Uppity Cardinals avoid playing All-Star politics with Brew Crew
JUN 18, 2014 10:08p ET
With all the success St. Louis has had on the diamond in recent years, baseball fans have heard a lot about "The Cardinal Way."
The phrase came up plenty during last year's postseason, when the Cards were pitted against the wild and crazy show-offs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the National League Championship Series. And the Cards, of course, were the morally straight, buttoned-down, all-business Midwestern good guys.
Sure, it made for a good narrative. While St. Louis came out on top, four games to two, to advance to the World Series, the focus on "The Cardinal Way" — along with their base being dubbed the Best Fans in Baseball — annoyed plenty of fans, including even some in St. Louis.
This week the Cardinals had a perfect chance to shed that uptight image when their NL Central rival Milwaukee Brewers released an All-Star Game parody "attack ad," campaigning for fans to vote for Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy over the current NL vote leader, Yadier Molina of St. Louis.
"Do you want another St. Louis Cardinal to star in an All-Star Game? Isn't there a better way?" the video says, before going on to claim that Lucroy is the top catcher in the National League.
"Most importantly," the video continues, "he is not a St. Louis Cardinal."
Funny stuff. Check out the video here:
FOX Sports Wisconsin produced the video — obviously geared toward its fanbase — and FOX Sports Midwest offered to produce a rebuttal, which could have been a chance for the Cardinals to show that they, too, know how to have a good time.
But, of course, the club told the network the project was a no-go.
And Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, of course, was not at all amused by the video, and shot down any idea of the team producing its own "campaign video" in response.
"Not something I'm interested in. It's an easy no," Matheny said Wednesday.
Matheny added on the video: "It's just amazing that it was that much directed at our organization. I think that part probably caught me off guard the most."
The Cards skipper even acknowledged that "The Cardinal Way" has irked fans outside of St. Louis, especially those of the team's divisional rivals.
"We've gone through this the last few years, especially last year with the 'Cardinal Way' stuff getting blown way out of proportion. I think it can put a bad taste in a lot of peoples' mouth. But in defense of the recognition that our guys have had — whether it's having a number of guys on the All-Star team — that stuff isn't just handed out. These guys have worked hard for that. They have deserved it, and they have earned it, and I don't think that's anything for us to apologize for."
Apparently Matheny and the Cardinals brass failed to see an opportunity that dueling parody All-Star campaign ads between the Brewers and Cards could have helped the team discard its image as the altar boys of MLB.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee still knows how to have fun. Here's their latest All-Star campaign ad promoting outfielder Carlos Gomez: