It’s been great. I mean the proof is in the numbers. You’ve done one job for 33 years, and anytime you get a chance to do that, you’re doing something right. The point of your job is to win, and you got that part down as well. You’ve won over 2,700 times and are sure to chill in the Hall of Fame until time ends or the building gets foreclosed on. Legacy = secure.
I’m going to write this as my letter of resignation from my support of you being the manager of my St. Louis Baseball Cardinals. Trust me; it’s you, not me. And it’s a shame, because it didn’t have to end this way. I remember when you first came to town and ushered us out of the dark days that are known as the early 90’s and put us back where we rightfully belong, the Playoffs. After that, you brought one of your protégés from Oakland over and he lit up the ballpark and ran up what I imagine to be a helluva repairs bill on scoreboard bills. Even then, the best was yet to come.
The mid 2000’s were some of the greatest years of my life. The back-to-back 100 win seasons were magical. Along with graduating from college, having shrimp tacos for the first time and losing my virginity, winning the World Series was the absolute biggest moment of my young life. You brought together a struggling team, which was limping at best, together in 2006 for the improbable moment and carved your success at a level that it’s even equaled Whiteyball on the field.
But that’s where it ends.
Whitey Herzog is loved; idolized even. He let the product shine and still won. No issue came from him that ever overshadowed the team. Somehow along the way, you didn’t master this craft. Your presence stands over the team with a presence even Darth Vader would have to give props to. With a resume that should have you on par with the family whose name graces your place of employment in St. Louis, you’ve managed to make yourself the enemy of the state in Cardinal Nation. The 2011 season has been case in point, after case in point of why this has to end between us.
This summer has showcased everything that has been good and bad about you, only magnified by like two million times (exactly what you’re pulling down to put us through this all). Whether it’s refusing to abide by regular baseball logic, like assigning concrete roles to your team (all 26 of those blown saves this year aren’t on you, but failing to appoint a closer for a month when we are in second place is plain stupid), and there’s more. The eccentric ideas over the years, like hitting the pitcher eighth and turning this National League standard bearer into an offshoot of an American League-style team was always ridiculous. Look, we’re the Senior Circuit, leave all that contrived AL-style BS over in Oakland. And then, there’s the complex.
The superiority complex is the black cape that flies over your whole “Emperor of Baseball” thing you do after every game. How about this? Just answer a question one time, instead of running that snappy, “Why are you speaking to me, simpleton?” routine. Anybody that has challenges your authority on any level as been ushered out immediately. Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds and most infamously, Colby Rasmus: all drummed out for daring to look the king in the eye and not blink. And for what? Because you know everything that is to be known? Are you Charles Xavier? Of course not, because he’s not real and no matter whom much you want for it to be, your wall of infallibility isn’t either. If that was the case, your team wouldn’t be in a dog fight with the worse team in baseball to make the Playoffs. Because you’d be on your 161st win of the season tonight.
In the end, it’s going to be what it’s going to be. Whether something shakes out or not, this 16th version of your reign of the Cardinals has to be the last one. A whole book worth of pages are turning at once, and I can’t take another summer of bending AND breaking to your solo vision of what the team has to be. This isn’t to not be grateful for what you’ve done, but I’m not the same person I was in 1996 anymore, and neither should my baseball team of natural support be either. I fully support you getting your due from us in the long-haul, which includes a number retirement and life-long local TV sponsorship deals, but for now…?
You Gotta STFU Bro.