Friday, June 15, 2007

Thoughts on Cardinals Nation

I use the term "Cardinal nation" loosely in this sense, not referring to a simul-website that I will be starting (no way), but "Cardinal nation" as in the Cardinals fanbase.

I told my dad yesterday evening that I could feel a "blog post" surfacing on Cardinals fans, and, hey, I am about to carry through on that promise. Keep in mind that this is somewhat hastily written, so for that I apologize in advance.

Cardinals fans like to constantly remind us that they are the best, most knowledgable, most charismatic, most _insert positive, yet vague, adjective here_ fans in baseball. There is no doubt that, for the most part, they have been extremely dedicated to their franchise. Of course, their franchise has been a model for any franchise in MLB - it is well run, and that competence has shown on the baseball diamond year in and year out (until May through September 2006 and 2007, of course). They claim they don't care about the supposed "rivalry" between the Cards and Royals - and then condescendingly claim that this is the "World Series of 2007" for Royals fans.

Yet, if they are so indifferent, they wouldn't flock into Kauffman Stadium Cards-Royals series after Cards-Royals series. It would be just another series to them, correct? They spend their time discussing - sometimes in a quite hasty and insecure manner - how much "better" St. Louis is than Kansas City - that they are more sophisticated, have more attractions, have a greater metro population, have more attractive women, better beer, and better laundromats than Kansas City. Yet there is no statistical evidence to claim St. Louis is "better" than Kansas City - it's all merely opinion. I have never heard, or read, from any Royals fans that this series holds a more significant value (in the greater scheme of the season) than any other series this year - other than superficial "bragging rights" throughout the state or area.

Yes, Cards fans argue that they operate on some higher moral, and intellectual, plane, than the rest of fans throughout MLB. As Will McDonald (author and founder of Royals Review) stated on his website, Cards fans praise "smallball" as if the rest of baseball nation only values strikeouts and home run balls. In many cases, Baseball Prospectus (notably the true "intellectuals" of the baseball fanbase - I don't use that term demeaningly, but it's true) denies that sacrifice bunts and excessive hit-and-runs, actually increase a team's odds of winning.

When one Royals fan from Kansas City and three Cardinals fans from St. Louis are in a room - and the three Cardinals fans know eachother and their city extremely well - the conversation is never - ever - centered on Kansas City or its whereabouts. The Cards fans spend almost all their time discussing how significant their city is - and either ignore your comments on Kansas City or spend time trying to prove to you how great the beer/women/laundromats/ping-pong shops/ATMs are in St. Louis.

Anyway, rant over. It certainly feels good to win a series against St. Louis, if only for superficial bragging rights. (And, yes, I maintain that this series really holds no more value than any other three game series. If the Royals were swept by the Cardinals, I would feel equally upset than if they were swept by the Marlins this weekend).

Let's go fishing for deep sea Marlin this weekend, and then let's go Cardinal hunting along the Mighty Mississipp next week on the "East Side".

So, in light of the Mahendra (spelling?) dealer on the RSTN commercials, Goooooooooo Royals!!!!!!


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