|World Series MVP David Freese|
While the Cardinals were still battling the Brewers, a good friend and far more knowledgeable sports commentator suggested that the Rangers were the team to beat, as they'd rolled over their first-round opponents, Cardinalian Tampa Bay Rays, also last-day-of-the season entry after the media favorite Boston Red Sox suffered their own disintegration, and then the very talented Detroit Tigers team, which had gone 95-67 and featured the likely American League Cy Young Award winner, Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40 ERA). Texas walloped Tampa Bay 3-1, following this with a 4-2 victory over the Tigers. I suggested to my friend that no one should count either the Cardinals or the Brewers, had they made it to the Series, out; not only did the National League teams have home-field advantage because their all stars won the All Star Game (a great shift that gives that contest a new layer of seriousness), but each team had a true ace (for the Cardinals the aging but still sharp Chris Carpenter, whose shutout on the regular season's final day sealed their victory), but also several weapons, including the Cardinals' certain Hall of Famer, Albert Pujols, and for a the Brewers, a rising star, the keg-barrel of a slugger, Prince Fielder.
|Future Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa|
|Freese after his Game 6-winning home run|
|At Busch III Stadium|
|Future Hall of Famer (& ex-Cardinal?) Albert Pujols|
Texas will return next year with almost the entire core of its team intact, including its masterful manager Ron Washington. Last year the Rangers went to Series and lost to the San Francisco Giants, and this year they went down against the Cardinals. Although the Yankees, the Tigers, Tampa Bay, the California Angels, and the Red Sox will all be in the hunt next year, Washington has the personnel to make three times a charm. I don't think he'll be facing the Cardinals next year, or the Brewers if they lose Fielder. Could it be Philadelphia? Pittsburgh? Arizona? The Mets? Come back next spring and we'll resume the conversation!
|The Saint Louis Rally Squirrel!|
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE TEAM THAT SHOWED IT COULD, DESPITE THE ODDS, THE 2011 SAINT LOUIS CARDINALS!!!