Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Cardinals Fan Speaks!

Hello, my name is Randy, and I am the new guy to the Peoria Northsider Report. First of all, as I believe Chris has already talked about, I am a life long die hard Cardinals fan...thank you for not exiting the post right from the start. Why am I posting on a Cubs blog? That's a good question, a question I wish I had an answer for - I don't even know. I guess to give you guys a perspective from the Red States, as in Cardinal Red. After all there would be no Rush Limbaugh without Bill Clinton, no Bill O'Reilly without Hillary Clinton, no Hannity without Colmes, no Pat Buchanan without the liberal dude from Crossfire, I forget his name, but you get the point. Above all else I am a true lover of the game of baseball. I love all sports, but baseball is my first love. As a baseball fan, I truly believe that the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry is the best in sports. I guess that's why I am here, to give a perspective on all things baseball from the other side of the rivalry.

So what will my first post contain? Well, first of all I want to say that I have been great friends with Chris for a few years now, and I do not believe I have ever met a bigger pessimist. His recent posts have sounded remarkably like – well – like I sounded about this time last season when talking about the Cardinals. I was convinced that the Cardinals would be lucky to finish in third ahead of the Reds, certainly no way we would win the division, let alone the Wild Card, and certainly no where near 105 games. My point, to not only Chris, but to all of Cubdom, especially those from the pessimistic camp, is that no championship has ever been won or lost in January, so cheer up. You have a lot to look forward to.

In 2003 the Chicago Cubs were 5 outs, a booted double play ball, and a dork with a headset away from the World Series. What are the differences in the Cubs from then and now? The Cubs lost Alou in left, and the verdict is still out as to who will replace him. However you have added a gold glove, 30 HR first baseman, in Derrek Lee (instead of Randall Simon/Eric Karros). You’ve added a 3-time batting champion, 25 HR shortstop in Nomar Garciaparra (instead of Alex Gonzalez). You’ve added one of the best set-up men in Latroy Hawkins. You have a 300 game winner, future hall of famer, and a 4 time CY Young award winner, as your 4th starter. You had Joe Borowski as your closer, you now have Joe Borowski as your closer. What is my point? Well other than the loss of Alou, the Cubs are considerably stronger in many other places. Injuries happen in all sports. The Cubs were hit pretty severely due to injuries last season. Will it happen again this season? Well, it could, but I doubt it.

In fact, write this down, and remember where you heard it first...I hereby predict a Cubs/Cardinals NLCS. I really truly believe the Cubs and Cardinals are the two best teams in the NL. The Braves and Giants will be tough, but I don't see either one of them beating the Cardinals or the Cubs in a 5 game series. After all, what would the post season be without watching the Braves choke every year. That's right, I am predicting that as my NLCS, a Cubs vs. Cardinals series - 7 games for a trip to the World Series. The best starting rotation in baseball vs. the best lineup in baseball. The best rivalry in all of sports gets even hotter this October, take it to the bank.

Cheer up you pessimistic gloom and doom Cub fans, you all have a lot to look forward to this season, and this is coming from the biggest Cardinals fan in history, just ask Chris.