Cardinal Nation is suddenly afflicted with postseason fever, and it’s not hard to see why. After such a monstrous shift in position, the Redbirds are soaring and seem to be targeting the major-league playoffs in October. And whenever that happens, fans start discussing potential match-ups. Who are we going to play? Who do we WANT to play? Who are we afraid to play? Etc.
But what about the teams we would hate to lose to in the playoffs? Sure, there are teams we just couldn’t stand to be eliminated by in general — such as the Reds — but not all of those teams have a chance to make it to October this season. If we limit it to just the teams that have a chance to play baseball a month from now…who would you most hate to lose to in a postseason series?
In other words, which team, if they were to win bragging rights over the Cardinals for at least a season and likely more, would hurt the most?
We here at Cards ‘N Stuff have decided to take a crack at it…from our own perspective, of course. See our rankings below…
10. Detroit Tigers. I just like being able to hold 2006 over their heads.
9. Cleveland Indians. No, I don’t have any hate towards the Indians — unless, that is, you count the mild bitterness I feel regarding the Masterson for Ramsey trade — but it would be a bit awkward for the team that hired Terry Francona to beat the team that passed on him in favor of Mike Matheny.
8. San Francisco Giants. Ugh…this one makes the list for two simple reasons: 1) Again with the Giants?! (see: 2012)…2) I hate playing California teams. It always feels like their parks are huge and every double/triple hit in the gap goes on forever.
7. Atlanta Braves. They still haven’t gotten over Kozma-palooza and that wonderful infield fly call. And, honestly…I still haven’t forgiven Chipper Jones for his bitching and moaning about the Cardinals and Cardinals fans on Twitter. The last thing I wanna’ hear is chirping about “revenge” and “payback” from him now.
6. Washington Nationals. Natitude has got to be one of the most annoying things to hit baseball since “beast mode” and the entire Kansas City Royals’ fanbase. The anointing of the Nationals as some unstoppable force — and Bryce Harper in general — before they had actually won…well, anything…is something I never want to live through again. If the Nationals knock off the Cardinals in the playoffs, their newbie fans will never let us forget it…especially after we kicked their asses outta’ October last time.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates. For the most part, I actually don’t mind the Pirates. After a couple decades of piss-poor franchise management, they finally started putting together a respectable organization. How do you not like Andrew McCutchen…really? But they make the top 5 simply because I hate the idea of ceding dominance of the NL Central to anyone else. I really enjoy being the only team out of our division to do much of anything since the Astros of 2005.
4. LA Dodgers. And here we go…the first team that really leaves a sour taste in my mouth just thinking about it. The way the Dodgers go about their “business” is so contrary to the way the Cardinals try to do things, how can we feel anything BUT revulsion for that team? They’re flashy, demonstrative, and so irritating that they make my skin crawl just watching them on TV. I don’t know if how they do things is “wrong” necessarily…but the last thing I want to live with is the polar opposite of my team holding it over our heads for the next ten years…especially a team known for their professional ability to rub it in their opposition’s face. Before the 2013 NLCS, I was content to watch them return to their winning ways. Now…they can just suck on the Cardinals’ success and shut up about it.
3. Milwaukee Brewers. The Brew Crew gets a huge boost in the rankings simply by playing in our division (see: #5. Pittsburgh Pirates), but even without that, they still would’ve made it pretty high on the list. Every incarnation of a winning Brewers team seems to include some level of intentional grand-standing, showboating, or just plain irritating jabs specifically targeted at the Cardinals. If it’s not Prince Fielder, it’s Nyjer Morgan. If it’s not Morgan, it’s Lucroy and the Brewer’s dumbass PR department. And if it’s no one else…well, there’s always that cheatin’ jerk, Ryan Braun. Yes, I know Mark McGwire cheated. And yes, I know we just gave Jhonny Peralta a big contract. It’s not just about that with Braun. It’s the dispicable way he fought back — going national, making himself out to be a martyr, letting high-profile friends like Aaron Rodgers stand up for him publicly when he knew they were defending his lies at the risk of their own reputation…and never giving a second thought to any of it, including the potential career/life ruin he was bringing upon the innocent sample handler during his appeals process. Overall, just disgusting.
2. LA Angels. You all know why this one ranks so high. Not only are the Angels the target of so much fan hate by acting like the Yankees and throwing cash at every team’s superstar on the market (or at least it seems that way), but they started doing it by luring St. Louis’ own Albert Pujols away from his home in St. Louis. I’ll never forgive them, or their owner, for doing that. But more importantly, I still have a hard time forgiving Pujols for it personally. In short, he asked us to trust him, to throw our faith behind him and expect him to be different than the other free agents in MLB, and in the end, he did exactly what he swore he wouldn’t do — left STL, the fanbase that defended him nearly to the death, for a few million more per year. Ridiculous. I never want to see him win anything of value again. Also…the Angels beating the Cardinals would mean a World Series victory, which comes dangerously close to validating the “buy a team/championship” mentality of the Angels’ owner. That’s the last thing baseball needs. (NOTE: The Angels almost catch a break for David Freese…I still love that dude…but not quite.)
1. Kansas City Royals. I see a lot of Missouri baseball fans reading this and thinking, “What?! The Royals as number one? Why?!” I’ll tell you why…because their fans, not all of them but the majority of them that I’ve met, are bitter, loud-mouthed, drunken, self-entitled whiners that can’t put their beer down long enough to realize they’re half to blame for their team’s struggles over the years. Maybe if they actually showed up for more than three games a year, their team would have the revenue to develop and field a consistent winner…like St. Louis. I can’t tell you how many Royals’ fans I run into on a weekly basis that just irritate the living hell out of me. Everything from hating the Cardinals just because they win in the same state as them to actually leaving the All-Star Game early because the AL was losing (seriously, I watched this happen in person). They’re mouthy, whining “fans” that still can’t stop harping about that 1985 World Series they stole from the Cardinals. Can you imagine what would happen if they won again, much less beat the Cardinals to do it? Oh. My. Goodness. God willing, the Royals will never win anything meaningful again.