Well, we're here. You had a feeling. I had a feeling. We move from rooting to the Braves to rooting for the Cardinals. Then we move from rooting for the Cardinals to rooting for the Red Sox. Then we move to yelling "TWO IN THREE YEARS TWO IN THREE YEARS" like a broken macaw.
In the off chance that the rest of the 2013 season isn't written in the stars, a million miles away, we have to root for the Cardinals. Matt Holliday, bumbling simian malcontent, is on our side, now. Carlos Beltran is like the Orlando Cepeda of Puerto Rico! Hooray for Carlos Beltran! We're not sorry that we traded Steve Soderstrom for you, Carlos. You'll always be a hero to us ...
Here's the real news about the sweet, sweet Pirates falling to the fates: The preferred World Series champion is obvious. Whoever wins on Thursday night gets the McCovey Chronicles Seal of Postseason Approval.
You have one hope. There's a 75-percent chance that the Red Sox, Dodgers, or Cardinals will win the World Series. Yes, you'll have to hear it from A's fans for the next decade. But what you have to do is put a hand on their shoulder and mumble, "You aren't the Dodgers." Then bring them in for a hug and never let go. They'll see it your way. Watch.
If not the A's, the Tigers, then. Have you seen Mike Ilitch? He's not going to be around for the sequel to Chinese Democracy. And he's one of the owners who says, screw it, I'm buying a team, and I kind of like that. It's what I would do if I were fabulously wealthy and an owner. I'd also have my own Ms. Pac Man table.
Tigers or A's. Tigers or A's. Tigers or A's. If I had to choose between them, I'm still going Oakland. I've been to the stadium. I've cheered for them before. Some of my best friends are, et cetera. It's an easy decision to make.
But if the Cardinals can relieve me of the stress of a Dodger-filled World Series, I will not complain a lick when they're facing off against the Tigers/A's/Red Sox. I might even pull for them, secretly. Listening to another team yelp "TWO IN THREE YEARS TWO IN THREE YEARS" would feel a lot better than Tommy Lasorda being happy. Picture him happy. Picture his jowls jiggling with pure mirth. Pure-mirth jowl jiggles are the worst kind of jowl-jiggles. Help us, Cardinals. HELLLLLLP.
You know how this is going to end, though.
Brian Wilson looks into the plate against Matt Holliday. You want a griffon to carry them both away and drop them in a volcano. But that's not going to happen. You root for Holliday. That results in Wilson crossy-arms to the sky. You feel dirty.
Then it's Shane Victorino. Game 7. Bases loaded in the 13th. Kenley Jansen's been burned. Everyone else has been burned. It's Wilson again, this time to protect a one-run lead taken in the top of the inning. Victorino. Wilson. Victorino. Wilson. What do you do?
You make out with your Cody Ross bobblehead and get druunnnnnnnnk. This isn't 1988. You have options. They aren't palatable, but they're not as unpalatable as the alternatives were a decade ago.
Just don't think of Matt Holliday.
Or Ozzie Smith taking a cheap shot.
Or Jose Oquendo.
It is my hope that Mike Matheny manages circles around Don Mattingly in this NLCS. I like one of them. After railing against Matheny's signing, I'm pretty sure I'm cool with his legacy as a good Giant.
Don Mattingly is a dillweed.
All hail the St. Louis Cardinals of St. Louis. Watching Adam Wainwright hoist a trophy would be so much better than watching Zack Greinke hoist a trophy.