The Cardinals were eliminated from the NLCS last Monday night, in spectacular fashion, at the hands of the (now World Champion) San Francisco Giants. It reminded me of the '96 team that lost to the Braves, that I referenced a couple weeks ago.
Up 3 games to 1, at home, facing Barry Zito, and the Cards couldn't pull it off? It seems taking either of the next two would be just as tough (read: impossible) as well. I guess the baseball gods had plans that were different from mine for the 2012 redbirds.
For what it's worth, it was hard to watch. I mean, really hard to watch. Knowing the ability that this team has, and the way they've never given up & continued to fight for everything they'd done over the past couple of years, made it that much harder to sit there and watch those last few grueling games. A big part of me didn't want to watch, but a lot of people gave up on this team a few times last year, and will kick themselves forever. I spoke to one guy last year who was at the Trop for the Rays/Yankees game (#162) last year, and left in the 7th when it was 7-0 Yankees. He'll never forget doing that. Hundreds (or thousands) of people left game 6 of the World Series early last year, though something tells me you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who openly admits doing so today. So, I couldn't not watch, but man it sucked doing so.
I've described it to a few people as being like watching your puppy take 4 days to die. It was gut-wrenching, and in all honesty, you'd rather just take Old Yeller out behind the barn with a shotgun, and...well, put everyone out of their misery. Though at least "12 in '12" died too. Then "12 in '13" popped up almost immediately. Ugh.
Either way, congratulations to the Giants--I sincerely mean that. And not in the "at least the team that beat us won it all" kind of way. That's what people say when their team loses, but often its something that's forgotten by game 3 of the next series.
Oh, well. On to the off-season, which, I've said numerous times, I find just as exciting as the regular season, only in different ways. I guess we'll just count down the 16 weeks until pitchers & catchers report to spring training, then count down until April 5th, 2013. You see, that's when the Cards will be in San Francisco to take on the Giants, and watch* them get their rings...just like they did in April of 2011.