Saturday, October 28, 2006

St. Louis Cardinals Sit Atop the Baseball World [J. Mark English]

From Redbirds Fun:

THAT'S A WINNER!! A WORLD SERIES WINNER!!! St. Louis has just knocked off the Detroit Tigers to take home the 2006 World Series Championship.

Unfortunately for us, it came at the expense of the lack of defense from Tiger pitchers.

The Cardinals got lucky with some botched key plays by the Tigers. In the second inning, David Eckstein drove in Yadier Molina on a bad throw from Brandon Inge to first.

The Cardinals led 1-0 before Chris Duncan made an error on a routine flyball which led to a Sean Casey HR and the Tigers took the lead, 2-1.

In the fourth inning, Verlander botched a play and Molina scored again when Weaver reached on a fielder's choice. Eckstein grounded out and So Taguchi scored. The Cardinals took the lead again, 3-2.

Duncan was removed in the seventh as a result of a bad play in the sixth.

In the seventh inning with two on, Pujols flied out. Edmonds, in what could have been his final at bat as a Cardinal, flied out. Rolen hit a two-out hit to shallow right field and Eckstein comes home easily. That hit may have given Rolen the rights to series MVP as he is batting .421 during the series.

The Tigers handed it to the Cardinals by way of errors, eight alone in the series so far after the two tonight. For the first time since 1979, pitchers had made at least one error a game.

In January, if I was asked, I never would have though the crowd would be chanting: "WEAVER! WEAVER! WEAVER!" He's an unlikely postseason hero. Here it is, in Game 5 of the World Series, Weaver is the starter and going deep into the 8th inning, striking out 9 batters. Jered Weaver was on hand, in Cardinals gear, rooting for his older brother. I tip my cap and salute Jeff Weaver on his amazing performance in the month of October!

Adam Wainwright gets the save and Brandon Inge is the final out.

For 1985. 1987. 1996. 2000. 2001. 2002. 2004. 2005. More importantly, for Jack Buck and Darryl Kile, who we lost en route to clinching the division in 2002.

Some highlights from Edmonds: "I think we shocked the world." On La Russa's management: "With these idiots we've got."

The World Series MVP is David Eckstein!

Well Cardinal fans, you have every reason to smile. Congrats.

Talk about an unlikely team. Jeff Weaver was a Yankee discard just two years ago. Now he has just pitched the game of his life on the way to winning a world championship.

Scott Rolen who was hated and despised by the Phillies, now gets the last laugh.

Tony La Russa, brought in to replace Joe Torre in 1996, has finally given the Cardinals what Torre did four times for the Yankees.

But the real winner here is baseball. The age of free agency, and increased spending has helped baseball become much more competitive.

Think about this. The Yankees despite their payroll have not won a World Series since 2000. Since then, not one team has won a World Series back to back. In 2001 it was the Arizona Cardinals, 2002 the Anaheim Angels, 2003 the Florida Marlins, 2004 the Boston Red Sox, 2005 the Chicago White Sox, and now in 2006 the St. Louis Cardinals.

These are teams from places all over the country. This is keeping baseball alive and well, and breathing new life into the idea that baseball is truly the national past time.

Finally, this must be so sweet for the Cardinal fans that had to watch the Red Sox celebrate on their own field just two years ago. After the game St. Louis had one hell of a firework display. Very impressive. Can't wait for the Mets to have a chance to do the same thing next year.

Onwards to Hot Stove now. We'll miss you baseball. Baseball is a game the starts in the spring, when there is new hope of life. It dies in the fall when all the trees are in decay and we descend into winter. Baseball can revive your heart, but also break it, but oh how I love it. So long baseball, see you in the spring.