One of the genuine pleasures, for us, of being a sports fan, is the yearly wrapup of the baseball postseason by the great Roger Angell in The New Yorker. It's sober, smart, funny and is a yearly reminder that baseball makes the world a better place.
We won't lie: When our Cardinals won the World Series this year — we might have mentioned that this happened — one of our thoughts during the 72 hours of mania that followed was, "Hey, Angell's piece is gonna be about US this year!"
The piece isn't online, but here's an excerpt, about Tony LaRussa's decision not to protest the pine tar on Kenny Rogers' hand:
We have followed this non-event from a distance only to make the point once again that it's never possible to say for sure whether any move by a manager, however bold or trifling, has led to a certain result on the field — a batter retired, a rally put down, a series won or lost. The mystery remains, but, for me, LaRussa, in scorning a tainted gift and instinctively blowing away the innuendo and sports-smirk that surrounds such stuff, told his troops that winning in the end was going to be hard, not easy, and that they were good enough not to need a shortcut to get there.
There's about 6,000 words of this stuff, and it's as awesome as ever. And we are officially adopted the word "sports-smirk."