World Series Winner!

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I know the series didn’t get the high TV ratings; nothing unusual about that, it just St. Louis after all. Just the team with more World Series wins than all but the Yankees. But here in Cardinal country, well, it just doesn’t get any better. The final out of the series with the Mets was simply out of this world. A cold rain was falling all night long. It was game 7 of the National League Championship and the winner will go the World Series. Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, our young closer on the mound and Carlos Beltran at the plate. There are two outs but a base hit ties the game. An extra base hit sends the Mets to the World Series and our season is over. The final pitch was one of the best curve-balls you’re ever likely to see and Beltran could just watch as it fell in as a called strike. Wow, it’s a moment I’ll never forget. For fun read St. Louis Cardinals apologize for winning the World Series…

Redbirds close out a good year

Well, it’s all over. The Astros convincingly beat the Cardinals in 6 games of the NLCS and they’re on their way to their first ever World Series. They’re a class team and I’ll be rooting for them in the Series.

I guess the poignancy of the end of Busch Stadium, the only stadium I’ve ever known, somewhat overshadows the loss and the end of the season. There’ll be another season; just not in this ballpark. My dad put some perspective on it the other day when he commented that he remembers feeling like this over the old Sportsman Park, but then he realized that the Cardinals had more years in this Busch Stadium than the old park. Turns out he may be off by a couple of years, but his point hit home with me. Ball parks, like most everything in this life, come and go; it’s just a building. Kinda like a church. It’s time for a new generation to capture some new memories in the new ballpark.

We’re lucky here in St. Louis; we have a good team most every year; I can’t complain.

Religious Holiday in St. Louis

Yes, people stopped working and were nice to each other, bosses left early, trials were recessed; everyone just took a break today from their daily grind to take in the 1st play-off game between the Cardinals and the Padres. While listening to the game on the radio, the fans were roaring so loud, they were drowning out the announcers. It’s the last post-season that will ever be played at the beautiful post-modern Busch Stadium and we all hope it will last until the end of October when the Redbirds will win their 10th World Championship under the steady hand of #10 Tony LaRussa. (Watch for the movie about Tony based on the book Three Nights in August.)

It would be hard to describe the atmosphere in St. Louis during these times if one was not familiar with it. One of the women I work with is a devout Muslim and she wore a big bright red Cardinal T-shirt today. Very unusual.

The Cardinals won against the hapless Padres; it was 8-to-1 most of the game but then in the top of the 9th they had the winning run at the plate. And then they lost. So sad.

The last Post-season at Busch Memorial Stadium

I’m sitting here listening to the Cards/Cubs game and get this: The Cards are leading 6 to 1, there’s 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded for the Cubs and the umpires called a rain delay. That’s crazy. But, hey, this is a crazy year. It’ll be the last year for Busch Memorial Stadium and everybody is hoping we’ll see World Championship #10 played there. I’m not sure how the guy who’s responsible for erecting the new stadium by next summer feels about it though. He’ll implode the old stadium the minute the season is over which could be in October.

Mike Shannon said something during the game tonight that struck me as true. He was commenting on how the Cardinals have played this entire season with intensity. He posited that it might be because of the bitterness “in their bellies” left from the World Series last year. I nodded toward the radio in agreement. “Yeah,” I thought, “us too.” We’re ready for a real World Series. We were more than happy to oblige history and let the Red Sox win their one-per-century world championship, but not this year. This is our year.

A couple of quick thoughts

Well, it’s after 5 and I’m getting ready to leave work. I just thought I’d throw a quick entry out here to make myself feel better. I’ve been wrestling problems with a big printer for a while now, over a month, and no one seems to know how to fix it. I think I’ve learned enough to go into the printer repair/maintenance business if I feel like it.

Like many other St. Louisans, I think the Baseball All-Star game should not be used to determine home-field advantage in the World Series. That’s the big-time, and any competitive edge should be earned “on the “field,” as Tony LaRussa says; meaning by the teams that are actually in the World Series. I expect the Cardinals to play in the Worlds Series this year, so I’m understandably disappointed not to have a chance for home-field advantage.

The Curse continues

Remember, it was a full lunar eclipse. Edgar Renteria, whose jersey number just happens to be 3, made the last out of the last game of the World Series to give the Red Sox their haunting victory of the Cardinals. Care to take a guess who else played with the number 3 on their jersey? That’s right, Babe Ruth as a Yankee wore the number 3. And now Edgar, one of the best shortstops in the league is going to the Red Sox! Why!? Why, Edgar, why!? You’re a sensitive guy; you won’t like it there! Can anyone doubt the curse continues?

Today also marks the 60th anniversary of the start of The Battle of the Bulge. It is still to this day the largest battle the US Army has ever fought. To sum it up, Hitler decided for one last giant push in an effort to split the Allies up and cut off big groups of them from supply lines and each other. Tactically, it was bold but never had a chance of ultimately working. If you think conditions in Iraq are tough, these soldiers were in horrible, dismal conditions. Read some stories of some Medal of Honor winners from the battle here.

It was written in the stars. Or in this case; the moon

Tonight, the curse was lifted. I’m still in a state of stunned disbelief. The Cardinals couldn’t even win one single game! Unbelievable!

But after the blood-letting of a young man in Boston and then tonight a lunar eclipse, the Babe lifted his curse. There’s no other explanation for a team that won 105 games during the regular season to be swept in the World Series. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Why not us?…say the Cardinals

Now it’s the Cardinal’s turn to ask, “Why not us?” They’re down two games to zero as the Series heads to Busch Stadium for game 3 on Tuesday night. By the way, this is likely the last World Series game that Busch Stadium will see. The new Busch Stadium is being built right behind the old one. “But wait,” you out-of-towners are thinking, “isn’t Highway 40 right behind Busch Stadium?” Yes, it is. And if you’re sitting in the top rows of the new ballpark you’ll be able to wave to the cars as they drive by. In the picture from the link to the new stadium, that’s Hwy 40 in the lower left corner. And another thing, does every single new building in downtown St. Louis have to have a red-brick facade? Don’t get me wrong, I love the red-brick homes and old buildings…that’s great; but the Edward Jones Dome and now the new Stadium?

I think Historical Preservations get hung up on what they perceive as a romantic past. Do they realize that craftsmen and artisans who built this stuff only used what was available to them for a fair price or what the market would bear? Preservation is a luxury, though. I guess if you can afford it, why not? There’s always conflicts down here in Carondelet between the social service folks who want to rehab old places for low-income families to live and the preservationists who insist on restoring the original architecture, fixtures, etc. It all come down to money…who’s got the money to do the rehabing that you want? Like I said, It’s a luxury. Life goes on.

Why not us?

Curt Schilling, the great Boston Red Sox pitcher sported a t-shirt with these three words: “Why not us?” And, after winning game six to force a game seven when everyone thought they were out of it, we’re all thinking, “no reason, really.”

Meanwhile the Cardinals now have to win both of the last two games back here in St. Louis. I knew the Astros were going to be trouble. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a Boston/St. Louis World Series.

While being interviewed after tonight’s game, Curt Schilling said something like, “In game I tried to do it myself and you see how that turned out. [they lost] Tonight, it was God. I had God with me.”

That reminded me of something that came up during Sunday School last Sunday. One of the guys is thinking of buying a hot-air balloon and take up the sport/hobby seriously. He mentioned that he was going to put in big letters on the balloon: “Jesus Saves.” Someone else commented that he thought that trivialized God and Jesus. He threw in athletes always thanking God for them winning the game as another example of how we trivialize God.

I know how both of them feel. Let me explain.

You can’t really trivialize God, but you could also spend all day thanking God for every single thing. You should strive for a worshipfull life; one in which you recognize and acknowledge all that God has given you. And it wouldn’t hurt to thank Him every day; when you get up or when you eat. But what about thanking Him for a winning baseball game?

Why not? He can handle it. He can handle our trivial problems as well as the big ones. I learned long ago not to refrain from asking God “stupid questions.” In the end, it really doesn’t matter what you ask, because all you really want is to do His will. The prayers are always framed in that manner. “If it is your will…” Most Christians I know would gladly do anything once convinced that it is indeed God’s will. The challenge for most of us is listening to the answer. Let’s say I pray, “God, if it’s your will, get me this job.” God could answer, “Yes,” and you get your job. He could answer, “No,” and you don’t get it. He could also answer, “Would you quit bugging me about the job and pay attention!”

Are you listening to the answer? that’s the question.

America: Land of Choice

My fellow Americans; tonight St. Louis had a choice to make. And I ask each and every one of you to remember in these times that not every city is so fortunate to have this choice. But, we did. Great men have gone before us; pioneers of their day striving, sometimes painfully, to win this choice. This land is your land and this land is my land, but one thing for sure is this: you learned something about yourself tonight. By the choice you made, we can see into your soul just a little better than before.

How did you choose? Which did you choose? Why did you choose? Did you let your wife touch the remote?

No, a women does not have the sensitivity to handle this job. “Why is the coach taking that nice young man out of the game?” she asks. “It’s OK,” you respond, “we can watch the debate for a few minutes.”

In St. Louis tonight, I’ll bet there weren’t too many debates on what to watch. The Cardinals win game one 10 to 7.