That westerly breeze you folks on the East Coast felt today had nothing to do with Tropical Storm Fay; no, it was the collective sigh of relief from Cardinal fans the world over as the team announced Jason Isringhausen’s season is most probably over.
In what has become an abomination of a year for the formerly revered closer, this once imaginary ending has turned into reality, causing Cardinal fans to yet again face their own unique brand of pessimism: that Izzy’s departure is still bitter-sweet. Sweet in that we can all relax knowing he won’t screw things up anymore. Bitter because we can be sure that someone else will.
And let’s face it: though we’ve all maintained the customary party line that the 2008 Cardinal bullpen woes have been a ‘team thing’, we all know that it began with and was perpetrated by Jason Isringhausen and his lackluster performance(s). As the leader in the bullpen, the go-to guy in the 9th, the man who got things done, Izzy’s inablility to close games this year caused a ripple effect of incompetence all throughout the bullpen. In his destructive wake, Izzy’s fellow relievers found themselves under an immense amount of pressure — pressure they haven’t been able to overcome still to this day.
I am not ungrateful. Jason Isringhausen has put together some great seasons in St. Louis. And there have been times when my cheers were among the loudest. But there comes a time when your best just isn’t your best anymore — when you just don’t have it in the tank — when you discover that yes, the rose does have thorns and now that the pretty red petals have all died and fallen off, all you have left in your hand is a prickly stem with very few aesthetic attributes.
Three reoccuring nightmares have haunted me this season:
1) The Cubs win the pennant
2) The man featured below worms his way back into the political spotlight
3) Izzy enters a game with less than a 10 run lead
While one of those nightmares will continue to pester me until the seaon’s end, at least the last one looks like it is merely a thing of the past.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.