Defensive back Andre Jones nearly quit the team last year.
I think most of us would have in his situation. Read his story, told by the PD's Elton Alexander.
If you wondered what I was up to in St. Louis, I wrote about it a little...
ST. LOUIS: Until Friday, I never really knew what I desired as an ultimate end to a sports season.
Born in 1985, my closest brush has been the Buckeyes' 2002 national championship.
My taste came Friday night, during the clinching game 5 of the World Series.
I stood atop a parking deck near Busch Stadium. A gap between metal posts and the center field scoreboard afforded me a pencil eraser-sized window of home plate.
The atmosphere was electrifying. Hundreds of Cardinals fans positioned themselves for a similar view.
Intoxicated by it all, I promised to celebrate this like it was the Indians about to bring home the world championship. Jose Mesa and Tony Fernandez stole our best chance in 1997. I'm still bitter about that.
The whole reason I was in St. Louis was for a journalism convention with a posse of five other Buchtelite employees. While there, I met up with my high school friend Steve Young and his brother Chris, who pitches in the Florida Marlins organization. Because of Chris' ties, he and Steve scored tickets for games 3 through 5.
Steve and Chris grew up in St. Louis. Even during the Indians' successful campaigns of the '90s, the Youngs stayed true. The Cardinals belonged to Steve, Chris and, for the night, me.
So I put a full effort into this, starting chants, high-fiving fellow fans and discussing strategy, like Cardinals manager Tony La Russa's questionable substitution of starting pitcher Jeff Weaver before the ninth inning.
As soon as closer Adam Wainwright finished the game, the streets were clogged with cars, and not one horn was silent. Fans rolled their windows down, screaming chants. One guy sat on his Escalade's window ledge, and somehow still managed to drive it. In his hand was a bottle of champagne, which may or may not have been open.
We hit the streets with a case of beer. (St. Louis abolishes its open-container law on game days.) And when Case One was exhausted, we traded it in for Case Two.
Steve and I weaved through the cars, offering high fives and hugs to anyone in range. I carried the case of beer, but it seemed to become lighter each block. (By the way, if you ever crave attention, carry booze down a crowded street. Everybody - mostly automobile drivers - wanted a piece of the case carrier.)
Unfortunately, the end of the case was not ceremonious. The posse entered Busch Stadium for the post-game festival and to take a look at pro baseball's newest gem. Perhaps unaware of the company that brews Budweiser beer, a Busch Stadium employee heisted our stash while the Buchteliter who temporarily carried it gasped in awe.
Don't let the alcohol misguide you, however. This was sober joy, only punctuated by happy juice.
And some October, it will come to Cleveland. Instead of Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter leaping onto a pile of his teammates, it will be Travis Hafner and C.C. Sabathia.
That day, you will be proud to have stuck with your team through the disappointing years, like 2006.
You can identify me as the guy outside Jacobs Field working on Case Three.