In St. Louis some fans worry; others say bring it on
St. Louis -- Some Cardinal fans worry about a better-than-usual Cubs team coming to the home of the Gateway Arch to begin a historic playoff series between archrivals.
But Mark Burton, on a break from a construction job blocks from Busch Stadium hours after the Cubs won Wednesday night, sees no reason to be alarmed.
After all, look at the history.
"It's the Cubs," he said.
Cardinal baseball fans expect "pandemonium" here as the longtime rivals get ready for their first post-season matchup.
Water in downtown fountains has been dyed red ahead of Friday's game here, and a local radio host urged his listeners Thursday morning to research Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester's World Series scandal in 2013, when the then-Red Sox player was accused of having a foreign substance in his glove during a game against the Cardinals.
"Check his glove for goo," 550 AM host McGraw Milhaven said of Lester, who denied using anything but rosin.
In downtown St. Louis, software tester Darian Cummings of Belleville, Ill., says he's a Cubs fan living among Cardinals die-hards. He's from southern Illinois but went to college at Aurora University.
"It's personal whenever it's a border war between Illinois and Missouri," Cummings said.
"It's been like Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer, you know? Jack Buck and Harry Caray. Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx. The Bears and the Rams. The Blues and the Blackhawks," he said.
"It's a spiritual thing to watch this," he said.
Burton discounted the Cubs' chances, but his co-worker thinks the series will be a battle.
"It's going to be a tough one," Brad Jenkins said. "(Cubs President Theo) Epstein has done his job."
The relatively calm Thursday in downtown St. Louis will liven up soon as Cubs fans arrive and game time approaches.
That could mean big business for Carlos Pereira, selling flame-grilled hot dogs and sausages from a small metal stand on a corner a few blocks from Busch Stadium.
"When the Cubs come to town, the business picks up," Pereira said.
His special recipe includes something that's simmering in a pot, the contents of which he won't disclose. Pereira didn't have a strong opinion about Cubs fans' team, but the baseball rivalry has extended to his trade.
"They want Chicago-style, and I say 'no,'" he said of Cubs fans' hot dog requests. "I do it better."
One of his St. Louis customers Thursday was quick to tout Cardinals fans' self-described reputation as the best fans in baseball.
"You have never heard us boo. We are the calm, collected, but loyal fans," Matt Koylu said. As for Cubs fans?
"They are a little bit rough," he said.
Make no mistake, though, Burton said. Cardinals fans are looking forward to a historic matchup with the Cubs.
"It's going to be mayhem," Burton said.
Because of the Cubs fans? No, Jenkins said.
"We've got enough problems of our own," he said.
Cardinals fans on the CubsWhat do people in St. Louis have to say about facing the archrival Cubs in the National League Division Series?
Cardinals fan Mark Burton on why his team doesn't have to worry:
"It's the Cubs."
Cardinals fan Brad Jenkins on why his team does have to worry:
"It's going to be a tough one. (Cubs President Theo) Epstein has done his job."
Hot dog vendor Carlos Pereira:
Cubs fans "want Chicago-style, and I say 'no.' I do it better."
Cubs fan Darian Cummings, who lives in Cardinals territory:
"It's personal whenever it's a border war between Illinois and Missouri. It's been like Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer, you know? Jack Buck and Harry Caray. Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx. The Bears and the Rams. The Blues and the Blackhawks."
Matt Koylu on fellow Cardinals fans:
"You have never heard us boo. We are the calm, collected, but loyal fans."