My good buddy, and Cardinal die hard, “Doc”, treated me to an amazing baseball experience.
Photo credit: Ed Connealy/ Fenway Park
Let me get this out of the way. I am not a St. Louis hater. Unlike many from my home town, and not like many baseball fans, I have no problem with the St. Louis Cardinals. I respect the franchise, and think they play excellent baseball every year.
Two of my best friends are from St. Louis. One of those guys treated me to my first Fenway park experience. An experience that included an on field and in stadium tour, a box suite next to Theo, and a Clay Buchholz no-hitter. He texts me during Royals games, and was rooting his heart out for the Royals in the ALCS.
I do a fair amount of business in St. Louis. I love my work colleagues there as much as any I have.
I really like St. Louis. I feel at home in St. Louis. I am looking forward to my next visit to St. Louis.
I’m jus glad that next visit won’t be for a World Series game.
A 1985 re-match would have been a fun story. An all Missouri World Series could have been thrilling. A second World Series win over the Cardinals would have been fricking tasty. But the risks outweighed the rewards. For the Royals, MO Series=MO Problems.
Here is a quick peak at what comes with a Royals vs Cards World Series.
* Diarrhea streams of huckster cliché’s, drowning out real baseball stories.
* Edited sound bites and interviews of Royals fans behaving at their worst, looking all “cow-townish” and insecure.
* Far more time on the 1985 Royals, than the 2014 Royals.
* The annoying Don Denkinger ballad. The most over-rated, over-hyped, blown call would see it’s inaccurate legend grow.
Those are all guaranteed annoyances and distractions, and that’s not even if the Cardinals had beaten the Royals. I was oblivious to this obvious, until a friend of mine lent perspective.
We were having lunch, and my buddy, a Mizzou grad, explained it to me.
“You don’t want that. What if you lose? That would be like Mizzou finally making a Final 4, meeting up with KU in the finals….and losing. MU has never been to the Final 4. That should be the story. That should be a celebrated accomplishment. But that wouldn’t be the story. The story would be that they fell short of Kansas again. It would be a final about MU losing to KU, and not a story about how MU finally made it. Made it to not just the Final 4, but all the way to the finals. Right now, the Royals are the story of the playoffs, the story of the baseball year. Even if they lose to the Giants, they are still the big story”.
Dude was spot on.
So, to all of my dear friends from St. Louis, please take this is a compliment. It’s a compliment coming from a very selfish and insecure place, but a compliment.
I hope you understand us not wanting to share this stage. I hope you get why we want this year’s Royals to be the stars, and not the guys from 29 years ago. I hope you use your deep understanding of this great game’s neurotic nuance, and still pull for us in the World Series.
I really do hope the Royals play the Cardinals in the World Series. I am just really relieved it’s not going to be this year.