To be whole, you must be broken.
When the British imprisoned Gandhi, did he give up his string of peaceful protests? When Judas ratted out Jesus, did J.C. stop spreading the gospel? When Hillary blasted Obama for being associated with a hifalutin crazy-talkin’ preacher, did he cede the race, kill the birth of hope politics or spit on the dreams of US Americans to see real change?
No. They didn’t.
Now, as the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in a similar predicament, the task is at hand: persevere, stay the course, rise from the dead if need be, but most importantly: keep on doing what you’ve been doing. Keep winning.
Without question, Albert Pujols’ injury is a devastating blow to a team who has already overcome an onslaught of adversity. Losing three seasoned veterans to other clubs, losing an ace starter, losing a key utility man to the evils of addiction, these are just a few of the obstacles they’ve been forced to overcome — not to mention the fact that no one — NO ONE — even gave them a fighting chance before the season started.
Yet despite all of the above, the Cards sit just 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs (as I write this), and they’ve gotten there with hard work, solid pitching, timely hitting and gutsy performances. Pujols is and always will be the catalyst, but they wouldn’t be competing in the NL Central if it weren’t for the blue collar efforts of a mostly unheard of supporting cast.
Ludwick, Ankiel, Schumaker, Molina, Miles, Franklin and Lohse = Guts, guts, guts, guts, guts, guts and guts.
So why change anything now? Put Duncan at first base, adjust the batting order, put on that jockstrap and let’s grow a pair! Don’t lose a step! Do NOT panic! Do not get crazy, give up hope, make a stupid move or cede the race!
In other words, keep the same, simple attitude and forget about the baseball pundits that are now saying the Cards haven’t a chance in the world. According to them, we never did (see 2008 current standings, 2006 final standings for evidence of how this has been overcome before).
It’s only June. It’s far from over. And I’m right. Don’t hate me for it.
Humans are imperfect. That’s just the way we are. And even though I (and a select few i.e. Jesus, Gandhi and Kelly Clarkson) come close to perfection most of the time, part of being human is making mistakes. Jesus gave up a life with Mary Magdalene (mistake), Gandhi didn’t fight back (mistake) and Kelly Clarkson starred in From Justin to Kelly (big friggin’ mistake). Even my colleague, Allen Krause, makes a lot of mistakes — publicly, here on this blog. But I don’t hate him for that. I forgive him and move on. And sometimes, he even surprises me with interesting, near-perfect thoughts.
Closers are not immune from this inherent imperfection. The law of averages is an inevitable circumstance of life and if your closer mauls down opponents one after the other, night after night, then you better be ready for him to “average” out at some point. Fifty-five games in a row where Eric Gagne was unbeatable? Fifty-five games in a row, folks. 55! That’s a lot of games to save! Well, he’s “averaging” out now.
Sure, Izzy will get you through five in a row. Just know that after that he’s bound to blow two or three. That’s just how it is. Papelbon? Unhittable? For a while. But he is human and he’ll screw up to “average” himself out. This is symbolic of human nature. This is life itself.
Obama blew through the early primary stages — secured his lead. So he loses Indiana. Who cares? So West Virginia might not go his way. Let’s look at the big picture. Bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, 3-2 count, go-ahead runner on second, and a gunslingin’, gay-hatin’ redneck is at the plate. Who do you want on the mound?
Because he’s the man. More times than not, he’s going to be victorious.
Now, if you want to read great analysis on the possibility of a real paradigm shift regarding closing pitchers and the state of the game, check out The Prince of New York (buy his book!) by clicking *here*.
If you want to see me in all my (im)perfection, click *here* (I am the extremely attractive man dressed in black who takes the suggestion).
If you just want to see the most disgusting thing ever, click *here*. *Warning! These are Cub fans. They are sick people.
In closing, I may blow a game or two, but please don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right. And for the record, I usually am right, so get used to it.