Thursday, October 21, 2004


I just finished cleaning up the house. Everyone has gone home, and the television is the only sound. Downtown, people are cheering, milling about; happily drunk and enjoying the moment.

Despite all the nay-sayers, and there were many of them (myself included), the Cardinals are going to the World Series.

I started smiling while typing that last sentence.

The hints were there all season. In June, the Cards played the Cubs in Wrigley. They were down by nine runs in the third inning, and they clawed their way back into the game to win it. This team just kept finding ways to win; they picked each other up; no one would take too much credit. It was always the team.

October baseball is tense, edge-of-your-seat, unforgiving baseball. People complain that the sport is too lazy, that it languishes too much. Watch some October ball. Nothing is more exciting.

This series has been better than anyone gave it credit. New York and Boston was the heralded series, but the fans who have watched this series has seen some of the best, hard-nosed baseball they could ask for. Houston and St. Louis were both evenly matched, and to be honest, I could have lived with a Houston win. It wouldn't have been nearly as sweet, but it's an easier pill to swallow than it was two years ago, when Kenny Lofton and Barry Bonds took the Cardinals' World Series berth.

Twenty-two years ago, I sat on the edge of the couch next to Mom and Mike as Bruce Sutter won the World Series. I laid awake in a sleeping bag in the living room, waiting for Dad to return from the game. He walked in hours later with a smile on his face and a game ball in each hand. I'm ready to jump again.

I'm tired out, exhausted and exhilerated. I need sleep but I don't think I can. We'll just see what happens.

Good luck, Cardinals.

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