Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The whole wide world is watching

The next two months will be the dog days of the season.  Come Friday morning, we could be looking up at the Cardinals in the standings.  Tonight means nothing in terms of locking down our destiny.

But that said, let us enter into the record, that tonight was glorious.

Nicer weather, the Allegheny has never known.  That beautiful stadium was as singularly focused on baseball as I've ever experienced it.  The pierogie race couldn't have possibly upstaged the brilliant rage of A.J. Burnett.  The wave didn't dare make an appearance until well into the second game, and only after 6 hours of patiently waiting through high leverage tension.

But it wasn't just the fans or the stadium or the skyline.  It was the players.  Those guys played smart.  They weren't stupid assholes, they didn't give away PAs.  The pitchers used their defense.  Clint made mostly all the right moves with personnel.  It was watching a team firing on all pistons.  Playing mentally tough in all the places where raw talent wasn't in abundance.

Again, this means nothing.  We have a long, long way to go before we're talking playoffs.  But there is no doubt that this is the team that will break .500 for the first time in two decades.  There is no doubt that they give a damn.  I give a damn watching them.

I think about all these years of getting pushed around by Cardinals' teams.  I think about my Yankee-fan college roommate, taunting me after we got A.J., saying that we're getting pinstriped table scraps.  I think about the "can't miss" guys, the soft-tossing lefties, Operation Shutdown, the years when we'd sell at the deadline, the blue glove of Jose Mesa.  And here's the comeback:

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