There’s nothing I particularly like about the Texas Rangers.  But I’m going to root for them in the World Series out of principle, because for the second time in 5 years, the Cardinals have no business being there.  I’ve said repeatedly in this blog that the baseball playoffs are totally random, and that the best teams rarely win.  Nothing proves my point more than the random post season success of the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2006 the National League Central was terrible.  The Cardinals managed to win the division with a record of 83-78.  By comparison the Red Sox finished 3rd in the AL East that year, 11 games behind the Yankees.  Boston had a record of 86-76.  Out of 30 total MLB teams, TWELVE of them had better records than the Cardinals.  But when the playoffs started they got hot, and St. Louis won the 2006 World Series.

And now 5 years later they’re back, and still not very good.  At 90-72 the Cardinals had the worst regular season record of the 8 playoff teams.  With just over a month to go they were 68-63, and trailed the Braves by 10.5 games in the Wild Card race.  It took an epic choke by Atlanta just for St. Louis to get in to the playoffs.  And somehow they’ve made it back to the World Series.  For the integrity of the game, I hope they don’t win it again.

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  • Ben

    There is really no credibility to this at all. I’m saying this as a huge Cardinals fan, but that is completely besides the point. Based on your “logic”, The Packers and Mavericks winning the latest NFL and NBA titles was a disgrace to the game, since the Packers had just the 6th best record of all the playoff teams, while the Mavs were tied for 4th among NBA playoff teams. So to say that baseball playoffs are totally random, well isn’t that the whole point? Otherwise they wouldn’t have playoffs at all. And before you question the baseball playoffs, take a look at the other sports right under your nose.

  • Brad

    It’s fascinating that so many people can give up on analyzing the game based on very basic statistical overviews (e.g. regular season records). It’s also a gross over-generalization to simply plaster a streak of great achievement as “hot”. But it’s not only an over-generalization. It doesn’t mean anything. It has no concrete reference. The Cards simply didn’t “get hot”, whatever that might mean. They are a time-proven success as a club, especially with La Russa. Carpenter, Garcia, Pujols, Berkman, Molina, and Holliday are not “flukes” (another term flipped around when you’re too incompetent and lazy to attempt to understand how something happens). And all the independent #’s set aside, the Cardinals outplayed the Phillies in the regular season AND the postseason (12 & 5 overall). They were tied with the Brewers in the regular season (9-9) and outplayed them in the postseason. It was no surprise to me that they are here, although not without a fight. It’s been a grind in September and October for the Redbirds, but that’s what this manager and this team know to do when it matters most. Don’t be surprised to see this club do something like this again in the next couple of years. And if it’s a “fluke”, it’s a shockingly recurring one.

  • D.L.

    Gigantic fluke! The Cardinals are only in the playoffs because of the total collapse of the Atlanta Braves. If the Braves win One More Game in their collossal fall , they still beat out the Cardinals. They are not that good. These players are average at best except for Pujols. The best teams rarely do win anymore. I liked it better and it was more pure when there were only four divisions in baseball and the two best teams in each league played to go to the World Series. It could have been the Rays and Cardinals. What a joke. Heck, let’s let 16 teams in the playoffs and play til January like the nonsense playoff system in basketball where losing teams make their feeble effort for glory every year.