Friday, October 18, 2013

3 comments St. Louis Cardinals Super Die-Hard Fan/Writer Tries to Tell Everyone to Hate the St. Louis Cardinals Less in a Way That Makes Some People Hate the Cardinals More

Mollie Hemingway, I'm guessing she is no relation to Ernest Hemingway, writes for "The Federalist" and is just tired of everyone hating the Cardinals. I personally enjoy it because there's really no reason to hate the Cardinals other than the team's complaints about Yasiel Puig not playing the game of baseball the right way, the fact they constantly are a successful team, and they really don't want to be hated so stop it alright? What's funny to me is I'm not sure anyone wants to hate the Cardinals, but Cardinals fans can't stop getting in their own way when trying to make the hate stop. The more I hear about why the Cardinals should not be hated, the more I see why some people hate them. It's become increasingly clear Cardinals fans and sportswriters consider the Cardinals team to be a beacon of greatness and virtue in a sea of MLB teams who have no virtue and have excessive outward displays of emotion on the baseball diamond.

Hemingway basically says, "I can't see why anyone hates the Cardinals," then proceeds to tell us how the Cardinals are morally superior to every other baseball team and then list the accomplishments of the franchise. Yep, that's pretty much why some people hate you. This entire column tells us how great the Cardinals are. This is why you are disliked by some people, because you have to tell us what a great farm system your team has and how the team supports great values (like drunk driving---Tony LaRussa, PED use---Mark McGwire...I don't personally care about PED use, but when talking about the great values of the Cardinals organization I think this makes the PED use of McGwire relevant). This makes people not like you. Nobody likes it when you combat hatred with a response that you are so perfect it's impossible to hate you.

"We don't only think we have the best fans in baseball, it's also that our organization is so much better than yours. What? What's wrong with talking about how great we are? How can you hate that?"

The header of this column has a photo of the World Series titles that the Cardinals have won. You are leading off the column telling us how many World Series titles your team has won, then complain that people hate your team. When beginning an argument on why the Cardinals should not be hated don't include a picture of the World Series titles you have won, because that's pretty much why some people hate you.

So here is the column by Mollie Hemingway and it's contents is the exact reason some people hate the Cardinals these days. Any successful team and their fan base who can't figure out why they are hated and then defend why they shouldn't be hated with stories of the organization upholding great values is going to be hated. I'm a Duke fan. 90% of the world and 75% of the state of North Carolina hates Duke. I don't get it, but I get it. People are tired of hearing about how perfect Duke is and how Coach K is the class of the world, all while Duke is winning games and being upheld as a super-squeaky clean program. I don't wonder why people hate Duke because I know and I own it. If Cardinals fans could just own the hatred of their team then maybe they wouldn't write columns where they try to educate us all on how great the Cardinals organization is. We know how great the organization is because the sports media reminds us every five minutes.

I think the reason for the dislike of the Cardinals is pretty obvious. They are successful and hold themselves up to be a model organization which is better than other organizations. Fans of other baseball teams resent another team's success over the long-term and when that long-term success is combined with unbridled pretention about an organization upholding values it's a combination for great dislike.

A few weeks ago I met a senior vice president at a DC public relations firm. It being the post-season, we got talking baseball. He’s a huge fan. Season tickets to the Nationals. Weekend season tickets to the Orioles.

So he's a guy who has a favorite American and National League team. Sounds like a douche.

When I told him I’m a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan,

By the way if you have to add a word like "die-hard" to explain your fandom then you are trying too hard to sell yourself as a fan of the team. I'm a Carolina Panthers fan. I don't need to prove myself to you by telling you I'm a "die-hard" fan because I'm not insecure about myself.

“I loathe the Cardinals,” he said. “That’s impossible,” I replied. Nobody hates the Cardinals.

No, people do. Because some Cardinals fans like to say things like...

We’re a well-run organization with strong values.

This what this says to me:

"We consider ourselves to be morally superior to other teams because we tout our 'values.' By the way, we play in a stadium named after a beer mogul."

People may hate you because you constantly tout the organization's strong values as if other organizations don't have strong values.

Our fans are the best in baseball.

If you think your fans are the best in baseball, that's fine, it's an opinion and not a fact. Telling us how fucking great you are as fans is a very easy way to make people hate you. The very idea of saying, "Don't hate us, we are great!" will only make people hate you more because you have absolutely no modesty about you.

Hating the Cardinals is like punching your mother. Even if you were tempted, you just wouldn’t do it.

If my mother was constantly telling me what a great person she is and how she is the best person in the world compared to me, then I would probably end up having to outsource the punching, but she would be punched.

By the way, on Twitter when someone reacted to this column, this exchange happened:

No, he meant he is a fan of the Ford Broncos, not the Denver Broncos. Maybe Hemingway was confused because he forgot to leave "die-hard" off when describing his fandom.

But that Sunday at our church in Virginia, I was talking to the kindergarten teacher at our Lutheran school. She’s a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Church, a place where only Cardinals fans go. Did you know the St. Louis Cardinals were Jesus' favorite baseball team? Also, again, if you have to write "die-hard" you are trying too hard. 

As we all chatted about the Pirates series, the kindergarten teacher’s husband (a Nationals fan) interjected that he hated us and the Cardinals.

What? How could anyone hate perfection? Explain yourself and your illogical comment made in the house of the Lord!

I found it jarring. Two people in the same week saying something I’d never heard in more than three decades of being a Cardinals fan.

Hey, quick idea. Maybe if you stop telling non-Cardinals fans how superior the Cardinals organization is then they won't hate you as much. Maybe if you stopped pretending you don't cheer for a consistently successful team and this isn't a reason non-Cardinals fans don't like the Cardinals then some of the hatred will stop.

Then Mollie Hemingway talks about Drew Magary's column on why the Cardinals suck and has a very "Midwest" response to it, whatever that is.

Well then! Now don’t get me wrong. We all find East Coast elitist sneering to be persuasive, lacking in any sort of insecurity, and totally charming.

Speaking of insecurity, at least Magary didn't have to tell us he's a "die-hard" fan of a team. Also, Drew Magary is a lot of things, but East Coast elitist he does not appear to be.

However, while the Cardinals aren’t hurting in the payroll department, we’re not actually a top-10 payroll team. 

The Cardinals are 11th in payroll. So technically, this is correct. YOU GOT BURNT MAGARY!

The Los Angeles Dodgers raised their spending to $236.8 million this year (for perspective, that’s just about $100,000 behind the Yankees, who spend more than anyone else in baseball). St. Louis spends about half of the Dodgers, coming in at $119.3 million.

Well, as Magary said:

They are a church casserole made out of cream of mushroom soup and Minute Rice. They are a horrible family staring at a Norman Rockwell painting of itself. It’s no coincidence that sabermetric punching bag David Eckstein spent a few years playing for the Cardinals, because no team in any sport puffs up its grittiness credentials quite like this one.

I love how Hemingway comes back against a claim the Cardinals paint themselves as gritty painting the Cardinals as gritty underdogs.

Whether spending $117.5 million less than the Dodgers slightly disadvantages us doesn’t matter. We took the first two games in the National League Championship Series despite the disparity.

Exactly. This sentence is another reason many people are learning to hate the Cardinals. Maybe it's not the Cardinals that some people are hating, but Cardinals fans that people are hating. These are the same fans who counter an argument the team puffs up its grittiness credentials by puffing the team's grittiness credentials, as well as counters arguments on why the team should not be hated by throwing the team's success in our face and announcing not only are Cardinals fans the best in the sport, but the team also lives on a higher moral plane than the rest of MLB teams.

We lost the third due to fielding mistakes and silent bats, not payroll differentials. But let’s not pretend that these are equivalent payrolls.

All baseball games are decided by fielding mistakes and silent bats, not payroll differentials. Teams win games on the field not based on the team's payroll. Being a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan I would assume you know this though.

Still. It’s clear that there’s been an uptick in Cardinals hatred. What’s going on?

Read the introduction to the column you just wrote, it's a big tip-off to what's going on and why.

Let’s first acknowledge some legitimate reasons for frustration with the Cardinals. 

You. That's reason #1.

This is true. And it’s not just that they’ve done this, it’s how. As CATO’s director of multimedia Caleb Brown, a Cardinals fan, put it:

My sense is (and my experience may differ from yours) that the Cardinals have been great at pretty much precisely the right moments. 8-1 in elimination games in recent years?! That leaves a mark on people, especially since the Cardinals have really been beating teams that traditionally aren’t that good: 2006 Mets / 2006 Detroit / 2011 Brewers / 2011 Rangers / 2012 Nationals/ 2013 Pirates.

Ah yes, reminding the world how good the Cardinals have been in elimination games. Reason #2.

Also, in what tradition are the New York Mets, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, and Pittsburgh Pirates not very good? Are we talking over the long-term or the short-term? If we are talking over the long-term these four teams have combined for 26 pennants and 11 World Series titles. Yes, these teams haven't traditionally been as good as the Cardinals, but in the long-term four of these teams have traditionally been very good baseball teams.

Fine, then Caleb Brown is talking about how these teams haven't been good in the short-term. For the Pirates, Nationals, Mets, and Brewers I can handle this, but the Rangers have made two World Series in the last four seasons and the Tigers were in the World Series last year. So I would love to know what "traditionally" means because I think in both the short and long-term it's a misnomer.

These clutch Cardinals

Reason #3.

wins sting all the more for those fans that thought this was their year.


And you know how some teams are always the victims of bad calls? While you could never make up for what happened in the 1985 World Series — literally the worst call in sports history — the Cardinals have been on the receiving end of some good fortune in recent years.

Like everything goes right for the Cardinals when they need it to go right. The Braves collapse in 2011 allowing the Cardinals to win the World Series, Bud Selig adds a second Wild Card allowing the Cardinals to make the 2012 postseason...and there are other examples that I am just not thinking of right now.

They wouldn’t have even made it to the playoffs last year if MLB commissioner Bud Selig hadn’t added a second Wild Card slot. And then in that one-game playoff against the Atlanta Braves, they benefited from the hotly disputed “infield fly” call.

It wasn't an infield fly, but the Braves lost on their own accord...which is something Mollie Hemingway feels free to remind us of, showing the humility when having good fortune that Cardinals fans are said to have but seem to never actually show.

Well, that and the Braves made multiple costly defensive errors, even though they were the best defensive team that year.

Again, the lack of humility. Just admit your team got a call and move on. We know the Braves shot themselves in the foot prior to the infield fly rule that wasn't an infield fly. I think that's the major reason why some people don't like Cardinals fans. It's a lack of humility when responding to criticism of their team.

When Hemingway is stating the Cardinals are the benefit of lucky calls, she just can't leave it at that, but also point out the opposing team probably would have lost the game anyway. When confronted with some dislike for the Cardinals, she responds by saying the Cardinals are the best organization with the best values and the best fans, as if it is fact and not an opinion. She shows no humility in defending the Cardinals from the hatred.

The Cards lost their mystical and magical manager Tony LaRussa in 2011

Oh, for fuck's sake. Reason #4. Calling any manager mystical and magical is grounds for an immediate punch to the stomach from a grizzly bear.

and still made it to the playoffs the next two years.

This is what I am talking about with the lack of humility. She's defending the Cardinals from being hated by giving people more reasons to hate the Cardinals. No one wants to hear about how you replaced your Hall of Fame manager and still made the playoffs the next two seasons. Even if it is true, it's annoying.

With a brand spanking new manager Mike Matheny. They lost Albert Pujols and barely noticed the difference.

Yeah, you aren't very good at making people not hate your favorite team.

But being good — which is really what we’re talking about here — is not sufficient reason to dislike an organization.

No, it really is. Being good and always being reminded how Cardinals fans are better fans than you are and the Cardinals organization has such great values, combined with the winning, is sufficient reason to dislike the organization.

The Yankees 27 World Series titles, 40 American League pennants and 50 playoff appearances make them insufferable. The Cardinals top the National League in World Series wins with 11 World Series titles and 18 National League pennants. Tired of the Yankees? Of course you are. Everyone is. But being tired of the team with 11 World Series titles doesn’t make sense.

Yes, it really does make sense because they have the most World Series titles among National League teams and fans (JUST LIKE YOU!) constantly remind us of the perfection of the Cardinals minor league system, the greatness and dedication of their fans, and the values of the organization as if every other organization in the majors doesn't even have a minor league system, the fans don't care about the team, and the organization holds weekly orgies in the outfield.

The Cardinals, despite Magary’s imagination, are known far more for the hard work of team development than they are for their salary offers.

Grittiness, clutchiness, and having a magical, mystical manager. What's not to love?

Cardinals owners and management would rather spend $200 million on the league’s best scouting and farm system than on one aging and declining player. The fact that Cardinals fans are among the most loyal ticket buyers in baseball helps encourage this strategy.

Yes, Cardinals fans are fantastic. You know who has really great fans (even better than the Cardinals if you consider attendance percentage) and have won a couple of World Series recently, yet for some reason they don't go around calling themselves the best fans in baseball? The San Francisco Giants. It's called humility and Giants fans realize no one wants to hear them talk about how great they are.

The Cardinals and their fans certainly have not been tested too hard in recent years. And because of the, um, unfortunate situation of the Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals don’t even have a great rivalry going,

Oh yes, a passive-aggressive reminder the Cubs stink. Actually, this entire column is passive-aggressive in some ways. That's what I mean when I say Mollie Hemingway needs to own the hate rather than passive-aggressively tell us why no one should hate the Cardinals...then giving us several reasons to do so with the contents of this column. 

You don’t have to love the Cardinals for the enthusiastic, passionate, loyal and civil fans (with surely one of the larger diasporas out there).

Yeah, there are tall white people, there are white people with light hair, white people with dark hair, white people who are short with dark hair, and then two Hispanic Cardinals fans.

You don’t have to appreciate Cardinals uniforms — the best looking in baseball.

Again, no fucking humility. Being a braggart is a great reason why fans like Mollie Hemingway make some people hate the Cardinals.

And, yes, it is frustrating to see a team play as well as the Cardinals do, with such a great team relationship as they have, year after year — if it’s not your team. No one says you have to love them. But you can’t hate them. It just reflects poorly on you.

Because if you can't love the perfection that is the St. Louis Cardinals clearly there is a problem with you. It's not them, their lack of humility, insisting on calling everything related to the Cardinals organization the best, but it's you for not appreciating the perfection that is the Cardinals organization. Cardinals fans like Mollie Hemingway are the parents of that kid in high school who never did anything wrong, was the best at everything, and then showed false modesty at his achievements while reminding you constantly of their achievements.

If the Cards were cheating their way to these victories, if they were buying them, if they were rude on and off the field … then fine.

How about if the Cardinals take over the mantle of "decorum police" and criticize other teams for excessive displays of excitement and "not playing the game the right way"?

But if you hate the Cardinals because, like Drew Magary, you hate Midwesterners and their casseroles and churchgoing, you may want to reconsider.

This column. This column would be my reason. I don't hate the Cardinals, but I find it hilarious Mollie Hemingway isn't self-aware enough to realize couching why the Cardinals should not be hated by telling us how great the organization is only feeds the dislike even more.

Sports teams should not be idealized extensions of ourselves.

Says the person who just wrote a column about how the Cardinals extolling the virtues and great value system the organization stands for. Mollie Hemingway's argument over why people shouldn't hate the Cardinals is essentially that they represent an idealized extension of ourselves and what we want our sports teams to be.

We should not lose ourselves in them.

Says the "die-hard" Cardinals fan who is so lost in the greatness of her team she can't fathom why a person would irrationally hate them.

They are mostly just money-making enterprises with the millionaire athletes, taxpayer-funded stadiums and offensive beer prices to prove it.

Which is why it is silly to extol the virtues of a money-making enterprise and suggest one money-making enterprise has a great value system than another.

But the organization and community of St. Louis does aim to promote good sportsmanship, a value the club has spent many decades cultivating.

Regardless of whether this is true or not, it sounds so haughty and full of yourself. It makes people not like the Cardinals.

In a world with O.J. Simpson and Aaron Hernandez,

Well, O.J. wasn't an active athlete when he got arrested. This was almost 20 years ago when Simpson was arrested and acquitted for the murder of his wife as well. It just doesn't seem like as a relevant of a reference anymore.

Also, in a world where magic and mystical managers get arrested for DUI, the Cardinals have to stand up for sportsmanship and good values.

But just because there’s been a breakdown in some places doesn’t mean that ball clubs that at least try to uphold values should be loathed.

Mollie Hemingway says we should not make sports teams idealized extensions of ourselves and then says no one should hate the Cardinals because they are idealized extensions of ourselves. Not only is she clueless as to why someone could really dislike the Cardinals, she also is able to contradict herself when making the argument on why a person should not irrationally dislike the Cardinals.

No matter how much Deadspin or others try to make Cardinal hatred a thing, it’s not going to happen.

People can get jealous and bitter when a team that wins a lot of games is also being held up as a morally superior team. It's sort of annoying.

Stop trying to make Cardinals hatred happen.

I think you did more than anyone else could to help the hatred of the Cardinals to thrive by writing this column. 


Koleslaw said...

I hate the St Louis Cardinals.

Being a Cubs fan, it's somewhere in my contract that says I have to hate the Cardinals at least a little bit. I know there are Cubs fans that probably don't hate them, but I'm not one of those. I have heard it said before that as far as sports rivalries go, Cardnals/Cubs is "more civilized" than a lot of them (Yankees/Red Sox, Duke/UNC, Cowboys/Any Other Team in the NFC East.) I'm sad to think that there's such a thing as civilized rivalries. Rivalries are supposed to be a combination of hatred and respect. Even though the Cubs/Cardinals has been pretty one-sided, I'm also a Steelers fan, so I know what it's like to be on both sides of a rivalry. Do I hate the Ravens? Of course. Do I know that their mutual dislike of each other leads to close, entertaining games? Yes I do. That's really what it boils down to, right? Good, entertaining games. It's not really a rivalry if one team is a whipping boy. Are there any Washington Generals fans hanging out somewhere?

I'm one of those douchebags who when someone asks who my favorite team in a sport is, I say "So-and-so, and whoever is playing other-so-and-so-rival."

So, I guess a twinge of jealousy at seeing my rivals be successful after over a century of failure probably contributes to my hatred. My lip curls slightly everytime I see the ESPN ticker display the words "Cardinals have been to 4 World Series since 2004." I heard that there were Steelers fans who wanted the Ravens to win the last Super Bowl because they didn't want the 49ers to have the same number of Super Bowl wins as the Steelers. I disown every single one of those people as fans of my team. I was so pissed at the Broncos when they allowed that flukie TD to the Ravens to lose to them in the playoffs. Both the Ravens and the Steelers have often had reprehensible thugs on either side, so I can completely understand why anyone would hate either one of those teams. You obviously understand it being a Duke fan.

I believe most teams have at least some semblance of a rivalry with another team. Therefore, most teams have someone that hates them. I'm sure most of them even accept it. Take the Yankees for instance. I know a LOT of people who hate them (myself included.) Drew said it best in the aforementioned column:

I think Yankees fans are horrible people: selfish, arrogant, profane, and miserable all at once. But at least they don't attempt to hide their repulsiveness. At least there isn't this deliberate, "Oh, we're not like those OTHER fans" fakeness that OOZES from the Cardinals and their acolytes.

A commenter in that column compared the Cardinals to the town of Eagleton from Parks and Rec. That's an incredibly apt comparison. I just spent 60 seconds in vain to find a clip of the town meeting scene in the episode "Eagleton" but you can watch that clip and picture everyone wearing Cardinals jerseys and hats without much difficulty.

Oh, and Tony LaRussa is a douchebag. I'M GOING TO BAT MY PITCHER 8TH BECAUSE I KNOW SOMETHING YOU DON'T! I feel as if baseball managers, moreso than the head coaches of any other sports teams, deserve the least amount of credit for a teams' success but are able to contribute greatly to a teams failure by screwing things up. I would like to take this moment to tell Dusty Baker, if he's reading, that pitchers shouldn't be throwing 150 pitches every start.

Jesus this comment got long. Sorry about that. In conclusion, I hate the Cardinals and if you're a Cardinals fan and you don't understand that, it makes me hate them even more. Thanks a lot, Cardinals fans. Now I have to root for an AL team. Go Red Sox!

Anonymous said...

It's impressive they kept murderers off the team. Most teams struggle with this year after year.

Bengoodfella said...

Koleslaw, I don't hate the Cardinals, but I can see why you do though. What's interesting is the Cards have a rivalry (or at least a fighting rivalry only), but I guess that means Reds fans shouldn't hate the Cardinals.

I actually hate a lot of teams in the short-term and then my distates goes away for a while, except for a few teams (UConn, Saints/Falcons/Bucs, Lakers, etc). As a Duke fan, I have a very, very confusing relationship with UNC. I hate them probably, but because all of my friends are UNC fans I have a respect for UNC and their program and if they are playing a team I don't like at that point, I'm not afraid to hope UNC wins. Of course I don't want them winning the NCAA Tournament anytime soon.

I completely get why someone would hate Duke. I hear about it and I get it. Of course the Cardinals success has something to do with them being disliked. I'm tired of them being good.

There can be a certain "we aren't like them" attitude from Cardinals fans, when they really are. It's most the majority, but it's annoying how they deny they should be disliked. Based on success alone, they should be disliked. Don't give me this, "You can't hate success" crap because then no one could hate the Celtics, Lakers, Duke, Yankees Kentucky, etc because they are successful.

I'm vexed as to who to cheer for in the World Series. My family on my wife's side are all Yankees fans, but I just am tired of the Cardinals success. I may just not watch. That's easier.

Also, this column did make me hate Cardinals fans just a little bit.

Anon, she had to go back for the O.J. Simpson reference huh? Also, the town of St. Louis had no issue with Leonard Little killing a lady while drunk driving. I guess that doesn't count though.

Most teams always struggle to keep murderers off their team.