And Proud We Are of All of Them
The clinch thing.
First of all, let me ask this. How many of you, Cardinals fans, genuinely care about when they clinch, whether it’s after a win, whether the magic number might get to zero when the Cardinals aren’t actually on the field… all that kind of thing? We reporters are making a big deal out of it, and I do think it’s an interesting topic for a few reasons. But are we making too much of it?
Now on to how I see the situation.
Let’s say the Cardinals actually did lose every single game from here on out. And the Astros were to win every single game from here on out. And the two teams were to finish tied. The Cardinals, as has been dissected ad nauseam, would be division champions by tiebreak. The NL might well give the Astros a "co-champion" certificate in that scenario.
But tell me this: do you think the Cardinals wouldn’t claim the division title, outright? I firmly believe they would fly a banner calling themselves champions, not co-champions. And rightly so. The rules provide for a tiebreak to determine the division champ in just such a situation.
So if they’ve reached a point where they will call themselves division champions no matter what, then I figure they should have popped champagne on Thursday night. I understand the logic that you wait until the magic number is zero. And that’s going to come. Soon. Fortunately for the Cards, Saturday brings another chance to do it on the field, and have a dogpile, and spray champagne after winning a game. All of which this team deserves.
That’s at the heart of this, really. You work from mid-February to September for a goal, and when you reach it, you should enjoy it. Abraham Nunez, who has never seen the playoffs in the Major Leagues, should enjoy it. All of the rookies should enjoy it. And all of the guys who have been here before, and know how hard it is to get back, should enjoy it. There’s a bigger deal ahead, but this is a big deal.
And it just seems to me that every day that goes by makes it a little more surreal. Every day that passes where we know that this team will be the champions of the division, yet they haven’t celebrated, will lead to that celebration being just a little less spontaneous, just a little less everything that a celebration is all about. And it seems to me that that’s a little bit of a shame.
I’m not saying they’re wrong. It is consistent with last year, when they waited until it was zero. But I think, if it were my decision — which obviously it wasn’t — there would have been plastic on the lockers after Thursday night’s win.
What do you all think?