ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- The slogan last year for the final couple months was “Happy Flight”. It created a tremendous vibe within the clubhouse as they completed one of the greatest comebacks in MLB history by winning the World Series after being 10.5 games out of a playoff spot in late August.
While there may not have been a flight following the 8-7 comeback win over the Marlins, it had a similar feel regardless: These Cardinals just don’t give in. They believe. They expect to win. Heck, they know they’re going to win.
And why shouldn’t they expect such a thing? It’s been proven they can do it time and time again.
When you’ve got players like Yadier Molina who have played integral parts in two championships, he has no reason to be scared when facing Heath Bell down by a couple runs in the 9th inning and one out away from losing.
When you’ve got players like Rafael Furcal who provided the offensive and defensive spark the Redbirds needed to put them over the top in 2011, he shouldn’t have much reason to be scared when put into an opportunity to drive in the game winning run in the 10th.
Success breeds success. It’s amazing what teams can do when they believe. And the Cardinals believe.
Environments like this are not around MLB very much. Outside the Cards, only the Boston Red Sox can say they’ve won multiple World Series titles in the last decade. Outside the Cards, no one can say they’ve been to three World Series in the last decade.
This is the difference between organizations like the St. Louis Cardinals and others who haven’t won anything in decades. Those other franchises can play well for a while. They can feel good about themselves. They can even stay in contention for a few months. But once it gets down to the nitty gritty in August and especially September...it’s a whole new ball game.
Playoff atmospheres couldn’t possibly be any more different than a ho-hum May 14th game. It’s completely different.
And when you’ve experienced it time and time again...and you’ve had success in those instances time and time again...you’ve got an edge over those who are going through it for the first time.
The Cardinals may not be perfect. They’ve got holes in the bullpen and, quite possibly, the starting rotation depending on the health of Chris Carpenter.
But they’ve got a ‘never-say-die’ mentality in their clubhouse. And that gives them an edge most other teams simply don’t have.