It’s Hard Being #1

Windows and Reflections

It is hard to be number one. I say this in all honesty and as a cautionary tale to those baseball teams that aspire to snatch the World Championship from the Saint Louis Cardinals. It is hard. You may be good enough to take the title, but will you be good enough to hold on to it? I’m just saying that the traditional Thai curse of the gift of a white elephant is totally relevant and not to be taken lightly.

In last Friday’s game, the Cards failed to clinch the National League Pennant. Now they have to play next to the bay today. If they had won on Friday, things would have been a whole lot simpler today. Between Friday and this Sunday morning, my entire extended family has become unglued. My once trash talking brothers have again started up their terrible chatter. I again had to endure a phone conversation with them that boiled down to, “The Cardinals are going down!”, “Yeah!!”, “Oh, yeah!!!” I find it hard to respond to such well formulated arguments. Meanwhile, my sister-in-law Jane is chomping on the Word Series bit with her Detroit Tigers. Jane calm down. Whether the Red Birds win or lose, whether it takes six games or seven, none of this will bring the World Series sooner even one day. For the record, if the Cardinals should just happen to falter, and not win the pennant then I will switch my allegiance to the Giants, but that’s just silly speech.

OK, I have now successfully pissed off both my family and my in-laws and everyone I know in Saint Louis. But wait, there is more. In this dilemma, I thought about appealing to a higher authority, not the baseball commissioner or even the owners, but Reverend Carl of the Church of Baseball. Rev. Carl has always been most ecumenical when it came to baseball. In any playoff series, he has always rooted for the underdog and the extension of that series to its fulfillment.

His recent snail mail missive praised the Cardinals, with the exception of his signoff, “It’s not fair.” I’ll tell you what’s not fair Carl, you be stuck with the Mariners. Move to Saint Louis. See the light. Live within easy driving distance of dozens of ball teams. You know you want to. 👿

Maybe the problem is that the Cards are becoming too much like the Yankees. Not like this year, but over the long haul. The Yankees have far and a way the most championships and everyone hates them for it, but the Cards are second. The Yankees also have the most pennants, but the Cardinals, Giants and the Dodgers are all tied up for number two. This year will edge one team into overall pennant second place.

As I’ve said, it’s hard being number one. The Red Birds are still up to the challenge. Besides today they have a special reason to clinch the pennant. Today is Jay’s birthday. Sorry about trying to lure your husband to greener pastures. Can’t we all just get along? I’m sure a Cardinal pennant would make a lovely birthday present. Happy Birthday, Jay!


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