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The League Championship Series storylines are … complicated

Oct 11, 2013, 9:10 AM EDT

Boston Red Soxs

Not gonna lie: it’s going to be a bit of a mess trying to graft your narratives on to this year’s LCS matchups and potential World Series matchups, folks.  All of the easy stories about the plucky Pirates, the quasi-homeless A’s and Joe Maddon-as-baseball’s-Phil Jackson are out the window. Everyone’s happy the Braves are gone.

So what do we have? We have four classic, old school MLB teams from the original 16 (if that’s a thing). We have four teams sporting grand histories. We have teams with several superior, MVP-caliber players who make a lot of money. We have one huge payroll team, another team that has had more literary and sportswritery lore spun about it than the next ten teams combined and two teams who have had all kinds of success in recent years. There are no underdogs here, if that’s the sort of thing you’re into. We have a couple of gimmicky character types — Yasiel Puig, Matt Adams — but no ready-made sportswriter storylines that will easily spring from scribes’ keyboards over the next three weeks.

So where do we go for our precious, precious narratives?

Based on the sense I’ve gotten from readers and on Twitter, the Dodgers are probably what most closely passes for “plucky upstarts,” partially for their joie de vivre (Joie de Puig?) and partially because they came from nowhere this year. But that makes little sense. The Red Sox have a lot of joie de vivre too with the beards and all of that. And they came from nowhere too given how horrible last year was for them. And they sport a lower payroll as they’re doing it. What’s the argument for “The Dodgers are a better storyline than the Red Sox?” Most of those 2004-07 players are long gone. Can the presence of David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury change everything so greatly? I don’t feel like it should.

Of course you have that big Dodgers-Red Sox trade from last year which, if those two teams meet in the World Series, will likely dominate the discourse. I feel like it will dominate it in a dumb way, though. Most people will couch it in terms of who really won the trade and will try to use the results of such a World Series as some sort of proof of their position. But it seems to me that the most notable thing you can take away from that trade is that it made sense for both teams and helped both teams in important ways. I guess that’s not very satisfying for a sports world that likes thinks in black and white, however.

So: the Cardinals. With the Braves out of it they seem to be the most hated team in the playoffs. And I can understand the Cardinals fatigue out there. They’ve been on this stage so often in recent years that we’re all tired of them. But I also can’t remember a team that has a pretty low payroll, comes from a pretty small market and has an overwhelmingly home-grown roster and fabulous farm system not getting a ton of love from the baseball commentariat. Especially the SABR-y ones, who usually love that stuff. But not this year. Not with St. Louis. Maybe because the Cardinals are the only home-grown, low payroll team that can still manage to come off smugger than all hell.

The Tigers: They have the likely Cy Young guy, the likely MVP guy two-years running and several other high-priced, award-winning stars. They were just in the World Series last year, for crying out loud. A key component of their team just came off a 50-game PED suspension. I don’t feel people hate them or are sick of them, really, but it’s not like they have any compelling narrative about them that will get people who aren’t already Tigers fans to rally around them. Plus, that whole “the Tigers are helping rally a beleaguered city!” thing has been done. And was pretty stupid and condescending in the first place.

None of any of that makes for easy (or at least smart) narratives. Which makes for a pretty sobering realization: we’re gonna have to focus on the [gulp] actual baseball in the LCS and World Series.

I hope our nation’s sportswriters and television commentators are up to the task.

104 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. nbjays - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    “So what do we have? We have four classic, old school MLB teams from the original 16 (if that’s a thing). We have four teams sporting grand histories.”

    All this and no Yankees… the baseball gods are smiling.

    • cur68 - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      “No Yankees”….the sweetest music of all…..

  2. Alex K - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    I feel like you’re really selling the sportswriters ability to create a narrative out of nothing short.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      If a hobbled Miggy hits a go-ahead run in the final game, some writers are gonna wet themselves.

      • moogro - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        If against the Dodgers, you’ll hear Gibson, grit, etc. forever.

      • jcmeyer10 - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        Oh so you’re a freelance writer? 😀

    • gloccamorra - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      Yeah, they’ll find a sick kid befriended by a ballplayer or something, or a 87 year old season ticket holder, or 90 year old usher. Still, it would be nice if they could, you know, let the games write the narrative, once in awhile.

  3. blacksables - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    “Maybe because the Cardinals are the only home-grown, low payroll team that can still manage to come off smugger than all hell.”

    Why do all of you keep confusing a baseball team with a media creation? Those people writing this crap are doing this to make money for a living, not actually out on the field.

    The team is not like that. The real fans are not like that.

    The media using it as a selling point is about as true as anything any politician has said about the budget in the last two weeks.

    The fantasy mind of journalists does not equal the real mind of fans.

    Also, LaRussa is gone. Isn’t it time to let it go?

    • Marty McKee - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      “The real fans are not like that.”

      • blacksables - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

        Really? One fan with a Twitter account is an entire fan base?

        It boggles the mind.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:18 AM

        Great link Marty. Incredibly helpful. No doubt in my mind these people are “real fans.”
        I also don’t doubt for a minute these “fans” are the only ones cut from this particular cloth.
        Nope. I simply do not believe you could find ingrates of this nature rooting for any other teams.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        Totally agree stlouis1baseball. Just remember your comment whenever other fan bases get bashed for the same reason.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        I hear you FC. You guys take serious heat…all the time.

      • paperlions - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        If a team has more than 50 fans, then they have at least one fan that is a jackwagon.

        Every team has some fans that are horrible.

        Every team has some fans that are smart.

        Every team has some hard core faithful fans.

        Every team has some bandwagon fans.

        Yes, there are difference among fan bases in % composition of various categories, but most of those differences are a function of the history of the team/organization and of the local sensibilities (e.g. the brashness of NY or Boston), AND how the fan base acts is not temporally static…it changes in response to recent success/failure.

        Painting any diverse group (and all fan bases are diverse groups) with a broad brush is both lazy and disingenuous.

      • indaburg - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        “If a team has more than 50 fans, then they have at least one fan that is a jackwagon.”

        The Rays have less than 50 fans, therefore my team has no jackwagon fans! Woohoo!

      • paperlions - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        Um…..congrats(?) on that ‘burgie.

      • Marty McKee - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        “If a team has more than 50 fans, then they have at least one fan that is a jackwagon.

        Every team has some fans that are horrible.

        Every team has some fans that are smart.

        Every team has some hard core faithful fans.

        Every team has some bandwagon fans.”

        Except you’re missing the point that only one team has fans that calls themselves (no one else does–they do) the Best Fans in Baseball.

      • Patrick - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        People upset with this comment need to realize that it’s not bashing a fanbase just to bash it. That Twitter feed and this comment are about pointing out the hypocrisy, that disconnect between “the best fans in baseball” and the jerks that call themselves that. Every fanbase has fans like that; no other fanbase calls themselves “The Best”

      • Patrick - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        How are all of you failing to see the distinction?? Of course all fanbases have fans like that! No other fanbase, however, purports to be the best.

    • forsch31 - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      And since when does the city newspaper count as the team?

      • forsch31 - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        Also, the story was written by Derrick Goold, and is his usual, non-homer work in comparing how two playoff teams have been rebuilt in the past couple of years, if anybody actually read it. But what do you expect from Twitter, or Craig?

  4. apkyletexas - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    You missed one. If the Sox make it to the Series, the fact that Big Papi is still mashing homers and leading the way 9 years after “the Idiots” won it all for Boston will be a huge story.

  5. stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    I am not feeling well this morning and I am apparently slower than normal today.

    What am I missing with regards to the “smug” link to the twitter feeds?
    Seriously…how is it smug?

    Again…I am not on my ‘A’ game this morning. Therefore, I would like someone to explain it to me.
    But I need them to type slowly.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      So…no answers? That’s helpful.
      I mean…they take pride in their titles? Isn’t that the definition of “smug.” Unnecessary pride?
      To much pride? Excessive pride? They take more pride than needed?
      How can someone take too much pride? Is this possible?
      The Bird is telling money bags the title isn’t for sale. So this is smug?
      Does anyone NOT take pride in their titles?


      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        I don’t know about smug but I find it hilarious how one team that has a payroll of $115,222,086 is criticizing the team that has a payroll of $216,597,577.

        I mean both teams are paying triple digits and are composed of high priced (and in some cases overpaid) talented millionaires. How is the Dodgers effort to put a winning team on the field any less legitimate than the Cardinals?

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:43 AM

        Understood FC. But I think we both can agree the Dodgers (right or wrong) have taken incredible heat for their payroll. Much like the Yankees have. And Boston at times. And the Angels. And pretty much every other big market team. It’s what small market teams and their fans do. I am not saying it’s right. I am only saying this isn’t anything new. I raised to root against the Yankees specifically because of their payroll. Growing up…I lost count of the number of times my Father used to say “the Yankees buy championships.” Now that I am older…I realize everyone does to a degree. But I do take “smug” in the fact the Cardinals roster is predominately filled with home grown talent. And I am not going to apologize for it.

      • tedwmoore - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        I don’t have much interest in this smugness discussion, but if you think that a $116 million payroll and a $223 million payroll are similarly situated…well, I suggest you consider this: the cardinals have the 10th highest payroll, sure, but he difference between them and the Rays (28th in payroll at $56 million) is $40 million less than the difference between St Louis and the Dodgers ($60 million versus $107 million). St. Louis has money, yes, but LA has more than lapped the field in payroll.

      • forsch31 - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        Another thing to remember is that 14 of the 30 team payrolls are above $100 million, with 8 additional teams with a payroll above $80 million.

        The cost of fielding a team has exploded within the past decade–in 2003, only two teams had a north-of-100 million dollar payroll. Meanwhile, the average team payroll for the league today is around $104 million.

        The Cardinals are able to spend more money than your typical small-to-mid-market team, but they rarely spend it to bring in top free agents or trade for high-priced stars. The last couple big money contracts were to keep core players around: Wainwright and Molina, along with a new contract for Allen Craig. Carlos Beltran was the last significant player signed, and that was a short-term two-year deal averaging $13 million a year back in 2011, and the last major player trade was for Matt Holliday back in 2009. So while they do maintain a total payroll that is a bit higher than the league average, most fans and writers probably wouldn’t consider them a “big money team” like the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, or Phillies.

      • gostlcards5 - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        FC…I didn’t really read it as criticizing. It was more Mo and DeWitt saying “we knew we couldn’t do it that way”.

        Also, am I the only one that noted the article also talking about the stacked lineup from 2004-2006 (Pujols, Rolen, Edmonds, Sanders, Walker)? It’s not like the Cardinals have not done similar things. Again, they can’t SUSTAIN that as a business.

    • wonkypenguin - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      “The Cardinals way” is the reference to coming off as “smug as all hell.” And they do – whether it is accurate/fair or not. I think it’s a classic “you can’t see it when you’re on the inside” type of thing. {For instance, I think Puig has been the most exciting thing in baseball this year (and I live in Minnesota so it’s not some sort of homerism). So all the hatred toward him is completely confusing to me.}

      And you’re going to defend it to the death because it rubs you the wrong way and is perceived as an insult. You’re also smug because you win all the time and you know it. You should actually be smug about your smugness. Embrace it, man.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Yeah…I am very “smug” of the Cardinals. I also fully realize Cardinals fans are spoiled.
        How could you not be? Competitive year in year out. Doing it the right way (building from within)…while not generating a great deal of headlines off the field. Hell…the only time they have not been competitive in my lifetime was the 90’s. And I am 41 years old!
        While I certainly don’t take it for granted (my Redlegs loving buddies help me with that)…it isn’t something I am going to apologize for either. Definately something to be “smug” of.
        Because again…I am very “smug” of them.

  6. Jeff - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Everyone’s happy the Braves are gone? Even Atlanta fans?
    Why all the hate for the Braves?

    • nbjays - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      You do know that Craig is a Braves… oops, sorry, Craig… Barves fan, don’t you?

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        Wait…Harry hasn’t posted in weeks. In fact, I don’t think it’s a coincidence his lack of posts has coincided with the huge up-tick in thumb(s) down(s).

      • evanfreeward - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        Oh for goodness’ sakes! When are we going to put this nasty little lie to rest? If Craig has ever called himself a Braves fan, he is not one anymore…not a good one, at least. Craig, I dare you to say otherwise. You’re a Braves-hater just like the rest of them.

  7. nategearhart - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    I can’t speak for everyone, but surely there are a lot of other people who feel the way I do about the Tigers: I STILL have a hard time letting go of how bad they were for a while. I realize how ridiculous it is; the 119-loss season was what, 10 years ago? And if I think about it more, I remember how far removed these Tigers are from those pre-Pudge teams.
    But for now, those bad Tiger teams are the first thing that comes to mind for me, and so I’m still happy for the success they’ve had lately, even though “lately” is like, the past 7 years or so. Because as a baseball fan of a certain age, my gut tells me that the Tigers, like the Pirates, are SUPPOSED to be good, and something is missing in baseball if they aren’t. I guess that’s why I’m not sick of them yet. Even as a Royals fan.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      You and me both! Everyone acts like it’s old hat that we win now, but 20 years is a heckuva thing to shake and I want a Series win, dammit!

      • nbjays - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:59 AM

        Historio, I hear what you are saying about 20 years. Hell, we have dirtyharry reminding us in every damn thing he posts. However, I have a hard time feeling sorry for the Tigers given their success in the last few years.

        Although I will cheer for them over the Red Sox, and the Dodgers over the Cards, simply because Boston and St. Louis have two championships each in the past decade, whereas the Dodgers haven’t won since ’88 and the Tigers haven’t won since ’84.

      • paperlions - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        So….what you are saying is that you guys were like current Pirate fans before they were, and though the team has had success, they still don’t have a WS trophy.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        I want the WS, dangit! And you know you want to see me in my celebration goggles.

      • moogro - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM

        If Toronto winning has any positive effect on Montreal getting a team again, I’d be all over that.

  8. pastabelly - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Storylines seem to play themselves out as games are being played. None of these teams or potential matchups have much animosity to them (with the possible exception of Carl Crawford and nobody understands that one).

    • historiophiliac - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      Except if the Tigers and Cardinals meet again, it’s a rematch. Grrrrrr!!!!!

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        It’s the one I am pulling for Philiac!

      • historiophiliac - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

        Me too.

      • cohnjusack - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        Rematch? Was that even considered a World Series last time?

        I feel MLB missed out on an epic trolling opportunity by not giving out the WS MVP to Tigers pitchers that year.
        How is it even possible for a pitching staff to have 5 errors in 5 games? To put this in some perspective, the Braves pitchers had 6 errors *all season* in 2006.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM

        Bite me.

      • happytwinsfan - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        damn, i didn’t think of cards – tigers 68 rematch. i got visions of mickey lolich dancing in my head. sorry beantown, sorry tinseltown, this has got to happen.

      • spudchukar - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        Have your pitchers learned to field?

      • historiophiliac - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM

        1) This is exactly the kind of thing that makes people not like y’all.
        2) This is exactly why I want a rematch.

      • spudchukar - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        Jeez, a little touchy. I mean it was the cause of your WS loss. Just trying to aid your chances.

  9. Marty McKee - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    God, I hate “storylines.” I blame it on Fox, which hates baseball so much that it had to create these stupid made-up storylines to keep themselves interested.

    The second dumbest Fox baseball innovation: McCarver’s Keys to the Game, which almost always include:

    * Throw strikes
    * Get on the board early
    * Keep (opponent’s best hitter) from getting on base

    • cohnjusack - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      As this is his last year doing this (thank god), I feel like McCarver should throw some curves into his “keys to the game” to see if anyone would even notice, or if we as society has entirely blocked them out.

      *Throw Strikes
      *Get on board early
      *Murder. Ortiz can’t hit if he’s dead.

    • indaburg - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      Don’t forget:

      -Outscore your opponent

      • historiophiliac - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        How bad do you thing the Farewell McCarver tributes will be?

    • moogro - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      These bogus storylines are the most annoying on the TV. When they are in print it doesn’t matter as much because most people are avoiding newspapers.

  10. illbringdabeers - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Honestly, something about the Cardinals just rubs me the wrong way. It’s not the players (cause they seem like great guys) but its everything else with the organization. It just comes off as, yeah I guess smug is the word I would use. And the “Best Fans In Baseball” thing is annoying. Just a useless opinion from an internet user.

    • apkyletexas - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      I don’t know any team in the history of professional sports that hasn’t claimed the “best fans” title for their town.

      It’s Marketing 101. Tell the fans “we couldn’t do this without you”, and then – Surprise! – they buy more tickets when you are winning.

      I heard an interview recently with Reed Ryan, President of the Houston Astros. He, of course, claimed Houston had the “best fans in baseball” — even in a year when the Astros were getting the lowest percentage of local TV viewers in history.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      But they are the best fans. Their have more hair, make more money, their wive’s are hotter than yours. They all got degrees in things that are relevant instead of your senseless degree in theatre.

      Actually, their considered the best fans because 1). They always pack the park, even in down years and 2). They politely clap when they lose sometimes. This is confused for being the best fans, when in actuality, #1 is due to there literally being nothing else to do in the economic wasteland that is the ruins of St. Louis other than smoke some meth and be afraid, and #2 is confusing “best” with “most boring”.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        People smoke Meth?

      • abaird2012 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        Yep, that’s how they do it now. No messy needles. Progress is a beautiful thing.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

        But I thought they snorted it?

      • abaird2012 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        Hard to get those big rocks up your nose.

      • cohnjusack - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        In summary, there’s a way to do meth that right for everybody.

      • dario42678 - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        I am kinda new here… are you being funny or serious?

  11. Jeff - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    I’m all in for the Tigers. They haven’t won it all since 1984. All the other teams have a championship since then.
    There are four likable teams though, with Donnie Baseball with the Dodgers now.

    • abaird2012 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM


      • nbjays - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        The Cubs are in the postseason this year? Who knew?

    • jarathen - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      I think that’s my default as well. Go with the teams that have gone the longest time since winning when my favorite and all the good underdogs are gone.

      If I was a Tigers fan, I wouldn’t remember them winning. I’d vaguely remember the Dodgers, and hell, my five year-old remembers the Cardinals winning.

  12. Anoesis - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    “we’re gonna have to focus on the [gulp] actual baseball”

    As was said above, don’t sell the bloviators short, they’ll find a way to manufacture something from nothing. But, yeah, I could go with just focusing on play for a change.

  13. stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Personally, I am thankful Dick Stockton will not being doing any more games.
    The Dude can call basketball games. Without question.
    Baseball? My 9 year old daughter was shaking her head.
    Of course…it was partly do to the fact she put on my Cardinals sweatshirt when it was 0 – 0 and we immediately went up 2 -0 on the Big Chill’s two run jack.
    So naturally, I made her go to be with it on and I took it off when the game ended.

  14. cktai - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    It seems odd that in a year where three teams made the playoffs with a payroll of below 70 million, a team with 116 million payroll -4th highest in the NL- is considered “low payroll”.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      True, but only $94 million of that payroll actually made it to the field (Lousy Carpenter/Furcal/Motte!)

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      Yep…4th highest in the NL…and yet still not cracked the top 10.

      • cktai - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        Yes 11 is a world of a difference from top 10.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        That isn’t the point. The point is they don’t spend huge wads of cash signing free agents. They don’t spend huge wads of cash re-signing their own players (see Pujols). They build from within (see the farm system and look at their roster). For a better frame of reference…see Ted Moore’s post above.
        He said it best.

      • cktai - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        The point is that the Cardinals might be a smart big money club, but they are still big money club. They are spending more than half the Rays payroll on two free agents (Beltran and Holliday). I am sure the Rays and the Athletics would love to be in the financial position to extend their franchise players to a $75 million extension. Instead the A’s had to let Gio Gonzalez, Travor Cahill and Nick Swisher walk. The Rays had to let go of Crawford, Soriano and Shields and will probably lose Price in the off season. The A’s and the Rays have to keep drafting, trading, wheeling and dealing. The Cardinals can just sit on their own developed players. That is the difference between a smart club and a smart club with money.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        I guess I am missing the point then. After all…you state that like it’s a bad thing. From a biased perspective…I think it speaks volumes about the organization. Look at the Cardinals TV deal. Once of the worst in MLB. So how do they keep doing it then? Attendance? Who’s fault is that?

      • cktai - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:37 PM

        I’m not saying it is a bad thing: few organisations are better at spending their money than the Cardinals. What I am saying is that it is odd to pretend that the Cardinals are a low payroll team when there are plenty of teams who could only hope to be in their financial situation. Which is exactly what I said in the first comment.

  15. spudchukar - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Craig, you have become a shell of your former self. Embittered, callous, spiteful, and jaded. Your word choice is illuminating. A kind of psychological onomatopoeia. Plus there is a projection element to your opinions. When did you become the self-appointed spokesman for “the people”? You are one guy with one opinion, and whatever instrument you are using to take the temperature for the populous is grandly flawed

    • cohnjusack - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      I’m just saying, someone may need to take a little nap to snooze the crankies away before getting back on their keyboard.

      • spudchukar - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:05 AM


    • nbjays - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      You are the official spokesman for “the populous” now, Spud? I must have missed that memo.

      • spudchukar - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        Nope just one guy who loves his team, almost as much as the game, and recognizes someone who is in search for a new team and fan base to demonize, and does so with a bias that has little basis in reality.

      • schm1471 - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        For a nitwit, you have a really good vocabulary. Kudos.

  16. jrod2go - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Smug? What a load of crap. One teams fan base could burn a city down if they won and another teams “fans” will beat the oppositions fans into a coma on the verge of death for no reason. So how did the Cards become so hated? Success breeds the hatred I suppose.

    And it hasn’t always been a gravy train with biscuit wheels for us Birds fans. We had some really crappy teams in the 90’s. But whatever, hate on and GO CARDS!!

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      I have always felt/said…”success breeds jealousy.” But hate works as well I guess.
      I just don’t like the word. And for the life of me…I have not found anything I despise so much that I would even use the word “hate.” I mean…is there a stronger word than “hate?”

      It matters not. From now on I am going to try my best to always post “smug” in lieu of pride.
      It’s gonna be hard but I am gonna’ give it my best shot.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Oh, in the 90’s, how terrible for you.

      /eye roll

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        Yep. For Cardinals fans…the 90’s were definitely not something to be “smug” of.

  17. creek0512 - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    The Cardinals payroll for their playoff roster is significantly lower without Carpenter, Westbrook, Furcal, Garcia, Craig, Motte.

    The Cardinals may have won the World Series 2 years ago, but most of this team didn’t. Molina, Holliday, Jay, Descalso and Lynn are the only 5 players left from that team.

  18. thomas844 - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    If you are a fan of pitching: Dodgers vs. Tigers World Series
    If you are a fan of big offense: Cardinals vs. Red Sox World Series

    • weaselpuppy - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Tigers scored more runs than the Cards….jus’ sayin’

    • moogro - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      If Wacha has arrived, Cardinals pitching is probably greater than the Dodgers in post-season play.

    • tridecagon - Oct 14, 2013 at 2:52 AM

      You obviously have not been watching the Cardinals this postseason.

  19. tvguy22 - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Cardinals/Tigers would be ok with me.

  20. forsch31 - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Storylines? Seriously, people are overthinking this….

    1. Red Sox–returning to dominance after an embarrassing fall from grace, the Series would be a topper to a season few if anybody expected them to have.

    2. Dodgers–one of the classic franchises returns with new ownership, a new roster, and now helmed by Donny Baseball, who never got to play in the Series and now has a chance to win it as a manager.

    3.Cardinals–the first year of the franchise without their icon Stan Musial, who passed away in the off-season. St. Louis is dedicating the season to him; wouldn’t it great for them to win it all for The Man?

    4.Tigers–they’ve been to the Series twice in the past 10 years, but only met severe disappointment, being surprised in 5 games against the Cardinals in 2006 and being stunned in a sweep by the Giants last year. Is this the year?

    There’s your storylines. Simple, yeah, but storylines usually are. That’s ’cause they still have to play the games.

    • gostlcards5 - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      Well done, forsch.

    • gloccamorra - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      They’re simple all right, and that’s the problem. They can’t be sliced and diced a hundred ways each so sport writers can carve out a unique piece and submit it to the Pulitzer Board.

  21. gostlcards5 - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    As far as Cards/Dodgers….you have to love this.

    “In more than 100 years of playing against each other, the Cardinals and Dodgers have played to a virtual draw with the Dodgers leading the all-time series, 1,018 to 1,016. They are 7-6 in the postseason, and they are tied with 18 National League pennants apiece.”

    And by the way:

    – Craig, I certainly am not tired of seeing the Cardinals win. Not trying to be “smug”….just sayin’. I believe I’m part of “everyone”, too. So, maybe you should back your melodrama down just a touch.
    – As far as this “smug” crap goes… Gods honest truth, at playoff time, I just want to see good baseball. If the Pirates had beat the Cards, it’s OK. Obviously, I love to watch my team win, but I’m a baseball fan. I’m not getting too blown up about any team winning/losing, unless it’s because of a blatant bad call or something. (’85 WS and last year’s WC game both come to mind). Been that way for almost 40 years.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      Well stated 5. I have said all along…had the Pirates won I would have been a huge Pirates fan for the rest of the season. They had a wonderful season. A season in which all Pirates fans can be “smug” of.

  22. Jeff - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    We’ll put forsch31.

  23. umrguy42 - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    What about the “can the Dodgers succeed at buying a WS?” storyline? Not as uplifting, granted, but somebody’s presumably gonna run with it…

  24. perryt200 - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    good news travels slow, bad news travels at the speed of light.

    that is why ‘journalists’, ‘bloggers’. ‘announcers’ and just commentators that aren’t StL fans have a disdain for them. there isn’t any bad news for them to respond to.

    no PED users, no wife beaters, no DUIs, no clubhouse tension to report, no manager – player feud, no arrests, not really any lively characters. just middle class journeymen grinding out 162 games to pull off home field advantage at the last game. (Thanks Braves)

    and while 5 players out of 25 from two years ago is not domination, it must get tiring to some people that come the middle of Sept., they almost always have to worry about the Birds on the Bat because the organization is that good consistently.

    course i am a Cards fan and it just tickles the sh*t out of me.

  25. rpb123 - Oct 12, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Missed out on the most obvious storyline. Tiger owner Mike Illitch is 84 and not getting any younger. He wants his team to win a World Series and has put up the payroll to support that dream. The players love him, the city loves him, and that’s likely the main reason Leyland keeps renewing his contract (very likely he retires if he wins again like his good friend Tony L.). While Criag may not be aware of Mr. Illitch, most of the press corp is which is why you hear idiotic rumors like the Tigers wanting to sign Hamilton last year or Cano this year. The Tigers are all about win now because nobody knows how long Mr. I is going to be around. If your looking for a human interest narrative it’s tough to beat that one.

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