Cardinals vs Reds. Chris Carpenter vs Johnny Cueto. The July 4th game had all the media hype of a WWE event. What did fans see? A pitcher’s duel that ended 1-0. Nobody got accidentally brushed back a little harder than usual. Nobody was drilled in the ribs. Heck, the only pitch close to the batter’s box was one Cueto threw to Colby Rasmus that almost went into the OTHER batter’s box. There wasn’t even a hint of a basebrawl. Surprised?
Remember the old saying that “there is no such thing as bad publicity”? How much publicity have the Cardinals, Reds, MLB, and the various actors in this ongoing play received since “the incident”?
A: Too much.
Consider how quick the folks at FSMidwest are to trot out the video replay of “the incident” when the opportunity arises. The replay is then followed by Ricky Horton and Al Hrabosky preaching to us about how the game has changed, how Bob Gibson would have responded, and how American apple pie really is. It’s all manufactured under the pretense that the fans should want retribution. Sure, there is a part of me that would like to see Cueto take one in the ribs (over and over and over…..you get the point), but that’s not the part of me that matters. The part that makes some sense of it all realizes that I’m upset about what happened to Jason LaRue, and nothing can change that. There is no getting even.
I’m past the point of being in revenge mode, and now I’m wondering why we still haven’t seen LaRue in St. Louis to throw out a first pitch. I’ve been practically begging for this to happen. If LaRue is over the whole thing and has forgiven all, then maybe he should throw that pitch when the Reds are in town. If the folks in charge really want a good show, maybe Cueto should be the guy who catches it.
Just know that the Cardinals vs Reds rivalry is potentially good enough as is. It doesn’t need manufactured ignorance or a facade of hatred, because that’s not what “playing like a Cardinal” is supposed to be about. Let’s push aside all the negative stuff and start building up the rivalry with the right kind of publicity. Yesterday was a good start……..at least it was for Carp.
TIDBIT: Don’t mistake this call for playing nice as a softening of my stance on a certain overrated, overpaid 2B. I just hope that the Reds keep overpaying guys who average less than 1.0 WAR per season.
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