Cheap Seats

Random thoughts about the 2011 World Series

-- There was a dead armadillo on the road this morning when I came to work. I wonder if that is some sort of omen. I'm really not that big on omens, usually. But how often does one see an armadillo in the St. Louis metropolitan era?

-- The Cardinals match-up with the Rangers is a throwback to the wonderful days before inter-league play. And if the commissioner gets his way, it might be the last of its kind. Why, because of the same sort of goofiness that caused the Redbirds to seemingly have to travel every year to Detroit to play the Tigers has kept the Redbirds and Texas apart. The two teams haven't met since a 2004 series at the stadium then called the Ballpark at Arlington. 

-- Speaking of familiarity, while the Cardinals have played in 18 different World Series, the match-up with the Rangers will mark only the ninth different team the Redbirds have played. They played the Yankees five times (1926, '28, '42, '43 and 64, winning three of the five times), the Athletics twice in 1930 and '31, splitting the two Series. The Tigers and Cardinals met in 1934, 1968 and 2006 with the Birds taking two of three Series. In 1944 the Redbirds defeated the cross-town Browns who now reside in Baltimore and call themselves the Orioles. They played the Red Sox for the first of three meetings starting in 1946 (a win) then beat the Sox in 1967 before losing to them in 2004. In 1985 the Cardinals played a controversial World Series against their fellow Missouri team, the Royals. The Cardinals defeated their 2011 NLCS foes, the Brewers, when Milwaukee used to be in the American League way back in 1982. In 1987 The Cardinals played their lone World Series against the Twins, who like the Rangers used to Washington Senators. (The Twins were the original Washington Senators for whom Walter Johnson toiled who moved to Minnesota in 1960. The Rangers are the replacement expansion Senators who were managed by Ted Williams briefly during their stay in the nation's capitol from 1961-1971.

The Cardinals fare much better in World Series in which they have the home field advantage. The Cardinals are 5-6 in the Fall Classic when games the first two games are on the road. They're 5-1 in World Series that see games one and two played in St. Louis. The only loss in a home field advantage came in 1968. The Cardinals, for the record, won four games to two in 1944 when they played the Browns at the field the teams shared. Sportsmans Park was owned by the Browns at the time and the Redbirds paid rent. But the Cardinals were considered to be the home team in the first two games with the Brownies the last club to bat in games three, four and five.