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Spoiled Brats

Monday, July 19, 2010

Spoiled Brats By; Chris Kalna

I recently read several letters directed to the sports editor of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Within these passionate well constructed and thought out prose the architects of them did most nothing but complain about the state of affairs concerning their beloved Cardinals of St. Louis. The very same Redbirds that sit perched atop the Central Division of the National League ahead of their new upstart rival Cinncinatti Reds by one half of one game. In layman's terms that means that they are in FIRST PLACE!

The same rhetoric is heard on local sports talk radio shows across the dial daily. Myself being a junkie of anything sport I fall asleep to the staticky sounds of insomniacs opining about the "underachieving" home team and awaken to the clearer version of the same redundant rants each morning that continue throughout the muggy Missouri days of summer.I, of all people appreciate opinions.

Anyone that is familiar with me knows that an abundance of personal thoughts spew forth, unprovoked and most likely unappreciated often. The fans that sit down and take the time to share these ideas should, at the very least be respected for corresponding their concerns about something that they obviously love and care much about. Serioulsy though, their team is in FIRST PLACE!

Across the state down I-70 the perennially floundering Kansas City Royals are stationed in 4th place, 11 games out of first and 13 games under .500, not to mention 25 years removed from their gift, I mean lone World Series title. Northeast of here our lovable loser "rival" Cubs of Wrigleyville are currently 10 1/2 games behind the "disappointing" Cardinal team and are well on there way to helping replace the term futility in Webster's with a photo of the Chicago franchise's insignia.

St. Louis baseball fans have been spoiled. Spoiled by the success of a Major League Baseball franchise unparralleled by any other besides the New York Yankees. As recently as the 1990's Cardinal Nation experienced an era of baseball, if not for Mark McGwire or the 1996 team that was nothing less than unforgettable. Damn Donovan Osborne and Chipper Jones!

When Whitey Herzog left during the 1990 campaign midway through the season because of the lack of commitment by ownership this franchise was in shambles. Our hopes rested on an aging Ozzie Smith and a guy named Felix Jose. A decade in which the birds on the bat lost 24 more games than they won and depended upon the long ball to rotate turnstyles.

Though the 90's were not nearly as unsuccessful as the 1970's when butterfly collars and bell bottom jeans ruled wardrobes and 3 million fans sitting inside that old cookie cutter during a season was unfathomable. Not once during the time of disco did the Cardinals make the post season. While fielding teams that resembled the students of Gabe Kaplan's "Sweathogs" more than a professional baseball club.

From '69 through '81 Cardinal teams remained absent during Autumn. Of course the 80's reminded Cardinal fans of the greatness emboddied in the teams storied history. Reaching the World Series 3 times like that of the proud 1960's squads.

Like many things concerning America's pastime and America in general, baseball is cyclical. Like the return of vintage clothes St. Louis experienced another long post season drought. From 1988 to 1999 the Cards reached the playoffs only once. Making it all of the way to the 7th game of the 1996 season's NLCS to fall one game short to the team of the 1990's, the Atlanta Braves.

Something happened post Y2k though. The Cardinals became regulars at the October parties of the post season and even danced in a few fall classics, surprisingly winning the 2006 Series while finishing the regular season just 5 games north of .500. The 2004 Cardinals won an amazing 105 games before falling to the predestined Red Sox and Curt Schillings bloody sock. They followed that season by accumulating another 100 wins in '05. During this decade of terrorism and change Cardinal nation witnessed a team that won 197 games more than they lost and have had the pleasure of watching one of the truly great players of any generation in Albert Pujols. As fans, this should be treasured and recognized, not belittled and bemoaned.

Personally, I would much rather watch a spirited pennant race in September than be 12 games ahead and become complacent and bored with that big lead entering October both stail and lethargic, waiting to be dispatched by a team carrying momentum.

So allow yourselves to enjoy these fruit bearing baseball times and embrace the race for the pennant. Atleast look on the bright side. You could reside in the Windy City or even worse, the post LeBron Cleveland! Oh the humanity.

Chris Kalna, July 20, 2010


  1. I need more. I need more. Love to read your stuff Chris.

  2. You hit the nail on the head. What a great time to be watching Cardinal baseball. With Pujols and all the new kids on the block like Craig and pitchers like Wainright and Carpenter; what's not to like! You gotta love a tight race to the finish like the one we're about to watch til the end with the Reds. GO CARDINALS!

  3. Chris....Your gay and so is your message! You have no life and think about sports than you do your own work. I would rather watch paint dry than baseball on TV. They say baseball is america's sport but i disagree. Football is america's sport. You have african americans and caucassians in football which are americans. Baseball has how many dominicans and puerta ricans or mexicans?? Too many. Baseball can go away and have football all year long if it was possible. Your home town friend. You admire my success in sports and Fantasy Football.


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