Sorry St. Louis, I gave you absolutely no chance to win. I actually slammed the quality of your roster a few posts ago. Still, the St. Louis Cardinals are the 2011 World Series Champions. I will take nothing away from the new champs however, I think St. Louis were aided greatly by some bad managerial decisions even before the first pitch of Game 7 was thrown. I'm not going to nitpick all of the managerial decisions in game that were made by Rangers manager Ron Washington. The biggest problem I had was with his choice of Game 7 starter, Matt Harrison. I realize C.J. Wilson would have been pitching on short rest but he was the obvious and best arm that was available. That being said, when Matt Harrison barely survives the first two innings because of lack of control, I think that was the point in the game to take him out. I realize this is completely unconventional but this is the last game of the season! Yet, this decision wasn't what floored me. It was that Harrison pitched 4 barely palatable innings and then Washington brings in his long man and 5th starter Scott Feldman? I'm not sure what he was thinking at that point. Maybe I'm thinking about this too simply but in my opinion, I want the best pitcher I have in the bullpen out there in the 5th inning of a 3-2 game for the championship. That was clearly C.J. Wilson and even getting two solid innings out of him would have possibly kept the game closer. Who knows though right? Wilson could have come in and blew it just like Feldman did. This was the Cardinals year after all. Still, Washington just needed a good pair of innings out of somebody. The Feldman inning will go down as one of the most embarrassing bumbles of a championship game. The Cardinals got one hit in the inning and scored 3 runs!!!
Ok let's be fair. I've never managed even a tee ball game so I really don't understand player ego management, fatigue etc. There would also be a large amount of pressure on the manager that I probably will never ever feel. In the end, its more than managerial blunders that contribute to a championship win. The Cardinals were blessed with some remarkably clutch hitting throughout the series. Ultimately, the bullpen which had failed them several times in this series was incredibly steady when it mattered. Congratulations St. Louis! You definitely earned it.