Damn Birds! St. Louis Cardinals Advance to NLCS


Oct 7, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter (13) celebrates with first baseman Matt Adams (32) after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won the series three games to one to advance to the NLCS. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

There’s only one thing worse for a Cincinnati Reds fan than watching our team snuffed out of contention while the weather is still hot, and that’s knowing that St. Louis Cardinals are playing deep into October.   Tonight, the hellbirds somehow beat Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers, again, to advance to the National League Championship Series.   Again.

Tonight’s heroics were provided by first baseman Matt Adams, who tagged Kershaw for a three-run homer with no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.   That put the Cards up 3-2, and that’s how it stayed.

In the process, Kershaw parlayed his invincible regular season into something really special:

Such is the life of the St. Louis Cardinals and their fans, I suppose.  It’s not often they do anything wrong.   I mean, even when their magical general manager ends up with a division rival, it somehow works out for the Cards.    Not that I have anyone in particular in mind.  [related category]

I once knew a man named Gary who had an ongoing quarrel with his wife’s parrot, mostly because it yapped at him all the time.   One Saturday morning, she had to run some errands, so she left my friend at home to care for their two young children … and the parrot, of course.  [

As often happened, man and bird soon found themselves in a row, and Gary lost his composure.

“Damn bird!” he growled.

Hearing his children gasp, Gary apologized and pleaded with them to please not tell their mother that he had cursed in front of them.  They promised, and the morning passed without further incident.

When the Gary’s wife returned home, she asked how the family had fared without her.

They all gave a quiet, stilted, “fine,”  and she started to probe a bit deeper when the parrot piped up from his corner:

“Damn bird!”

My friend spent the next week sleeping on the couch.

I don’t know if Gary was a Reds fan, but I like to think that he was, and that he was thinking of Jack Clark or Keith Hernandez or maybe Jose Oquendo when cussed out the bird in the corner.   If he was, I’m sure the stint on the sofa was well worth the satisfaction.

So, as the Reds face a winter filled with speculation about how they can squeeze a few more points of OPS out of their left fielders in 2015, I’ll risk whatever retribution might come my way should my wife or mother or son ever read these words.