Pointing out that no one will mistake his beloved St. Louis Cardinals with a bunch of endorsement-happy, quote machines like the Red Sox (for one thing, the Red Sox won a World Series recently), the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeff Gordon (above) says “with these Cardinals, it’s all about the team.” Not only that,but if anyone wants to shoot up in the toilet, the manager probably won’t notice.

Idiocy is in these days. The shaggy Red Sox, the self-proclaimed band of idiots, won the 2004 World Series with a phenomenal run last autumn.

They hammed it up but good -“ a right they earned on the field, with that impossible comeback against the Yankees -“ and became media darlings everywhere but New York and St. Louis.

How many times did that Johnny Damon beard commercial run this summer? A gazillion?

The Cardinals sit at the other end of the style spectrum. They aren™t the least bit flashy or noisy. Superstar Albert Pujols sets the team™s tone with his quiet determination that has made him baseball™s best (yet most overlooked) player during the last five years.

the Cards drive on, working to win another pennant and another crack at the World Series. ESPN tucked the Cards-Padres division series in the back corner of its coverage, preferring to feature the Yankees, Angels, Red Sox, Astros and Braves in the prime-time games.

These Cards have one legitimate showman, Jim Edmonds, surrounded by two dozen grinders. The team™s strongest trait is its collective perseverance.

That is how Reggie Sanders came back from a broken leg. That is how Larry Walker keeps playing with a painful neck injury. That™s how Abraham Nunez fills in brilliantly for the injured Scott Rolen.

That is how So Taguchi made himself into a decent offensive outfielder. That is why John Mabry worked his way back into the big leagues last year and into a key role on this squad.

There is nothing Hollywood about that, but then again, that™s not this team. Cardinal Nation appreciates it. Perhaps some day the rest of the country will, too.