When this blog carried the article correctly observing that Ton LaRussa had been a FAILURE as a manager this year, and really in the lat five years, the Cardinals were in what appeared to be a hopeless position. LaRussa had managed a talented team, in the league's--maybe baseball's--weakest division--to little better than a .5000 record. And he had done so, at the time the blog article was posted, by losing to BAD teams. It used to be said of the old New York Yankees--Casey Stengel's Yankees--that they may not beat up on the contenders so much, but that they KILLED weaker teams. LaRussa and the Cardinals seemed intent on proving Stengel a great manager by showing how bad it could be when you can't beat WEAKER teams.
My anonymous sources tell me that this blog's article, and similar articles elsewhere (but mainly this blog) made LaRussa LIVID. It should have made no difference, except that Atlanta (along with the Boston Red Sox in the other league) COLLAPSED. The Cardinals, begining in late August, won 11 out of the 13 games they had with GOOD teams Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Atlanta (becoming, of cure, a not-so-good team). Non-genius LaRussa cotinued to show that he could not do so weel against WEAKER teams, as the Cardinals really lost too many games against wweaker temams during the same time period. For example, the Cardinals won 6 out of their last nine games, and two out of their last 3. Good, right? Not really. They NEEDED (because LaRussa had needed this blog to light a fire under the Cardinals earlier) to win 8 out of the 9 games, and at least 7. The first 6 of those games were at home, against the Mets and Cubs. The Cardinals NEEDED to win 5 of those 6. They had just won 3 out of 4 from the Phillies on the road, and NEEDED those games. They were lucky not to g9 3-3 at home, and blew one game against the Mets by losing a 4 run lead in the 9th innning . Then the Cardinals played the WORST team in baseball--the Houston Astros--and LOST the first of three games (a game they really could not afford to lose). Then they fell behind 5-0 in the second game, and trailed all of the way to the 7th inning, before rallying to win. It really was not good enough, against BAD teams, but Atlanta COLLAPSED. Thus, the Cardinals--after this blog helped out by moticating LaRussa--have become the wild card team to face those very same Phillies (against whom they won 6 of 9 games in the season, as LaRussa could not beat WEAKER teams).
I do give credit to LarRussa for at least no giving up, and not letting his team give up, even though I consier him a very erratic manager at the present time. True,. The MAIN credit has to go to this blgo for MOTIVATING LaRussa. "I'll show that SOB what a genius really is" representts the quote from my anonymous source. Still, LaRussa has to get credit for taking the hint and actually making the Cardinals a good team in September, although it APPEARED that there was just not enough time left. And there wasn't--not with the number of games the Cardinals actually won and lost--except for the Atlanta collapse. All Atlanta had to do was play abut 40% baseball in September, and they would have held off the Cardinals.. They may not have been required to do even that well. The Cardinals could not really afford those losses against bad teams--not without the Atlanta collapse. Still, that is why you don't give up. Maybe the other team will collapse, and the Atlanta collpase would not have done the Cardinals any good unless the Cardinals played great overall baseball in September. So, I will congratulate LaRussa, non-genius that he now is, and eat crow, to the extent of acknowleging LaRssa's accomplishment--in the face of apparently insuperable odds--of keeping his team TRING to the very end. Now, if only LaRussa would give this blog credit for MOTIVATING him to rise to the occasion.
The big problem the Cardinals face is that initial 5 game series with Philadelphia having "home field advantage". Except, of cure, not only did the Cardinals win 3 out of the last 4, on the road, against the Phillies, but the Cardinals were a BETTER road team than they were a home geam (or at least as good). The Cardinals rally strugggled to stay afloat that last 6 game homestand. So the Cardinals CAN beat the Phillies--which is not to say they WILL. The Phillies are generally acknowledged to be the bet team in baseball, becaues of their pitching. The Cardinals really have better hitting, whille the Phillies have the pitching and defense. Pitching and defense usually win in the post-season, but we shall see.
P.S. No proofreading or spell checking (bad eyesight). Remember, if you criticize me for an article like this, you are showing yourself BIGOTED toward the blind (using, here, the Obama supporter/mainstream media standard of bigotry, as applied to Obama).