(BaseballStL) – The final series has arrived, and the Cardinals need only one win to make their third playoff appearance in a row. Failing that, they need a Pirates loss.
The odds favor an NL Central title for the Birds, but it will come at the expense of a languishing historical rival.
The Cubs are going to close their season surrounded by celebrations, and not be a part of any of them.
In back to back days, the visitor’s clubhouse in Wrigley played host to champagne showers in celebration of playoff-clinching wins. The Braves first, then – in what had to be a celebration for the ages- the Pirates broke their two-decade drought a day later.
Now the North-Siders head to a division rival’s city to most likely witness one final celebration for 2013. Whatever Cardinals fans believe about their most-hated opponent, they certainly believe themselves to be the better fans.
They will get a chance to prove it this weekend. How one acts in victory is as important as how one acts in defeat.
The Cubs have known defeat this season. They have wiped millions from their payroll, brought in new management and hit reset on their roster.
Their fans have suffered through a 66-93 season and now-certain last place finish in the Central. A young pitcher wasted a sterling season, a manager will likely get unfairly fired and they continue to play in the roughest division in the National League.
Cardinal fans need not add to the misery by being tasteless in victory. Don’t posture, don’t preen. Redbird faithful should act like they’ve been there before, because they have.
Which fan base is best is not only inconsequential, but hysterically impossible to empirically prove. Fans should really stop spending so much energy trying to propogate the self-appointed title of “best fans in baseball” and just focus on enjoying the Cardinals’ tremendous run in the last decade.
What the team has done in 2013 is nothing short of stunning. It owes that success to a steady approach devoid of bravado and self-satisfaction. When that ultimately culminates in a division title, fans should echo that approach and have a celebration based on pride and appreciation, not schadenfreude.
And for heaven’s sake, stop doing the wave.