Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Fine Line Between a Good Season and a Bad One

I often have a really hard time coming up with a title for my blog posts. Aside from the formulaic ones that write themselves, I usually fill in the title at the very end as sort of a throwaway. This one is different as it popped into my head on my way to work this morning. Win, lose, or draw, I knew I'd feel the same way about this season after Game 162.

It's amazing how the result of one game, or even one play, can affect the way an entire season is viewed. I never want to be one to rush to an emotional reaction and trash everything that went on during a season if it just doesn't work out in the end. This season was a very different one to be a Cardinals fan, however. I could have said, with utmost confidence, that 2011 was an abject failure with no regrets if things had gone just ever so slightly differently tonight. I still feel like the Tony La Russa era has run its course and that it's time for some new managerial blood. Horrible decisions were made, both in roster construction and in game management. Corey Patterson should not be on this or any other Major League roster.

But after tonight, we can look back at this team and say that it was a 90-win playoff team. St. Louis has won the Wild Card for the first time since Albert Pujols' rookie season. I will root like hell for this team, even though I felt like they had basically quit on this season back when they got swept by the Dodgers in late August. Playoff fever does strange things to you. And having already experienced the run of an 83-win team take the World Series after two straight dominant seasons with no rings to show for it, you just never know what will happen.

Red Sox and Braves fans will look back at this season as a bad one. I don't really feel sorry for the Red Sox fans, but I'm sure the future is brighter than it seems right now for the Braves with all of their young talent.

Meanwhile, there's more Cardinals baseball on Saturday, and that feels great right now. And a huge tip of the cap to Chris Carpenter for a completely dominant performance tonight.