball with other members of this amazing community. That in and of itself is a win.
From all of us at Viva El Birdos, here’s to a great 2019.