During this weekend’s series I reached out to Sam Wiles, a comedian and writer living in Los Angeles. He also happens to be a big Cardinals fan, and the ‘head writer’ of a long forgotten FOX Sports pilot called ‘Off Base’. He currently performs all over Los Angeles, and hosts a weekly show called ‘Rod Stewart Live‘.
Dear Sam Wiles,
I’m confused. I’m so very confused. How on Earth do the Cardinals do this every damn season? Mark Reynolds? A 62-year old Yadier Molina, and a pitching staff of question marks and filler. For years people just thought it was the magic of LaRussa that could somehow put together a squad of average talent and make them contenders, but it’s obviously not. Matheny is just as good. Explain it to me, Sam. DO IT!
Another thing that doesn’t make sense – my dislike for the Cardinals. They have a great fan base, two of the greatest players of all time – Ozzie Smith and Stan Musial (Also Dizzy Dean). They make great Baseball decisions, and have superior management and ownership. F*ck them! See, why is it that I want to say that? Why do they feel like the San Antonio Spurs of Baseball? Do you even remember when the Cardinals were bad? Like, can you honestly pinpoint a season in your lifetime when you thought the Cardinals might not go to the playoffs? Also, you’re not from Missouri, so why do you even care? Lastly, they have the best stirrup socks in all of Major League Baseball…so there’s that.
In His Love,
The Padres beat the Cardinals 9-3.
Poor, downtrodden, Matt Kemp watching Dallas,
How do the Cardinals do it every season? More pressingly, how this season, with virtually no offense, down two beefy forearmed guys named Matt (kind of our thing as of late), and yet are arguably the best team in baseball? How are they having a historic pitching season sans their ace? How a team that should be psychologically devastated after the death of OT still keeps it together? Especially after receiving minimal production from his replacement (Heyward)? Not to mention a rash of medium injuries, reliance on rookies, and a suddenly competitive division? How do they do it?
It’s God’s team. The Lord Jesus Christ has forsaken all of baseball, even the San Diego franchise whose mascot is the Father, and has lifted his red birds on high.
Seriously I have no idea. That’s my best guess. That God is a craggy old man who sits at his old Toshiba and watches the Cardinals and yells at his wife from the den.
“God, honey, can you take out the trash or stop this hurricane?”
“Dammit Gladys, this new kid Grichuk is up to bat and I’m not missing it for some damn hurricane!”
Otherwise there’s no explanation and I think that’s at the core of why everyone hates the Cardinals and Cardinal’s fans. Good things keep happening and I couldn’t tell you why. What do you say when you keep getting lucky? What do you say when you win the lottery? What if you won the lottery kind of a lot? You didn’t really do anything to deserve it; it’s essentially random. But you don’t feel bad. You feel good. And you’ll probably be obnoxious on twitter.
St Louis resident 1987-1995
The Padres beat the Cardinals 8-0.
St. Louis Sam,
First off, I had no idea you were ever a St. Louis resident. I’ll have to chastise our research department, which is really just an old man sleeping in the corner who happens to be sitting in front of a broken iBook and a rotary phone that’s off the hook. Well, good for you! I bet Busch stadium is a delight! A F*#KING DELIGHT! More importantly, this Grichuk kid is good. I picked him up in fantasy and he’s been nothing but solid. I hate it.
You know what? I totally forgot about Heyward, and maybe that’s the magic of the Cards. Someone underperforming? Heyward? Oh yea, but what about this Carlos Martinez! He’s a beaut! The greatest trick that Matheny ever played was lulling us to sleep with Kolten Wong.
I know you’re at the game today and the Padres have already won the series, but I can only imagine the stadium is still a sea of red. What’s it like being a Cardinals fan? Seriously. A team that has had a great run, but is also historically racist.
Barring some kind of complete breakdown, the Cards will either win the division or wind up with a wild card spot, but does it mean anything to you anymore? Are you as jaded as Braves fans were in 2003? Who are you most excited about watching on this team, and are you scared about the surging Cubs, and the fact they have a young team of studs who will contend for the next decade?
Please, never feel bad about me watching Matt Kemp. Not only has he been fantastic the second half, he gave me the opportunity to not watch Carlos Quentin/Will Venable/Seth Smith/Alexi Amarista stumble around and have career years hitting .250.
The Cardinals beat the Padres 10-3.
Sorry to get back to you late,
We went straight from the game back to LA. I had a bar show at 8 and GOOD GOD COULD YOU IMAGINE IF I MISSED IT?
The game was great and the crowd was full of Redbirds. Anytime the Cards show a little offensive pop I breath a little easier and after a series of true garbage I got to see some good stuff live. That Piscotty kid hit 2 homers in consecutive at bats and Jason Heyward almost hit for the cycle. Side note on Heyward, Alexis [Sam’s lady friend] was like “who is that guy? He looks too athletic for baseball.” AND SHE WAS RIGHT. Also, Piscotty is breathing down Grichuk’s neck for title of “exciting rookie who sounds like a play’s by his on rules detective.”
This fall on TNT, one hardboiled cop takes to the streets of St. Louis and no one tells him what to do. Dennis Franz is “Grichuk.” Followed by Piscotty and Isles.
I genuinely don’t think I’d feel terrible if they were the wild card and I wouldn’t be that devastated if they didn’t make the playoffs this year. I wouldn’t be happy but it wouldn’t ruin baseball for me. We have a good young nucleus and good vets so the window is kind of always open. That’s the real luxury. It’s not like KC, my definitive 2nd favorite team, where the mood is like “hurry the f*ck up and win a title because this shit does not last!”
However, if the Cards do advance deep in the playoffs, it would be a good year to win it. The Birds and the city of St. Louis have had a dogshit 12 months or so, and it would be a nice, if temporary salve. Also I have this fantasy of Carlos Martinez pitching a complete game to win the WS and then pointing to Oscar’s ghost in the sky and saying, “this is for you,” in broken English. I would cry like a baby.
And lastly, I’m psyched for the Cubs to be good. If they were good, it would really be a rivalry. The “rivalry” is so empty when one team blows. After I lived in St. Louis as a kid I moved to Iowa, where everyone is arbitrarily a Cubs fan. (I think because it’s such an inoffensive position to take. It fits the mood of the state, which is essentially, “Excuse me sir? You’ve parked on my foot but by all means don’t move your car if it’s a hassle.”) So naturally I built up all of this Cubs resentment over time, but when I was old enough to actually watch a lot of baseball it was like wait, these guys suck! Why are they our rivals?! They blow! So, now I kind of root for them in a weird way. I need someplace for that hate to go. Right now it’s all directed at the Dodgers and that feels empty too.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The show should be called Piscotty & Grichuk starring Timothy Olyphant as Piscotty, and the aforementioned Dennis Franz is still attached to play Grichuk.)
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