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The Best Cardinals World Series Team Since 2004

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4)2006-A team that sneaked into the postseason by the skin of their teeth, the '06 Cardinals inexplicably won the city's first World Series crown since 1982. The theme of this team was simple: get healthy, get hot at the exact, same time. The bullpen was patchwork, but efficient. Jeff Weaver had the greatest two weeks of his career to compliment Chris Carpenter and Jeff Suppan atop the Cardinals rotation. The window was closing on the MV3's, but Albert was still great, and David Eckstein made everyone forget that he was simply Nick Punto in disguise. Hey, flags fly forever, and no one can take this title away, albeit plenty of historians probably want to.

3)2004-Had Chris Carpenter made it to the postseason healthy, this team would possibly be number 1 on my list, because in all likelihood, they would've given the Red Sox a much stiffer series than bowing out in four games. Alas, Carpenter did not make it World Series, and the Cardinals barely made a whimper in the sweep. But you can't discount how good that heart of the order was: Larry Walker, Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, and Scott Rolen. You can make an argument for all four having Cooperstown credentials. The rotation though had too many holes without Carp. Woody Williams, Matt Morris, and Jeff Suppan were better suited as number 3's, instead, they were anchoring the rotation against the hard-hitting Red Sox. Oh, what could've been for 2004's best regular season team.

2)2013-If only this year's team could retroactively trade half the pitching staff to the 2004 team. This staff is STACKED!! The rotation with Waino, Wacha, Lynn, Miller, Kelly. Waino's velocity actually pales in comparison to the rest of the staff. That's amazing! John Mozeliak and Mike Matheny have obliterated the pitch-to-contact mold and the results could not be more eye-popping. Add in a group of hitters that brings a whole new meaning to the word "clutch." This team has six guys that you would want up with the game on the line in Game 6 of the World Series. In other words, a bunch of David Freeses, circa 2011.

1)2011-A remade rotation, a remade bullpen, and a line-up with loaded with power. This might have been the swan song for Albert Pujols' career, and he could not have asked for a better last 3 months as a Cardinal. Lance Berkman might've had the best season of his career, ditto for Chris Carpenter. Carpenter might've had better numbers in 2005 or 2006. But the workload carried by Carpenter in October cannot be overstated. The man put the team on his back, and carried them, in a month that more than likely effectively ended his competitive playing career. I would also be willing to bet, in his final season(notice a trend), that Tony La Russa did the best managing job of his Hall of Fame career. This was a not a 2006 redux, This Cardinals team was good...check that...this Cardinals team was great. And the drama and excitement they provided this town for 3 weeks might only be matched by the Greatest Show on Turf in the last 30 years of St. Louis sports. 
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