So Again We Hear About the Cardinals
Once again we’re hearing how the Cardinals are the only baseball team holding up the tradition of “old-school” baseball. And from the USA Today no less. It must be true, right? Here's an article posted earlier today discussing how the Cardinals are “doing it the right way” and (apparently) no one else is.
Here’s the thing, this article is just a love affair with the Cardinals, not actual fact or insight into the game. It goes on about how the Cardinals didn’t have any particular feelings about the Dodgers until their antics started. Antics like making Mickey Mouse ears after a Cardinals pitcher accused them of making…Mickey Mouse moves.
The author of the article is pulling for the Cardinals to win because “it’s about upholding tradition.” Sorry, but the Cardinals and their fans are not the people I would pick to uphold tradition. Don’t agree? Take a look at the @BestFansStLouis account on Twitter. It’s always entertaining after a loss, when a pitcher does poorly, and to see fans throwing out racial slurs depending on who the Cardinals are playing. Oh yes, I want those people upholding the tradition of baseball.
The article goes on to criticize the Dodgers because they have a kiss cam, their scoreboard tells fans to make noise, and they had Will Ferrell do pregame introductions. Because apparently all of that only happens at Dodgers games.
Except, I’ve been to Pirates games in Pittsburgh and Reds games in Cincinnati and both stadiums do all those things as well. I’ve watched my fair share of baseball game on television and seen numerous scoreboards calling for more noise. No offense, but assuming that every scoreboard doesn’t say “Make Some Noise” or have a noise meter at some point during a game is just short-sighted. It doesn’t mean fans aren’t excited. It’s a rally cry because sometimes players feed off of noise. It’s a call to be as loud as possible to bother an opposing pitcher. It’s baseball.
The Reds arefinallyin first place. I say finally, because if we’re all being honest, we expected it to happen much faster. However, I think that the way the Reds are playing right now surpasses what we as fans had hoped for. Being called one of the most dominant teams in the NL is definitely something we can live with. When the offense is on, it is on. Lately, there haven’t been many times when it hasn’t been on. Sure the Reds will still lose the occasional game, but look to a much more positive season from this point forward.
Here’s why: Homer Bailey & Mike Leake are settling down. Bronson Arroyo has been pretty steady. Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos, enough said. Our starting rotation is finding its collective groove. Yes, they still occasionally have bad games but, as Johnny said, they aren’t robots. Sometimes they will have bad days and it is up to the offense to help support them. Remember when Mat Latos gave up five runs in one of his home starts? Remember how the offense got it together and we won that game? Yes, pitching is important, but the offense has to help as well.
That’s another reason that we are headed for happiness. The offense is performing on a more regular basis. Cozart is getting more comfortable in the leadoff spot; Stubbs is bunting and drawing more walks; Votto is being Votto; Phillips is getting a bit more consistent on batting behind Votto; Jay Bruce is just hitting; Todd Frazier is apparently Mr. Magnificent; Hannigan is a beast. Yes we have some switches occasionally (Mes for Hannigan) but overall, the offense is meshing and that is what will help us win ball games.
Let’s not get carried away, we have a lot of games left in the season. For now, as fans, it should be a happy time. Yes we will lament any loss(es), but we should always remember this moment, sitting 1.5 games ahead of the Cardinals in the NL Central and having a scary ace (Johnny Cueto) and an even scarier closer (Aroldis Chapman).