It’s been a tough week in Cardinal Nation. We lost a Cardinal great when number five, Albert Pujols, traded in his Red Birds’ gear for a different set of wings in Anaheim, California.
When the announcement was made on Thursday, after a very brief moment of disbelief, we all (Cardinal Nation) started to speak out. And a lot of it wasn’t really pretty.
Here at 2WC, we get it. Getting dumped stinks. But when you start saying ugly, angry statements, you’re usually the one who ends up looking bad. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you sort through the broad range of emotions from the past few days.
We’ve even broken it down into five easy steps (oh sweet, poetic irony):
- Denial (Zer): Unless you’re a firm believer in some sort of media conspiracy, you probably weren’t denying that Pujols had actually left the Cardinals for the Angels. However, there were plenty of emotional denials. We all heard it, the “I don’t really care”, “He wasn’t even that great of a player,” and, “I knew he was going to leave all along.” Brave fronts, put up as a shield to protect from the pain, and eventually leading to an emotional explosion.
- Anger (Stephanie): I’m a firm believer that anger in this situation (and in many others) is not the solution. Just because we got left in the dust for a mere additional 44 million dollars over ten years, milder climate, and neighboring Hollywood, is no reason to bash the man (I can’t yet speak his name) who gave us the best years of his career. What’s a sea of red compared to an actual ocean? I just hope the continuity of uniform color is able to distract him from the guilt of leaving the town which witnessed and supported the best years of his career. But, I’m being redundant (about those best years of his career). Perhaps it’s best to drown our sorrows (and fury) in a less vicious and more productive way. We can only hope we’ll find solace in our multiple world championships.
- Bargaining (Zer): Most Cardinals fans were not directly involved in the actual negotiations, but we all like to think that our actions might have assisted in the final decision making process. Maybe if we’d cheered louder, shown our appreciation a little more often, worn our Cardinal gear a little more proudly…the list goes on and on. Of course, eventually we have to face the facts and realize there’s nothing we could have done. I mean, we supported the team all the way to a World Series victory, what more could you ask for.
- Depression (Stephanie): Wallowing. It’s an art form when done correctly. It’s all about balance. You must be both pathetic and inspirationally strong at the same time. It’s the only way you’ll get through. Yes, you’re torn up over the loss of he who shall not be named, but you refuse to be brought down by your grief. You will not be crushed. You are an inspiration. Now, go brave Cardinal’s fan. Move forward with your head held high, your red worn proudly, and your enthusiasm and random baseball knowledge worn on your sleeve (right next to your heart).
- Acceptance (2WC): At the end of this process there are certain unavoidable facts. There is no I in team, and there is no longer any Pujols on ours. It’s a hard fact to accept, but accept it we must. He may have been great, there’s no denying that, but life and Cardinal Nation will go on.
So punch your walls, post your rants, and give away your Pujols’ apparel (true story), but just remember spring training is only a few months away.
…just for fun:
Baseball is boring.
It’s the ultimate excuse for non-baseball fans.
I get it.
A large part of baseball is a whole lot of nothing. Ground out after ground out can get to be a bit much.
The no-hitter, one of the more rare and most exciting events in baseball, is by definition a game during which absolutely nothing happens (half of the time.)
If you’re not invested (emotionally, not financially, we don’t promote gambling here at the Crusade) in the game it can be a tough game to sit through.
But there has to be something there right? I mean would millions of people pack parks around the country season after season if the only appeal of the game was beer and peanuts?
True you have to sit through a lot of nothing, but it’s the moments of glory that make it worth being able to say that you were there from the beginning.
As Cardinals fans head into this season, there’ a lot of uncertainty and a fear of nothingness.
With our star player approaching the end of his contract and one of our star pitchers out for the season, things are looking a little bleak.
But that’s baseball, a whole lot of nothing can lead to one moment of brilliance and turn the whole game around.
So here’s to another great season of baseball and moments of brilliance.
It’s really all about the sportsmanship:
Did you hear that? The distant sound of a baseball cracking against a bat. It’s almost that time of year again.
Okay, so it’s freaking cold outside (under exaggeration), and the distant cracking sound is most likely an over zealous snow plow taking out your neighbor’s mailbox.
But what better way is there to get through these cold winter months than to count down the days until America’s favorite past time returns?
Only 41 days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, 5 days later position players report, and 10 days after that preseason play begins.
Or at least that’s what my ‘Official St. Louis Cardinals 2010 Calendar’ says (you know you’re jealous).
Speaking of the Cardinals, they’ve been very busy recently securing themselves a left fielder for the next seven years.
I apologize for the excessive twitching that is about to follow, it can’t be helped.
Matt Holliday (twitch) ‘earned’ himself a seven-year, $120 million contract.
Assuming that nothing dramatically changes between now and the press conference on Thursday, this deal is the largest contract ever awarded by the Cardinals franchise.
Surprising when you consider the driving force behind acquiring Holliday (twitch) was to secure protection for Albert Pujols in the batting line up. You may have heard of him before.
I have to admit, my eye still involuntarily twitches every time I hear Holliday (twitch) mentioned. If you’re wondering why, all I have to say is: game two of the division series, bottom of the ninth, two outs, fly ball to left field, and… the rest hurts too much.
Lets just say, it was one of the few times in my life when I felt I truly knew what it was like to be a Cubs fan (couldn’t help it, it had to be said). It was a horrible two seconds, I don’t know how they do it (as did that).
Despite this past (twitch) unpleasantness, I am willing (twitch) to give Holliday a second chance (twitch, twitch).
I mean, he was okay in the 63 games he played with the Cardinals last season. He did have a batting average of .353 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs in 63 games.
That’s fine, if you’re into that whole scoring more runs than the other team thing. Well, I guess he can stay (twitch).
The Whole Story: Cards get Holliday
The best article I’ve read about ‘the event that shall not named': The Dropped Fly
…Some imaginary baseball to help you make it through the winter: Imaginary Baseball
…only 88 days until opening day (and 95 until the home opener Cards fans).