A while ago I asked people on Twitter about their most disappointing Cardinals seasons. The results shocked me. Many of the answers were 2012, 2004, etc. Teams that were powerhouse Cardinals teams that got defeated during their playoff run.
It shocked me because that’s not how I think about a season at all. I love and cherish World Series wins, of course. Other playoff successes that leave Kershaw like droopy dog? Yeah, that’s what I replay when I’m having a bad day. Or a good day. But my feels about a season aren’t ever dominated by playoff failures. They are painful, to be sure, but we are talking about the playoffs. We are talking about playing the best teams in a short series. I go in knowing, in a way expecting, the Cardinals won’t go all the way. In my life the Cardinals have won 3 WS, and one of them the most amazing WS that I’ll ever see in my lifetime. I wouldn’t call myself satisfied, but I know I’m lucky.
To me, a season is about the 6 month grind, and my general happiness during that drive. For me it was 2003 that sucked. It was a fantastic offense that was undone by the worst bullpen I’ve ever seen. In the meantime the Cubs had a great year, and on the way crushed the Cardinals chances in a horrific 5 game series that was even made into a freaking book. It was awful.
Which is why, this year, no matter what happens, 2015 will be a great year. It might be a terrible ending, I don’t know. I don’t have anything optimistic to say at this point except that the math still favors the Cardinals. And it will, until it doesn’t. This has been an awful week to be sure, and in many ways it’s been a challenging season. There is a very good chance, just from the math of it, that the Cardinals won’t win the WS leaving many people hating 2015. That’s fine. That’s their prerogative.
But I’ve loved it. I thought this would be a good time to start looking back at those times that have made 2015 an absolutely magical year.
2015 Rules Part 1:
April 5th, 2015: Opening Day – Cardinals 3, Cubs 0
Do you remember this broadcast? It was so focused on the Cubs that the team that had been to 4 straight NLCS match ups was an afterthought.
Wrigley had huge renovations. The bleachers, embarrassingly, were empty construction zones.
Pictures hit the Internet of rows of cups of urine due to lack of bathrooms.
The Cubs new, flashy pitcher, was awful. Lester went less than 5 innings and the Cardinals danced on the basepaths like jerks picking on their little sister.
It was beautiful.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals new flashy toy that wasn’t getting any coverage, Jason Heyward, ate up Lester even though it was an L-L matchup. 3 hits in total. The future looked very bright.
And Adam went 6 shutout innings, and got a hug from Yadi that will make you smile today no matter what happens in the game.
Opening day was gone, and demonstrated the same off season optimism the Cubs seem to always have. Tons of excitement, until the reality of a 3-0 shutout from a clearly better team ruins their party.
This was all demonstrated in a highlight that you’ve forgotten. A seemingly huge Cubs home run where the ESPN cameraman, almost hopeful, centered on the middle of the bleachers. Only to fall harmlessly into the glove of Jason Heyward, the Cardinals newest symbol of continuing dominance.
Just beautiful. Enjoy.