I went to the ballpark last night for my third free game of the season. This time it was thanks to Joanie, she bought me my ticket for my birthday. We took MetroLink down. It was raining, so we ducked into Ballpark Village. We were joining Joanie’s college friend, Pat and her family. Word came that they had moved to better seats and there might be seats there for us too. Hold on now, this is a wee bit complicated. Pat’s brother-in-law, her sister’s husband, has a brother, Tom Henke, who was a Cardinal in the 90s. He was at the park to sign autographs and got their seats as part of the gig. We joined them and stayed glued to our newfound seats for the first few innings, but there was no problem.
This weekend’s series against the Brewers is important. They lead the division and we were in second, just two games behind them, until last night. Unfortunately, victory once again eluded the Redbirds. At one point it looked like a rout, 7-0, but ended in a face-saving loss, 7-4, but it was a sloppy game. In addition to four runs, the Cards chalked up an error, a bean, a balk, a challenge (my first), which was denied and Matheny was tossed from the game. At one point, a Brewer player on third thought that the third out had been called and was halfway to the dugout before he realized his mistake. The Cards couldn’t throw him out nor get him out on the technicality of leaving the base paths.
There is concern here in Mudville. You hear it muttered about the water cooler at work. Up until the All-Star break, it was easy to dismiss a certain amount of floundering, because the season wasn’t even half over. Now it is August and summer is racing on towards the fall. New blood was introduced this week, Pierzynski caught yesterday and new pitching is on for today. The guys at work keep speaking of shaking things up. Adding new players and rearranging the lineup may help, but maybe something more is needed. Still, it is only early August. Peaking now would be way too early. The 2011 season showed that (World Champions) and 2013 only confirmed it (only Pennant winners).
According to this MLB video, in a poll of professional ball players almost half (49%) of Major League Baseball players rate Saint Louis fans, “the best fans in baseball.” Boston’s fans are a distant second with only 22%. And how did Philly ever make the top five? They must have threatened someone. I point out this predominance of fandom, not out of hubris, because that would be unbecoming of one of the best fans in baseball, but simply for instructional purposes, “a teachable moment”, as Anne would say. Now consider yourself schooled!