Sunday, March 25, 2007

I Bet Jack Sheppard Loves the Cards

So, the Cardinals don't deserve to be World Series Champs? Well, I disagree. (I realize this is completely obvious, but just hear me out here.) I also disagree that Lost is past its prime and would argue that those who think so are missing the point. Complaints in both cases are largely centered on uneven story lines or unlikeable subplots. However, if these kinds of things were based solely on logic and popularity, the Yankees would win the World Series every year and Law & Order would be the only show on television. Mass appeal and simplicity are not necessarily indicative of a great story. Sometimes you have to invest yourself in layers of complexity. Sometimes you need to be patient and believe that motions have been set in place so that each game and each show ultimately serves a more profound purpose. I mean, am I the only one that still thinks an underdog triumph is compelling? The NCAA tournament has been criticized for that very issue this year. Predictability, boredom and recycled headlines were the main event. So, why then does the success of an unexpected team create such a backlash? And why is the innovation and unpredictability initially responsible for Lost's popularity now responsible for its decline?

PEOPLE WANT ANSWERS, DAMMIT!! "Why can't we beat the Cubs, for crying out loud?" And "what was the point of the taillie subplot, anyway?" I plead with you kids to RELAX! It really isn't over until it's over. Bitch all you want at that point, but don't ruin the whole experience for the rest of us by whining about how disastrously things have gone off track. The pieces may actually surprise you and add up to something spectacular.

Despite the unwelcome twists and turns of the season, like Marquis' skyrocketing ERA, Pujols' back injury, the late season losing streaks and a weird tribal priest dying at the hands of an ethereal monster, the product is the sum of its parts. In getting worked up over the individual pieces, you're taking away from the satisfaction of the finale. Sometimes it's not about the individual stops on your journey, but the ending. And those endings are almost always sweetened and underscored by the pitfalls endured along the way. You just have to trust that Tony LaRussa, Dave Duncan, Walt Jocketty (JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse!!) and the rest of the gang know what they're doing. And if not, that they get eaten by a rogue polar bear. Because even then, (as the 2007 Cardinals can attest!) greatness can happen in spite of itself.

So, Tony Likes to Kick a Few Back

Much has been said about Tony LaRussa and his whole "falling asleep at the wheel" incident. Well, here are some of my theories on how this all transpired.
  1. He was exhausted after watching 19 consecutive hours of game film with Albert Pujols.
  2. He realized that letting Jason Marquis go was a huge mistake and fell into a tragic shame spiral. (Just kidding!)
  3. He just got done playing a drinking game that required him to drink every time Jason Isringhausen blew a save last year. (Which means he cheated, of course, because otherwise he would have been far more intoxicated then the 0.093 BAC would suggest.)
  4. He was still celebrating that whole World Series Championship of ours.