Liftoff In Houston

We congratulate the Houston Astros on their first-ever trip to the World Series; we're happy for Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell and all the fans who have suffered through some truly heartbreaking moments. You're going to the Series, and if you ask anyone other than a Cardinals fan, they'll tell you that's a very cool thing. Once again, it's as if some baseball deity is stopping by "cursed" franchises and relieving them, one by one, each year.

And yes, for the second consecutive year, a franchise has ended decades of frustration at Busch Stadium. At least they're gonna tear the place down before the Cubs could do it. About half the Cardinals fans at Busch stayed long after the game was over to watch a video tribute and say goodbye to the old stadium, which is going to be busted up in about a fortnight. The loss was disappointing, obviously, but Cardinals fans just wanted to give Busch a proper burial. Roy Oswalt certainly took care of that.

And us? Well, we watched the game with some friends, and, as much as we tried to pretend otherwise, it was pretty clear pretty early that this wasn't going to be the Cardinals' night. Mulder was sloppy, the hitters were still jumpy and Oswalt was Oswalt, just an absolute terror. But every time we looked at the television, we saw Busch one more time. No matter what was happening, we were looking at Busch Stadium. That was all we had asked for. And that was all we got.

The Dugout
Fans Say Goodbye To Busch [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
Disastros [Slate]