Most nights I don't really care who the announcers are, but last night I wanted the Cardinals. I wanted to hear all about them and I was not disappointed. I laughed more than once.
First of all, a tip of the hat to Stan Musial. He has my complete respect. I hear he was a great player and a great man, The Man in fact. I never saw him play, but regardless, Mr. Stan Musial, I tip my hat and play the harmonica to you.
Moving on. It's absolutely incredible how Cardinal announcers credit their team with all that's great in life. They were rehashing the pregame Musial ceremony when talk of Red Shoendienst came up. I think it was Al Hrabosky who said something to the effect that Shoendienst was the difference maker for the Braves in the 1950's, that without him, the Braves wouldn't have ?......I forget the word, but the implication was clear. Without a player who knew the right way to play-the Cardinals way, the Braves would not have won the World Series. Stretch?
And then there was the BC and AC stat, the Before Cardinals and After Cardinals. It was regarding Kyle Lohse. One of the announcers said Lohse found a home in St. Louis and credited Molina and Duncan for making him a pitcher, not a thrower. This all may be true, but my TV started turning red.
In fairness to Cardinal announcers, they did express concern over Alex Gonzalez getting beaned in the hand, but then again, they also wondered if he was swinging when it happened. I guess they see things with La Russa eyes.
Anyway, the kicker for me was when Lohse came to bat and the Cardinal fans gave him a standing ovation. I thought that was very cool. Seriously. I'm not running out and buying red underwear, but it's a good thing to thank a great pitcher. One of the announcers remarked that Cardinal fans don't miss a moment; that everybody would love to play in St. Louis. He then added a bit about how Yadier Molina should be praised because he picked up some dirt to stall so Lohse could have his moment. It was a cool thing for Yadier to do, but painting him like a saint. Whatever, I enjoy a good laugh.
I'm not Joe historian, but it's no Wikipedia secret that Branch Rickey bought up how many minor league teams back in the 1930's as Cardinals GM? Yes teams, stockpiling the Cardinal system. That tends to have a rippling effect. I think about that when the camera scans all those WS pennants. I'm no scout, but hording the nation's talent has gotta help the odds. Momentum? I don't mean to sound bitter or take anything away from Cardinal greatness. I like the way Pete Kozma runs the bases. It's the Cardinals as center of the universe that is sometimes just way over the top, but I'm grateful to them. The Yankees become sort of tolerable.
If I wake up tomorrow morning and realize I can throw a baseball 96 mph with natural movement and pinpoint control. I don't want to play in St. Louis. Call me Colby Rasmus. Call me an anus. Call me whatever you want. I don't care.