For lack of a better topic, I’ll talk about the biggest thing on my mind these days – the St. Louis Cardinals. Tony La Russa’s style of managing reminds me so much of my little league days. I was on a solid team of great players known as the Pond Bears (yes, we heard all the Bad News Bears jokes). We lacked the stardom, but we were a solid group of best friends, focused on the fundamentals of baseball. We were ranked pretty high too. After the Bears broke up going into high school, I ended up on a few random teams that were made up of a very eclectic group ranging from power hitters, great pitchers and extremely fast runners. Did we win? Yeah. Was it memorable? Not really.
The reason the St. Louis Cardinals stand out is not the talent, though that’s obviously a positive thing. In my humble opinion, the reason the Cardinals are where they are is the fact that they are a team made up of humble, talented, stand-up guys that focus on the fundamentals. While we have Pujols, Edmonds, Walker, Sanders, Carpenter, etc (MVP and Cy Young from one team? Of course.) that’s not why the Cardinals win. Perfectly executed squeeze plays, double-plays, etc. When you have that, you don’t need 100 mph fastballs, home run leaders or the highest paid players. You need a group of best friends that play great baseball and love what they do.
Oh, and the fans. A team needs great fans too. 103.9% attendance last night. The Sea of Red. It doesn’t get any better than that folks. Cheering great plays by the opposing team even in the playoffs doesn’t a hater make.