Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Monthly Archives: January 2011

Win a Pujols Biography

Cardinal Diamond Dairies is having our first ever giveaway! The publisher of the new Albert Pujols Biography has generously offered to give three Diamond Diaries readers each a free copy of Pujols: More Than A Game.

So, what do you have to do to be one of our three winners?

Well, we considered a number of challenging contests…

  • Costume contest: dress up in your best #5 impersonation
  • Essay: You are stuck in an elevator with Albert Pujols. Tell us about your conversation.
  • Pet pictures: does your pet look like one of the St. Louis Cardinals?
  • a raffle  (we Diamond Diaries gals could use a tropical vacation)
But in the end, we decided to go easy on you and pick three names out of a baseball cap … a Cardinals cap of course. 😉
So…. if you want to be entered in the drawing just add your name in the comments below. We will draw three winners from the names entered.  *Bonus points will be given if you include a short reason why you should be one of CDD’s first ever contest winners!
Deadline for entry: next Friday (February 4th) at 5pm.
P.S.  If you happen to be “one of those people who never wins anything,” you can order your book from amazon instead.
We’ll even make it easy…. here’s the link.
Fine print:
Winning names will be posted here on Cardinal Diamond Diaries after February 4th. Winners will be asked to provide their mailing address (via email to us here at CDD) and that information will be provided only to the publisher who will send each winner their book. 

** Bonus points will be awarded separately and although highly sought after, will not improve your chances of winning.

Good Luck, Cardinal Fans!!  =)

Albert Who?

I have felt rather guilty (as a Cardinal fan) for having these thoughts, but honestly,

I am tired of hearing about Albert Pujols.
For weeks I have been unable to muster the enthusiasm to read one more article, blog or interview about Mr. Pujols or his looming contract deadline.  The topic is simply stale, all supposition. There has been nothing new or exciting to banter about concerning the future of Albert with the Cardinals for weeks (maybe months). Even the intelligent opinions have been recycled ad nauseum over the winter.  How can something so important become…. well, so boring?
And more importantly…. why am I writing a blog about the very topic that bores me to tears?
Well,  a few days ago I had a surprisingly engaging and fresh discussion about this very Albert topic, including the reasons why I think it is a waste of time and mental energy to discuss it further.
By the way, if you are still reading, thank you!  I would have moved on after the title.  😉
A Fresh Look At The Pujols Contract Saga –  A True Story
The scene:  Lunch hour at a busy Chili’s restaurant in Oklahoma City
The cast:  Two dazzling ladies meeting for lunch.
            The blonde – lives and breathes for the St. Louis Cardinals.
            The brunette – relatively unbaseballed, but a great listener and friend.
After catching up on life, family and work, my charming and intelligent brunette friend asks me about baseball.  (She doesn’t really care about the sport, but as one of my closest friends, knows how much I love to talk about it.) I sigh and tell her “there just isn’t all that much to talk about… other than Albert Pujols… and I am sooooo tired of talking about Albert.”
She looks at me, surprised and confused.  My not talking about baseball is on par with Oprah’s not talking about light bulb moments … or something like that.
Her reply was “Albert Pujols?  I think I’ve heard that name.” (She probably recognized it from the hours she has logged kindly lending an ear while I energetically prattle on and on about the Cardinals.  Did I mention she is a really good friend?)
So, almost reluctantly, I fill her in on the very basic bullet points, expecting to leave it at that, thus completing my duty to enlighten any willing, listening ear on the current news of Cardinal baseball.
  • Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball.
  • Albert’s contract with the Cardinals will expire after this season, and he has said he will not continue contract negotiations once Spring Training has begun so as not to interfere with the 2011 season.
  • Albert and the Cardinals have agreed that negotiations will not be played out in the press.  So, we know little else.
What followed was a fresh and welcome discussion about how and why this contract negotiation is so very important to fans, St. Louis, the Cardinals, and baseball as a whole.  Because my friend had no background or loyalty to the team, I had to turn the issue upside down, seeing it from an outsider’s point of view and start from scratch in order to explain (and justify) the very facts that have lulled me into a coma these past months.
I did my best to describe the angst felt by Cardinal fans at the thought of losing the “face of the franchise.”  I explained the level of commitment Albert and his family have made to the St. Louis community.  When challenged about the potential of this being just another example of greedy professional athletes, I shared stories of Albert’s character, dedication to his faith , his charitable spirit and his work with children affected by Down Syndrome.  I found myself defending the justification of paying vast sums of money to an athlete because of his elite status compared to contracts of other marquee players and the important benchmark that a Pujols’ contract would set.  We touched on the excesses of the sport, the responsibilities of ownership to the fans and realistic (versus unrealistic) expectations.  We laughed, wondering if we (as average folk) would even notice a difference between earning 25 million and 30 million a year.
Our discussion brought me to the realization that while I may be exhausted by the stale discussion of “will he or won’t he,” I was pleased to discover that I do still care very deeply about the outcome of the Pujols contract negotiations.
So, if you too are weary of all the supposition, hearsay and stirred-up drama, thank you for spending your valuable time reading yet another blog on the topic. I am hopeful we will soon all be privy to the scrumptious details of what will surely be a history-making contract.  Then we can move on to the “Did the Cardinals Overspend” debates.
Until then, I highly recommend attempting to explain the importance of the Albert Pujols’ contract to your Oprah-loving neighbor, your pen-pal from Germany or your two-year-old niece.  Perhaps getting back to the basics will inspire in you a renewed appreciation for Mr. Pujols and the game of baseball… just long enough to get you through until the big announcement, or Opening Day.
Tick tock.  😉
Postscript:  In an oddly ironic, yet timely twist of fate, the publisher of the new Albert Pujols biography contacted Diamond Diaries today offering to give three copies of the new book to our readers!  

Keep checking back for your chance to win.  Details coming soon!  

If you can’t wait, you can preorder your copy here.  It should release any day now on amazon and will hit bookstores on February 22nd.  

It looks to be a welcome distraction… I wonder if there is a chapter on contract negotiations?  😉

2011’s Top Five Cardinal Stories

I’ve been thinking about working on this UCB post for awhile now, but haven’t really come up with anything worthwhile. Someone (not naming names since I don’t remember) made it sound like I could write something sarcastic and completely nonsensical. Score!

So without further ado, here are our top five stories for 2011:

1. Adam Wainwright will win the 2011 NL Cy Young. Okay, this point is obviously legitimate. I really do believe Waino capable of beating out the fierce competition in the National League to take home the Cy. There are a lot of incredible pitching staffs floating around the senior circuit, from the Phillies on the east coast to the Giants on the west, not to mention the Reds, Brewers, and Cardinals in the middle of the country. There are big names like Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Zack Greinke. That said, I think Wainwright can match them, pitch for pitch, out for out.

Warning: That was probably the last ‘prediction’ that I actually think could happen. The rest is for my own entertainment.

2. Yadi starts a brawl in Cincinnati when Johnny Cueto kicks him in the shins during warm-ups. Who knows why he did it. Cueto that is. Yadi beat the crap out of him, and we know why that happened. Don’t mess with Yadi… especially not his shins. Watch your back, Reds’ players…

3. The amount of scrappy and/or gritty references made about the Cardinals infielders on various blogs, highlight reels, radio shows and Twitter will quite possibly reach infinity. Good grief. Every new player that has been signed this offseason (with the exception of Berkman who is definitely not the right size or shape to be considered for either) has been labeled with one of these two monikers. Theriot? Punto? What is this? We already had both of those guys, except they were Brendan Ryan, Aaron Miles, and/or David Eckstein, respectively. Can you have too much scrap or grit on one team? The Cardinals might be pushing the limit. Quick, someone find a big slugger to hold together the infield! It would help if he has a good contract that makes him a Cardinal for life.

Wait, what’s that?

“Pay me my money.”

Yes, sir! Get on it Mo!

4. All of our scrappy/gritty infielders come down with bird flu and Tony LaRussa, in a moment of desperation, begs that Mo undoes the trade with the Mariners for Brendan Ryan. A stretch? Sure. Don’t look at me. Erika penned this one. I mean… it could happen.

5. Kyle Lohse’s arm will fall off. Again… it could happen (but Erika says I should be nice). He’s never known a normal injury for a pitcher, whether it was getting a broken wrist while batting, having an injury only known to long distance runners and motocross bikers, or coming down with that frustrating condition known as crap-itis. Oops, that wasn’t nice. My bad.

Let me be perfectly honest – I want Lohse to do well. I hope he becomes the best fifth starter in the National League. But in my mind, the odds of him doing well compared to his arm falling off have to be about even by now.


Open in Mobile AppIf you’re interested, check out the new UCB app for iPhone and Android by clicking on the little icon to your left. It’s shiny and NEW! Also make sure that you check out the archive of all the Top 5 stories for this month’s UCB project here.

Baseball season is almost here… just hold on a little longer Cardinal fans! 🙂

Is that Baseball Season I smell??

Thoughts on the 2011 Winter Warm-Up

Yes, baseball is almost back! Pitchers & Catchers report in less than a month and I can hear the sound of Adam Wainwright’s curveball hitting Yadier Molina’s glove already. Deep breaths people, winter is almost over and the boys of summer are preparing to do what they do best.

As everyone already knows, this past weekend was Winter Warm-Up at the Hyatt Regency in downtown St. Louis. Considering myself lucky enough to live just 30 minutes from Busch Stadium, my sister and I were able to attend for a second consecutive year. Being able to pull out some of my Cardinal t-shirts and jackets was such a great feeling – they get so lonely all folded up in my closet without regular wear like during the summer. I just love having a reason to wear Cardinal gear all weekend long (especially in the winter!).

This year, we had more tickets for autographs than last; Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Jon Jay, Skip Schumaker & David Freese. Good thing we decided to actually purchase autograph tickets because the lines for some of the free autographs were extremely long. Lines for Shelby Miller & Zack Cox were so long it created a madhouse on the right side of the main ballroom. I won’t go into criticizing how terrible the organization of these lines was, but if you were there, you can back me up. Needless to say, sticking with our pre-mapped out plan, we had the right idea.

I know many people aren’t fans of the idea of paying for autographs and standing in long lines for a 2 second encounter with their favorite player. I understand this. However, I love the idea. At games, you tend to see a lot of people waiting along the first base line and around the home team dugout screaming at players for autographs. That isn’t really my style. I enjoying getting down close and conversing with the players/getting pictures, but you won’t find me screaming at them for autographs. So, if an event like the Winter Warm-Up has been created specifically for this, then I am willing to participate. Besides, I don’t think any other Major League Organization has an event like this where practically every single player and many former players show up to sign autographs and chat with fans/media for a couple hours. I consider us very lucky. I look forward to this every year. Not only do we get to see our favorites and our new additions, we get an almost 72-hour taste of baseball while the thermometer reads 8 degrees outside.

While I was looking forward to my autographs, there were several other things I look for when attending the Winter Warm-Up. While waiting in lines, I watch the big video screens to see what else is going on around the event. I look to see if other players are enjoying themselves, I look to see if new additions are interacting with the fans, and I look at the reactions of players being interviewed on the main stage. Lets face it, unless you get a good seat or you are in line to meet every single player, you can’t see any of that.

This year, I was looking to see what kind of reaction the newest Cardinals had to being at the Winter Warm-Up. Ok, yeah…I couldn’t bring myself to buying a ticket for Ryan Theriot or Lance Berkman just yet, but I did want to see how they were responding to being a part of the Cardinals. There have been many articles with Berkman saying that this team stacks up against any other in the NL and Theriot has said that he is now on the right side of the Cards/Cubs rivalry. Obviously all things Cardinal Nation wants to hear…and I applaud them for doing that. They know they have to win over the crowd. You can talk all you want, but if you don’t look like you are truly enjoying being in St. Louis, then I don’t believe you for a second. Good for them, I do believe it. I watched Berkman on the video screens chatting with fans and his new teammates, and I am convinced. Of course his on-field play has yet to be evaluated, but if he says he is glad to be here, I believe it. It was apparent from his constant smile throughout his entire autograph session at Winter Warm-Up that he is indeed happy to be here. Same with Ryan Theriot. He wasn’t on the video screens near as long as Berkman, but he appeared to me that he was also excited to be here – I mean, he has a lot of people to win over since he took the place of Brendan Ryan, he was a Cub, and he may not have THE best stats. But, if a former Cub (and fan favorite) can come out and say that he is now on the right side of the Cards/Cubs rivalry, you have immediately won over many fans. I still need to see more, but I am glad to see that he is trying. That is all I can ask for right now. I am a wait-and-see kind of fan. I get upset when my favorite player is traded (ahem, Ryan Ludwick) but I did give Westbrook a chance, and I am happy to see him a Cardinal for the next 2 seasons.

I think that Winter Warm-Up is one of those events that give fans a chance to see these things, and I know I can’t possibly be the only one who looks for these things as well.

Now, on to our Winter Warm-Up experience. I do my best to block out some of the rude volunteers – yeah, the ones who tell you you aren’t allowed to take a photo with a player after you waited 2 hours in line because they want to move the line along (did I mention I hate that??) – and instead I do my best to just enjoy the experience of getting to meet some of my favorite players.

Chris Carpenter…*swoon*
Courtney had tickets for Jon Jay, David Freese & Skip Schumaker. I had those 3 as well as Chris Carpenter & Adam Wainwright. Our Saturday started with Chris Carpenter. I went over and over in my head what I would say to Carp when I finally got to meet him – after all, his jersey t-shirt was the first one I ever bought with my own money. And, my twitter handle (stl_cardsfan29) is because of his number and because my birthday is on the 29th of the month. Anyway…by the time I got up to him, I couldn’t say a word. He was so nice – his smile was so big and his eyes were sparkling (not to mention that beard!) – that I couldn’t say anything! I froze. At least I didn’t say anything stupid.

His name is Jonathan.
Jon Jay was next. While we were waiting in his line, we noticed that Brian Tallet had very few people in his line. Courtney and I felt bad, but I’m not gonna lie…that happens when people don’t know who you are. I am sure he doesn’t mind. Moving on…Jon Jay was nice but SOOOO quiet. Similar to fan photo day back in September, he didn’t look like he was saying anything to anyone. So, Courtney decided that she would ask him something to try and get him to crack a smile. If you watch SportsCenter or Baseball Tonight, you will notice that the reporters/anchors called him “Jonathan” but all of the local media call him “Jon”. When Courtney approached him it went something like this: “I just have to know something.” “OK.” “Do you want to be called Jonathan or Jon? Because I want to call you whatever you want to be called.” “Haha…It doesn’t matter to me. Whatever you want.” Courtney has decided that she will be calling him Jonathan. I think she made a new friend in Jonathan Jay. 🙂 

Jon Jay

Our final ticket for Saturday was for David Freese. And we couldn’t wait for this. We waited to get in line for about 2 hours, and finally we made it. Colby Rasmus was seated next to David. The Colby Rasmus 13-year-old-girl-Fan Club was in the photo-only area. As we rounded the first turn of the 2-turn line, we heard a shrill hyena-type scream. Apparently Colby had waved to the fan club after they had been yelling his name for 5 minutes. All we could do was look at each other and laugh. Yes, we get excited about our experiences with players, but we by no-means are huge fan girls in front of the players. We have a professional-type approach to our encounters. I turned to Courtney and reminded her of the time we were able to get Colby to say hello to us at a game last year. Courtney and I were down near the field taking pictures and watching the guys warm up when Courtney waved and said “Hi Colby” in probably the quietest voice possible. He stopped what he was doing and waved back. Moral of the story, you don’t have to be loud and crazy to get someones attention – you actually look idiotic when you do that. We looked back at Colby and David after the fan club went nuts and they were laughing almost hysterically at them. No, not because they were happy, they were obviously laughing at them. – End Mini-Rant –

Courtney & David.
We finally made our way to David Freese. I told him I was happy to see him all in one piece. He laughed and said “Thanks”. I told him we also saw that he had been attending Blues games and he had to be more careful. Again, he laughed and said “I know, I know.” I am sure I wasn’t the first person to say something to him about that, but I couldn’t help myself. I LOVE that Freese is one of many St. Louis athletes who supports the other teams, but come on, the guy needs to wear a bubble OR just sit in a suite way up high so there is no chance of a hockey puck coming near his head EVER. AGAIN. Other than that…Freese was really nice to us as well. I think he might have to be one of my new faves in 2011 since my two faves are gone. 

The boy that needs a bubble while at Scottrade.
Day 2. Schumaker & Wainwright. Before we got in line, we sat in the seats in front of the main stage to listen to John Rooney for a bit. Some jerk had to ask some dumb question about why we don’t still try to get someone like Orlando Hudson because Theriot isn’t really an upgrade from Brendan Ryan. Hey guy, Hudson was signed by the Padres a couple weeks ago, but nice try……ugh, pay attention. Why do I always end up near these idiots?

Courtney with Skip!

Considering we had just about enough, we

decided to get in line for Skip. Nothing interesting happened this time. One thing that was different about Skip though, was that after I gave my routine “It’s so nice to meet you!” he answered back “It’s nice to meet you too! Are you having a good time?” Um, yeah Skip…I am surrounded by members of the St. Louis Cardinals and hundreds of fans who love them just as much as I do…of course I am! But I just stuck with “Yes, I am having a great time!” Seriously, one of the most sincere responses. I consider us so lucky to have/had some of the most sincerely nice guys to play for the Cardinals. It really makes it worth it. Besides, I could deal without having someone like Brandon Phillips EVER playing for the Cardinals. 😉 I love how our guys seem to really care about being a part of this team and they must really believe that we are the “best fans in baseball”. It makes spending the time and money on them worth it.

After a quick lunch with a friend of mine from college, it was time for Adam Wainwright. I had been waiting for this moment all weekend. Besides Carp, Waino is up there on my list of faves – we are almost birthday twins (mine being the 29th, his the 30th of August). What I planned on saying to Waino was also something I had been thinking about all day. This time, I actually got it out. I knew I had to be creative. I had to think of something that not everyone would have asked him. Something that might catch him off guard, but in a good way. So, I decided I would ask him if he could show me his curveball and see what his response might be. After the guy in front of me finished asking Waino to right a letter to him on his photograph (ugh), it was my turn.

Hi Adam, it’s so great to meet you.” “Thanks.” “Can I ask you one thing? Will you show me your curveball?” “Haha…what?” “Can I ask you to show me your curveball with that baseball? And then take a picture. Is that ok?” “Haha…of course.” “Thanks so much, you have no idea.” “You’re welcome!” Oh my gosh, I just got Adam Wainwright to show me his curveball! And I really do think I caught him off guard, in a good way! He laughed at me, but I think it was good. After all, he did oblige my request…and I have the photos to prove it!

Waino showing me his curve…that’s one
sexy curveball.
Success. And now, I am more than ready for baseball season. I am still going to root on my Blues and my Missouri Basketball Tigers, but I cannot wait for February 13th. I am ready for those boys to make me jealous in the sunshine state, preparing for March 31st. Speaking of which…I cannot wait for March 31st. Opening Day…it’s right around the corner. I can feel it. Now, if only we could get the Cards front office to sign number 5 to a contract forever, I will be good to go.

One last thing…I am so happy I got to meet some awesome people from twitter at Winter Warm-Up; @emilyjune87, @nlw1013 & @MattSebek. You all were fantastic and I am so glad I got to meet you all! Sorry to those who I just couldn’t get together with…I look forward to meeting MANY more of you from my twitter family in 2011 at Busch Stadium! 

Offseason Ramblings

Just popping in…

Hello readers! After a long semester with no free time, I’m using my four week winter break to finally feel a part of this wonderful blog. I don’t have much to say, but I thought I’d spend a few minutes to get some of my thoughts that have been in my mind since the end of the 2010 season.

This is my first time being around twitter during the “Hot Stove Season”, and it’s been an interesting one to say the least. Not only have I learned a lot more about the game than I ever thought I would, but I’ve also been growing as a baseball fan. Growing in the sense that I’ve had to learn to stick to my guns and love the Cardinals no matter what happens. Even though I love my boys, and I hate to see them loose, I always get frustrated when they aren’t doing as well as I’d hoped. It’s been easier as of late to get over the low points of the season and pull out the positive in any situation. I’ve definitely grown some tough skin since I grew up loving sports – more specifically, loving some teams that don’t always win – and had to (& still do) deal with some people giving me little to no respect for my opinions. I want to thank all my wonderful twitter friends for helping me continue to grow as a fan and for being there through the ups and downs of the season! I really don’t know how I ever got through a tough season without you all!

This offseason has been rough. Some of our favorites have left, and we didn’t even get to say our proper goodbyes. I get just as attached to these boys as the rest of my CDD girls do, and it’s been hard for me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Yes I was among those who wept over the departure of Joey “Bomb Squad” Mather and his best friend Brendan Ryan. But I am also so excited to see that Jake Westbrook will be a part of our starting rotation. One small positive point to this sadness is that I’ll get to follow a few more teams this season! (In particular, the Braves and the Mariners).

Through all the trials and tribulations of the off-season I’m glad to be among some of the smartest baseball fans I’ve ever known. I can’t believe that in only about a month and a half we’ll be diving in to the beginning of spring training! This season is going to be pretty exciting for me for a few normal, but also some not so common, reasons. I know it may be silly, but I’ll be spending my 21st birthday at my favorite place on earth (Busch Stadium, if you couldn’t guess). I’ve only been planning it since I was 16…no biggie. I am also very excited to see how some of our offseason acquisitions can help us this season. I haven’t quite grasped the fact that Lance Berkman and Ryan Theriot are actually a part of the Cardinals organization and I still don’t know how I feel about it. I’m not upset by any means; I just hope that they bring something special to boost this team up to its ultimate potential. And of course, I can’t wait to spend another season spending way too much money going to games with my favorite person. That person of course, is my sister, Cadence. How boring life would be without her to go to games with.

I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy another great season with everyone on Twitter and I also hope to be able to write and share more of my thoughts and opinions throughout the season.

This was short and sweet, but thanks for reading!


I Miss Baseball

I was chatting with a friend the other day, and they mentioned something about still feeling like they could hear Jack Buck talking sometimes. It made me think back to a paper I wrote a few years ago. I had to go dig it out of the black hole otherwise known as my storage closet, but it made me smile when I did track it down. I’m missing baseball terribly these days, and I know many of you are too. I have two little stories from my past that I’m going to toss up here over the next few days. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this first little tale, known simply as “Carried Away”…

It’s time! It’s time! I bolted into the room and jumped on the couch, grabbing the remote to the radio and turning it on all in one motion. The smooth, even voice of Jack Buck floated into my room, filling the air with the sound of thousands of fans filing into their seats. I settled down on the couch, pulling a blanket up over my lap and holding the remote tightly in my hand, as if it was my lifeline to this new world I was hearing through the speakers.

“Good afternoon and welcome to a new season! It’s been a long winter, but spring is here and so are we! We’re glad you could join us on this bright, sunny April afternoon!” Suddenly I felt as if I was carried 300 miles away, and I was at the game myself. I walked smoothly out of the metro car, and could hear the sounds of the stadium from the station. As I joined the throng that was heading for the front gates, I breathed in the smell of peanuts and popcorn wafting towards me. I handed my ticket to the worker at the turnstiles and began the ascent to my seat.

As I worked my way up through the ballpark, I tried peeking in through the walkways to see if I could catch a glimpse of the field. When I reached the upper level and walked through the concrete passage into the seating area, my eyes and ears were filled with the sight and smell of the freshly cut green grass, groomed to perfection. The white of the home team’s jerseys stood in stark contrast to the green of the grass. The players moved across the field, stretching and warming up, preparing for the game’s imminent start.

I reached my seat and sat down in the cool red plastic, ready to shout and yell and cheer for my team. The first pitch was delivered, and the pop of the ball hitting the glove resounded in my ears. The crowd roared in approval as the ump yelled, “Strike one!” and the game had begun. It was then that I noticed the vendors beginning their parade around the park. The cries of, “Lemonade, lemonade, lemonade!” and “Peanuts! Get your peanuts!” were heard over the constant buzz of the fans in the stands. I raised my arm and ordered up a pretzel, and after taking a bite of the salty treat, decided that a water bottle might help as well. After flagging down another sweaty vendor and quenching my thirst, I turned my focus back to the game.

The game progressed, and the rise and fall of the wave showed the enthusiasm of the crowd around me. I watched in wonder as I saw a player leap up against the wall, catching the ball and saving a crushing blow to the pitcher’s ego, as well as a couple of runs on the scoreboard. As the stands erupted with appreciation for the feat, I realized that I had leaped from my seat myself, caught up in the awe of the moment.

We reached the middle of the seventh, and I stood with 40,000 of my newest friends to join in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” As every man, woman, child, and mascot stood, stretched their limbs, and raised their voices to the heavens, joining in with the chords of the organ, I felt like I was hanging out with family instead of complete strangers. I looked around at the people surrounding me, clad in their bright red clothing. Their faces were cheery with the laughter and smiles indicative of of the fans watching a winning ballclub.

At the end of the game as we all moved toward the exit, I felt the thrill of victory after an exciting game. I floated on air as I made my way back to the metro station and waited for the train to make its way toward us. I climbed aboard just before the door closed, and joined in with the happy chatter of the other red-clad fans, talking about the exciting win.

It was then that I heard a new, familiar yet out of place voice coming back into my ears. It was the sound of my old friend, Mike Shannon, thanking me for tuning in and signing off for the night. It was then that I realized I was back in my room, on my couch. I looked around and saw the blanket I had thrown off in a moment of excitement in the game. Next to it sat the remote which I had thrown down in a fit of frustration, ejecting the batteries in the process. I put it back together and turned off the radio. Tomorrow would be another game, and another opportunity to be carried away.


Is it spring yet?

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