Saturday, October 29, 2011

Congrats, You Cardinals!

The St. Louis Cardinals are the World Series Champions

The Texas Rangers are denied for a 2nd year in a row.

An aside: I couldn't be happier about that. I hate Texas and everything and everyone in it. Texas produced both Presidents named Bush. Both of whom did everything they could to make sure the 1 % got richer and the 99 % got poorer. But I digress

I live in a city with a professional sports team that has earned a recent championship. In 2005 and 2006, our own Toledo Mud Hens claimed the Governor's cup, the title of the International League, which contains the triple A farm teams for 14 of the current Major League teams. What that means is that players who play for the Hens are only one step away from playing in the big leagues.

This can have both advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage is, of course, that these players are often Major League quality players, who are one step away from "The Show". Of course, this is also the biggest disadvantage, since Triple A managers can never be sure which players will be available to them on any given day. A Triple A manager can suddenly find himself faced with the loss of one or more key players at the worst possible time. I've seen this happen firsthand.

Fans, however, don't care. Ten years ago, the city, along with the team owners, spent considerable money, time, and resources to build a new stadium in downtown Toledo. And for nearly every game, despite the team's current record, the stadium is sold out. It has brought in tremendous revenue for the team and the city, and all loans involved in its construction are expected to be paid off early. Basically, the better the Hens do, the better for my city.

Which brings me, in my usual roundabout way, to my point: It is FUN to watch your home team win a championship in its own ballpark. I was there when the Hens won it in 2006. I screamed myself hoarse. I hugged and high-fived total strangers. I whooped and hollered right along with those same strangers as we walked back to our cars to go home.

Our celebrations were mild compared to what I'm sure is happening in St. Louis tonight. But I don't begrudge them that by any stretch of the imagination. What the Cardinals did in this World Series was extraordinary, and is sure to go down in history as a classic. And it deserves to.

Good job, Cardinals!

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