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Friday, October 20, 2006

ON TO THE SERIES!

I must say I had a lot of fun designing the front page of today's Belleville News-Democrat! Make no bones about it, I am a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, but if you would have told me a few weeks ago that I would be designing such a front, I would have said you were crazy.

The Cardinals backed into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. They had a 19-31 record in the final 50 games of the season, and they almost blew an 8 1/2-game lead over the Houston Astros.

And, yet, the St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series.

I still can't believe it, so let me say it again. The St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series.

They've shouldn't have beaten the San Diego Padres in the National League Division Series because the Padres were one of baseball's hottest teams going into the playoffs. They definitely shouldn't have beaten the New York Mets in the NL Championship Series because the Mets were clearly the Senior Circuit's best team in the regular season.

And yet ... the Cardinals win the pennant!

They did so not just because of the big names on the team --Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds. No, the Cardinals' trip to the World Series is a victory for the little guys -- Yavier Molina, Jeff Suppan, Scott Spiezio and a cast of others.

For more expert commentary on the Cardinals' win, I encourage you to visit the Belleville News-Democrat, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other outlets such as ESPN. But here's my humble assessment of the World Series:

The Cardinals are the underdogs. The Detroit Tigers not only dominated the American League playoffs, they dominated the Cardinals in their three interleague battles during the regular season, outscoring the Cardinals 21-13.

But this is Red October. You just never know what will happen. That's why, as the cliche goes, they play the games.

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