Monday, October 30, 2006

World Series Reax:
Was It All a Dream?

A Friday night World Series title means that by Monday, no one gives a shit.

I'm serious. It's been less than 72 hours and does anyone -- outside of Cards fans -- care (or barely remember) the Cards won the World Series?

No, actually. Any lingering interest on Saturday morning was eclipsed on Saturday evening by USC's upset loss, throwing the BCS into turmoil, then Sunday's NFL action, which tends to eclipse everything anyway.

Combine the early-weekend win with the fact that this was the least-watched World Series ever, and the Cards' title will go down as the least memorable in baseball history.*

(* - By the way, that won't be fair at all: As far as superlatives go, to have the worst-ever regular-season record for a champ is tremendous. It could be the closest we ever get to the dream of the champion with the sub-.500 record.)

Usually after major-sport championships, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out how the champ established the new "blueprint" for how a team can win a title.

Not this time: What, exactly, about the Cards' run was a template for future success? "Stave off the all-time worst regular-season collapse!" or "Rely on the vagaries of chance in the postseason!"

The "unnotableness" of this Cards champ actually sort of makes them all the MORE notable. We spend so much time looking for "meaning" in our champions; isn't it refreshing to have a meaningless one?

-- D.S.


Richard said...

The only way that I knew that STL won the series was when I was talking to some drunk girl at a bar and saw the TV over her shoulder.

It didn't take me until Monday to not care anymore.

Jingoist said...

Wait... the Cardinals won the World Series?!!!!


rob (warwick)

Christian Thoma said...

Part of the problem is that baseball takes too long to end. Cut the season to 144 games, start the playoffs in September, and finish early October at the latest. By waiting until the end of October, baseball is perfectly set up to be ignored because all the NFL and CFB storylines are in full force--not to mention the dawn of the NBA.

marcomarco said...

St. Louis named most dangerous U.S. city

iamunstoppable said...

one team LOST this world series, the Cards did not WIN it. thats why nobody gives 2 shits. if detroit would have showed up at ALL, then the games wouldnt have been close.

people dont want to watch pro players play like theyre in little league. suburbanites watch their little prick children play during the week, and they hardly want to see that horrid play on tv, let alone in a championship series.

nobody cares because the Cards got this series handed to them.. the tigers lost, rather than the the Cards won.

as a detroit fan, i apologize to those other teams that mightve actually shown up to the series. maybe then one team wouldve actually had to win the games.

jhawkjjm said...

I still think the MVP award should have gone to the Detriot pitchers.

Christian Thoma said...

Somebody's bitter ... wow, way to stay classy, Detroit.

Brian in Oxford said...

I've been thinking how interesting it would be if established teams that DON'T get to the championship were to stage an alternative-series.

Like, if the Yankees and Mets had started a 7-game series last week, would more people have watched THOSE games? (And no, Fox doesn't get to air instead of the actual WS....another network would have to air it in competetion.)

Other similar ideas....Red Sox/Cubs in 2003, Pats/Colts last year instead of Steelers/Broncos.

I'm sure we can think of others.

Hey, I saw that St. Louis article on being unsafe. Apparently Detroit came in 2nd again.

Jared said...

The Tigers weren't that good. They played over their heads the entire year. They still should have won the WS, but don't kid yourself, this was not a great team.

Unknown said...

lets be honest

the crads stank, detriot stank more, but in general, detriot is solid and the cards still stink

not stink compared to the average team, stink compared to teams that play in october

when the world series mvp is a guy who is 5'7, started out the series 0-11, and had only 11 total bases in a 5 game series, had less than a .400 on-base percentage for the series, and the greatest compliment you can think of when talking about him is "Um... He's annoying to pitch to?", then you're in trouble

baseball is slowly dying and as a baseball fan i blame it on the yankees

TBender said...

Wow...someone needs to breathe.

Point out all you want about how St. Louis was handed the title due to bad defense, but the Cardinal pitching staff held the Tiger bats in check. You cannot blame the gloves on the lack of offense. Not enough credit is being given to the St. Louis pitching staff.

Jo Fer said...

Somebody said earlier, but it's true. Detroit LOST the series. I will not crown StL as the winner of the world series, simply as the survivor after a lot of fortune. Being one of only two good teams in the NL which basically eliminated the need for the NLDS? good fortune. Molina 9th inning homer? good fortune. Detroit playing like a Pony league team? good fortune.

They are definitely worthy of the playoff experience and are in the top 8 teams in the country. (the other 6 being in the AL.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Give me a break - St Louis WON. If the world series was the best regular season team, the team with the best record would win the trophy...the world series is about who can play the best baseball in a seven game series, and St Louis did it. Quit bitching and accept the fact the the Cards WON the world series, therefore they are the champs. No one gave them the trophy, they went out and earned it.

Unknown said...

I'm not sure that they are a top 8 team in the country

this season an NL GM said that the Mets were the only team in the NL that was one of the 10 best teams in baseball

I'm going to assume the other 9 were the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Twins, Tigers, White Sox, Angels, A's, and the Rangers

eventhough the rangers are a stretch, would't you say that 80 wins in the AL is worth 83 wins in Quad-A?

just makes you think..Wow the NL stinks!

Unknown said...


you are emphasizing the point

you said "the world series is about who can play the best baseball in a seven game series, and St Louis did it."

that's the point! they played the BEST baseball but they didn't need to play GOOD baseball to do it

TBender said...

I see lots of bitter AL fans like Dan's blog...

john (east lansing, mi) said...

"I will not crown StL," "One team LOST, the Cards did not WIN" -

Why in the blue fuck do playoffs exist? Why don't we just use the pre-BCS CFB method for every sport so that 'unworthy' teams can never win any championships?
Fact is, there are rules governing how one wins the World Series. Essentially, the rules amount to: "Survive."
St. Louis survived - all hail the champs.

Also, maybe there's something to be said about Detroit's choking and St. Louis's lack thereof; maybe the team that had been to the W.S. this decade (I'm assuming a fair %age of those players are still around 2 years later) was ready to play on that stage, and Detroit's young pitching staff just yipped a bunch because they'd never been. (Although what the fuck excuse Pudge has, who knows.) While it's not raw talent, that's an intangible which can amount to an advantage. There was something about the team that made them not suck.

Also, everyone - Detroit. O before I, except after you've been drinking. Please?

Doc Spender said...

I dunno... I kinda like "Det-RIOT".
Anyway, I was rooting for the Tigers as the AL entry in the WS and actually expected them to win BUT... when Tiger hitters forgot what made them successful at the plate and started flailing at every pitch, I knew that the Cards would have just enough pitching to win.

jhawkjjm said...

Doesn't matter how they did it, but the Cards won. Here's my question... has there been a WORSE mvp than Eckstein in the ESPN era?

Christian Thoma said...

Rich Gannon, NFL MVP.

Christopher G said...

Of course nobody outside of St. Louis will remember this World Series, but how is that different from any other year? It's not that different in football either. Over the last 15 years, how many people can remember all the of the Super Bowl champs besides Dallas, Denver, and New England? Can anybody readily recall that Tampa Bay actually lived up to the hype one year and won the championship? Or try even remembering the game and the matchup itself. They are all distant and faded memories. The only people who recall them are the folks in those championship cities.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

(doc - )

Douche. Bag.

As much as Bill Simmons may hate our weather, Detroit has now hosted a ton of sporting events on the world stage, in just a few years, without incident. Our facilities have been beautiful and clean, our fans have been spirited and classy, our streets have been free from violence and burning cars. I'm pretty sure Detroit's recent history is better than LA's, not to mention that of Columbus, 'I-O.'

Detroit is hurting in many ways, but right now things are looking up. There are reasons to actually go into the City of Detroit for perhaps the first time in years. The sports world, if any, should recognize Detroit and lift it up, as a city with great history, great fans, and even great stadiums and great teams right now.

Moreover, that's just a cheap shot; be more clever. Sure, Jimmy Kimmel said it, and the Sacramento Kings jumped in, too. And now I respect you just as little.

Christian Thoma said...

Don't get too upset by this, but I never thought Detroit fans were so thin-skinned. Haven't 40+ years of Lions' ineptitude inured y'all to criticism?

mark said...

Some more reasons why the World Series is forgotten so quickly:

(1) News cycles. It's the media's fault, like so much else is. (Bear with me while I make that statement sound less idiotic.) By the time people get back in front of their procrastination toys--er, workstations--on Monday morning, four news cycles or so have happened since Friday night. The people who tell us what to think (baaa! baaaa!) have long since moved on, so it's hard to say "man I'm still jazzed about that world series--let me go read/talk more about it!" when the people who feed the buzz are already three stories ahead of that curve. Back when news cycles were longer, it was really possible to spend a week on World Series afterglow, but in this day of instant information, a weekend is an eternity.

(2) Let's face it, that was a crappy series, and many of us primarily watched out of a strange subconscious sense of duty.

(3) Speaking of the subconscious, baseball = the smell of a freshly mown infield, a hot dog in one hand and a beer in the other, the rhythm of languid innings stretching out into the twilight--in short, summer. Fall, to stretch a point. Nothing says "baseball" like "earliest measurable snowfall in recorded history," which was also a story floating around last week. I understand the need for the 162-game schedule, and I love what the extra layer of playoffs does for the excitement level. But can't they resurrect the scheduled doubleheader, or start a week earlier in the spring, so that the playoffs are over by October 15 or so?

(4) Baseball needs to market itself better.

Jo Fer said...

This will go along with what Christoperg said, which was a good point. Nobody outside of Det or StL will remember this series.

If the World Series was 'The Masters'.

2004 Red Sox = Phil Mickelson (2004). great player finally winning the big one. (many people will remember both champions)
1996-00 Yankees = Tiger Woods (multiple) great player proving dominance. (many people will remember both champions)
2006 Cardinals = Mike Weir (2003)
He's a qualified pro that has had great runs in majors, and made it all come together for a big victory.

Erik said...

"...Detroit has now hosted a ton of sporting events on the world stage, in just a few years, without incident."

Huh, I swear I saw a basketball game or something a few years back that got a little bit rowdy. Must be my faulty memory or something.

I don't think Detroit is a bad place, but let's not get carried away.

Declan said...

Say whatever you want to say about the Cardinals being a terrible World Series Champion, but also remember that they are the best team in baseball. There's no way to argue otherwise.
The. Red. Sox. Did. NOT. Make. The. Playoffs.
The. Yankees. Did. NOT. Win. A. Playoff. Series.
The. Padres. Lost. To. The. Cardinals.
The. Mets. Lost. To. The. Cardinals.
The. Tigers. Lost. To. The. Cardinals.

The. Cardinals. Won. The. World. Series.

Detroit barely lost one game on the American League side of the playoffs, dominating each opponent, and the 'worst' team from the National League dispatches them in 5 quick games. Man the AL sucks.

If you don't like it, watch College Football. And don't complain about the BCS when your team isn't ranked number 1. Big boy sports have playoffs for a reason.

Remember, 29 other fan bases are upset their team didn't win it all. Better luck next year.

Mega said...

White Sox fan here. How the hell can someone say the Cardinals are NOT the best team in the country?!

The best team goes all the way and WINS WHEN IT MATTERS!


Oh and by people "not caring", Shanoff- I know you are a Cubs fan. And I know you felt the same thing about the White Sox last year.

It seems like that if anyone besides the NYM/NYY/BOS/CHC/LAD wins it all, "nobody cares". According to the media, maybe. According to the fans of that team, THEY CARE.

Jo Fer said...

"but also remember that they are the best team in baseball."

I realize this is only a theoretical matchup and cannot get proof, but what do you think Vegas odds would be for STL in a single elimination game tournament on neutral ground between the Cardinals, Yankees, Red Sox, Twins, White Sox, Tigers, A's, and the Blue Jays.

Saying STL is the best team in baseball is saying Vegas would put the Cardinals as the most likely to win that tournament? 2-1 odds or 5-3.

If you can't say that, you can't say the Cardinals are the best team in baseball.

Vegas is the most accurate at assessing the better team in their odds-making. They are not in the business of giving money away.

Again, are the champions of baseball the Cardinals? yes. Is the champion of any league usually the best? no. Has the gap between the champion and the best ever been greater. No.

All hail the 83 win champions.

nyc-steelers fan said...

Yeah, jo-fer. Woo-hoo, the Mets won the NL championship based on the Vegas odds-makers! What kind of a ring do they get for that? Can they put a banner up at Shea?

Best, not best, it all gets settled on the field. Stop your bitching and moaning. I can give you hundreds of examples of times Vegas was wrong about the outcome; and really, man, if Vegas was right all the time, sports would get pretty freaking boring.

People are complaining about the cards winning; waah! I'm a mets fan; I congratulate them. All you can do is get to the playoffs and do your best, and not F' things up, and celebrate when you win.

Damn sour grapes. Are the cards making the SI cover anyone? Or do they put Manning and Brady on their again?

I swear, it's the media that is marginalizing baseball...

Myles! said...

The whole sub-.500 champion thing is exactly why I don't care. They barely held their own in a crap league. No way in hell this was the best team in baseball.

Declan said...

Jo fer - I'm pretty sure 'Vegas' had the Padres, Mets (heavily), and Tigers (even more heavily) favored over the Cardinals, and you're telling me that 'Vegas' is the authority when it comes to declaring better teams?

As a former employee of a sportsbook I'll tell you that 'Vegas' doesn't give two craps about who is better. All they care about is getting the same amount of money on each side of a matchup. It's the betting public that ultimately establishes a line, not oddsmakers.
The betting public (because of 'experts' like dear Dan here) thought the Tigers would steamroll over the Cardinals. The Tigers were overwhelming favorites to lure more money on the St. Louis side.

P.S. Baseball decides its champions by best of 5 and 7, not single elimination, neutral field games.

Anonymous said...

Ah well, if the cards weren't the best team this year, they definitely were in 04 (when they plowed through the season, and interleague, and just ran into karma), and may have been in 05. it happens.