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Right Way

by LS Murphy

We all heard it. Everyone said it. The St. Louis Cardinals clinched the National League Central on Saturday night with a 6-3 victory over the Wild Card seeking Colorado Rockies. Besides the constant talk of humidors and “rarified air”, one statement was repeated over and over again. They did it “the right way”. Is there a wrong way to succeed? Apparently, yes.

There is no doubt that clinching the title with a win is more exciting and more memorable but there isn’t anything wrong with winning by default either. The Cardinals have been out there every night giving a hundred percent. This team committed itself to win in spring training. Before Holliday, DeRosa, Lugo, and Smoltz, this team was ready to play and scrap together wins and suffers tough losses. We never lost faith. And we showed them by coming to the games.
They rewarded us with another title, another playoff.

The Cubs had plenty of opportunity to just hand us the title but they managed to play like a real team with Milton Bradley out of the picture. So did they lose their chance at another NL Central title “the right way”? I don’t think Cubs fans would like to hear that.

One of our most recent memories that will forever be ingrained in Cardinal legacy happened in the 2006 National League Championship Series. We watched with trepidation, hope, faith, and even fear as Carlos Beltran stepped to the plate. He was the “Cardinals Killer”. Then he struck out looking at a nasty Adam Wainwright curve ball. This was memorable. Iconic even. But was it the “right way” to win the game. Was it any more “right” than the ground out fielded by Lugo Saturday night to end the game? No, of course not.

If LaRussa’s baseball gods are watching, I hope all the Cardinals sportscaster ask for forgiveness with all this talk of winning “the right way”. Maybe they should have simply said “the preferred way”. This is not the time to anger the baseball gods. After all, we have a championship to win.

(Follow me at http://twitter.com/LSMurphy )

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Cardinals Mix blog featured writers LS Murphy,Brian F. Logush
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