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What they’re saying about the Cardinals winning the World Series

Oct 29, 2011, 8:48 AM EDT

2011 World Series Game 7 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals Getty Images

The Cardinals defeated the Rangers 6-2 last night to win Game 7 of the World Series and their 11th World Championship. Here’s some reaction from around the baseball world:

Albert Pujols: “We had a 5 percent chance (to reach the playoffs) with 35 games left in the season. We knew we had to play great. The first five months of the season were pretty bad. But it doesn’t matter. We’re world champions.”

Bill DeWitt, Jr.: “[Losing Adam Wainwright] was a bad hit in Spring Training, and Tony was great. He said it’s not fair, but we’re not going to give up. This is a good club and we’ve got a shot. We’ll just do everything we can to win with what we’ve got.”

Tony La Russa: “It was overwhelming. We were on the edge game after game after game. You might lose one, but as it got closer, elimination games, the character on this club is off the charts. And we are more talented I think than some people realize, especially as we got healthy. But you play with that urgency, it’s a little scary at times and it takes a lot out of you, but it’s really fun to compete that way.”

Jayson Stark: No team had ever won a World Series after finding itself 10½ games out of a playoff spot on Aug. 25 or later. No team had ever won a World Series after finding itself 8½ games out in September. No team had ever won a World Series after being one strike away from extinction in back-to-back innings of the same World Series game. But this team is special.

Matthew Leach: If there’s one trait that defines La Russa teams, year in and year out, it’s a businesslike approach to the game. Win today’s game, don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. He hammered that home prior to Friday’s game, when he stopped reporters from pursuing a line of questioning regarding that already famous Game 6. If he was going to ask his players to focus only at the game at hand, he was going to do the same. And they certainly did, playing crisply while the Rangers stumbled.

Bernie Miklasz: That’s why, of the Cardinals’ 11 World Series champions, this may be the most unusual. A case can be made that these Cardinals pulled off the greatest comeback in MLB history. There are other legitimate candidates, such as the 1914 Boston Braves, or the 1978 New York Yankees. But no team had ever won it all after being 10½ games out of a playoff spot as late as Aug. 24.

Shane Victorino: Congrats to the Cardinals! Play the best baseball in October! Tip my hat! 11 in 11 whoa ironic!

Ron Washington: “Sometimes when opportunity is in your presence, you certainly can’t let it get away because sometimes it takes a while before it comes back. If there’s one thing that happened in this World Series that I’ll look back on is being so close, just having one pitch to be made and one out to be gotten, and it could have been a different story.”

Mike Adams: “We probably needed an extra day to come back from that game. It was so emotionally draining. I was so tired, and I threw three pitches. There’s a lot more to it than just the physical part of it.”

Adrian Beltre: “We all know we lost the Series yesterday. We shouldn’t have let it slip away. We came back today to try to win it, but the momentum just took them and they won it. It’s not a nice feeling.”

Ken Rosenthal: So, don’t compare the Rangers to the Buffalo Bills, the only NFL team to lose four straight Super Bowls. The Rangers, looking very much like newbies, were outclassed by the Giants in their first Series. But with this one, I keep coming back to the ball Cruz should have caught, and how different it all might have been.

106 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. pitolove124 - Oct 29, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    I may be in the minority saying this: The Cardinals winning the World Series highlights the flaw of the current playoff format. This was a team that looked outright horrible for much of the season and won the WS because they had a good run towards the end of the month. When you think of a Champion you think of a team that “earned” their position. Cardinals were never supposed to be a home team in the WS – they didn’t earn it.

    We need to have a system that rewards consistency and not “good runs”. Phillies had nothing to play for during their last month – so understandably they rested much of their players. It was during that rest St. Louis made their run. As impressive as it was, they highlight the reason why we need to make a Wildcard teams run to the playoffs a little more difficult.

    • buddaley - Oct 29, 2011 at 9:50 AM

      Actually, if the Phillies had rested their players and not worked hard to win as the season wound down, the Cardinals would not have gotten the wild card. It was because the Phillies swept the Braves in the last 3 games and 6 straight in September that St. Louis passed Atlanta to get into the post-season.

      I also disagree with your statement that the Cardinals looked “outright horrible for much of the season”. They had one sub-.500 month and one .500 month. Otherwise, they played well, particularly in April and May and again in August and September. The Cards scored the most runs in the N.L. by quite a margin and their runs allowed was middle of the pack. So it is an overstatement to say they won because of one good run at the end of September. A team cannot win 90 games simply because of “good runs”.

    • bigpurr - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:02 AM

      Sounds like sour grapes, methinks. As @buddaley points out, the Cardinals won 90+ games and were in the running for the NL Central crown for much of the season.

      As to the idea that we need a “system that rewards consistency”, that’s just ignorance, likely willful. Even when there were no playoffs, when the NL and AL champions were decided strictly by regular season record, the days of the pennant races, there were many teams that captured the title with “good runs”. Sometimes a good team hits a streak of bad luck: injuries, slumps, and so on: but they are no less talented for that. Allowing a wild card adds drama and excitement to the sport. Congrats to the Cardinals!

      • pepjrp - Oct 31, 2011 at 11:45 AM

        The Texas Rangers are the first and only World Series team to be denied the major advantage of home field in the Series after being in back to back World Series. No sour grapes, all proven facts. Since the Rangers were denied that benefit that all teams before them were given, then this Series is tainted… that is it will be thought of with an Asterisk by it. It is up there with the Barry Bonds homerun record. The Cardinals lose in Arlington where the games should have been played. The Cardinals cannot beat the Rangers when the situation is reversed as to where it would have been had it not been for the erratic action of the former commissioner. There is a major flaw in the system when a team is in back to back series and yet is denied what they earned. This action would have changed many previous world champions! This series is an overall draw… The Rangers and Cardinals are co-World Champions!
        Congratulations Texas Rangers on your first World Championship!

      • sparky1002 - Nov 1, 2011 at 7:27 PM

        Not according to my scorecard pepjrp. How does one team winning 4 out of 7 WS playoff games equal a draw??? Sounds like more fuzzy math used by those who grasp at any straw to snatch some kind of victory out of the mouth of defeat. Besides..doesn`t the league that wins the AllStar Game determine home field advantage for that leagues team in the World Series?

      • umpscorner - Nov 1, 2011 at 10:43 PM

        pep is a big baby and is crying over this. hey pep haven’t u heard? there’s no criing in baseball.

        oh btw cj wilson cost the Rangers homefiled lmao

    • natstowngreg - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:27 AM

      The “system” gives the best teams over 162 games advantage in the playoffs. If a team can’t use that advantage to win the championship, tough.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:50 AM

        But the All-Star Game gave home field advantage to the Cards.

      • paperlions - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:11 AM

        Home field has NEVER been given to the team with the best record; previously it was alternated between leagues.

        If you want a system that rewards consistency, then don’t have playoffs and just call the team with the best record the champions….because any playoff format will reward the team that played the best over a short stretch.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 29, 2011 at 7:41 PM

        The Phillies, Yankees, and Brewers had home field advantage in the league playoffs and failed. The Rangers did not fail. The Rangers were penalized in the World Series by the ridiculous policy of basing home field advantage on an exhibition game.

        It would be OK with me if World Series home field were decided by regular season record. Even alternating leagues again would be better than basing it on an exhibition game.

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:50 PM

      “Cardinals were never supposed to be a home team in the WS – they didn’t earn it.”

      -Well, I consider it payback for 2004 and 2006, when the Cardinals did not have home field advantage to wild card teams.

      “As impressive as it was, they highlight the reason why we need to make a Wildcard teams run to the playoffs a little more difficult.”

      I’m assuming a similar rant was made during the Red Sox 2004 World Series run as the wildcard? I mean, you’re not a total hypocrite, right?

      • 1historian - Oct 30, 2011 at 6:59 AM

        lighten up


        p.s. – The sox were the home team in the 2004 series.

      • thefalcon123 - Oct 30, 2011 at 6:43 PM

        “p.s. – The sox were the home team in the 2004 series.”

        A’hem: “…when the Cardinals did NOT have home field advantage in 2004…” That is why it’s important to read all of the words before correcting someone’s non-error.

    • Marty - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:05 PM

      It sounds like “pitolove124” would rather have the World Series decided by an analysis of the individual player statistics at the end of the regular season.

      But, there’s a saying “that why you play the game”

      The Cards were without a doubt one of the best teams in baseball through the 162 game season and had every reason to take a shot. I love the wild card!

      You play these playoff series 10 times and who knows if the Cards come shooting out in the end. But who cares? They won the one that matters.

    • Jack Marshall - Oct 29, 2011 at 5:12 PM


    • purnellmeagrejr - Oct 29, 2011 at 9:50 PM

      I predicted BEFORE the game that whoever won Game 7 would be World Champs!

      • 1historian - Oct 30, 2011 at 6:57 AM


        I am IMfriggingpresssed!!!

    • 1historian - Oct 30, 2011 at 6:56 AM

      You are correct to an extent. The ‘flaw’ of the current playoff format is that there IS a playoff format. The more money can be made the more teams will get into the playoffs and what happened this year will happen more often than not.

      How can we make a wildcard team’s run to the playoffs a little more difficult?

      I enjoyed Boston’s collapse, I enjoyed the fillies losing 1-0 at home and being eliminated by the Cardinals, I enjoyed A-Rod’s strikeout to start the yankees’ on their vacation, and by the time the series started either team would have been fine.

  2. hooks024 - Oct 29, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    “I just want to thank tim tebow, who in his almighty wisdom, saw it fit for the cardinals to win.” -some evangelical windbag

  3. halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Congratulations to the Cardinals, but, as a Phillies fan, I don’t need to here Shane Victorino commenting on this. He should still be stewing after being eliminated by the Cards in the NLDS. And that goes for all Phillies players. I don’t want to hear anything out of their mouths until Spring Training.

    I guarantee you won’t hear a peep from Roy Halladay. He’s probably already working out 16 hrs. a day until pitchers and catchers report in Feb.

    • zakharovsa - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:17 AM

      Oh get real, HB. How long do you expect him to be out of sorts. The loss was nearly a month ago. And no, Halladay isn’t working out 16 hours a day, he’s going on a fishing trip with Chris Carpenter (THE ENEMY!!!)

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        I don’t expect him to be out of sorts forever, but I don’t want to hear him open his mouth about this series that the Phillies should have been in but choked. Victorino with a twitter account is like giving a child a pack of matches to play with.

        The only Phillie I want to hear from is Ruben Amaro and the front office on how they plan to make this anemic offense better.

      • zakharovsa - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM

        Like most people who enjoy baseball, he probably enjoyed a very tight, well-played World Series. May I suggest not following Mr. Victorino on Twitter if he upsets you so?

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        I don’t follow him on twitter. I’m just going off what D.J. Short linked above in his summary Victorino saying. The link goes to his twitter page.

        I wouldn’t follow any athlete on twitter. I don’t even think they should have twitter accounts to begin with for many, many reasons.

    • kyleortonsarm - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:21 AM

      I could tell you were a Phillies fan when I noticed you wrote “here” instead of “hear”. The ignorance so pervasive in their fan base is a little depressing.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        Great. Another grammar/spelling cop. It’s a baseball blog. I’m not writing a college thesis, moron.

    • rambodiaz - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:24 AM

      Actually, Halladay’s getting ready to go on a hunting trip to Brazil with Chris Carpenter, according to Chris Rose’s postgame interview. I found that to be an incredibly bizarre thing to mention at that particular time.

      • rambodiaz - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:25 AM

        Whoops, sorry. I was writing my post when zak posted his. Sorry for the duplicate info.

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:52 AM

      HB, another perspective on this from Grantland…
      “Why Can’t Philadelphia Let Shane Victorino Be Happy?”

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:01 AM

        Thanks for the article. I just read it. Yeah, Philly doesn’t need this guy, or any of or athletes, on twitter. It may fly in other cities, but not here.

        We want our players to be as pissed as we are. I don’t need to be hearing from him any “congrats to the Cards” nonsense. If he’s going to tweet, I don’t want to have to hear about it in the papers or baseball blogs.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        I’m going to channel Yankeesfanslen here and just say:

        Leave. Shane. ALONE! 😀

    • phillyphreak - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:26 AM

      Really Biceps? Cmon get over it. You sound like those whiny idiots over at Crossing Broad. I’m sure the loss to the Cardinals hurt Victorino and the Phillies more than it hurt you. You need some perspective on life.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        Get over it? I need some perspective in life? No. I won’t get over it. This was the hardest series loss in Phillies franchise history. The team won 102 games, the most in franchise history, had the greatest starting rotation in the history of the franchise, and choked when it counted. Ask the Phillies offense and Cliff Lee, the biggest culprits.

        Losers like Victorino and Rollins need some perspective in life and stop tweeting nonsense. I’m sick of seeing these tweets being reported in the papers about Rollins crying about the fans and his contract demands and Victorino congratulating the Cards. This enrages about 90% of the fanbase here in Philly.

      • clydeserra - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM

        Cepts: I am guessing you are 8 and don’t remember the 90s. Or the 70s.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:48 AM

        Maybe 90% of the 10% illogical fanbase that call sports talk and cry on message boards.

        Wah wah wah.

        Yea, getting some perceptive would be a good idea. And my guess is that next year you’ll still cheer for those players. That loser Victorino had a pretty good season too…..

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        I go back to late 70’s watching the Phillies, when they were great. I watched shitty Phillies teams most of my life, though, through the 80’s and 90’s. I remember an organization that would never spend to bring in great players.

        This is a totally different organization. They spend. They have a 170 million dollar payroll and are held to a much higher standard. When they lose and have a 170 million dollar payroll, the fan backlash should be much greater. When Cliff Lee blows a 4 run lead in game 2 of the NLDS and is cheered by the Philly fans after being pulled out, one has to scratch their head and wonder what has become of the diehard Phillies fan. He should have been booed unmercifully.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM


        You sound like you got beat up everyday when you went to school as a kid. You’re pathetic. You are no sports fan. You have no passion. You sicken me.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        I wish someone would follow you around and boo you all the time.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM

        HB- you are right. I am no sports fan. I have no passion because I let athletes move on with their lives. Truf.

        In all seriousness, have you ever wondered why no one on this site likes you? You’re a total douche bag. You’re more of a douchebag than those kids who would wear two polo shirts with both collars popped. As a Philly sports fan, I HATE fans like you. The 10% of fans like you give the rest of us real fans (of both the Philly teams and sports in general) a bad name.

        I can’t imagine that you are any different in real life. So like I said, get some perspective.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        I don’t care if no one likes me. It’s a sports blog. I put my opinion out there and have some people that I converse with that share my opinions on baseball. You are not one of them. I don’t sugar coat things. If people like you don’t like it, tough. I ain’t here to make friends.

        My #1 hobby and passion are the Philadelphia Phillies. All other teams are secondary.

      • clydeserra - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:14 PM

        I find it funny for as passionate about the Phillies as you profess to be, you still use a moniker derived from a guy who, would go to the Hall of Fame as a Blue Jay.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:20 PM

        1st off, I find it amusing that you think it’s important to me or any Phillies fan what Roy Halladay goes into the Hall of Fame as. Since he pitched 12 years in a Blue Jays uniform, I suspect this will be the case, unless he wins a championship here and pitches until he is 40 in a Phillies uniform. Either way, it doesn’t matter to me.

        Why I use Halladay’s name as a moniker? Simple. He is the greatest pitcher I have seen in a Phillies uniform not named Steve Carlton and I respect the guy more than any other athlete in sports. He keeps his mouth shut, his work ethic is impeccable, and he’s the type of player anyone could root for.

      • clydeserra - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        Steve Carton says what now?

      • fearlessleader - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:12 PM

        Hey HB—the Cardinals just won the World Series. Any chance we could stop talking about the Phillies for ten minutes?

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:16 PM


        There are 10 other threads on HBT that are dealing with the World Series victory by the Cardinals. Go comment on those threads. This thread is dealing with quotes by people after the game if you look at the summary above. Shane Victorino was quoted above and I commented on it. People then responded to my comment and a conversation started. See how that works, genius.

      • fearlessleader - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:31 PM

        Okay, then. As long as you’re consistent—if you want Victorino to be an ungracious loser, you’d better not slam Chris Carpenter for being the same.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:39 PM


        When did I ever state that Chris Carpenter was an ungracious loser? The only thing negative that I ever said about Carpenter was that I didn’t like some of his antics on the mound (yelling and screaming after recording an out) and calling out a Ranger’s hitter as trying to show him up when he does the same on the mound. I called his comment last week hypocritical.

        Not the same comparison to Shane Victorino. After the Phillies choked, he should keep his mouth shut. That’s my point.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:40 PM

        Every player wants that World Series ring . . . probably even more than you do, Biceps.

        I’m just as much a fan as you are–for even a bit longer–but I’m glad the guys I root for are classy and professional enough to congratulate the winners on their achievement. I don’t care whether they APPEAR pissed or happy, whether they’re playing golf, fishing or working out. I only care what they do on the field next season.

        (That said, I don’t think many professional athletes serve themselves well by tweeting.)

    • readhed - Oct 29, 2011 at 7:32 PM

      Or he’s planning his fishing trip with Chris Carpenter.

      • ditka96 - Oct 29, 2011 at 7:41 PM

        Hmmm….pissed because Victorino sends his congrats to the Cards and Halladay is going fishing with the “Enemy” but you like him? Keep your mouth shut after the Phillies lose? But going on vacation with a Cardinal is ok? MORON! 11 in 11!

  4. natstowngreg - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Unlike fans, players move on. Doesn’t mean they will forget,

  5. natstowngreg - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    Respect and congratulations to the Cardinals, but comparing them to teams more than about 15 years ago doesn’t work. The Cards only had a chance because of the Wild Cards’ existence. They only had to have the 4th-best record in the NL.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:43 AM

      Just wait until Darth Selig adds another wild card team to each league. We may see a .500 or sub .500 team win the World Series in the next 10 years. What will the pundits say then?

    • paperlions - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:15 AM

      True, but they also had to compete against more teams for that playoff spot (16 NL teams compared to only 12 not all that long ago) and they had to win 3 playoff series instead of only 2 or 1. Winning the WS, no matter which team you are, is a LOT harder than it was 50 years ago.

    • clydeserra - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:48 AM

      The playoffs have not, and will never, determine the best baseball team in any given year. They are a fun tournament where some of the best teams compete in elimination games. Nothing more.

      That being said, this Cardinal team was better than the 06 one.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        That’s not saying much. The ’06 Team is a really low low bar! I mean 83 wins? I think only the ’87 Twins were worse in terms of production, they totally defied the Run differential stat.

      • cardsinthelou - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:54 PM

        Sorry, but I disagree. People want to argue that teams who “get hot” or “make a run” are really just capitalizing on good fortune at a time when it benefits them, but the season is long and every team knows the postseason exists. Last time I checked, every team has pitching coaches. If a teams pitching staff runs out of gas during the postseason, that’s a team failure. Last time I checked, every team has hitting coaches. If a team’s sluggers go through a slump during the postseason, that’s a team failure.

        Regular season “better” means little, because it’s not like all teams play each other. If you have a weak National League or weak American League one particular year, it can make a team look unstoppable…but are they really so great, or are they just the beneficiaries of subpar competition in their own division?

        Winning in any sport takes determination and focus, especially when there’s something on the line. The Cards just won a World Series that in August no one would have given them a slim chance to even participate in. The won by actually BEING great when they needed to be great. No World Series winner has ever benefited in the postseason from their regular season record beyond home field advantage. The regular season is over by then, and those wins (regardless of how many or how few) can’t swing the bat or field or produce strikes. Only the team can. Regardless of how they got there (wildcard or division winner), If a team can’t perform when it matters knowing full well in advance that doing so is exactly what it takes to win a championship, then they’re not a “better” team.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:11 PM

        @cards….I understand your point. I think most people, however, feel that there is some truth to getting hot at the end of the year. I think if you went back over the past few years and looked at the WS winners, you wouldn’t be able to make a case for them (or at least many of them) being the best team in baseball. The Cards did a heck of a job and congrats to them for how they played.

        They still needed a Braves collapse to make the playoffs remember (note: this is not taking anything away from the Cards). And the Indians “looked good” for a whole month or so at a start of the season. So once the playoffs start, it’s who plays better during that time. It shouldn’t be taken as ‘deciding the best team in baseball.’

        If I misinterpreted your post apologies.

      • thefalcon123 - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:39 PM

        “I think if you went back over the past few years and looked at the WS winners, you wouldn’t be able to make a case for them (or at least many of them) being the best team in baseball”

        This hasn’t been true at any point of the expanded playoff era. Sometimes, yes, of course the best team in baseball wins it all. A lot of times, they don’t. This year was nothing exceptional in that regard

        WS Winners Ranked 5th or lower in regular season wins since 2000
        2011 STL: 8th
        2010 SFG: 5th
        2008 PHI: 5th
        2006 STL: 13th (!)
        2003 FLA: 7th
        2001 ARI: 6th
        2000 NYY: 9th

        Just since 2000, 7 teams haven’t ranked in the top 5 in the MLB in wins. I would be hardpressed to find anyone who regarded those teams as the best in baseball. It takes nothing at all away from their title. They won it under the rules provided. Good for them, they deserve it! But it kind of chaps my ass when people pick one example, claim it as exceptional and cite that as the reason to do away with the Wild Card or de-legitimize a championship. If you think this system stinks, go tell a Red Sox fan their 2004 title wasn’t earned (they were the wild card after all) and be prepared for the wintery freshness of a fist in the face.

  6. phillyphreak - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    I think most people would agree that the World Series winners are not always the best team in baseball. But that doesn’t mean that we should take anything away from any of them- they had to beat 2-3 other teams to win it. I agree with Paper that it’s harder to win now, so congrats Cards.

  7. Mark - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Cards should send a thank you card to Washington for handing them the game. IBBing Pujols to face Berkman with Feldman pitching with the tying run on was the biggest mistake of game 6. You either flip Berkman around to bat right handed where he’s a lot weaker, or you walk him so you got the right on right match up with Craig.

    Intentionally walking Pujols to let Berkman bat left handed, where he’s nearly as dangerous as Pujols, was the worst possible position they could put themselves in. That’s a bad move at the time, and made worse because Berkman ties the game with a single, leading up to Freese’s HR in the next inning.

    Congrats to the Cards, but Washington once again cost the Rangers a shot at the series with his horrific managing. He may be a nice guy, he may be very motivating, but the Rangers need someone else to make the tactical decisions because when it comes to that Washington has hurt the Rangers time and time again.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:31 PM

      Walking Pujols made sense when (a hurt) Holliday was hitting behind him. Honestly I have no idea why TLR insisted on having Holliday batting clean-up all beat up. It’s on par with Girardi putting a recently injured A-Rod so high in the lineup.

      Washington missed the memo on adapting his tactics when Berkman hit cleanup behind Pujols.

      • nprakash5 - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:40 PM

        I think the defining moment was Nelson Cruz’s botched catch. I don’t think you can blame Ron for that.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:55 PM

        That’s part of it, but you can’t say Ron couldn’t have put his players in a better position to succeed by forcing Berkman to hit on the side he is weakest instead of the stronger one. Not one single element sunk the Rangers. It was an aggregate of small decisions that added up.

        Walking Pujols with Holliday in the on-deck circle paid dividends for them. Once Holliday was out and Berkman was in, Washington at the very least needed to ask himself if that change warranted a response in his own baseball strategy.

      • Marty - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:09 PM

        I haven’t heard much on Cruz’s miss. I didn’t read much sports news yesterday, but I thought it was significant at the time, almost Buckner territory.

      • cur68 - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        Nailed it FC. A lot of things saw the Rangers lose. Management decisions are tiny compared to the ultimate failure of the players to execute. You can legitimately argue that Cruz’s non-catch in game 6 was BIG. It was. That was the series right there. HBP’s are the pitcher’s fault, not management. Errors, too. By far the largest contribution to the Ranger’s loss is lack of execution by players, not the manager. Lumping all this on the manger is just a vendetta against the manager as a person.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        It’s a media thing. Not even Buckner’s play was in Buckner territory. The whole thing was totally smashed completely out of proportion. What about the wild pitch? What about blowing a game 7 3-0 lead? The Cruz play was unfortunate but there were a lot of wrong things and botched plays that lead up to that point that might have preempted that scenario.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        That’s correct Cur. While Washington will get his portion of the blame with some questioning his match-ups, calls for sacrifice bunts early in the game and so on, the players must also execute. It was a total team effort whose total aggregate of individual failures cost them the series. Now, no one single team plays without making mistakes. But at some point the mistakes will snowball you into an unrecoverable situation.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:22 PM

        In the postseason, winning teams find many ways to win, and losing teams find several ways to lose. This was a great matchup–a series for the ages, and one that I enjoyed more than any other that lacked my Phillies. Congratulations to the Cards and their fans.

      • nprakash5 - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

        I realized I created a new comment instead of replying to your comments (it doesn’t give me an option to reply to some of the comments below). Anyways, to me two things stand out. The missed catch by Cruz and not pitching Holland in Game 7 and starting Harrison instead. I know their regular season ERAs favored Harrison, but there is this guy who just gave up 2 hits and another who had a 7.xx ERA. I would think it would be an easy decision on who you need out there for a clincher.

  8. rexadelphia8 - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Cardinals suck. Go phills.

    • davenstl - Oct 29, 2011 at 8:04 PM

      Actually, The Cardinals owned the Phillies this year. No one here was surprised.

  9. nprakash5 - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    FC and cur68: I agree with your comments on the missed matchups. But I can’t seem to get past the fact that 99% of the right fielders out there would have caught that ball. IMO it was a routine fly ball to the right that was not even going out for a home run. Comparison in point, Allen Craig’s catch – how he set himself up and timed the jump perfectly. One thing that I cannot get past is the decision to have Holland come in as a relief pitcher as against pitching Game 7. What is your opinion on what would have happened if he had pitched Game 7 as opposed to Harrison who had a 7.36 ERA from Game 3.

    • paperlions - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      Those balls were nothing alike. Freese hit a hard fliner (fly ball-liner) that wouldn’t have given Cruz time to settle under it even if he went after it more agressively. The ball Craig caught (which was a nice play), was a towering fly that gave Craig all day to get back to the wall and time his jump.

      If Michael Young doesn’t botch two EASY plays at 1B, the Ranger’s still win….if Feliz makes a better pitch, Freese doesn’t hit one off the wall, there were hundreds of “ifs” during that game…there is no justification for focussing on that one when plenty of easier plays were missed by other players throughout the game.

      • nprakash5 - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:24 PM

        I agree to the part that there were plenty of other botched plays, but this one was a potential game/series ending play. It does make it more glaring right? Anyways, what is your take on the starting pitcher selection for the game?

    • cur68 - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM

      Hindsight. That’s the only way you know that Holland should have pitched 7. He was the correct move in 6. The Rangers would have won, they just had to nail it down; Washington went with his best guy in a high leverage situation. Smart move. They had it won but for one pitch, for one catch. I’m glad you qualified “99% of the RF…(catches) that ball” as your opinion. I don’t know that for certain either. I’d say “any other RF without a groin strain catches that ball if it wasn’t such a laser”, maybe? Cruz was trying to turn & run, keep an eye on the ball and feel for the wall. Without the groin strain, yeah, maybe he comes up with it; his odds are certainly higher. If Allen Craig had a strained groin and the ball wasn’t as looped; he misses it maybe? The shot Cruz missed had way less back spin, he had almost no time, certainly not enough to set himself, like Craig did. With a bad groin….not as much of a chance IMO.

      • nprakash5 - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        Hindsight is what you think? I thought the best guy was slated to start game 7 as per some earlier post here on HBT and had some comparison based on their regular season ERA of some 3.4 vs 3.8 or something. I said 99% since even Justin Upton would probably miss it (though I hate to admit it). I agree the groin strain didn’t help matters and of course agree that the two plays (one Craig caught and the one that Cruz missed) are quite different.

      • cur68 - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM

        You’d have needed to know there would be a 7 in 6 to have kept Holland out. With the lead, Wash went for it. He knew he had it won; just hold off the Cards and the Series was the Ranger’s, fo-geddaboutit. High leverage moment in a high leverage game = your best guy. Your absolute stud. No time to get all ‘what iffy’. You go for the win, baby. And that’s what he did.

        In the live chat, when Holland came in, no one, not a soul questioned it (and no, I do not mean McCarver & Buck; I mean us on the chat. You know, people who like baseball and are paying attention to the game). If he’d imploded, well he was still the best, most reliable guy that post season; he was just tired. Still a good move. But he was great, wasn’t he? Pity he was on short rest as it was…

        Once game 7 became a reality, I’m sure Washington thought ‘Holee crap…I need Holland here…’

      • nprakash5 - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:57 PM

        cur68: I understand your comments about going all out to close the series on game 6 itself. But if that was the case, then why not use him for more than just 2 innings. Do you think Harrison would not given the same performance for 2 innings on game 6. I know you will say we are arguing all this as we now know what Harrison did over 14 or so innings and what Holland did in 10 2/3 innings. I didn’t follow the game 6 live chat so was just curious. I did try to follow game 7 live chat but the almost 12 hr time difference didn’t make it easy.

      • cur68 - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:09 PM

        Yeah, maybe there’s that; 2 innings. But maybe that’s all Holland said he had in him? Maybe its just Wash hedging, just a little? Who knows. Using Holland there was the right call. Keeping him for more than 2…I thought, at the time, ‘good idea, save a little in case you need him tomorrow’. Thank dog I am not a major league manager. That’s where the rubber meets the road as a manager. Could have gone either way on that call; I don’t recall any of us questioning taking Holland out after 2 innings, but, lets be honest, I was smashed by then. Toasting Mike Young errors & Mike Young tongue baths by McCarver&Buck & Mrs. Diaz in the McCrib commercials was really piling up on me by then…

      • nprakash5 - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:14 PM

        cur68: I was just getting up to go to work, so no luxury of getting myself smashed then. But seeing them lose game 6 like that it definitely was tempting. I missed Young’s errors, will check them out now. I just thought Washington knew better, especially after seeing him give kind of a pep talk to Holland before his previous game.

      • cur68 - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:26 PM

        nprakash5; Sounds like you’re in either Australia-Asia or deep in the UK. Probably too early in the day to be drinking at any rate, even if you did have the day off. Good luck finding Mike Young errors. The media doesn’t care to mention them for some reason. Drives a lot of us nuts. I don’t know how closely you follow the tongue bathing of Mike Young by the media, but not a word has been said about him clanking balls off his glove in key situations repeatedly in the series. He did it in game 6 and missed a foul ball in 7; both cases the out would have been huge. In both cases he had glove on the ball. I’m not sure what it is about the guy that sees his deficiencies overlooked so easily and I’d forgive the overlooking but when they start on the “Mike Young for MVP/great teammate/all class” crap, well I either want to get mad or get drunk; its the only way to dull the outrage.

      • nprakash5 - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:32 PM

        cur68: I am in India and have to get up at like 5am to follow the games. I missed his errors in game6 but did not miss the dropped foul ball off Pujols in game 7. In fact, that’s probably the only thing I commented about in the live chat. Something like how on earth did he miss the popup. Anyways, some people do get that preferential treatment for no apparent reason. I follow the Dbacks and once they lost in NLDS started supporting the Rangers, only to get disappointed by their loss. LOL @ the only way to dull the outrage.

      • cur68 - Oct 29, 2011 at 6:23 PM

        Wow, 5AM, eh? Well a tip of the Blue Jay’s Cap to you then, for being able to follow the game from so far off and at such an hour. I had no idea anyone in the Asian subcontinent cared about baseball. Ever since cheerleaders turned up in IPL Cricket I’d assumed that was pretty much all the fans wanted to completely cement all interest away from baseball there. Speaking of IPL, are you missing Shane Warne yet? When I lived in Melbourne, Shane (Or “Fat Boy” as we knew him) was one of my favorite players to pay attention to; for the outrage at his behaviour, the way the Oz press loved him and kept trying to make him into what he wasn’t (a decent person), and his skill as a spin bowler. I used to get drunk because him too.

      • nprakash5 - Oct 30, 2011 at 8:10 AM

        cur68: The interest started since I was there to do my Masters in Arizona and the Dbacks happened to win in my 2nd year there. So for a new fan that was more than you could ask for at that moment. lol @ your comment on the cheerleaders and IPL. The first season we had the cheerleaders from Washington Redskins (no less is acceptable), so you can’t blame us if we got settled then :). Ya i hear you about Shane Warne, I for one don’t miss him and his antics. But it sure sounds like you just need an excuse for a drink :). Anyways cheers to that.

  10. diablito0402 - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Geez this article has nothing to do with the phillies, let it go, the name of the game is get in the post season and let the games begin, may the better team win??? And the best team won, no luck involved, period!!!

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:41 PM

      A Phillies player was quoted in D.J.’s summary above. Did you read Victorino’s quote above? If he wasn’t quoted, I would not even be commenting in this thread, to be honest.

  11. pitolove124 - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    I enjoyed the World Series for the most part and was rooting for Texas because I like to see historically bad teams win every now and then even though I’m a Yankees fan. I just feel that St. Louis kind of slipped their way into a Championship because all their opponents played horribly. This year, more than any other year of my watching baseball felt that the regular season really meant nothing.

    Congrats to the Cardinals but I feel they were handed this WS because everyone else kind of dropped the ball. Texas was better and Ron Wash should have taken gimpy out of Right field. That was a catchable ball.

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:44 PM

      “Congrats to the Cardinals but I feel they were handed this WS because everyone else kind of dropped the ball. ”

      Or, to put it another way, “I feel they won this WS because they played better”, cause that’s what it is. For ever bad move a team makes, another team has to capitalize on it and NOT make a bad move themselves. If the Cards had lost, there would have been a million questionable moves about LaRussa. It doesn’t take anything away from Texas. The Cardinals won because they outplayed a 96 win team in a 7 game series. End of story.

  12. mianfr - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Yeah, Rosenthal is right. The Rangers had a not easy, but routine play they should have made to win the Series.

    The Bills, never ever had to go through anything like that. It’d be like missing a field goal to win or something.

  13. wardmanone - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Great series unreal 6th Game Carpenter was huge as was Freese. As for the other comments it cheap it’s typical and it’s getting old. Enough turn the page please

  14. wardmanone - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Pitifulllove you need to get a grip your comments again reek of being yet another bozo who believes that buying a team allows for a championship. Too much ESPN bias not enough understanding of why the best TEAMS win verse the Best Players Go back check out the facts pay attention and you might find you could learn something.

  15. aceshigh11 - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    What an improbable run to a World Series. This is why I love baseball…anything can happen.

    • pepjrp - Oct 31, 2011 at 11:53 AM

      It wasn’t improbable.. it was tainted. The Rangers can’t be beat in Arlington where game 6 and 7 should have been played. The series was given to STL.

  16. xmatt0926x - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Congrats to the Cards. I guess since everyone is throwing their two cents in as to whether the Cards wer a legit championship team, I will give me opinion. The truth is always somewhere in the middle. Too many people wan’t to totally dismiss the Cards as just being “hot” and too many say they were a great team who just got an opportunity to show it at the end. To me I saw both. I saw a team who got real hot at the right time and I do believe in the overused term, momentum. And yes, if Cruz makes a tough but makeable catch or if Michael Young isn’t such a butcher, things would have been different. But defense is part of a teams strengths or weaknesses so you can’t just discount it. As far as the Cards, if Freese and Craig are really the players they appear to be then when you add them to Pujols, Molina, Berkman, etc then you really do have a very good to great offense. Carpenter is a top tier ace, not just a quasi-ace/best starter who just gets called an ace like CJ Wilson. Garcia may not be in Carpenters league but he’s in that second tier. Bottom line is I think the Cards are a pretty legit champion. They aren’t the late 90’s Yankees by any means, but who is? Antone who follows a perennial playoff team knows that you do need to be playing just right at just the right time, you need to avoid those bad injuries like the groins and the hernias that pop up with just the wrong player at just the wrong time. It just takes having some real talent and just the right amount of good bounces and breaks. The Giants got them last year and the Cards got some this year to go along with some top flight talent. Ohh, and getting lucky with a few castoffs here and there also helps. I don’t know if Berkman can repeat this season next year, but for one year he surprised everyone. Again, congrats to the Cards!

  17. xmatt0926x - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    I also wanted to comment on the Rangers. Anyone comparing them to the Bills teams is an idiot. 3 of those 4 Bills teams were totally overmatched. The Rangers were twice a strike away from taking the series in 6. That is not overmatched. I think they could use a top Ace to go along with their ok to good starters. Also, someone in the ear of an overmatched Ron Washington(yes, lets be real) to maybe replace a defensive butcher here and there at the end of a game you are winning would help. The Rangers are a legit contender. The Bills were just pretenders.

  18. pitolove124 - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Ward man – relax. I hate ESPN and this has nothing to do with big market – large market Bozo- face. All I’m saying is that the Cardinals weren’t the best team. It took the Braves to EPICALLY collapse – the Phils to be injured, the Brewers to stop hitting and for the Rangers to have a gimpy right fielder. They need to fix the playoff format and the best team should get home field. Please dont call me out my name – I’m not in front of you to check you… Thank you –

    • flapjack3285 - Oct 29, 2011 at 5:20 PM

      You have some…unique ideas there. I especially like the Phillies injury one. After all their 3rd best hitter missed most of that series. Oh wait, that was the Cardinals. I’ll give you the Brewers one though. Their hitters shouldn’t have allowed over 7 runs per game.

  19. spudchukar - Oct 29, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Okay, for the final time in 2011, there is a difference between the most talented team and the team that plays the best. If the game were decided on paper, then no play-off system of any kind would be necessary. The games are played because the most talented teams do not live up to their billing, and surprise teams sometimes come together and play the best baseball. Make all the excuses you choose to, but there is only team that wins the final game. And that is the team that plays the best baseball. This year that team was the St. Louis Cardinals. Congrats, guys and kudos to the Rangers who provided a worthy competition.

  20. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 29, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    I commented on the Cardinals after they took out the Phillies in game 5 of the NLDS and now that they are World Champions of baseball in 2011 I will give my final comments until pitchers and catchers. Congrats to the Cardinals on winning the 2011 Championship. The won it all and they deserve the title no matter what anyone says. They went through the playoffs as they are currently set up and won the 11 necessary games. They are 2011 Champions.

    That being said, who cares whether they are called “the best team” or not? I happen to think they are not the best team…the Phillies are…but does that get the Phillies anything? Nope. Does that get the fans anything? Nope…just more heartache knowing that our team was far better than the dreck on the field during both the NLCS and the WS.

    See you all in 3 months!!!

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 5:27 PM

      Chris, there will be hot stove to comment on with the Phillies. Don’t go. It means alot to me and the Good Doctor that we discuss the offseason moves that the Phillies need to accomplish.

      Jesus H., I need you. I can’t take up the mantle alone with these lunatics. Stay during the winter.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 29, 2011 at 7:29 PM

        HB. There is no mantle around here. These guys are about as rude and arrogant as can be. Yet the ironic thing is that they will tell other people how rude and arrogant they are. You and I think Shane is out of line, and all we get from the despots around here is rules for how we should act and what we should think about the world. Why would I want to go through a winter with a bunch of people who all think and act exactly the same way about everything? I think how I think and express myself as I wish without mocking any of these guys and trying to tell them how to think or act. And they respond with rudeness and arrogance. If you are still upset about the Phillies losing, they will tell you that you are stupid and you should get over it. Why would I want to hang around someplace where the holier-than-thou attitude is “think like we do or else you are a stupid asshole”?

        Good luck though HB. Have a great holiday.

  21. sasman50 - Oct 31, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Cardinals and their fans need to send Nelson Cruz Christmas Cards… if he [lays back 10-15 feet when Freee is up – he makes an easy catch and Friday night, Fox is showing Idol repeats. Even high school kids know you give up the long single to prevent a double or triple in late innings. Bonehead play. No matter – God is a Cards fan ,,, allows it to rain on Wednesday to allow Carpenter to pitch a game 7. The worst team in the playoff wins – just like the Super Bowl ,, just proves all you got to do is get in the dance and u never know.

  22. pepjrp - Oct 31, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    The Texas Rangers are the first and only World Series team to be denied the major advantage of home field in the Series after being in back to back World Series. No sour grapes, all proven facts. We all know including the players that the Cards cannot beat the Rangers in a game 6 and 7 in Arlington. Since the Rangers were denied that benefit that all teams before them were given, then this Series is tainted… that is it will be thought of with an Asterisk by it. It is up there with the Barry Bonds homerun record. The Cardinals lose in Arlington where the games should have been played. The Cardinals cannot beat the Rangers when the situation is reversed as to where it would have been had it not been for the erratic action of the former commissioner. There is a major flaw in the system when a team is in back to back series and yet is denied what they earned. This action would have changed many previous world champions! This series is an overall draw… The Rangers and Cardinals are co-World Champions!
    Congratulations Texas Rangers on your first World Championship!

    • bluesfan58 - Nov 2, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      Pepjrp — Are you SERIOUS? An asterick? Co-World Champions? Get a life. If it makes you feel better to cry “we was robbed”, then go ahead. What if the Rangers hadn’t come back in Game 2? Then they’d have been down 3-0 after that Game 3 drubbing, so maybe Games 6 and 7 never happen anyhow. You can go back and play “what if” all you want, but you’re going to have to learn to live with what DID happen. Be a big boy about it. Plenty of people (Cardinal fans alike) find the World Series home field award being tied to the All-Star Game to be assinine, but that’s the way it is at this point. But for the record, it was CJ Wilson who LOST the All-Star Game, so blame him for losing Texas’ precious home field advantage and stop whining…

  23. zman801 - Nov 2, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    I don’t know what WS you watched. But the one I saw had the Rangers WITH home field advantage after game 2! Under your theory they should have won it in 5. Oh no they got whacked in game 3 IN TEXAS!


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