The Cardinal Commandments

(Happy Opening Day everyone. This article was written a couple weeks ago for Tim McKernan of insidestl.com. It was my sample submission for the Cardinal blog writer, in which I will debut tomorrow. For the lovely bertflex readers only, I added the last two, making it an even ten commandments. Hope you enjoy.)

So you want to join Cardinal Nation? It’s easy; just follow the Ten Cardinal Commandments written below. (Some insight and opinions put into this article was obtained from sources at Delmar Gardens)

Hate the Cubs, Take Pleasure in their Pain
The Cubs are funny. They haven’t won a World Series in 100 years. Kerry Wood gets hurt all the time. Ha ha. No one will ever tell you why, but you should hate the Cubs from birth. Don’t question this. Just know that Al Hrabosky wants you to hate the Cubs, so shut up and do it. Now.

Add Cardinal Ringtones and Wallpaper to Your Phone
Go to your cellular service provider’s website and download anything and everything Cardinals. Better yet, go to stlcardinals.com (it should be your homepage) and download them all. Okay, so it’s $2.50 per download, and 25 ringtones and wallpapers to buy…but think of how envious your friends will be! You can’t put a price tag on that.

Embrace Scrappy
I hope you know what “scrappy” is. If not, stop reading and move to Chicago. Study video of Rex Hudler, Bo Hart, Joe McEwing, Stubby Clapp, and David Eckstein immediately. What are you looking for? Well, besides the immense talent that these players have, you’re looking for something hidden – intangibles. You’ll know it when you see it. Embrace it, give it standing ovations. Name your children after these guys. Buy their jerseys and wear them long after they depart/are forced into retirement.

Come Up With Horrible Trade Proposals for Carl Crawford
Anybody can do what John Mozeliak does. But nobody would be better at it than you! You know baseball, you know who’s good and who sucks. So why not tell everyone how to make the Cardinals better? It all starts by trading Anthony Reyes (2-14, 6.04 ERA in ‘07) and Brad Thompson (4.73 ERA, 1.52 WHIP) to the Rays for Carl Crawford. Then send Adam Kennedy (.219 AVG, 27 Runs in ’07) and “some minor leaguer” (we still have Brian Barber, right?) for Hanley Ramirez.

It’s too bad that you repair refrigerators all day. The Cardinals would win the World Series every year if they took your advice.

Bill DeWitt Never Spends Money, Ever. Complain.
The Cardinals’ 2007 payroll was $90 million (USA Today). But Bill DeWitt is the cheapest bastard ever. He never spends money on any free agents. Torii Hunter and Barry Zito should be wearing the birds-on-the-bat right now. They would have taken less money to play in front of the Best Fans in Baseball™. DeWitt is so stupid. He should sell the team to someone who cares. And trade Reyes for Crawford.

Stab Anyone Who Disrespects Whitey
The 80s were a golden era of Cardinals baseball. And by “80s” I mean 1982, 1985, and 1987. There were only three years in that decade, I’m not sure if you knew that. If anyone criticizes Whitey Herzog, put down your Busch beer and stab them. Once for me, and once for the other three million fans of Whiteyball.

Sign a Lifetime Contract with Anheuser-Busch Products
Mike Shannon recommends smooth Busch Beer, or easy drinkin’ Busch Light. If you’re new school you’ll go with Bud Light or Bud Select. It doesn’t matter, as long as it has that AB logo. If not, you’re a traitor. You’re probably a communist and should pack your bags and get out! I can, and will, report you to the local baseball police (see below).

Obey the Baseball Police
Their main duties are telling people when to clap, when to sit down, who to cheer, who to boo, what shirts are appropriate, what language is appropriate, how to talk to opposing fans, and knowing how players should act on and off the field. They know all the rules of Cardinal fandom (including unwritten and secret ones). There’s a strict training process to join the baseball police force. If you meet the first requirement – AARP membership – let’s talk.

Memorize This Line: “Well, the money is going to Cardinals Care, so it’s not a big deal.”
When you go to Winter Warmup (“if” is not an option), be sure to bring plenty of money. I know you worked hard for it, but you don’t give to charity any other time of the year – except for the Channel 9 pledge drive and Mike Bush on the Jerry’s Kids Telethon – so a Cesar Izturis autograph for $100 is money well spent.

Always do the Wave
The wave is so much fun. Here's how it works - one lucky fan (always a young male) around the 6th inning runs down to the front of his section. He ignores what is going on behind him (some kind of activity where guys are throwing a white thing to each other and running around on a squareish/diamondish field). He then screams out "1...2...3!!!" and on cue, we all stand up and raise our hands to the sky. After we do that, the next section over does it, then the next, and so on. Usually it takes 7 or 8 tries for the lucky fan at the front of the section to get it going. Sometimes over multiple innings too. But they have to be persistent! The wave must be done! No matter what the score is or who is hitting - the Cardinals are counting on us to do the wave, they need our help.

This is a Catholic Town, We Pray for Victories Here Buddy
Since they need our help, you have to pull out every trick in the book for a victory. The oldest, and most effective of them all is praying. Praying for the Cardinals always works. God bless those young men on the field giving it their all. We prayed our butts off for the Rams in 1999 and we won the Super Bowl that season. We prayed even more for the Cards in '06 and look what happened. Jack Buck was looking down from the heavens above and told the Big Guy that Jeff Weaver really needs to not get blasted by the Tigers for us to have a chance. God listened. We thank Him every Sunday at church for the blessings He hath given us.


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