Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Tag Archives: October baseball

Euphoria

World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Roll that around for a bit in your mind. See how it feels on the tip of your tongue.

Who-da-thunk.

I haven’t been around lately. Since the last time you saw me here, I have moved across state lines, started a new job, coached my way through a volleyball season, and lived and died with the Cards. I cheered for them, I cried for them, I laughed with them. I just wasn’t here.

That’s okay, the Cardinals almost weren’t here either.

I live in Missouri now. My coworkers and I daily chatter about baseball. I’ve watched games with family and friends that I haven’t been able to watch games with in years. For the first time since the 2004 World Series, I watched a playoff game while living in the state of Missouri (Okay, I was at game 3 of the 2009 NLDS. That shouldn’t count. It was pathetic).

I almost quit this team. I actually had a thought one day about what I would do with all my free time in October. That day was in August. I couldn’t fathom what else could happen to this team – random injuries, snatching losses from the jaws of victory, drama with the manager and a team that I felt was listless.

I couldn’t quit this team. Most of you couldn’t either. Suddenly I felt a shift. Games started falling the other way. Call it regression to the mean or getting breaks to fall your way or whatever you want to call it, this team looked different. They almost had… wait for it… swagger. Not in the Phillies’ pitching staff of doooooooom. Not in the Brewers’ “Beast Mode.” Not in the Rangers antler clash. The just had this childlike, sneaking a cookie from the cookie jar determination that they were just going to do this. It was going to happen.

They did it. Allen Craig randomly appeared here and there to hit home runs like they were no big deal. David Freese found a way to have every big hit. Chris Carpenter pitched with a bulldog mentality on short rest. Jason Motte closed the door. Tony LaRussa smiled.

Cardinal fans rejoiced. I sit here, a full 14 hours since the game ended, still feeling speechless as to how to describe this game.

But these pictures say it better than I ever could. Enjoy it Cardinal fans – especially those of you that couldn’t quit.

Game 6 Winner

Game 7 Winner

>Did You Look?

>

Did you look yet?
I looked. 
Last year I was watching the NL standings like a Hawksworth.  It was an addiction really.  It was great fun because the Cardinals were winning.  I would check MLB’s website in the morning and again in the evening just to make sure no other team was gaining ground.
The Magic Number thing was a mystery last season, my first experience of both playoff fever and Twitter. Suddenly I was surrounded by great baseball fans who were spouting all these new terms and phrases.  I was soaking it up like a sponge, but starting from nothing, I had a long way to go.  The Magic Number Mystery took a few examples of combination wins and losses, 1st place and 2nd place teams playing each other, and the quirky off-day math for me to figure out the formula.   But when that lightbulb clicked on, I was back in the game!
Last September was exciting, and I was absolutely giddy!  Or at least that is how I remember it.
This season has sputtered to a close and I gotta admit, I definitely have not been curiously fixated on the complete MLB standings.  The Cardinals have been losing, falling behind the Reds, and the ‘games back’ number has been solemnly reported during each and every Cardinals game telecast.  I did not have to hunt it out, it was cruelly forced upon me.  Watching the dropping Magic Numbers of other teams has been like salt in a wound.  

In 2010 my baseball vocabulary has been broadened again.
This time I learned “Tragic Number”- that one sucks.
YESTERDAY was the first time in over a month that I purposely typed in www.MLB.com and clicked on “Standings.” I knew the news would be ugly, but morbid curiosity took over. Plus I was on another mission.
Don’t tell the boys, but I am currently working through the process and accepting the reality of a postseason without the Cardinals. I am also beginning my hunt for an adopted stepteam.  Who would have thought, going into the 2010 season, that a Cardinal fan would need to pick some other team to watch in the postseason?!?  Certainly not I.  Yet here I am, easing into the process and eyeing the multitude of baseball candidates.  (Why do I have this awful, horrible, no-good feeling that I am cheating on my Cardinals by saying that?)

It’s a loaner team, just for the month of October, I promise! 😉
Today on i70baseball.com, my article is called “Expanding My Roster” and is more about how a baseball fan moves into the postseason when their team is going home instead. Check it out?
So, who will be your postseason stepteam?  I am looking for suggestions.  Bonus points for sentimental player background stories and childhood pictures. The sappy stuff gets me every time!  
Play Ball!  =)

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