As all of you know unequivocally and without fail—both because of everything I have written ever and because of the billboard I just put up in suburban Kansas City showcasing the caption “farts smell a lot more like Michael Jordan cologne 248 miles to the East…”—St. Louis, aka the New Rome, is, in my opinion and therefore Jesus’ as well, the greatest place on the face of the Earth. St. Louis is my home. St. Louis is my passion. St. Louis is, to quote the talented and never ever criticized late night host Joe Buck, the quintessential American City. St. Louis is, to paraphrase Barrack Obama in a speech he is constantly making to me in my sleep, society’s last, best, and only hope.
And, for the most part, we live up to them. Our style of pizza is the only way that is scientifically proven to undeniably determine who has taste buds that make them a person worth respecting and who is a moron. Toasted ravioli is something that is so simple in design and yet is only made here, because we are the only city that really cares about giving its residences a true and definitive shot at total happiness. Our economy, music, culture, driving ability, rivers, natives who go on to become professional wrestlers, unaccented English, sandwiches, mosquitoes, etc. are second to none. There is no comparison in those categories, or any other. There is one, and only one, St. Louis.
Then there is our baseball team. Oh lordy our baseball team. A team so successful, so humble, so American, that it shows our great nation what the promise of our national pastime is, in essence, all about; what Abner Doubleday predicted when he talked to George Washington on the most patriotic Ouija board our country has ever known and asked him what the future of sport in the grand, ole USA was and could be. If baseball was the United States’ first great game, then the Cardinals are its last great team. We believe that in St. Louis. Therefore, by the definition of both the word and ideal, that statement must be, has to be, true.
That statement also, like true and unquestionable facts all over this great land, is not uniformly accepted. That statement, like true and unquestionable facts all over this great land, is not universally endorsed. That statement is debated by many. That statement is attacked by nearly all. That statement is criticized and torn down and over scrutinized by the skeptical, by the cynical, by the kind of people who can never, will never, believe. That statement is castigated and chastised and excoriated by the suspicious, by the ironic, by anyone and everyone who knows that some things must be, have to be, too good to be true. That statement is condemned by people, smart people. People so smart that, as much as I hate to admit it, have a point.
Cardinals fans are annoying. Cardinals fans are overly preachy. Cardinals fans are often so high up on their soap box that even I, a member of their ranks, some times feel the urge to kick the goddamn crate out from under them just so they can understand how every other sports fan in the world lives. Cardinals fans are, by in large, old white people who have their jean shorts pulled up so high that they can’t even see or feel the Wedgie Jackosn that is creeping up their butthole and causing their anal cavity to turn into the most disgusting vacuum that the world has ever known.
Cardinals fans are delusional. Cardinals fans are unrealistic. There is a gap between the way that Cardinals fans see themselves and the way that Cardinals fans are seen by the world. There is a gap between the kind of people that Cardinals fans want to be, and the kind of people that Cardinals fans are.
And yet I am one of them. Then. Now. Forever. Even St. Louis is not perfect. Even the Cardinals make mistakes. Even the most American franchise in the history of professional sports is capable of using the Internet to do some pretty weird and dubious stuff.
However, there is a difference between being capable and being guilty. Did the Cardinals knowingly hack into the Houston Astros computer system to gain a competitive advantage? Maybe. Maybe not. But, if they did, I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure, that we had a damn good reason why.
Reasons the Cardinals Hacked Into the Astros Computer System
Sure, cheating is an option. It is also, on the other hand, far from the only one. Let’s take a look at some other reasons why the Cardinals may have been spying on the Astros and, assuredly, doing the MLB a favor in the process.
1: To Enforce a Standard-As each and every Cardinals fans knows, there is a thing called the Cardinal Way, a higher standard that the franchise, its fans, and its city holds itself too when it comes to questions of competitive ethics and the rules that other people are playing by. The Cardinal Way is the best way. The Cardinal Way should be the only way. The Cardinal Way—fairness, integrity, having bathrooms in your baseball stadium that actually work—is more than a model; it is a norm that every team in Major League Baseball should try to adopt as its own.
So how does all of this provide a plausible explanation as to why the Cardinals were hacking into the Houston Astros system? Easy. As the purveyors of the Cardinal way, the franchise also has a responsibility to monitor their MLB counterparts and ensure that they are doing their best to follow St. Louis’ lead; that they are trying as hard to follow the rules as the Red Birds are. Who makes a better judge, someone who adheres to the law themselves or someone who thinks they are above it? The Cardinals were just helping the Astros to be a better franchise, a better team, and an organization filled with better people. As the best franchise in the MLB, that is our responsibility. As the best people in sports, helping others to be better is our duty and our duty alone.
2: For the Good of the Game-Have any of you seen the hit Justin Long film Live Free or Diehard? Of course you have. Because Justin Long is a superstar. Because Justin Long showed us all what he is capable of while starring in the TV series Ed.
Now I know what you are all thinking here: how does Live Free or Die Hard correlate to the Cards supposed hack of the Houston Astros in any way, shape or form? Well the plot of that film centers around a form CIA cyber security expert who hacked into our national digital infrastructure in an attempt to potentially kill millions of innocent people in order to show the national leaders that they were wrong for not taking his proposed increased security measures more seriously while he was a government employee. The movie villain, aka Danny Cordray from the Office, may have been misguided but his intentions, outside of the murdering thing, were sort of noble. I need to hack the system to show our country how to protect itself before the North Koreans steal Channing Tatum’s personal emails or the Chinese discover all of KFC’s secret herbs and spices, this dude thought. I need to wreak a little havoc so that our nation can feel safe again.
Isn’t it also possible that this was the Cardinal’s line of thinking? I need to hack into another MLB organization’s system so that the league will take its digital security more seriously before a team without our high standards for morals and competitive equality does the same thing and the integrity of the entire game is ruined. Can you imagine if the Yankees hacked the Red Sox, the Dodgers hacked the Giants, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp hacked the Hanshin Tigers? The sport would implode. Instead the Cardinals hacked what was then the worst team in baseball in order to ensure the future of baseball. Sorry US government for doing your job for you.
3: Cause Puters Is So Dang Confuddling-Let’s say that options 1 and 2 are, somehow, some way, not the reason why this purported hack played out in reality. What then? Easy. The Cardinals, like their fans, is simple folks (see what I did with grammar there?). We don’t get all these gizmos and whatsiedoozies that comprise so much of our life in this increasingly digital age. We still send letters to ma’ every other Sunday to let her know which one of our 27 kids celebrated its birthday in the past 2 weeks. We still use a landline connected to a cord whenever we wanna call anyone who doesn’t live in St. Louis County because, let’s face it, we will never, ever take the time to travel and see them in person. We never owned a Tomagachi Digital Pet. We were too busy feeding our chickens and goats to hit buttons on a keychain.
So isn’t it possible that Cardinals personnel, while trying to learn how to use these new fangled typewriters turned into porn machines, accidentally hacked into the Houston Astros system while attempting to see what this Ask Jeeves question answering contraption was all about? Of course it is man. First time users hack into stuff all the time. Haven’t you seen that Sandra Bullock movie The Net, that irrationally is not about either basketball or fishing? Cause I have…
4: We Were Set Up-If you’ve seen any movie or TV Show ever made, besides Independence Day or Mister Brooks or that episode of Boy Meets World where Shawn Hunter gets wasted, then you know that the guy who anyone with a brain can logically deduce committed a certain crime that is being portrayed on said movie or TV show is not, in fact, the person that actually committed the crime that is being portrayed on said movie or TV show. Did Harrison Ford actually kill his wife in the Fugitive? No. That dude with the fake arm did. Why? Who knows? Maybe he is mad that his arm isn’t real. Whatever the reason the point remains the same: sometimes people are set the fuck up. Sometimes people are framed.
Who would want to frame the Cardinals? Well anyone who has read one thing I wrote one time knows that I have beef with a certain Deadspin writer named Drew Magary, partially because he gets paid 10000000% more to write than I do, partially because no one has ever printed out his blog post on getting hypnotized and used it to punish their butt that one time that they ran out of toilet paper, partially because a woman has presumably looked at his belly button without weeping, partially because the man not only wrote his own profile of Chris Pratt for GQ but was mentioned as a great writer in another profile of Chris Pratt that was published in American Airlines Magazine and read by all 9 people who have ever flown from Scranton, PA to Toledo, OH for the craziest bachelor party that the world has ever known.
Mostly because Drew Magary hates St. Louis. Oh man, he hates us so bad. He hates us more than he hates terrorism. He hates us more than he hates that naked old man who is always sticking his junk directly in his face as he pontificates about how health insurance is making America soft in the locker room of his local Squash club. He hates us more than he hates someone he has never met writing about all the stuff he hates with no knowledge for his likes or dislikes whatsoever. Drew Magary hates St. Louis more than he hates anything, AIDS included. Drew Magary would be cool if Tom Hanks character had died, as long as the movie title had been changed to “St. Louis” from “Philadelphia.”
So who’s to say that Drew Magary is not really the person who hacked into the Astros’s computer system while disguising the IP address on his computer to make it look like the hack was coming from the Cardinals while doing weird stuff out of some strange mix of arousal, rage and aggression to a Fredbird blow up doll? Not me. Not I. Whichever one makes more grammatical sense. The point is this guy could be setting the Cardinals up. In fact he probably is. I can’t prove it, but I can’t disprove it either. So my argument will definitely stand up in a court of law.
5: For Charity-It’s no secret that the Cardinals, through their Cardinals Care charity initiative that built that youth baseball field in that park next to my apartment that is used primarily by homeless men who sleep in the covered dugout, do, in fact, Care about other people and their community more than any other franchise in professional sports. It’s also no secret that the Cardinals produce one of the highest levels of revenue in the MLB. Way way more revenue than the Houston Astros--who haven’t even been on TV in like 14 years—produce, that’s for sure.
What does all of this have to do with the hacking scandal? Everything. The Cardinals were, more than likely, simply getting into the Astros system so they could deposit some money into the Astros charity account in order to help homeless men in Houston sleep in covered dugouts of youth baseball fields while allowing the Astros to take credit for building youth baseball fields so that the franchise would not appear to be financially strapped cheap stakes who care only about themselves and using their money to do things like get rid of awesome hills that run up against their centerfield wall. See, the Cardinals only break the law to help other people. Homeless people to be exact.
6: Because We Are the Good Guys-Here’s the thing about being a “Good Guy,” no one gets to question your tactics because they know, when it comes down to it, what you are doing is always right. Did people give Batman shit when he was all over Maggie Gyllenhaal? No. Because he’s Batman.
Well the Cardinals are, in their own way, Batman too. You don’t have to agree with their methods because their methods are, undoubtedly, way above your head. Just know we are doing things the right way, the Cardinal way, the only way that they could have ever gotten done in the first place.
That’s the kind of trust that Good Guys deserve. Superheroes get it. And maybe, just maybe, there is a baseball franchise out there that should get it too.
#HateUsCuzTheyAin’tUs #WinnersWIn #GoodArgumentsNeverMakeActualSense
Thanks for reading jabronis. Catch ya on the flippity flip.