2011 World Series: We’ll Remember This One

Oct 30, 2011 5 Comments

World Series MVP David Freese

Now that was fun. Barely 24 hours after the St. Louis Cardinals finished off the Texas Rangers and an improbable three-month run resulting in their eleventh World Series title, I find myself wanting just one more game between the two teams.

Apparently I’m not the only one either. Game 7 was the most-watched baseball game since 2004, averaging 25.4 million viewers. Perhaps more revealing is that the overall ratings for the World Series was up 19 percent over last year’s series between the San Francisco Giants and the Rangers. So why the sudden spike in interest?

One word. Drama.

Baseball fans will remember the 2011 World Series for one thing – drama. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa’s managing gaffes of Game 5, which twice resulted in the wrong reliever pitching in a critical eighth inning, a rain out of game 6 that allowed Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter to get an extra day of rest and pitch on three days rest in game 7, and a Rangers team who came within a single strike on two separate occasions of winning their first title in their franchise history.

We’ll remember it for Rangers manager Ron Washington, who you can’t help but feel bad for after losing consecutive World Series bids. In 2010 I thought Washington was out-managed by Giants skipper Bruce Bochy, but this year, he held his own against a much more experienced La Russa. Yes, he made mistakes, but Washington seems like a genuinely good individual whose player’s love playing for him and whose enthusiasm in the dugout is endearing. Maybe I just like Washington because he reminds me a lot of Cincinnati Reds Manager Dusty Baker. Regardless, it’s got to be hard to be so close only to see it slip away.

We’ll remember it for the players including, Rangers catcher Mike Napoli, who probably would have been the Series MVP had the Rangers won, Albert Pujols whose post-season play pretty much forced the Cardinals to pay him whatever he wants to remain in St. Louis for the rest of his career, and for Cardinals third baseman David Reese, who morphed into a combination of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Willie Mays for a month.

Reese, who hit .348 in the Series, set two major league playoff records for RBIs (21) and total bases (52) on his way to NLCS and World Series MVP awards. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t sure if he wanted to play baseball, battled a season-ending injury last year, a broken hand this year, and overcame other obstacles, including a DUI arrest in 2006 shortly after arriving to St. Louis.

Finally, we’ll remember the 2011 World Series because the drama made baseball fun again. Six of the seven games were epic, full of clutch plays and unexpected moments. In the end though, it was the St. Louis Cardinals hoisting baseball’s most prized trophy, somehow overcoming a 10 ½ game deficit in August to make the post-season. It was the improbable of all improbable results.

Only 90-plus days until pitchers and catcher report to Spring Training. Baseball fans, including myself, can hardly wait.

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5 Responses to “2011 World Series: We’ll Remember This One”

  1. Sportsgrinder says:

    The only thing I will remember about that series is awful pitching…

  2. sportsglutton says:

    I couldn’t really care whether or not the pitching was good or awful. What I care about is the Cardinals are now one World Series title away from having double the number of titles as the Giants.

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