Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

What I Have Learned- Saying Goodbye to the Boog.

 Yesterday my favorite spinning shortstop was dumped.  The Cardinals sent Brendan Ryan to the Mariners for an A level pitcher with a questionable future – which pretty well shows how much they wanted to rid themselves of Brendan
Sure, we knew this day was coming.  The Cardinals had been trying to give ol’ Brendo away for at least a month now.  But that doesn’t make it any easier to lose a favorite player to a team on the other side of the baseball universe.
What probably surprised me the most in my stunned state of the blues yesterday was the internet response from Cardinal Nation.  Reading the comments of the many Brendan fans who were just as disappointed was comforting.  That sense of community and commiseration helped ease the sting.   But seeing the numerous criticisms of Brendan from those who were relieved to see him go was also therapeutic – in a tough love sort of way.
Being a real baseball fan isn’t all popcorn, peanuts and World Series wins.  As I am forced to realize more and more by living through these trades and baseball business decisions, getting too attached carries obvious emotional risks.  Rosters change, hot corner rookies get injured and rumors of baseball politics may rob us of the romance of the game. And not everyone loves and appreciates the same players – well, other than Mr. Pujols, of course. ;)
In the short time that I have followed the Redbirds I have survived other (some would say “bigger”) heart-breaking baseball separations: David Eckstein, Scott Rolen, Jimmy Edmonds, and Ryan Ludwick – just to scratch the surface.  In fact, I was reminded yesterday by my oh-so-patient Hubby that I have had similar (albeit less tearful) reactions to the departures of Joe Mather, Blake Hawksworth, Joel Piniero, Brad Thompson, Brett Wallace and a pocketful of other AAA Memphis boys.
So, my dear Brendan Ryan is the newest roster casualty and here I am being all grown-up about it!  Maybe I am getting better at this process.   Okay, okay… if we don’t look back at last week’s blog posts, that is.  ;)
Does it hurt? Absolutely.
Will I boycott the Cardinals?  Nah….
I will wish Brendan luck in Seattle and probably watch some Mariners baseball in 2011. I will pick some new favorites and find more reasons to love my team. However,  I will also inwardly enjoy the thought of rubbing the Cardinals’ collective nose in it when Brendan’s defensive wizardry ends up in the web gem video highlights or when he wins the Gold Glove. But dreaming of revenge is just a natural part of the healing process, right?
Baseball may be a game of hitting and catching, winning and losing, but it certainly is not just a game of numbers. The drama of player personalities and the passion of the fans are just as important to the vitality of the game.  I certainly love the boys. I love the stories.  And though it brings the occasional heartbreak, I know that -for me- baseball is worth the occasional heartache.
Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training camp in 2 short months.  That should give me time to get over it.  ;)
Go Cards!

4 responses to “What I Have Learned- Saying Goodbye to the Boog.

  1. netherton December 13, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    >A very nice perspective. The disappointments make the victories all the more special. Even though we might not like this particular trade (or the Berkman deal), are we really going to punish the players, manager, coaches, executives and franchise history ? I don't think so. We want them to win with the new guys just as badly as we did with the old guys.That's the way it's always been. It's just a bit easier these days.

  2. kat89447 December 13, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    >I have to agree that it's not the actual trading of Ryan that bothers me, but that we keep losing ground without fixing our problem. Personally, I hope Ryan goes there and becomes the Gold Glover that we all know he can be. My concern is that we seem to be eliminating players in Tony's doghouse with silly replacements. I also have to wonder how much Albert's opinion has to do with the shaping of the team. He seemed to be tired of Boog last year and often showed it on the field. Carp had one incident with him, but it seemed more like the big brother type of disappointment. I've been a Card fan over 30 years and seen a lot of changes, but this is the first season in a long time that I'm not going in thinking we have a great chance at seeing the post season. I'll be honest and say I just don't see these players having the formula that gets us there. I especially don't like the amount of extra stress we are putting on Raz, having to cover more of the field. He's not exactly a kid that thrives on stress. I'm not crazy about the makeup of this team as it stands today and think the defense we have given away is going to make for a long frustrating season. I'm beginning to think that our players weren't the only ones with bi polar issues, I think we should have sent some lithium to the front office. Going to be a long, frustrating season I think.

  3. Erika December 13, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    >Thanks for the comments Bob! I am learning to toughen up I think. This season I have really learned to deal with loss. Luddy was hard. Brendan was worse. Luckily I still have Freese (fingers crossed) and Holliday (thankfully I don't think he's going anywhere!) I can't imagine what it would have been like if an entire team left – like when the Dodgers moved to CA. So, I should count blessings we still have our stellar rotation and the backbone Cardinals. The hard-nosed veteran approach may be what TLR needs and we may have to learn to love it (drink the koolaid…)All part of the deal I guess. Now I just have more to learn… the Mariners?!? really??? lol!

  4. Erika December 13, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    >Thanks Kat!I agree that the reasoning behind trading Brendan (for nothing) is frustrating. The direction of the club seems odd. Time will tell if this cleanup of clubhouse chemistry (which seems to be the point?) is really the issue. Tony wants a bunch of determined, focused veteran guys? No need to break any spirit that way. But I will miss the fire and energy of the younger guys. I know it is a job and they are pros getting paid $$$ to do it right. I hope this works and we all have to eat our complaints. Happy, winning Cardinals are fun to watch. And who knows… the guys like Descalso, Tyler Greene, Allen Craig and Jon Jay filling in for SS, 2B and Berkman should give us some rookie fellas to cheer for. *fingers crossed* =)

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