Spring Training is like Jesse James at this point: nobody wants it around.
A mere two weeks from Opening Day and I think we’ve all seen enough fake baseball for the year. We don’t want to watch fake baseball; the players don’t want to play fake baseball; and the announcers don’t want to announce fake baseball. It’s the dog days of spring training.
But now that we’re officially into spring we can look forward to real baseball in a matter of days. Bad for veteran pitcher X’s golf game, but good for the rest of us.
Opening Day in St. Louis is kind of like senior skip day in high school except for when we get wasted in the streets for baseball, cops laugh and pat you on the back. Everyone is already planting the seeds of a "minor cold" or "family emergency: with their boss.
Boss: “Aaron, you don’t look so good today, what’s up?”
ATH: “Well, sir, Granny just hasn’t being doing so well lately. I’m worried she doesn’t have much time left.”
Boss: “Didn’t she die last year around this time?”
ATH: “Ummm, well that was on my mother’s side?”
Really, though, if you’re lucky enough to go to the game, then you’re going to figure out a way to go. And living in St. Louis, nobody—not even the bossman—will care too much that you played hooky for a little small ball.
In honor of Opening Day, let’s take a look at the top seven traditions of Opening Day in St. Louis.
In what has to be the longest running pre-game endorsement in the history of marketing, the St. Louis Cardinals shamelessly plug either the Mustang or F-150 line of cars for Ford and have the players come out loving life, because they’re in a Ford!
In 2009, Mike Shannon accidentally bellowed “Heh, heh, heh. Take a look at those bea-utiful Chevrolets. What a truck!”
Ford’s people quickly were in his ear and he apologized over the PA system to the crowd, which, of course, Chevy took umbrage with.
The moral of the story? Buy German.
You’re not drinking, huh? Been on the wagon for a while, eh?
DO. NOT. COME.
I’m pretty sure this is the one day of year when the people whose BAC is over 0.15 outnumbers the people who’s BAC is below 0.15.
With the world’s largest brewery a mere 12 blocks from the stadium, it’s kind of hard not to partake in some adult beverages while you take in America’s pastime renewed.
After all, what’s more American than getting a public urination ticket when you’re 45?
Now that you’re good and liquored up, you need something to make you feel better about spending a dreary April Monday hammered after telling your boss your grandma just died.
How about t-shirts making fun of the Cubs?
Over the years, the set-ups for these tee vendors have become more elaborate and, dare we say, more offensive (Zambrano mows my lawn, anyone?)
But still, 100 plus years of futility and losing just makes for a good time no matter which way you slice it.
Man, do the Cubs suck.
The strip clubs on the east side of St. Louis come out en masse only a few times per year, but opening day is like their Super Bowl.
Free admissions GALORE!
A well-connected friend on the inside said that opening day was one of the busiest of the entire year for adult entertainment in the area.
The second biggest? Mother’s Day.
Yes. We have problems in St. Louis. We know this already.
The sub-Nordic weather in the Midwest during early April doesn’t lend itself very favorably to outdoor daydrinking. But if you think that is going to stop every bar from breaking the fire code 15 times over to make some cash, you’re insane.
Look. We love crowds. This pic was actually taken BEFORE it got busy.
Chances are you’re going to get mugged later, so do yourself a favor and blow all your money on strippers and booze before those dirty thieves make out with your unused cash.
Ooooo. Look! Horseys!
The absolute BEST part of Opening Day is the Clydesdales. So big. So powerful. So able to carry a shit ton of beer in one cart!
Every single year the famous Budweiser icons get trotted out so St. Louisians can rhythmically clap to a song that was made to shill beer.
Meanwhile, everyone in the stadium looks at one another and coos that baseball is back and how they are so much happier for it.
Pathetic. But endearing.
You got arrested. Or at least detained in the makeshift drunk tank set up tantalizingly close to Busch Stadium. Hey man, you had the real deal experience then. Nothing to be ashamed of.
At least until you have to see Grandma next Thanksgiving.