The Cardinals are playing like little bitches. TLR is benching Rasmus even though he’s superior to Jay, then attending politically divisive rallies with Pujols. The Cardinals are selling cut-rate fall tickets via Groupons. LaRue still hasn’t grown back his luxurious porn ‘stache. Even Curt Copeland isn’t blowing his wad over the ‘Birds right now.
It’s hard out there for a fan.
So, yesterday afternoon when an e-mail titled "6 Ways to Handle Life's Setbacks” arrived in my inbox, I took pause. It was from my friends at WebMD. Like most Americans, I primarily use WebMD to self-diagnose life-threatening diseases. (For example, I enter "cough" in the symptom checker and decide I have tuberculosis instead of an innocuous virus. Fun, right?) The site sends me e-mail newsletters from time to time, and I generally delete them. But this one spoke to me, maybe because I’ve been sleeping 14 hours a night since the Cardinals fell into their slump. (Shut up. I take baseball very serious.)
I thought these tips could help me work through some of my sad and angry feelings -- and maybe it can help you, too. So let’s do this together:
1. Do Rely on a Supportive Network of Family and Friends
Chickity-check. I’ve been berating the Cardinals, TLR, and those of you who still defend TLR to everyone who will listen. And thanks to the magic of Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, my bitching has reached an entirely new scale. Thank you, Al Gore!
2. Don't Check Out. Do Stay Committed and Engaged.
Is this what it’s like to be the parent of a teenager? I want to be all, “If this is how you’re going to behave, then you can go to your clubhouse and think about what you’ve done! I’ll see you in 2011!” And then bam, I walk away with my head held high, watch the Rays for the rest of the year, and let the Cardinals stew in their own juices (ew). But it’s not my style. The truth is: Cardinals, I can’t quit you.
3. Take Small Steps and Be Persistent.
A day at a time, guys. We have to remind ourselves that no matter how bleak it is, no matter how undeserving of a playoff berth this team is, they could come back. Maybe facing the Reds will help the boys shed their funk (ew). Maybe they’ll run this year out rough, but Johnny Mo and company will get some religion about making some changes to the team and its management. Maybe we’re all just brains in jars, like in The Matrix. You never know.
4. Exercise Regularly.
Omg, are you calling me fat?
5. Don't Take Things Personally.
I buy 10-plus games a year, overpriced nachos and beer, and that MLB TV/radio package thingy to share the season with the Cardinals. I have burned my thighs on the bleachers, shivered through games so cold my snot froze to my face, and sat through hours-long rain delays. I tolerate Hrabosky and McLaughlin, Parris and Horton, Morgan and Miller -- not to mention asshole fans who provide their own play-by-play or strip down to their plaid frat-boy shorts to start the wave. Don’t tell me not to take things personally!!!!11!!!!1
6. Be Flexible.
Um, check. The Cardinals are all about flexible. Six starting third basemen in a year? Bring it! A roster packed with utilitymen? Sure! It’s one of the best things about the team, and heavens knows they’ve managed to MacGyver some solid feats. Unfortunately flexible does not mean good. The team is reaching the point where they need a surprise tactic, like the Mighty Duck formation with all that crazy quacking.