Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

A break from reality: Why Cardinals fans wish the ride didn’t have to end


St. Louis Cardinals celebrate advancing to the World Series after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 6 of the MLB NLCS baseball playoffs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Sunday. (REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)A personal view from St.Louis Cardinals fan Brett Wolf.

The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series this year. Or, to be more accurate, they won four “World Series” this year, at least that is how it felt to many in Cardinal Nation. Oddly, the final victory – the actual Commissioner’s Trophy winner – was in a sense the least thrilling because it meant the, at times surreal, run was over and it was time to return to the bleak reality we as Americans have become accustomed to.

As exhausted as Cardinal Nation was by the end, our adrenaline spent on improbable hits and strikeouts and our bank accounts drained on tickets and memorabilia, no one wanted this historic run to end — ever. No one wanted to go back to talking only about unemployment, war and other miseries. You see, St. Louis is a microcosm of the United States – we haven’t had much good news lately.

Making it into the playoffs on the final night of the regular season, the Cardinals began the improbable journey that surprised – nay, amazed – even the most loyal of fans. A city that bleeds Cardinal red once again had a chance to enter the post-season fray.

It’s open season on baseball’s free agents


BASEBALL/After a World Series and San Francisco Giants triumph that fittingly capped a Major League Baseball campaign known as the Season of the Pitcher, the sport has barely skipped a beat before quickly beginning its next chapter — open season on free agents. 

License to begin the hunt in a season of big spending has been granted 10 days earlier than in the past due to rules changes intended to make the wheeling-dealing easier.

Ten events that capture the essence of American sport


BASEBALL/Passion for sport is no greater or less in North America than in other countries but there is a difference. The focus here is unashamedly on the domestic, with an ambivalent attitude among many fans about what the rest of the sports world is doing or thinks.

On the same day that Woods held his first media conference before this month’s US Masters at Augusta, an event that was streamed live around the globe, the hottest topic of conversation in North America was who would win that night’s college basketball final between Duke and Butler.

Japan: key to a truly global World Series?


The story goes that shortly after baseball great Babe Ruth had settled into the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo while touring Japan in 1934, there was a knock on the door. He opened it to see a Japanese man in a kimono. ”Sign baseball,” the man said.

As soon as the Babe autographed that baseball, the man pulled another out of his kimono. Then another. And another. And another.

A Reuters Sportswrap of heroic proportions


Sportswrap is back with a bang, as we take in Hideki Matsui’s heroic performance for the New York Yankees, Usain Bolt bottle-feeding a creature that will one day outrun him and Rafa Benitez trying to invoke the spirit of You’ll Never Walk Alone only to come a cropper in the Champions League.

Written by Kevin Fylan, presented by Owen Wyatt from our Canary Wharf studios and with a jaunty hat tip to Half Man Half Biscuit for the Liverpool joke.

A Japanese feel as Yankees win 27th World Series



The New York Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 Wednesday to win the World Series.

The 4-2 series victory gave the Yankees their 27th Fall Classic crown and first since 2000.

World Series has the best two teams and no fat players…



It’s 2 a.m. as I enter the subway car at the nearly empty Yankee Stadium stop at 161st Street when a man who looks like he could be homeless proclaims: “They don’t look fat this year.”

I refuse to make eye contact although he’s sitting directly opposite me. We’re two of five people on the car and the only ones awake.

World Series: Fall classic for the rich?


If the broadcasting Gods had their way, this year’s World Series match up would feature the New York Yankees versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Then again, the Yankees’ last championship in 2000, dubbed “the subway series by New Yorkers, was derided almost everywhere else as a contest between “payroll #1 (the Yankees) and payroll #2” (the Mets). Where did that leave smaller markets?BASEBALL/