I'm not terribly old-fashioned. At least I don't think of myself that way, but I doubt very strongly I'd argue if someone chose to describe me, at least on a few subjects, as a fuddy-duddy.
And a die-hard Cardinals fan.
Evidence of the latter was plain on Saturday when my two boys and I seized an opportunity to be at Busch Stadium to watch the Cardinals take on the Washington Nationals in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. Assuming we made it there, it was our first post-season experience in any professional sport, unless you count the rally towel kind-hearted fellow Redbird fans brought me from a fall game in 2011. That's when the Cardinals became world champions for the 11th time by beating the American League's Texas Rangers in seven games.
Earlier last week, Cardinals manager Mike Schildt unintentionally made news with his post-game motivational speech after the Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves to get into the championship series. He didn't know a rookie player was live-streaming his clubhouse talk. What fans and detractors saw was an expletive-laced rally cry to his team that ran counter to the calm-cool-collected image Schildt has shown publicly since he was named manager last year.
I was disappointed. Blame my fuddy-duddy-ness.
What could have been an inspirational moment worthy of sharing became, instead, evidence against the touted Cardinal Way of doing things. Oh, I get it. These are adult men in a testosterone-fueled profession. And haters will be haters. But I hate when my team gives them ammunition by which they can justify their criticisms.
Some blamed the rookie who live-streamed the moment. It was a dumb thing to do. But that's the thing about reputation and integrity. It's at least as much about what you do when the cameras are off as what you do when you know they're on.
Other fans said they appreciated the speech and the language is something that goes on every day in locker rooms. Some of them suggested the speech should have stayed in the locker room, but didn't condemn its wording. Many appreciated Schildt's passion. So do I.
It's the MLB, not the Little League, several suggested.
It's all fair comment.
Maybe my response is inspired by the fact I've gotten hooked lately on the British show, "Downton Abbey," in which we get a glimpse into the fictionalized lives of British nobility in the early 20th century and all its high-visibility propriety. Of course, now that I'm thinking about it, it could be telling that the show's occasional glance toward the less-sophisticated people of those times often focuses on an American.
Acknowledgment of my interest in that show might be the most damaging evidence of my lack of proper perspective on locker room pep talks.
Schildt didn't suddenly become a bad person with this episode.
But I keep thinking of the word "unbecoming," which has probably gone out of fashion. It was at play Friday in the Arkansas General Assembly as its members considered whether Rep. Mickey Gates deserved to be expelled in the wake of pleading no contest to allegations of not paying state taxes. House Speaker Matthew Shepherd filed a resolution asserting the plea to a "public trust crime" was unbecoming a member of the House.
Members voted him out of the office 88-4.
In public, Schildt's rant became conduct unbecoming, at least in my book. One always hopes a hidden video camera would capture us doing good.
OK, so the Cardinals are not the Perfectos, which was the team name in 1899 before they became the Cardinals in 1900.
I still think Schildt should be National League manager of the year. But give my son's team a pep talk? Maybe, but only after I told him he was being recorded.
Commentary on 10/13/2019
Print Headline: "F" stands for fuddy- duddy