161 Games From Hell (Or, The Cardinals 2006: A Season in Review)

A look back on the most memorable games of the season through the eyes of me, a 26 year old professional idiot:

April 12 – Brewers 4, Cardinals 3: The Carlos Lee Game. I remember this one mostly because John Rooney effed up and called Juan Enc’s fly out in the bottom of the 10th a homerun (in fairness, it was absolutely robbed by Lee) prompting many, many Cardinals fans to celebrate way too early. I learned that afternoon that John Rooney is hands down the most over stimulated man on the planet. He woke me up from at least a dozen naps this summer just calling a ground out to third.

April 16 – Cardinals 8, Reds 7: The first of many “Did That Just Fucking Happen” moments involving Jose Albert Pujols this season, his three homerun escapade on Easter Sunday led to a barrage of text messages and a lengthy phone call from Neighbor Matt, because sometimes talking about El Hombre is more fun than celebrating the resurrection of Christ. (and yes, Matt, you have now had your status officially changed from “Roommate” to “Neighbor.”)

(I love communicating with specific people over the Internets.)

June 2nd – 4th – Cardinals v. Cubs : I was in Kansas City for this weekend and it reminded me of what I hated the most about living out East: The inability to watch a Cardinals game at a bar. Luckily the Saturday game was on Fox, but still, chances are if I’m at a bar and the Cardinals are playing somewhere in the world, I do not want to conversate. I want to watch baseball. (Jesus… how in the world do I have any friends?)

June 28th – Cardinals 5, Indians 4: The end of the first of two seperate eight game losing streaks, this game is known around the area as "Seat Cushion Night II." Because you should really celebrate after your "closer" gives up three runs in the eighth and it takes an error by the other teams short stop in the ninth for you to win your first game in ten days.

July 16th - Cardinals 11, Dodgers 3: I threw up seven times on my way to, while at, and on my way home from the game that day. And lemonade was most definitely a BAD choice.

August 3rd – Phillies 8, Cardinals 1: The game which finally made me throw my hands up in disgust and just make fun of the team.

Marge: “Homer, it’s easy to criticize…”
Homer: “Fun, too.”

August 5th – Cardinals 4, Brewers 3: The end of the second of two separate eight game losing streaks, The Lady Friend and I actually had SRO for this game, but decided on our way out that it would be too depressing to go and see them lose another fucking game. Since it was also my birthday, we stayed home, listened to Shannon and Rooney call the game on the radio, and had friends over. I drank whiskey barefoot and acted like an all around madman. Because that’s not depressing.

September 30th – Cardinals 3, Brewers 2: The list both begins and ends with dramatic games between the Brewers and Cards. It’s like 1982 all over again! Last Saturday’s game was one of the best games I have ever been to. Just a fun freaking game. I literally, and I have no idea why, had complete and total faith that the Cards would somehow pull it out. This was not a feeling that I had too often this season, but on Saturday I was sure of it. I had faith in them. And when The Spiez hit a bases loaded triple in the bottom of the 8th, and bedlam ensued inside of New Busch, for the first time all season “The House that Hardees Built” finally felt like home. (Also, I would like to apologize to the rather timid man who was sitting next to me that I apparently freaked the hell out of after that triple. I had a couple beers and got excited, it happens. But I’m sorry that I hit you with a high five of death. Sorry.)

Then the season ended Sunday with a decidedly anti-climatic thud. The Redbirds lost, but it didn’t matter cause the Astros lost, too. My Division-clinching celebratory bottle of bubbly was popped, and that was a season.

A season from hell, sure. But a season nonetheless.

But Saturday’s game still has me riding high. Expectations are obviously lowered, but hope endures.

Hope that come the end of October, my liver will be a brick, my voice will be gone, and I’ll shake just typing. I will gladly be a shell of a man if it means a World Series championship.

Hope that “The Heat is On” is played repeatedly around the Lou, that Red tees will still be in style, and that drunken, celebratory make outs will be plentiful.

Hope that El Hombre can carry Cardinal Nation, that Carp can pitch as brilliantly as he is capable of, that Jimmy Baseball and Scotty Ballgame return to form.

Hope that Wainwright is everything we want him to be, that the role players can all somehow, someway put it together, that Chris Duncan hits a few balls 700 feet.

Hope that these bastards can do it. That they can muster up eleven wins in the next month.


Just freaking hope.


Hope that Ronnie Belliard eats a turkey leg in the dugout.
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