I’ve never had a problem with the Cardinals. Did I envy their World Series success years ago, while the Braves continuously underachieved in the playoffs? Without a doubt. But I never thought of them as rivals or rooted against them for any reason. To me, they were always a first-class organization with a die-hard fan base. That all changed after this year’s NLDS.
It all started in Game 1. When the crybaby Redbirds whined – a trend throughout the entire series – about Ronald Acuña’s home run trot in the ninth inning. Apparently, it’s not appropriate to celebrate a towering home run late in a postseason game anymore. And while the whining is downright nauseating, to begin with, it was the two players crying about it that made the situation even more laughable.
Yadier Molina and Carlos Martinez felt disrespected about Acuña’s “showboating” – if you can even call it that. Coincidently, these are two of the biggest loudmouths in the game, especially Martinez, who literally moonwalked off the mound after striking Dansby Swanson out the inning before, then was seen blowing kisses to Billy Hamilton at second base in the ninth inning of Game 3.
Mr. Respect the Game, Carlos Martinez, blowing a kiss to Billy Hamilton. pic.twitter.com/L6jeodeWVl
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 6, 2019
Ironically, Martinez went on to blow the game, and give Atlanta a 2-1 series lead.
That led to Game 4, which the Braves ultimately pissed away. Of course, it was Yadier Molina who came up with both of the clutch hits. He hit a bloop single to tie the game in the eighth, which probably should have been caught by Freddie Freeman – one of the many lucky breaks the Cardinals had go their way in the series – then Molina ended it with a sac-fly in the tenth to force a winner take all Game 5.
Of course, the humble Molina couldn’t just celebrate with his teammates following the walk-off win. He proceeded to toss his bat 100 feet in the direction of the Braves outfield. It’s weird; after every home run of the postseason, I’ve seen a celebration, but I’ve only seen one 100 foot bat toss.
These guys are the definition of clowns, and we haven’t even gotten to the most bush league moment of them all. With the game well out of hand last night, Jack Flaherty nailed Acuña with a fastball on the shoulder.
Now, you can say, “It was a 1-2 count; there is no way that was intentional.” In most cases, I’d agree with you but think about this: The Cardinals don’t want to risk any suspensions moving forward in the postseason, especially to their best pitcher. Throwing at Acuña in a 1-2 account seems unintentional, which why it was the best time for St. Louis to pull the trigger on some cheap bullshit. Flaherty has some of the best control of any pitcher in the bigs; hes didn’t miss by that much on accident. And does this sound like a pitcher who didn’t have Acuña on his mind the entire series?
— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) October 10, 2019
Oh, and by the way, that was the second time the Cardinals hit Acuña with a fastball high and inside. But that’s not even the end of the Cardinals antics. Following their series-clinching win last night, somebody in the Cardinals locker room took a video of Mike Schildt’s speech. And let’s just say, he’s not too fond of the Braves.
“No one fucks with us. Ever.” -Mike Shildt
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) October 10, 2019
My thing is, what exactly did the Braves start? Acuña celebrates every home run the same way against every opponent, and sometimes it even hurts his own team, like it did in this series. If anything, the Cardinals should be thanking him. Martinez was butthurt about his stutter-step around third. Acuña has done that all season to honor a fellow Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera, who is one of his idols. The Braves didn’t start shit; the Cardinals just love to complain.
In typical Atlanta fashion, the Braves blew a series in which they were the superior team. Kudos to the Cardinals on advancing, but they aren’t winning a damn thing, and I can’t wait to see this team next year. I guarantee there will be fireworks. These guys should now be your most hated team in the MLB – more than the Nats, more than the Phillies, and more than the Mets. And from the poll we took last night, it looks like most of Braves Country is on the same page.
Who are you cheering for in the NLCS?
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) October 10, 2019
The funniest part about this whole thing is Acuña is probably worth more than the entire Cardinals team combined, which is why they are all so jealous. Fortunately, they will get to see him for the next nine years in a Braves uniform, and they better get used to some monster bat flips and stutter steps around third.