Anyone but St. Louis
Matthew Roberson| Sports Editor | The USD Vista | @mroberson22
This year’s field of National League playoff teams consisted of four relatively young, exciting, championship-starved teams. The New York Mets turned their stable of twenty-something year-old starting pitchers, and a flurry of trade deadline acquisitions into their first division title since 2006. The Pittsburgh Pirates relied on an analytically-driven front office, the best outfield in the MLB, and a deep pitching rotation to earn their third Wild Card berth in as many years. The Chicago Cubs seemingly employ a roster of children, led by 26 year-old Anthony Rizzo and former USD third baseman Kris Bryant, which was combined with the wisdom of manager Joe Maddon to equal a rare Cubs postseason appearance. On the west coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers parlayed the dominance of pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke with timely hitting to capture a third straight NL West banner. Then, there’s the St. Louis Cardinals.
If the four other teams are a collection of youthful, exuberant players celebrating their remarkable success, the Cardinals are the parents racing home to break up the party. The four teams that qualified for the NL playoffs besides the Cardinals have participated in a total of one World Series since 2000. In that same span, St. Louis has reached four World Series and brought home the trophy after two of them. Going back even further, the Redbirds have won 11 World Series rings since 1926. Their biggest rival, and fellow playoff participant Chicago Cubs, have a whopping zero.
While I certainly don’t hate the St. Louis Cardinals, I don’t get nearly as much pleasure watching them win as I do when a plucky little underdog makes a run deep into October. Maybe it’s their no-nonsense “Cardinal Way” of playing baseball, steeped in Midwestern values and holier-than-thou attitudes, which makes them so easy to root against. Perhaps it’s their lack of a truly incendiary superstar cut from the Yoenis Cespedes or Andrew McCutchen cloth. But the real reason for my Cardinals disdain probably comes from the simple fact that they always win.
Rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals to win is like rooting for the sun to come up. It’s an inevitable occurrence that serves more as a confirmation that life is still happening than anything else. But when that day comes that the sun stops rising, or the Cardinals finally wind up in last place, it will change the world of sports as we know it altogether.