What Makes the St. Louis Cardinals So Good?

did-the-cardinals-hack-the-houston-astros-3-photos-2The San Francisco Giants have won three of the last five World Series Championships. If not for that, the St. Louis Cardinals would likely be considered a dynasty in this era. St. Louis won the Series in 2006 and in 2011. They appeared in the World Series in 2004 and again in 2013. It seems they are always in contention for the championship and have been for about as long as anyone can recall. So how do they stay on top?

The cynical among us can say they’ve been cheating based on information that their front office has been hacking into other team’s computers. But this has nothing to do with the players on the field. It seems like putting on that red uniform turns ordinary players into super heroes. The Cards lose one of the game’s great hitters after their World Championship run in 2011 in Albert Pujols, but the team keeps rolling while Pujols has a couple of down years in Los Angeles Angels red.

The Cards have broken the hearts of both Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers fans by pulling off nearly impossible comebacks to win a post season series. They ruined the year for the New York Mets in 2006 by leaving them with the bases loaded with future Cardinal hero Carlos Beltran looking at an Adam Wainright curve on a 3-2 pitch to win Game Seven on the 2006 NLCS.

What David Freese and company did to the Texas Rangers in the 2011 World Series will never be forgotten in the Lone Star State. Former Texan fan favorite Lance Berkman got in on the act in that one as well.

So how do they do it? And how are the Boston Red Sox immune to Cardinal magic? The Sox beat the Cards in the World Series sweeping them in 2004 and beating them again in 2013. It would appear to be unwise to bet on the Cardinals should these two teams meet again, so if you are looking for real money gambling you might just as well play games of chance at

yadier molina st louis cardinals mlb

Make it a good one!

A big part of the Cards success has to go to catcher Yadier Molina. It was his home run in Game Seven of the NCLS against the Mets that won that series. He has been a superstar every year since. Catcher is perhaps the most important position on the field. If you doubt that, then I would ask you to take a look at how many mangers in today’s games are former catchers.

Cards manager Mike Matheny is one of them. Catchers have to know all of their pitchers, what they do well, what they don’t do well, etc., and they have to know what works and what does not work on the opposing hitters. They are essentially a coach on the field. When you have one who can do that job, mix in a very good bat and a cannon arm that guns down opposing base stealers, it keeps your team in a lot of games.

The Cards always seem to have good starting pitching as well. It doesn’t seem to matter who those pitchers are either. They always do well in Cardinal uniforms. That would be a result of former catcher Mike Matheny as a manager and also good pitching coaches such as former catcher Dave Duncan and former pitcher Derek Lilliquist who played for Bobby Cox, another former catcher.

So why are the Cardinals so good? A lot has to do with the winning tradition in St. Louis. They expect to win there and the players in St. Louis are there to do their jobs to help the team. They play hard, they are smart, and they feel like they will make the big play when it matters most. A lot of that credit has to go to Molina who for more than a decade has led by example.

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