Skip to content

Pretty much everyone hates the Cardinals, right?

Oct 15, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals slap hands after defeating the San Francisco Giants duringtheir MLB NLCS playoff baseball series in San Francisco

Will Leitch is probably the most notable Cardinals fan in the little corner of the Internet a lot of us call home. And something dawned on him over the weekend:

I have spent so much time watching the Cardinals, reveling in their victories and agonizing in their defeats, that I had forgotten that the rest of the world was watching them, too … And the rest of the world, to my astoundment, hates the Cardinals. The rest of the world was cheering for the young, likable, fiery Washington Nationals, with their superstar youngsters and their facial hair and their natty natitude. The Cardinals weren’t the heroes to them; they were the brutish villains, the Cobra Kai, the Empire, stomping on the dreams of the upstart rebellion.

“Hates” is probably too strong a word. I don’t think people truly hate them. If anything, they have become incrementally more likable now that Tony La Russa is gone and don’t have many personalities — apart from maybe Chris Carpenter — who tend to draw the ire of fans in any notable way.

But people are certainly tired of them. Tired of them in much the same way people are tied of the Yankees. If you’re not a fan of either of those teams you almost always want to see them lose. Not because there’s anything wrong with them in and of themselves, but simply because we’re tired of the stories about them told during the postseason. Tired of the late comebacks which, no matter how exciting they are in any given moment, have some dispiriting element to them for anyone who doesn’t cheer those teams on.

It’s probably because the Cardinals and the Yankees are the ultimate overdogs.  They have attained that status for very different reasons, of course. They have different financial structures and fan bases and press coverage and general attitude surrounding them. But they are both considered the gold standard of their respective leagues for whatever reason and they both can never, ever be counted out.

Folks don’t like that much. If their own team can’t be in it, they prefer that just about any other team move on before the Cardinals and the Yankees do.  They either want to root for underdogs or, if there are no underdogs around — remember, the Nationals won way more games than the Cards did — they at least want the new stories and faces on their TV screens in October.

All of which makes this postseason rather dreary.  We were a couple of random bounces, key hits and close calls away from the A’s, Orioles, Nationals and Reds playing in the ALCS and NLCS. That may have been ratings poison for Fox and TBS, but it would have been refreshing for people who were watching.  Now we have those two always-theres in the Yankees and the Cardinals.

And really, the other guys aren’t a ton better.  The Giants don’t have that same feeling as the Cardinals, but they did just win it all in 2010. Saving them, I reckon, is the fact that Brian Wilson can’t pitch this year, which goes a long way to combat the annoying familiarity.  The Tigers are no Yankees and are not even as ubiquitous and tired a story as the Rangers have been, but they do have the Cabrera-Verlander duo which have consumed an awful lot of media oxygen when it comes to MVP arguments and such in the past two years.

So, nope, we really don’t have any fresh faces or exciting new stories this postseason.  Those of us who aren’t Yankees and Cardinals fans are probably settling on rooting for the Tigers and Giants, but it’s not that satisfying.  I suppose the best we can root for is high-quality baseball over the next two weeks and change. Which, given how sloppy and ugly so much of this postseason has been, would be a refreshing storyline of its own.

Sigh.

Latest Posts
  1. Couple bets a baby on the outcome of the World Series

    Oct 22, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    gambling poster

    No, they didn’t actually wager a living baby or anything. That would be weird. They just bet on whether they should have one.

  2. The Phillies are thought to be front runners for Yasmany Tomas

    Oct 22, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

    yasmani tomas cuba getty Getty Images

    It may cost them $100 million to get him, but they certainly could use him.

  3. Pace-of-play experiments in the Arizona Fall League are frustrating some players

    Oct 22, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    pitch clock

    No one likes their routines to get messed up, but forgive me if I have trouble caring too terribly much about the complaints voiced thus far.

  4. Will Game 1 loss linger for Royals?

    Oct 22, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    The celebration was over before it really began Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium. Can the Royals get the party started again?

  5. Giants inhaling the air of superiority after Game 1

    Oct 22, 2014, 9:35 AM EDT

    Giants, Hunter Pence bring down the house in Kansas City. It may be a sign of things to come.

  6. The Twins are down to three managerial candidates

    Oct 22, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

    Twins logo

    Paul Molitor remains the frontrunner.

  7. What’s in a name? “Big Game” James did not come up big for Kansas City

    Oct 22, 2014, 7:53 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 7.01.41 AM AP

    Not living up to a nickname: forgivable. Not giving your team a chance to win in the World Series: a way bigger problem.

  8. World Series Reset: The Royals look to pick themselves up off the mat

    Oct 22, 2014, 6:23 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 6.22.03 AM

    And to fight history: 15 of the last 17 Game 1 winners have gone on to win the World Series.

  9. Royals’ World Series hopes in Yordano Ventura’s hands

    Oct 22, 2014, 12:58 AM EDT

    It’s up to the rookie in Wednesday’s Game 2.

  10. Giants stomp Royals 7-1 in World Series Game 1 rout

    Oct 21, 2014, 11:41 PM EDT

    bumgarner getty Getty Images

    The 2014 Royals have finally dropped a postseason game. And it was an ugly one for the home team.

  11. Royals get on the board on a Salvador Perez home run

    Oct 21, 2014, 11:06 PM EDT

    salvador perez getty Getty Images

    Giants starter Madison Bumgarner was working on a shutout in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium until Royals catcher Salvador Perez slugged a two-out solo shot over the left field fence.

  12. James Shields driven from Game 1 in the fourth inning

    Oct 21, 2014, 9:49 PM EDT

    james shields getty Getty Images

    Royals manager Ned Yost has gone to the bullpen early in Game 1 of the World Series, lifting starter James Shields after he allowed an RBI single to Giants designated hitter Michael Morse in the top of the fourth inning.

  13. Giants take early lead in Game 1 of World Series

    Oct 21, 2014, 8:52 PM EDT

    hunter pence getty Getty Images

    The Giants exploded for three runs in the top of the first inning on singles by Gregor Blanco and Buster Posey, a double by Pablo Sandoval, and a Hunter Pence two-run homer to center field.

  14. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady rooting for his hometown Giants in the World Series

    Oct 21, 2014, 8:13 PM EDT

    tom brady

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady posted this picture on his Facebook page this evening with a caption that reads “Gearing up to watch my hometown Giants in the World Series.”

  15. Video: Kansas City, Home Sweet Home

    Oct 21, 2014, 7:28 PM EDT

    kauffman stadium kc getty Getty Images

    Here’s a Royals pump-up video that MLB Advanced Media put together featuring the music of Motley Crue …

  16. Mike Zagurski signs with NPB’s Hiroshima Carp

    Oct 21, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT

    mike zagurski getty Getty Images

    From Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca comes word that left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski has officially agreed to a contract with the Hiroshima Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball.

  17. Phillies re-sign Jerome Williams for $2.5 million

    Oct 21, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

    Jerome Williams AP

    Williams has pitched for seven different MLB teams in nine seasons, posting a combined 4.40 ERA in 891 career innings.

  18. Royals’ World Series rotation: Shields, Ventura, Guthrie, Vargas

    Oct 21, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Yordano Ventura Yordano Ventura

    That’s the same alignment the Royals used in the ALCS, when they swept the Orioles in four games.

Featured video

Ace-killer Giants do it again
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Bumgarner (3164)
  2. J. Shields (2767)
  3. T. Ishikawa (2676)
  4. T. Lincecum (2063)
  5. M. Morse (1969)
  1. Y. Cespedes (1932)
  2. L. Cain (1846)
  3. B. Posey (1715)
  4. B. Roberts (1545)
  5. A. Wainwright (1518)