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New York Times MLB Playoffs Article

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  • New York Times MLB Playoffs Article

    Yes, this is a big deal. Unless you're the Yankees or Mets, a team has to be EXCEPTIONAL to get favorable press on the east coast. Consider the Cardinals, at least, "noticed".

    October 9, 2005
    Cardinals Continue to Look Like They're in a League of Their Own
    By BEN SHPIGEL

    SAN DIEGO, Oct. 8 - Sprinkled among the customary mix of classic rock and heavy-metal favorites that blasted from the Petco Park sound system Saturday night was a curious tune that did a better job capturing the atmosphere here than any song by The Beatles or Guns N' Roses.

    The melancholy sounds of Carole King's "Now and Forever," from the movie "A League of Their Own," played as the Jumbotron showed highlights of the Padres' National League pennant-winning season of 1998. It was a subliminal goodbye to this year's Padres, looking toward the past because it has been too difficult to watch the present.

    As they had in the first two games of their N.L. division series, the Padres looked entirely overmatched against the St. Louis Cardinals through the first half of Saturday's Game 3. By the time the Padres exhibited any semblance of a pulse, it was too late, and the Cardinals completed an impressive sweep by defeating them, 7-4. The Cardinals will face either Atlanta or Houston in their second consecutive N.L. Championship Series. Game 1 is scheduled for Wednesday at Busch Stadium.

    Whichever team the Cardinals face will likely prove greater competition than the Padres, who made an excuse-me entrance into the postseason with an 82-80 record and will officially end their season with more losses than victories. Although the Padres had more hits than Cardinals, 32-29, during the series, the Padres also hit into seven double plays, left 28 runners on base and never led once.

    The pregame pageantry Saturday night - the fireworks, the unfurling of a giant American flag, the spirited announcing of the Padres' starting lineup - served only to delay the inevitable. Facing former teammate Woody Williams, who started Game 1 of last year's World Series, the Cardinals proved rude guests in the first playoff game at Petco Park. They did, however, remember to bring two housewarming gifts with them from St. Louis. The first came in the form of their pesky leadoff hitter, David Eckstein.

    The first pitch from Williams, a called strike, was thrown at 8:10 p.m. here, 11:10 on the East Coast. A few seconds later, Eckstein notched the game's first hit, a line single, and he later scored on a one-out double by Albert Pujols. Eckstein lifted a two-run, two-out homer in the second that barely cleared the left-field fence.

    The Cardinals' second present was Reggie Sanders, whose hot bat did not vanish during the trip West. Sanders, who hit a grand slam and had six R.B.I. in Game 1, capped the Cardinals' four-run second by rocketing a bases-loaded double into the left-field corner. It scored two, giving Sanders 10 R.B.I. for the series, setting an N.L. division series record. John Valentin set the major league record with Boston in 1999, when he had 12 R.B.I. against Cleveland. But that series lasted five games.

    "I don't think he had a meaningless R.B.I.," said Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa.

    Added Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols: "Will you guys quit asking me about Reggie? He's been unbelievable."

    As was Pujols, who went 2 for 3 to raise his postseason average to .556. Early on, the starter Matt Morris was unbelievable as well. It took 13 outs before the Padres got their first hit off him. After Jim Edmonds robbed Khalil Greene of extra bases with a leaping catch against the center-field fence to open the fifth inning, however, four of the next five Padres had hits off Morris. Joe Randa broke up Morris's no-hit bid with a double to left that, for the first time all game, inspired the sellout crowd of 45,093 to get up from their seats and shake their blue and white pom-poms. Eric Young and Mark Loretta hit run-scoring singles to cut the Cardinals' lead to 7-2.

    Dave Roberts hit a solo homer in the seventh, Ramon Hernandez hit one in the eighth and the Padres had the tying run at the plate in the ninth. But Jason Isringhausen struck out Brian Giles and induced a comebacker from Ryan Klesko to seal the victory and set off businesslike high-fives and hugs, a small celebration near the mound.

    The Cardinals did not get too excited because this series is only one step in a postseason they hope will erase memories of last year, when they were swept by the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.

    This year, the Cardinals are eager to prove they are in a league of their own.
    Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

    "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

  • #2
    Nice, but I think ESPN would make the Cardinals WS victory the second story, after they beat the Yankees!


    "Welcome to SportSCenter, our top story...HOW could the Yankees lose the WS?"


    "In other news.........The Cardinals Have won their NL record 10th World Championship."

    Comment


    • #3
      QUOTE(Jack Daniels @ Oct 9 2005, 09:11 AM) Quoted post

      Nice, but I think ESPN would make the Cardinals WS victory the second story, after they beat the Yankees!


      "Welcome to SportSCenter, our top story...HOW could the Yankees lose the WS?"


      "In other news.........The Cardinals Have won their NL record 10th World Championship."
      [/b][/quote]

      How sweet that would be, anyway ... however, I sort of think that the White Sox will be our WS opponents.
      Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

      "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

      Comment


      • #4
        That would be nice.

        The headline in St. Louis will read: WE WIN! All the Cardinals had to do was change their SOX!

        Comment


        • #5
          Next on SportsCenter: What's Next For the Yankees?
          When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."

          Comment


          • #6
            QUOTE(Jack Daniels @ Oct 9 2005, 10:02 AM) Quoted post
            That would be nice.

            The headline in St. Louis will read: WE WIN! All the Cardinals had to do was change their SOX! [/b][/quote]
            Nice.

            Can I steal that?

            Comment


            • #7
              QUOTE(Jack Daniels @ Oct 9 2005, 10:02 AM) Quoted post

              That would be nice.

              The headline in St. Louis will read: WE WIN! All the Cardinals had to do was change their SOX!
              [/b][/quote]
              [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif[/img]
              Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

              Comment


              • #8
                QUOTE(Jack Daniels @ Oct 9 2005, 10:02 AM) Quoted post

                That would be nice.

                The headline in St. Louis will read: WE WIN! All the Cardinals had to do was change their SOX!
                [/b][/quote]

                Guess who would be overlooking a Cards-White Sox World Series?

                Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

                "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

                Comment


                • #9
                  To be honest I watch very little national sport news because the of the east coast bias. It's simply a waste of time listening to those blowhards.

                  Of the national print media....The Sporting News is obviously the best. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif[/img]
                  Go Cards ...12 in 13.


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'll never understand the "thirst for recognition" in these parts.

                    If you knew those people, you wouldn't want them to notice you.

                    Just beat the snot out of them.
                    And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                    -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                    Comment

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