Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Where’s Your American League Superiority Now?

Congratulations to the Saint Louis Cardinals for pulling the upset of the century.

As a National League fan, I must admit that I’m enjoying the irony. A whole off-season of the pundits harping on the NL’s eight game World Series losing streak. An entire second half of this season listening to them proclaim the AL the “dominant” league after pulling the All-Star Game out of their a…errr…last at-bat. And let’s not forget the constant rehashing of interleague play. And then three weeks of the post-season, listening to them (including this dope with a blog) chortle about those bumbling Cardinals and how they didn’t really deserve a post-season berth, let alone a chance against the mighty Tigers.

Well, you nay-sayers can take your snide asides and NL disparagement and suck it. Our league rolled yours, Sparky! How’s that taste?

Yeah, yeah, yeah – small sample size, in a short series anything can happen, blah blah blah. Those are valid points – and they were valid points back in 2004 and 2005. So if you want to discount this year’s Cardinals, feel free – as long as you’re willing to discount the last two “superior” AL champions.

A few other thoughts on the Fall Classic:

** I will steal Stephen Colbert’s take on the World Cup and apply it to the World Series. He said that since the U.S. team tied Italy (the only team not to lose to them), our boys deserved a share of the World Cup Championship.

I submit that since the Cubs rolled the Cards 11-8 in the season series, not only are we better than the Tigers (and, by extension, the rest of the AL), but we should get the trophy. I’m feeling expansive today, so I’ll allow the Cardinals a share of the title (maybe a third, let’s say).

[Note to those lacking a sense of humor: I kid. Mostly…]

** There’s been a lot of talk about the weather this week, but no one’s done a damn thing about it. The rainy conditions in Saint Louis have revived the calls for MLB to do “something” about playing games in the cold and damp.

But until Baron Budhausen and the rest of the owners decide to shorten the season or mix a few doubleheaders in during the summer, the World Series will always stretch into the last week of October. And neither of those changes will be made anytime soon.

This year, the weather was rainy and cold and miserable. That’s the risk you run playing games this late in October.

Saint Louis also hosted the post-season in 2004, and the weather wizards didn’t raise a fuss then. That year, they had the good luck to not get rained on. That meteorological good luck didn’t hold up this year, and thus a crisis is born.

** There will probably be a lot more gab about the errors made by the Tigers’ pitchers. But give the Cardinals some credit for capitalizing on those mistakes. The Cards had the runners on base to score as a result of those miscues, or had someone come up with a hit to keep the rallies going after the errors.

Meanwhile, the Tigers couldn’t get any offense going. Maybe they were rusty after their week-long layoff, maybe the cold and damp left them lethargic, maybe the Cardinal pitching staff did a good job. Whatever the reason, the Tigers just didn’t get the job done at the plate.

We’ll see replays of Zumaya and Rodney throwing balls away on ESPN Classic until the end of time. Just another example of how nobody ever wins, someone else just blows it. Give the Cardinals credit for cashing in on the opportunities the Tigers gave them, and for not giving the Tiger offense those opportunities in the first place.

1 Comments:

  • Well, I would have rooted for the cardinals but Jim Leyland is an OLD guy---like me! And here is another question, do die hard Cub fans root for the enemy??

    By Anonymous pammysue, at 9:31 AM  

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