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candid thoughts on the issues of the day.
Are Cards worst World Series team ever?
What a stupid question!
Published on October 20, 2006 By
I just read this article from Dayn Perry of FoxSports.com, analyzing the three worst records of those teams who have gone to the World Series. Every honest sports fan knows the Cardinals had a horrible finish to an otherwise very respectable, injury-plagued season and just barely made the postseason by the hair of Scott Spiezio's chinny-chin-chin. But we made it. We had a better record than the Houston Astros or anyone else in our division, and that is the goal of the regular season. Once the postseason starts, however, the regular season means absolutely nothing.
Let's take this season versus last season for the Cards, where we won 100 games, the best in the majors. Did that help us in getting to the World Series? NO! Could we trade in one of those regular season wins for one more postseason win, in order to get to the World Series (as I bet the Mets wish they could do now)? NO! Or how about the season before, when we won 105 games, also the best in the majors, and one of the best in our club's history. Did it help us win the World Series? NO! Could we trade in a few of those spare regular season wins for a few wins in the World Series? Most certainly not!
There's no doubt that *on paper,* this is not the best team the Cards have fielded in the postseason. But baseball is not played on paper. It's played on dirt and grass and in the three-dimensional space surrounding them. So far the Cards have done as well in the real-baseball-world than any Cards team since 1987, regardless of what great lineups we've had in previous years. And we Cards fans are looking forward to improving on that 1987 team's near success and certainly on improving on our 2004 World Series showing.
Mr. Perry also tries to make the point that the NL Central is a weak division. As far as analyzing the regular season records, maybe as a whole they didn't have as good of an overall record as some other divisions. But again, apply the same logic as above. Regular season records need not apply. Postseason skills preferred. Also, which division has represented the National League in each of the past three World Series (including this year)? That's right, the NL Central.
You see, the only thing that matters is that the Cards made it to the postseason, they beat the Padres in the Division series, they beat the Mets in the NLCS (again, by the hair of our chinny-chin-chins), and they're going to the World Series. Whether or not we're a better or worse team than the '87 Twins or the '73 Mets is irrelevant to anything on the minds of serious sports fans (and I would argue, impossible to determine: You play against teams from YOUR year, not teams from past years). All that matters is whether we play better than the fierce Detroit Tigers in Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4....and should the underdog Cards prove a "better team" than the 2004 Cards...in Games 5, 6, and 7.
The Cards are surely the underdogs in the World Series, just as the NL is nearly every year. But it's baseball. Even the "worst teams" can display extraordinary heart and heroics, rip apart the best pitchers, and shut down the best hitters. It's major league baseball, and anything can happen. I'm looking forward to one of the best World Series ever, and may the "worse team" win!
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