How do the Cardinals defeat the Rangers in the World Series?
Look at the Dallas Mavericks and you will find your answer: Experience. The Cardinals must use their experience to defeat the Rangers in the World Series. The number of St. Louis’ starting pitchers who have been in the league for ten or more years: three. The number of Texas starters who have been in the league at least ten years: zero.
While experience may be important for pitching, it is clearly important for hitters in the World Series. Since 2004, only one World Series MVP, pitcher Cole Hamels, has been under the age of 30. The Cardinals have that experience in Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman, and Yadier Molina.
Additionally, the Cardinals will have two players in their lineup who were key in St. Louis’ 2006 World Series Championship, Chris Carpenter and Albert Pujols.
The Cardinals won 22 of their last 31 games in the regular season, but momentum can only carry a team so far. The 2007 Colorado Rockies can tell you that. The Rockies entered the 2007 World Series after winning 21 of its last 22 games, but got swept by the Red Sox in the World Series.
The Cardinals have to use this experience to calm the nerves of their young players, especially the man who has been essential in getting them to the World Series, David Freese. The NLCS MVP is only in his second full year in the league. Yes, he got them there, but the World Series is a whole new ballgame (pardon the pun).
Besides calming nerves, St. Louis has to use its experience as a means of hunger like the Mavericks did. Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman have been in the league long enough, but don’t have a ring. Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitzki, and Jason Kidd got tired of the doubters and silenced them this year. It’s time for 2011 to be the Year of the Old Fogie. In a retirement home, a few years from now Kidd, Nowitzki, and Berkman can talk about the great year of 2011.