Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baseball Euphoria

So this is what it feels like to be a winner. I'll be honest, it feels amazing.

Cards celebrate in the locker room after winning World Series, via St. Louis Cardinals Facebook Fanpage

They need to replace the sign along interstate 70 when you cross the bridge into Missouri. It should read "Welcome to St. Louis, Home of the St. Louis Cardinals and Baseball Euphoria."

If you had the privilege to experience everything this season like I did, then you would have suffered from the loss of Adam Wainwright before spring training, endured frustrating blown saves by Ryan Franklin, questioned the authenticity of Albert Pujols's poor start, cherished the production from veteran Lance Berkman, were saddened by every loss earned by Chris Carpenter, coped with the rise and fall from Kyle Lohse and Kyle McClellan, were grateful Jaime Garcia did not have a "sophomore slump," held your breath when Albert was injured in June, exhaled a sigh of relief when he returned in July, wondered why they were battling with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the division, withstood the revolving door of several closers in the bullpen, were skeptical when Colby Rasmus was traded, distressed over the injury-prone seasons of Matt Holliday and David Freese, thoroughly enjoyed when Albert started playing like Albert again, watched with disbelief as the Milwaukee Brewers surged past them for the division lead, looked forward to next season when the Cards were 10 ½ games behind the Atlanta Braves for the NL Wild Card, were hopefully optimistic when the Braves slumped, joyful when the Cards won their final game of the regular season, and elated when the Braves were removed from the picture.

The St. Louis Cardinals entire season had it all.

The Cardinals were underdogs entering every series against the Philadelphia Phillies, Brewers, and Texas Rangers. Different heroes surfaced in almost every series: Jon Jay, Jason Motte, David Freese, Edwin Jackson, Lance Berkman, and Chris Carpenter in the NLDS; Albert Pujols, Jon Jay, Jason Motte, Jaime Garcia, Yadier Molina, and David Freese in the NLCS; and Chris Carpenter, Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, Lance Berkman, Allen Craig, and David Freese in the World Series.

The 2011 World Series had it all.

St. Louis Cardinals Postseason Progress Reviewed, Photo via St. Louis Cardinals Facebook Fanpage

Everyone contributed at some point over the course of the September and into the October postseason, and that is what made this team unique. Baseball drama at its finest.

Congratulations to Tony La Russa and the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals.

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