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The Reds and Cardinals are getting ugly. And it’s wonderful.

May 16, 2011, 12:33 PM EDT

Francisco Cordero, Edinson Volquez

Yeah, I’m using this picture again. It’s a great picture.

I have absolutely no plans to take a side in the increasingly ugly Reds-Cardinals rivalry. I’m just thankful that it’s as intense as it is, because baseball needs a good hate-filled rivalry right now.  Giants-Dodgers still has bile but that got too damn real this year — let’s keep our hatred between the lines, please —  so we can’t enjoy it.  The Yankees and Red Sox really don’t seem to take much displeasure in the other’s company these days, perhaps because they realized that they have far more in common with one another than anything else.

But boy those Reds and Cardinals hate one another. And it was on display in that shouting match at the end of yesterday’s game following Albert Pujols getting hit by the pitch from Francisco Cordero.

About that:  while I’m not going to take sides in the rivalry — I hope they end the season tied for first and then have to play a 17 inning playoff against each other — I do think that Dave Duncan and the Cardinals were wrong to take umbrage at Cordero, because it makes little if any sense that he was throwing at Pujols.  It was an inside pitch, but not terribly inside, and given the situation — close game, Pujols representing the tying run and an imploding Reds’ bullpen — there was no way he was trying to hit Pujols.

Wait: I was just talking about nastiness, and that explanation was too nice.  Let’s let reader metalhead65 explain it, as he did in the comments of the Aroldis Chapman post this morning.  His comment was inspired the passage I wrote that went “… lost in the Reds’ victory …”  I’m leaving the lack of capitalization intact, because it helps communicate the passion and urgency of it all:

Craig,the only thing lost in the reds victory was Brandon Phillips once again being proven right about his comment on the cards being whiny bitches. they lost the game and series but were crying that king albert was being hit on purpose? go to a cards blog today and read where the so called best and most knowledgeable fans agree with that thought and it makes you wonder how they got that reputation. he was ahead in the count 0-2 and trying to get out of the jam chapman put them in and he is going to hit king albert to face 2 of the best hitters in the national league?one of which has hit more homers in cincy than any other player?

this is the reason reds fans hate the cardnials and thier fans. once again they show thier double standard when it comes to that team. it is ok for thier pitcher to hit the reds starting catcher in the wrist fri. and nothing is said but a reds pitcher has 1 get away in a situation he can’t afford for it to happen and it is intentional? and he is supposed to stand thier and take abuse from a bench coach and a third string catcher? the guy who got hit knows it was not on purpose but the rest of those clowns have to mouth off? you lost and no longer own the reds deal with it!

Like I said, I neither endorse nor condemn those comments. And for equal time, go to the Post-Dispatch’s fan comment board to hear Cardinals fans jawing at Cordero and the Reds. I just want this level of intensity to continue because it’s great fun.

The Reds meet the Cardinals again on July 4th.  This is gonna be an awesome summer in the Midwest.

  1. mss16 - May 16, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    As an impartial Phillies fan, I want to agree that the Cardinals and their fans do come off as “whiny bitches” who act like they should be able to do whatever they want and you should just bend over and take it. It all stems from the most arrogant man in sports, Tony LaRussa.

    • cintiphil - May 16, 2011 at 1:14 PM

      As a Reds fan, for long time, you have to understand only one thing. We NEVER hated the Cardinals in past years. The only thing you have to know is that Dusty Baker has created this hatred for TLR, where ever he managed. It started in San Fran, to Chicago and now here with us. When we get rid of the Duster, we will get back to the old days when we were just tough competitors and not enemies. I saw that the old “hatred” between the Cubs and Cardinals has diminished since the Bakster left Chicago. Why is that? I was told that these two teams hated each other. No so any more since they have a new manager there. Now we are told that we hate the Cardinals. Again, this has not been true for the past, why now? Could it be that the manager happens to be Baker? Maybe so. One more thought here. Our announcers seem to be trying to make maters worse, by trumpeting the so called hatred for the Cardinals. You just have to listen to the squirt Thom Brennaman try to tell us that we always hated the Cardinals. NOT TRUE! A lot have changed, but mostly because of Dusty Baker.

      • metalhead65 - May 16, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        it has changed not just because of Baker but because the reds no longer suck and the cardnials don’t like the fact they have competition for a change in the division. Larussa is a big reason for the hate to because of his attitude when they play the reds,name another manager that has arroyo checked for cheating because they can’t him him? as Brandon said all they do is whine when they play the reds win or lose. carpenter crying about the condition of the mound or the smoke from the fireworks after the reds scored. then screaming at a relief pitcher for hitting somebody when at the time it was the worst thing he could do. so it was ok to to hit hannigan because it is part of the game but not go inside against your players? you lost deal with it and shut up!

      • cur68 - May 16, 2011 at 3:18 PM

        Your logic is a bit skewed IMO cintiphil. When the Yankees won the series, the rest of MLB largely hated them. Are you saying Girardi is hate-causing? Baker wins by beating other teams just like Girardi does. When Baker managed the Cubs they won for quite a while. Other teams hated that, sure. When they sucked again; well no reason to hate the sucky. The Jays LOVE some Twins right now, I bet. Baker now beats TLR and his boys. When he leaves or the Reds go back to sucking, the hate will go too. Everybody hates a team that beats them. Baker has a lot to do with winning (duh) so he gets some hate, but it isn’t anything he’s doing other than trying to win ball games. I don’t see why that is some reason for anti Baker rant.

  2. spudchukar - May 16, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Oxymoronic. “impartial Phillies fan”.

  3. joshfrancis50 - May 16, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    I think what was lost in this series is that in each game the Cardinals challenged Brandon Phillips to “beat them” by IBB Joey Votto and all three times he got RBI hits. How did Carpenter explain that to his son?

  4. Jonny 5 - May 16, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    The rivalry gets a thumbs up for sure, but the fighting? Baseball players tend to fight like the cold war between the USSR and the US. A whole bunch of grandstanding and “hold me back’s” going on for my taste. If you’re going to fight,at least fight like men. *Note* that does not apply to the cold war.

  5. Ace - May 16, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Another impartial fan here, and I wonder if this is a common sentiment: having not paid a ton of attention to the back and forth of this rivalry, the one incident that really sticks out in my mind is Johnny Cueto grabbing hold of that fence and kicking Jason LaRue in the face with his spikes, ending his career in the process. However much whining the Cards do, and as insufferable as Larusa is, I’m going to find it hard to ever side with the Reds. Not that I’ll side with the Cards either, just that it’s difficult to find a good guy in this fight.

    • cintiphil - May 16, 2011 at 2:21 PM

      Ace, you hit it on the head. Very good analysis. Besides all of the hoopla, reds fans have to realize that Cueto is a jerk for doing what he did to a long time ball player, and a very well liked player in Cincinnati. He was not threatened as he pointed out, as all of his teammates were surrounding him at the time. There is no room for this in the major leagues. And I should point out that certain announcers in this town need to tone down that talk and stop making excuses for a dope like Cueto. I don’t know if he sharpened his spikes before the incident or not.

      • giboxer5 - May 16, 2011 at 3:01 PM

        idiots. Way to tell a guy that he wasn’t threatened. If he was surrounded by his own guys then how were Cardinals getting kicked?? Watch the tape, grow some balls and at least admit you are just ashamed Cardinal fans (noone blames you, you should be ashamed). Not to mention, a certain hick of a pitcher and j.o. of a catcher in Cardinal uniforms were the two who escalated the situation beyond that of a typical baseball fight.. BOOOHOOO…..

  6. paperlions - May 16, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    For the record, comments sections on the PD web site are not a good barometer of what most Cardinal fans think about baseball or anything related to baseball. There are plenty of Cardinal blogs, and most of them are regularly bemused and embarrassed by things in the local paper as well as by comments posted in response to articles. Just like every other fan base…we have our idiots in spades.

  7. paperlions - May 16, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    I think part of the reason for the Cardinal coaches/players response is that they just lost their 3B for months because of a broken hand on an up-and-in HBP. Cordero unintentionally ripped that scab off before the emotional wounds from that incident had healed.

  8. bovice23 - May 16, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    The Cards fans that come to Cinci for the games are always drunk loud mouths but the ones that are at their home games are completly the opposite. I went to the last reds-cards series last year in st louis (I’m a reds fan) and all the cards fans that were sitting by us or happend to walk by us on the way to the game were very nice and knowlegable. One guy even told that hes was happy we were having a good year after struggling for so long and we talked about out our mutal hatred of the cubs and their fans. I thought that we would get hazed pretty good because of how ugly the previous series was and at the time I think we were up 4 games or something before the start of that last series but everyone was surprising friendly. I do think that the Cardnals players are very whiny and complain about everything and everything especially Carpenter, he’s the biggest bitch of them all but as far as Cards fans go I have nothing but respect.

    • paperlions - May 16, 2011 at 1:28 PM

      That is a pretty accurate characterization of StL fans at home, it is typically a fan and family friendly environment. People want to enjoy baseball and have a good time.

  9. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 16, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    I heard Cardinals fans eat babies and Reds fans are worse.

    • mckludge - May 16, 2011 at 2:19 PM

      What’s worse? Eating the poop afterward?

    • paperlions - May 16, 2011 at 4:50 PM

      St. Louisans eat more BBQ per capita than any other city in the country.
      Baby back ribs is tasty and tender, who can blame us?

  10. Rollie - May 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    There are only two players that Reds fans take issue with (in general) on the Cardinals roster. Chris Carpenter and Yadier Molina. Carpenter has raw sewege spew out his mouth everytime he opens it. After yesterday’s game he complained about the mound condition. Last year “the balls weren’t rubbed up enough.” This guy is hated, and that hatred is justified. I personally don’t mind Molina, people just have issue with the whole shin tap Brandon Phillips incident. Whatever, I agree this rivalry is great, I just hope it never comes close to the Giants-Dodgers tragedy. Minus the idiots that, unfortunately, every team must deal with in its fan base, this is a good, competitive, fun rivalry. Here’s to hoping that the soul-less bastards that put that poor man in the hospital turn themselves in, and allow themselves to be made an example of because that is never what sports rivalries should come to. Ever.

    Oh and LaRue’s career was over already, he just didn’t want to admit it. He used to be a Red too.

    • cintiphil - May 16, 2011 at 2:25 PM

      Yea, you are right, LaRue was a dope for hanging on so long. He sjould have been kicked out of the league and Cueto did him a favor. After all, who hasn’t had a concussion or two in their life?

      • Rollie - May 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM

        I don’t want people to get the wrong impression. I always liked Jason LaRue. He was always a hard worker and a quiet, mild-mannered guy. It’s unfortunate how Cueto kicked him, but numbers don’t lie, and LaRue’s numbers were never very good, and at 36 years old he wasn’t bringing much of anything to the Cards.

    • itripledogdareyou - May 16, 2011 at 2:49 PM

      Rollie – agreed. Rivalries should never be taken to the level of the idiots that hurt Stowe. As a Dodger fan, it amazes me that Dodger Stadium security can hunt you down via cameras if you take 3 minutes to put jackets on your kids before walking into a game but they can’t find these monsters??? Unbelievable. I’m happy to see him able to go back to SF today so his kids can visit him and I hope he recovers from this senseless tragedy.

      • Rollie - May 16, 2011 at 3:09 PM

        Yeah, I saw that he was moved today. That’s great, but nothing will be better than if/when he is able to recover fully. I was very glad to see that the Billboard company dedicated something like 40,000 billboards to finding those heathens. Very unfortunate that it takes such a monstrous act to bring people together, but that’s just one of history’s lessons.

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