By: Drew Marshall
After a season full of ups and downs, the Cardinals finally won the four games that matter. The St. Louis Cardinals returned home with a World Series victory this week, after defeating the Texas Rangers in seven games. David Freese was named World Series MVP, and the team gave manager Tony La Russa his final victory, as he announced his retirement this week. Also, team star Albert Pujols could be in his final season as he enters free agency.
The Cardinals were welcomed home with a celebration at Busch Stadium. The crowd numbered around several hundred thousand, and highways were packed as people tried to get in. Pujols drew cheers from the crowd and was given a standing ovation. “I’ll never forget any of this. It’s been great,” Outfielder Allen Craig said.
Pujols is entering free agency for the first time this offseason, and the team is unclear about resigning him. They are hesitant because he will be 32 by the time the season starts, and a long-term contract could come back to haunt the team. Pujols has a career average of .328, with 455 home runs.
Also a major factor in the Cardinals’ victory is that it gave La Russa his final win as a coach. He announced earlier this week that he will be retirring. La Russa claims to have told his general manager Jon Mozeliak in August, but the players did not know throughout their playoff run. The manager used his years of experience to fuel the fire for a historic playoff run. The players all said that La Russa inspired them to make history with their run and not to settle from simply making it to the Series. The manager has won three World Series in six attempts, with two wins going to the Cardinals.
The Cardinals have solidified their place in history, certainly, as they put together a playoff run to win it all. The Rangers had a 3-2 lead in the Series going into game six, and the Cardinals were able to win two straight to clinch victory. The win marks the second World Series victory for the Cardinals in the past decade. Many people say La Russa is smart to retire on top, with a World Series win being the last game he’ll ever manage. The Cardinals will still have to work over the offseason, however, trying to sign Pujols. As the offseason begins, the Cardinals will work to stay on top, while the other 31 teams in the MLB try to make it there next season.