Growing up a Cubs fan almost immediately makes you an anti-Cardinals fan. You don’t know it right away, but it clearly becomes part of your genetic make up each summer as baseball season opens and the Cubs take the field. There’s a joy when checking box scores to see if the Cardinals lost, even when the Cubs did too. Anybody but the Cardinals, and maybe the Reds.
I always pull for my teams league or conference when they aren’t participating. Not exactly sure why that is, but it’s what I have always done. Now, I’m torn. The Red Sox were the only team that was somewhat on par with our drought of a title, that’s no longer the case. And then there’s the Cardinals. Oh…the Cardinals. Whether they win the division, or slide in on the last day as a wild card, they find a way. Star players pack up and head West? No problem. Skipper calls it a career, new manager steps in? No sweat. I don’t like it one bit. But how can you not respect it?
The Cardinals rarely have a large gap between World Series appearances. They don’t spend the off-season spending big free agent money. The next man mentality is very apparent. They just keep winning, no matter the names on the back of the jersey. The one on the front is constant.
So as this series unfolds, I won’t, I can’t pull for the Cardinals. It’s not in my DNA. But I silently respect that they are what I hope the Cubs will be sooner than later.
A perennial contender.