When it was all over and the only thing left to complete the worst game of his professional life was the grim postmortem, Adam Wainwright took it like a man.

We offered up excuses. We provided alibis. He accepted none of them.

We wondered if it was the weather.

Nope.

We suggested it was an awkward part of the rehabilitation process.

Nope.

We wondered whether the two-hour rain delay, or a weary dead arm, or the pomp and circumstance of another tradition-rich Busch Stadium opening day had thrown him off his game. And you know what Wainwright kept coming back to as the answer for why he had served up seven hits, eight earned runs, two walks and two home runs in three of the ugliest innings of his splendid career?

He gave us cold, unadulterated honesty.

"You can go back and watch the film," the Cardinals ace said after being saddled with the loss in this rocky 9-5 Cubs victory. "Today was just the perfect storm of horribleness."

So there you have it. Uncut and without the faintest hint of protective self interest that some very talented but dreadfully insecure professional athletes often cling to in similar circumstances.

Wainwright didn't go ducking into the training room or make a hasty exit to the parking lot before the media hordes descended into the clubhouse. On the worst well-documented day of his major league starting career, Wainwright stood up and acted like a true pro.

In this new American culture where everything is meaner and nastier than ever, and the Internet's anonymity provides ample opportunity for snarky cheap shots from a safe distance, a lot of folks now think it's no big deal when athletes snarl back at the notepads and minicams that are shoved in their faces after games. Venom recognizes venom. Hostility and distrust beget more incivility, like episodic reality TV.