Coming to You Live From the Drinking Town With a Baseball Problem
By Shawn Badgley,
11:39AM, Thu. Oct. 26, 2006
So, I'm in the great city of St. Louis, writing from my mom's toasted-ravioli plantation in a rural enclave about 45 minutes from Downtown. Downtown is where Busch Stadium is; Busch Stadium is scheduled to host game 4 of the World Series tonight, after game 4 was postponed on Wednesday.
Busch Stadium is scheduled to host me tonight, as well, joining Billy Ray Cyrus in the singing of our National Anthem. Actually, I should clarify that.
Anybody can join Cyrus, of course, all 46,000 of us: It's a free country, and they scroll the lyrics on the DiamondVision. Of greater import: My tickets are for game 5, which is sequentially scheduled for Friday. But Major League Baseball has determined that game 5 is now in effect game 4: Tickets for tonight are still for tonight, even though it defies what's printed on them - game 5 - while those fans who soaked it up last night are now good to go on Friday, even though it will be the fifth game and their tickets read game 4. (For you Royals fans reading: There are no dates on postseason tickets; just "Game 4," "Game 5," etc.)
All of this will shift again should tonight's game be rained out: The forecast calls for 70% heavy precipitation into the evening (tomorrow's is much the same). Right now, it is raining lightly off and on, gray, and chilly. Perfect weather for the Fall Classic, which apparently will go on in perpetuity. Fox must be loving this. Ha. Fuck 'em.
In the meantime, MLB has explained their rationale by pointing out that they are inconveniencing only one set of ticket holders instead of a potential two. In reality, this is rather weak (I want to call it a straw man argument so bad, but I don't think that's right): Fans with tickets for Wednesday's game - some of whom have traveled - now see their game pushed back two days; fans with tickets for tonight's game - some of whom have traveled in hopes of witnessing the Cardinals capture their first world championship since 1982 in a brand-new ballpark (yeah: yours truly) - now must endure the snoozefest that is game 4 of the World Series.
I kid because I care: Obviously, I can't - and won't - complain about attending an act on the sport's biggest stage, especially one that could find my treasured Redbirds going up an imposing 3-1 (a scenario I predicted before the series began). In the case of the Cards' clubhouse staff casually - and quietly - gauging ring sizes should such a scenario develop, then, yeah, I'll be a bit bummed to miss out on the in-person experience of the team's potential triumph, which could take place as early as Friday.
But I'm getting way ahead of myself (though one could argue I was when I bought the tickets): I still believe the proud Tigers will push this thing back to Detroit. Besides, I'm over the the whole idea of maybe being in the stadium for the clinch: As a baseball fan, it was fun to watch the Red Sox do it here in 2004, however heartbreaking. I won't get greedy for great moments.
After all, I'm in my hometown, among family and old friends, in a city all lit up with excitement and anticipation. You can feel it even out here in the country. En route from the airport, there was red adorning everything: Buildings, cars, overpasses, cattle, campaign signs, militiamen, gunracks, crystal-meth dens, leaves on the trees. In 2004, things were over before they began, and nobody much enjoyed themselves.
Didn't sleep last night and scrambling to catch up with some people and things, so I'll spare you any "analysis" for now. Besides, I've till this point nailed the preview like Criss Angel Mindfreak, so go check that shit out. Couple of things: I hope Jim Leyland has to pitch Kenny Rogers in game 5, so that St. Louis' classy fans might properly applaud his historic postseason performance. And, though I still think the Cardinals will win tonight behind NLCS MVP Jeff Suppan, the extra day off can only hurt him, a control artist, and help Jeremy Bonderman, a power arm.
But we'll see. To put it bluntly, I'm psyched. If I don't pass out drunk in the street and freeze to death, I'll post a report and some photos after the game.