Astros 5, Cardinals 1

Tempting though it may to praise Houston for they way they rebounded from a 15-30 start to win the National League Championship instead, in the spirit of the late Will Leitch, I’ll instead wave a fond farewell to Busch Stadium and suggest that you check out Tuesday’s Jeff Gordon column from St. Louis Today. Described by Tim Cook as “the worst sportswriting I’ve read in ages”, Gordon found himself in deep awe of the Local 9.

The 2005 Cardinals are a special team, a 100-game winner that overcame a staggering series of injuries with perseverance and teamwork.

The ™05 Cards are all about finding a way, about filling holes with diligent role players, about finding new heroes. The ™05 Cards are about grinding, from the little guy, David Eckstein, to the big guy, Albert Pujols. This team is about tough-minded pitching, led by unheralded Chris Carpenter.

Losing the National League Championship Series to the Astros in five games would have been a terrible ending to a tremendous season.

œFor the kind of club we have and the kind of year we had, losing four in a row would have been — that would have been tough to take, because we’re a better club than that, Cards manager Tony La Russa said.

So the Miracle at Minute Maid was only appropriate for this team.

Indeed, let’s hear it for the 2005 St. Louis Cardinals. They managed to win a grand total of 2 games out of 6 against the second place club in their own division. What time does the parade start?

Seriously, after Roy Oswalt merely pitched the sort of game he has all season long, I fully expect the nation’s newspapers to be filled with apologies, disclaimers and mass resignations now that Brad Lidge, having not pulled a Donnie Moore, is still amongst the living.

As the White Sox have a far longer history of misery than the the relative neophyte Astros, pulling for Chicago is an easy choice. My personal tiebreaker was organist Nancy Faust’s mindblowing rendition of the Vapors’ “Turning Japanese” at the Cell prior to ACLS Game 3. Houston, conversely, showcases the talents of Big & Rich, Mudvanye and other musical midgets of the 21st Century over the Minute Maid tannoy. Milo Hamilton vs. Ken Harrelson is, to paraphrase Pat Sajak, kind of like choosing between the Olson twins. Except both are really old men and openly root for their own clubs. Other than that, however, the similarities are uncanny.