House of Cards
First off, let me offer my condolences to the Astros fans among us. I know we have at least two of them in the community and, as an A's fan, I can certainly empathize with your current plight, though at least your nemesis was ambulatory, unlike Kirk Gibson. Though I suppose the most apt parallel is Dave Henderson and the Angels (and if having to re-live that moment made Angel fans hurt in any way, then good for that), which could become more apt depending on the outcome of the rest of the series. Despite all that, the thing is, in my family, the default team for which to root is the Cardinals.
Last summer was AJ's first trip back to St. Louis, where the bulk of my extended family lives. My mom was born there and my grandparents and myriad aunts, uncles and cousins still reside in the area, though most of them across the River (The Mighty Mississipp, The Ole Miss, The Old Man, Old Man Riiiiiiiver) in rural Illinois where I've gotten into many humorous situations during my visits, like seeing the sun come up outside an all-night roadhouse bar after hours of foosball battles against trailer girls with black roots and too much rouge.
But this trip was about AJ meeting a bunch of family for the first time (and going to the Zoo) and the subject, as it naturally must, quickly turned to baseball.
Aunt Judy: Who's your favorite baseball team, AJ?
AJ: The A's
Aunt Judy: Who's your favorite player?
Aunt Judy: Pujols?
AJ: No! Mulder!
Well, it might surprise some to know that AJ's favorite team, some 14 months later is the Cardinals. Because that's where Mulder got traded (though I've tried to explain to him many times how Billy Beane just FLEECED Jocketty in that deal, though the Cards have gotten some benefit, as well). This delights my grandfather to no end.
The "J" in AJ is my grandfather's name. A life-long Cardinal fan--and it's a long life, approaching 90 years--he taught me much about baseball, mostly during the few years he and my grandmother lived out West with us (though basically having two sets of parents when one is going through adolescence wasn't the greatest thing in the world). Many times he fascinated me with stories. Of Stan the Man. Bob Gibson. Kenny Boyer. I cheered in solidarity for Whitey Ball. I soaked up a ton of baseball knowledge during those years and he still has one of the keener minds for the game I've ever known. Such as we both whole-heartedly agree that Tony LaRussa is horribly over-rated.
He doesn't have much time left, my grandpa. He has macular degeneration and retains only the vaguest sight. He's had a couple heart attacks and is never far from his nitroglycerine pills. More than once in the last couple years has someone uttered the morbid joke that if the Cardinals win the World Series, he'll probably just slip away, content with that one last triumph.
He thinks that's funny, grandpa always being the teasing type. Most of the men in my family got that same gene. It's immensely satisfying to see him have a go at AJ, age not having withered his smile or laughter. I'm rooting for the Redbirds to win and hoping my grandpa sticks around so we can talk about it. For many years to come.
I'm adding a couple to the blogroll today. I am, of course, the world's worst at seeking out new blogs and adding them. Nothing personal. The community's a bit large at this point and there aren't enough hours in the day. I will, however, get around to adding everyone headed to the IP in December. That is, if I find you worthy.
That was a jopke.
Just a couple today though. I was pointed to meekspbr by April. I like the idea of an inanimate (though not static) object as narrator. I once had to write an essay from the POV of a piece of lint (I swear), so I can dig it.
Also finally getting around to adding a new LA-based blog, Pot Committed, written by change100. Welcome to the Region of Champions.