Thanks (???) to the 1+ hour rain delay, the game was still on when I got home after 9p. Admittedly, it didn’t turn out to be the kind of game I wanted to watch– we totally fell apart when the game resumed action– but I was glad to be able to see the boys take the field for a couple of innings, unlike most nights when I’m working.
By the time I was able to watch the game, there were but a smattering of fans left at the stadium– the long delay sent most of them home (it is a school night, after all)– and I’ll tell you what, they were having such a great time you’da thought we were winning a Spring Break game in Cancun. Though the game itself wasn’t much to look at, the die-hards who had stuck around, however, made the those last two innings shine.
There were more cheers and chatter generated by those few hundred folks in those last two innings than in most Cardinals games and it sure sounded like a ton of fun. They gave Gary Bennett the Derek Jeter treatment when they chanted, "Gar-ee Ben-nett." and clapped in rhythm. At one point, a whole section simultaneously broke into The Ramones’ "Let’s Go!" clapping cheer– without the aid of sound effects piped over the PA system. A group of fellas that had taken up residence behind the plate when the seats were vacated by the passing storm, called balls and strikes along side the ump with animated enthusiasm and verve. And when Juan Encarnacion sprinted down the first base line after hitting a chopper to short and was able to leg it out for a base hit, the handful of remaining faithful let out a roar that sounded like the stadium was packed to the brim with Redbirds fans.
So– despite the loss– as I lay crumpled, exhausted on my bed watching MLB.TV, I couldn’t help but wish that I was at Busch tonight when the teams retook the field in the bottom of the 7th. Sometimes, when a game goes south like it did tonight, you gotta make your own fun, and it sure sounded like the late-inning fans were having a blast.