An open letter to the St. Louis Cardinals and fellow members of Cardinal Nation:
Tonight is Game Seven. In sports, in baseball, it’s one of the most exciting and intense moments there is. Just two years ago, we were down 3 games to 2 to the Astros and forced a game 7. The emotion and grandeur that surrounded that night at the old Busch is one of my great sports memories in recent years.
Two and a half weeks ago, we thought we might be watching those Astros take our spot in the playoffs, but the boys with the birds on the bat pulled it out and won the NL Central. The magic of the past weeks is the result of the tenacity and wearwithall that just got them into the playoffs. For me, all I really wanted was for them to make it to October. Seriously. Anything after that would be icing on the cake. Getting through San Diego in the fine fashion they did was special. The pitching of Chris Carpenter, Jeff Weaver, Jeff Suppan, and our amazing bullpen, along with the offense of unsung heroes So Taguchi, Scott Speizio, and Chris Duncan, along with the willingness of the MV3s Jim Edmonds, Albert Pujols, and Scott Rolen to play through pain and make big plays have been magical and incredibly memorable. This season cannot be defined by what happens tonight. It should be defined by the courage and tenacity the Cardinals have shown throughout the last 11 games. Many people didn’t even think we’d take the Mets to five games, much less be here in Game 7, but here we are. Given that, all of us should enjoy this special moment regardless of its outcome and believe that every member of the 2006 NL Central Championship team went down swinging, crashed the walls, and left it all on the field.
Go Cards!…Here’s hoping that tonight, after the lights go out at Shea, Jack Buck will be sitting among the Cardinal greats in Heaven, saying “That’s a Winner!” Something tells me he’ll be saying that about this 2006 club regardless.