08/27/2004: Thought for the Day:
Here in Du Quoin, Illinois, we seem to demonstrate a dangerous and inexplicable meteorological behavior. Iíve never gotten a handle on it, but I sure join in. When a tornado warning is issued that covers my hometown, three-fourths of the population Ė young and old alike Ė are found standing outside looking to the southwest hoping to catch a glimpse of that powerful engine of destruction that will lay waste and havoc to our community. In 150 years, no tornado has touched our town, but it could and we want to be there to see it when it happens. Whatís the matter with people who actually hope to see disaster strike?
Then I look at our beloved Cardinals. The Redbirds are having a glorious season, at this writing, standing 15 games ahead of the train wreck at Clark and Addison in Chicago and having the best record in baseball. They literally have an historically-productive and fearsome offense that has George Steinbrenner wondering if maybe money really canít buy happiness. Their bullpen is solid if a little weary and the starting pitching has exceeded expectations many times over.
So why is a significant segment of Cardinal Nation still standing out in their yards looking to the southwest (or perhaps in this case to the northeast) for disaster to strike? Folks, go back into your homes, turn on Mike and Wayne or Al and Dan as your preference may be, and relax. The tornado has already struck, and itís damage was limited to hurling chunks of Wrigley Field onto the noggins of unsuspecting and overexpecting Northsiders.
I donít mean to imply that a sudden and dramatic collapse couldnít happen, but the composition of this team makes such an event very unlikely. Remember, too, that a collapse takes two to tango and I donít see anyone else stepping out onto the dance floor. The NL Central is ripe with wallflowers. At the All-Star break, the Cardinals led by seven games. A 15-game lead 5 weeks later doesnít seem to indicate that the Cubs are willing to hold up their end of a collapse.
--Rex Duncan [at The Cardinals Birdhouse]
Len on 08.27.04 @ 06:55 AM CST