So that's 2011.
When this site started in 2006, the Cardinals won the World Series. 5 years later, the Cardinals won the World series again. Every hack column you've read about the year in review probably started "They'll never be another year like 2011..." While that might be the most awful way to start a post ever, in our case, it's absolutely the truth.
There quite possibly, and hopefully, will be a year like 2006 when the Cardinals are a pretty good team, sneak into the playoffs and go on a magical run. Combine that with the loss of the best player any of us have ever seen? We aren't going to see that again. (And if you saw Stan Musial live in person and are reading this blog, please e-mail me. I'd love to talk to you.)
Oh, and Tony LaRussa, who was managing the Cardinals before I got a driver's license? He decided to retire.
Impossible championship + Unimaginable desertion. = 2011, a good year to have a Cardinals-ish site.
The 2011 Cardinals were, by a mile, the most maddening team I've rooted for in my adult life. When you expected a big game, they'd flop. Write them off and a spectacular comeback was sure to come. When we zigged, they zagged. They owned their petulance and never, not once, were predictable. Ultimately they ended up giving the city a spectacular October run that engrossed everyone.
Then the drama began.
Tony LaRussa promptly retired. After season after season of grinding, the ultimate STL lightning rod rode off to California a champion. The Cardinals hired a coach that has never been a coach. And the best player in baseball left for more money, while coming back to piss everyone off by claiming it wasn't about the money.
(Side: what odds would you have gave me, before this fall, that Tony LaRussa would be able to come back to St. Louis and let the adulation of the city wash over him without prejudice and Albert Pujols would be a piranha? 1000 to 1? A million to 1?)
I don't think I've mentioned it, but I do believe that the 2012 Cardinals have the chance to become the most loved Cardinals team since the 1982 team. Why? Because with Albert Pujols in the 3 hole, there were expectations. Like it or not, he told us to go piss off. And when you get dumped, you want to take some time off and then find the HOTTEST girl or guy and show that son of a bitch up.
The Cardinals wins in 2012 might not see themselves as the spurned lovers, but the fans will. And they'll project that love on the team that is playing in St. Louis.
No, we're never going to have another 2011. But for the first time in a long time, I'm pretty fired up to see just what the hell is going to happen the next season before the end of the year is done. 2012 is going to provide much fodder. We may even get 25 people to read this site at some point!
Plus The Bachelor starts next week.
Thanks for making Cards Diaspora one of the most popular Cardinals sites on the internet. We really do appreciate everyone that comes to the site, no matter how often. We promise to keep putting out crap as long as you'll look at it.
Happy New Year.