David Jenkins: Cardinals pique interest as Red October gets underway

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Another ďRed OctoberĒ is upon us as the Cardinals once again have many baseball fans glued to their television screens, living and dying with every pitch.

When manager Mike Shildt makes a pitching move and it works, heís dubbed a genius. When a move doesnít work, heís dubbed an idiot and fans start thinking about new candidates to take his place.

When Matt Carpenter gets a hit, heís beloved. When he strikes out, heís awful and belongs in the minor leagues. Such is being a baseball fan.

I wish I could say Iím a huge baseball fan but Iím not ó anymore. I used to be. I used to live and die with every pitch like so many others. I used to scream at the television, watch all the games and could name all the players ó on the teamís AA minor league team.

For some reason though, baseball is now an after thought to me. I donít go to games anymore and when I sit down to watch a game on television, Iím usually asleep by the fourth inning.

I now choose football, basketball, golf and anything on Netflix over the sport I used to love like no other and I donít know why.

Maybe itís because the games get longer and longer and Iím part of a generation who gets bored. Maybe itís because I donít play baseball or softball anymore and donít have the interest or maybe itís because the teams arenít as fun to watch as they were when I was growing up.

For some reason, this year the Cardinals are again piquing my interest. Iíve talked trash all season with my co-worker, who just so happens to be a Cubs fan. Nothing is better than seeing him helplessly fold up his Cubs flag after the Cardinals swept his beloved blue babies in late September.

And while I havenít watched many games this year, I have read about them daily and listened to podcasts to keep me up to date. Iíve even tuned into the iconic voice of whiskey-loving Mike Shannon from time-to-time.

So as I settled in on my couch Thursday to watch Game 1 of the NLDS, I have to admit a touch of excitement. No, it isnít like watching Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee and Vince Coleman play Whitey Ball or John Tudor paint corners with an 80-mile per hour fastball, but it was still entertaining.

Maybe baseball is winning me back. I can say Iím looking forward to watching the rest of the games, continuing to talk trash to my co-worker and trying to stay awake for nine innings. But Iím not going to go back to that fan that lives and dies with each pitch and gripes about moves.

Except when that idiot Shildt leaves pitchers in too long and Ö Oh boy, itís going to be a long October.

David Jenkins is co-editor of the Standard Democrat.

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