Carlos And Raul


A. Bartlett Giamatti once wrote that baseball is designed to break your heart. The older I get, the more I find this to be true. Your favorite team can break your heart by losing and sometimes, if you’re unlucky enough, your two least favorite teams can break your heart by winning. That’s what happened last night when the Yankees and Cardinals won and advanced to their league’s LCS. That both teams were aided by former Royals only adds to the pain.

Carlos Beltran hit .444/.542/.944 versus the Nationals and it was his leadoff double in the 9th inning that started the rally that advanced the Cardinals season. Raul Ibanezwas equally as impressive against the Orioles. He hit .444/.500/1.111 but it was his

Oct 8, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) receives a curtain call from the fans after hitting his second home run of the game during the eighth inning of the 2012 NLDS against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 12-4. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

unbelievable heroics in game 3 that forever cemented his legacy as a postseason legend. Beltran and Ibanez, as you well recall, were teammates for three seasons in Kansas City and were members of the last Royals team to finish with a winning record.

I’ve disliked the Yankees since the 1970’s. Royals fans old enough to remember the 1977 ALCS can relate to the pain being felt today by Nationals fans. The Royals took a 3-2 lead into the 9th inning in game 5 but were unable to get the final 3 outs they needed to advance to the World Series. Honestly that actually may be more painful since the Nats would’ve still needed to win four more times to advance to the World Series. The Yankees defeated the Royals in the ALCS three straight years, and even though KC finally beat them in 1980, I haven’t forgotten or forgiven.

My dislike for the Cardinals unsurprisingly dates back to the 1985 World Series. The way they acted post-Denkinger call in game 6 and their tantrums during game 7 was probably enough but the 27 year whinefest that immediately followed just added fuel to the fire.

It’s easy to cheer for Beltran and Ibanez and while it would be cool to see one of them get a ring it would also be nauseating. I was hoping for a Nats/A’s World Series because that would’ve been something different. The last three World Series winners are still alive in this year’s playoffs which is, in fact, the opposite of something different.

Life made me a Royals fan but circumstances have now conspired to make me something I never thought I’d be, a Tigers fan.