Cheap Seats

What a difference one game makes

One of the great beauties of spring training is that the games don't count.

The last time I sat at Busch Stadium watching a ball game, it was with an unsettled stomach. It was all or nothing. The stakes couldn't get any higher for a baseball game... I didn't feel like I could breathe until I watched Allen Craig thrust his arms skyward in triumph after catching the Rangers' 27th out in the seventh game of the World Series.

On Monday when the 27th out came for the last team to bat, it was the Cardinals who were on the short end of the stick, 4-3. St. Louis fans still left the ballpark smiling.

Spring training baseball is the game being played for the beauty of the game. There are no bragging rights and no disappointments. It's wonderful, after a long midwestern winter to sit in the stands at Roger Dean Stadium and feel the sun on your face. Sometimes I don't even watch the game. I pull my cap down over my eyes, lounge in my seat and just soak in the sounds of the ballpark from the crack of the bat to the cheers of the crowd to the call of the hot dog vendor.

Somewhere there is a naysaying Cubs fan who says something like "See I told you the Cardinals aren't that great. They've only won four of their last eight games." And no one even cares.