Dear Best Fans in Baseball,
I realize that when you cross into Missouri you set your watches back 40 years, but even by primitive forms of communications you’ve probably heard that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is formally investigating allegations that employees of your beloved St. Louis Cardinals baseball team broke federal law when they hacked into the Houston Astros computer system last year.
It is alleged that they obtained information on Astros’ scouting reports of players, trade talks and other proprietary information. Â Basically, it’s corporate espionage.
I don’t expect you to understand any of those big words. Â So let me dumb it down for you.
Y’all’s front office nerds stole brain stuff from the Astros’ front office nerds.
I know what your reaction is going to be. Â Actually, I know what your reaction already is:
How fitting that he can’t even tie his shoes.
Here’s the thing. Â You don’t get to act like this isn’t a big deal.
For decades you have wrongly, but aggressively, asserted your moral supremacy over every other fanbase in the world. Â You even made up a bullshit “Cardinals Way” theory of playing the game correctly.
Your last two managers…the drunk and the current guy whose brain is slowly turning into CTE pudding…both believe in “retaliating” against other teams if they even suspect those teams are trying to steal their precious signs.
Your franchise has decided to be the baseball police and throw at players who you don’t think are playing the right way.
So when you do something that isn’t just pushing a boundary–but actually committing a federal crime, you don’t get to play the awful “Haters gonna hate” card.
But then, I’ve underestimated how firmly you can hold onto moral high ground in the past.
Any other franchise that has had two high profile drunk driving deaths of active players in recent years might think to shy away from telling every other team how to do…everything. Â Especially when both accidents endangered others, and the most recent resulted in the death of the player’sÂ passenger.
But no. Â What we got was Tony LaRussa answering questions about Josh Hancock’s death with a bat in his hand, practically daring reporters to ask anything of real consequence. Â And a jersey patch for a the guy who killed his girlfriend.
We know the way this will play out. Â The team will issue a statement saying they’re cooperating fully with the investigation.
Then after a few days they’ll downplay what happened.
Then they’ll find some patsy intern to take the fall.
Then they’ll just assume everyone will forget what a bunch of shitbags they are.
And, it will probably work. Â Then they’ll get back to important stuff like bitching about how long Starlin Castro takes to circle the bases on a home run.
For whatever reason, the national media eats this stuff up. Â They think St. Louis is a charming little city with a great atmosphere.
Truth is, St. Louis is a shithole with 140% humidity all summer and and covered in a layer of ice that can’t hide the filth all winter.
You, the Cardinals fans,Â love to cheer for sacrifice bunts, and to scream racist epithets at protesters.
This whole “hacking scandal” is a perfect summation of what “The Cardinal Way” is really all about.
It’s hubris. Â Plain and simple.
The Cardinals didn’t need to break into the Astros scouting system. Â They did it because:
a) they could
b) they were resentful of one of their “own,” Jeff Luhnow leaving to go run another baseball team
c) they didn’t conceive, even for a second, that they wouldn’t get away with it.
So, the next time Matt Holliday cheap shots a 170 pound middle infielder into left field while playing the game right way and trying to break up a double play, or Yadier Molina decides a batter is trying to look back to see where he’s setting up and has a pitcher throw one at his head, or your manager wets his pants in the dugout…again…and spills Gatorade on himself to cover it up, just remember that your beloved franchise has been outed once for all for what it is.
In the meantime, you are free to spend $180 of your unemployment check on a hilarious 03 Bartman official jersey, and to wear jorts and a red “Got Rings” t-shirt to every game.
You earned it. Â Or, at least, you might have. Â Maybe.
The only thing you don’t get to do is to act like this isn’t a big deal.
Because it is, and no matter how much you and your brothers/uncles and you protest that it’s not, it won’t make it not so.
Go Cardinals. Â Pay for the extra bandwith. Â It’s worth it.