Yesterday my favorite spinning shortstop was dumped. The Cardinals sent Brendan Ryan to the Mariners for an A level pitcher with a questionable future – which pretty well shows how much they wanted to rid themselves of Brendan
Sure, we knew this day was coming. The Cardinals had been trying to give ol’ Brendo away for at least a month now. But that doesn’t make it any easier to lose a favorite player to a team on the other side of the baseball universe.
What probably surprised me the most in my stunned state of the blues yesterday was the internet response from Cardinal Nation. Reading the comments of the many Brendan fans who were just as disappointed was comforting. That sense of community and commiseration helped ease the sting. But seeing the numerous criticisms of Brendan from those who were relieved to see him go was also therapeutic – in a tough love sort of way.
Being a real baseball fan isn’t all popcorn, peanuts and World Series wins. As I am forced to realize more and more by living through these trades and baseball business decisions, getting too attached carries obvious emotional risks. Rosters change, hot corner rookies get injured and rumors of baseball politics may rob us of the romance of the game. And not everyone loves and appreciates the same players – well, other than Mr. Pujols, of course. ;)
In the short time that I have followed the Redbirds I have survived other (some would say “bigger”) heart-breaking baseball separations: David Eckstein, Scott Rolen, Jimmy Edmonds, and Ryan Ludwick – just to scratch the surface. In fact, I was reminded yesterday by my oh-so-patient Hubby that I have had similar (albeit less tearful) reactions to the departures of Joe Mather, Blake Hawksworth, Joel Piniero, Brad Thompson, Brett Wallace and a pocketful of other AAA Memphis boys.
So, my dear Brendan Ryan is the newest roster casualty and here I am being all grown-up about it! Maybe I am getting better at this process. Okay, okay… if we don’t look back at last week’s blog posts, that is. ;)
Does it hurt? Absolutely.
Will I boycott the Cardinals? Nah….
I will wish Brendan luck in Seattle and probably watch some Mariners baseball in 2011. I will pick some new favorites and find more reasons to love my team. However, I will also inwardly enjoy the thought of rubbing the Cardinals’ collective nose in it when Brendan’s defensive wizardry ends up in the web gem video highlights or when he wins the Gold Glove. But dreaming of revenge is just a natural part of the healing process, right?
Baseball may be a game of hitting and catching, winning and losing, but it certainly is not just a game of numbers. The drama of player personalities and the passion of the fans are just as important to the vitality of the game. I certainly love the boys. I love the stories. And though it brings the occasional heartbreak, I know that -for me- baseball is worth the occasional heartache.
Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training camp in 2 short months. That should give me time to get over it. ;)