Now that we are potentially one game away from the worst baseball post-season of our lives, time for a brief retrospective.
A couple of days ago, the finest web-based news source, Slate, had an article which linked a piece I had written before the Series entitled The Worst World Series Team? In the Slate article by Larry Borowsky, it quotes me saying “Wow, is the National League pathetic that it could produce this team as its representative.”
Well now that the Cardinals look to be on their way, I guess many see a carton of eggs on my face. Fair enough, but I’m not shocked by the likely result, as I felt from the start that this was a post-season filled with flawed teams .
It wasn’t long ago that the Cardinals were on their way to a historical collaspe. This was a team that had an 8.5 game lead over the Astros on September 19 and by losing 10 of their last 14, nearly blew it. The Cardinals won a total of 83 games, which will give them the “honor” of having the worst record to win a World Series. Only the 1973 Mets have a worse record to play in a World Series and they could at least point to having a starting pitching staff of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Jon Matlack.
The Tigers were the best team in baseball, but the youth of their pitching staff has been exposed, with fielding errors and loss of strike zone control killing them. I will always remember the 2006 playoffs for being the year where the quality of play in October seemed more like early season games played by also-rans. Game 5 had some high suspense that has been missing from most of this year’s playoff series, but much of that suspense was given to the Cardinals on a Motown platter by the Tigers.
A World Series title is never something to apologize for, so St. Louis should feel proud for stepping up to the plate when it mattered most. Having said this they will be a World Champion on the level of the 1978 Washington Bullets or 1981 Oakland Raiders. Decent teams that achieved a crown in a down year.