Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Few Words on the Worst World Series Champs of All Time

Ew. The St. Louis Cardinals are the World Champions. This is so wrong on so many levels, we don't know where to start.

Yes we do actually. Let's start with the fact that the Tigers rolled over for them, playing a painful to watch game of possum. But that analogy only works so far because the possum is supposed to get up at the end and these Tigers clearly weren't pretending. The Tigers gave away a World Series title. It was theirs to lose. Because face it, the Cards weren't exceptional themselves (though Jeff Weaver's game five performance was about as good as it gets), but compared to the boys from Detroit, they were the freaking '98 Yankees. As far wiser talking heads have pointed out, St. Louis didn't beat Detroit, Detroit beat Detroit.

The Tigers just needed some token effort for the series, and they could have had it. St. Louis now has the ugly distinction of being the worst World Series winning team ever (in most news stories, the word "worst" is surrounded by quotation marks. This is not most news stories). They won a grand total of of 83 games.

83 games.

Do you know how many games the Toronto Blue Jays won in that same season? Hint: It was higher than 83, that's for damn sure. If there was a less deserving championship team in baseball history, we don't want to know about it.

Ahah, you might say, the regular season doesn't count for peanuts in the playoffs. Just look at the Edmonton Oilers. Nuh-uh buddy, that argument doesn't fly. There was nothing special about these Cardinals, there was no heart warming underdog label, just a bunch of semi-decent (and Chris Carpenter) baseball players plodding through October. There was nothing sexy about their run.

Compare that to the Tigers, who going into the Series, had all the momentum in the world. We frankly found it impossible to even conceive that Detroit could possibly lose, especially to such a bland team as St. Louis. Not that the Tiger's weren't bland too, but they had that magical playoff aura surrounding them that transformed every player into a potential playoff hero.

Except something went wrong. In the six days between sweeping the floor with Oakland, and beginning their first World Series since before anyone at 64 Years and Counting was ever born, something happened. The Tigers' momentum evaporated. Poof, and they were human again.

What's worse is that two years ago, the last time the Cards had a shot at the title, we were actually cheering for them. With all our heart and soul even. We were desperate to see them defeat Boston. The Cards were the only thing keeping the Sox from ending the curse, a prospect we weren't thrilled with (sharing a division with them does that to you). Except they didn't win. They didn't just not win the series, they didn't win a single game.

So that's why we don't like St. Louis. A forgettable team caps off a forgettable World Series in what has been an overall forgettable affair. But just imagine if Detroit had won it. Now that would have been a story. Just a few seasons removed from a 100 loss season, turning around and winning it all. That makes for good TV. St. Louis, does not.

In other news, the Ottawa Senator continued their regular season tradition of summarily kicking the crap out of Toronto, with back to back beatings this week. The Leafs can try to salvage some respect against Montreal in glorious Hockey Night in Canada action tonight. Or they could continue to embarrass themselves. Oh, and we heard Nik Antropov might be back tonight.

Guess which side we're leaning towards?


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