During the World’s Fair of 1893, Algeria wanted to make a good impression, so they sent their delegation to Chicago a few weeks early in order to make sure that they were set up and ready to go ahead of time.
They had the days and the months right, but turns out they were an entire year early.
The Cardinals entered Sunday with 1st place in the NL Central captured (on tiebreakers). They’d battled back from a 6-0 deficit on Friday night for a dramatic win. Adam Wainwright got some actual run support on Saturday and shut the door on any reciprocal comeback shenanigans from the Brewers.
They had drawn even with Milwaukee for 1st a mere 2 weeks after worries of sliding into 4th were more pressing.
Sunday, though, the Redbirds were no-shows. They fell behind in the 1st and ended up getting spanked 11-2 to close out the unofficial 1st half of 2014 – their 2nd 8+ run loss in the past 4 games.
The Algerians set up shop on the fair grounds on the south side of the city. American’s built them temporary housing units and many contributed to the various work needed to be completed before the dedication the following year.
It was embarrassing, yes. But at the same time, they learned much and ended up having one of the more successful exhibits of the entire fair.
Ever heard of belly-dancing? America hadn’t, in large, before the World’s Fair of 1893. With a year to prepare, the Algerians didn’t disappoint…
The expectations for the Cardinals in 2014 were massive. The defending NL Champs not only had gotten all the Baby Birds post-season experience, but had seemingly upgraded the 2 most glaring weaknesses of 2013 – shortstop and center field.
Injuries, poor hitting and a general malaise have tempered talk of ‘best Cards team ever’. They reminded us quite clearly why once again on Sunday.
But in the grand scheme of things, they’re in a good division and could re-assume 1st place as soon as Friday if everything broke correctly. Work is to be done, yes. Is it insurmountable? No.
Time will tell if the Cardinals learned anything from this uneven first half.