Recommendation Letter: Your 2011 St. Louis Cardinals


Well, we've reached the end of the road. After weeks and weeks of scolding and lecturing, we're finally getting an opportunity to accentuate the positives. Without further delay, here is JoeSportsFan's tribute to their World Series champion Cardinals, a team that was originally slated to appear in the Sept. 20 edition of our Detention Lecture series. True story.

November 2, 2011

To Whomever It May Concern,

We at confirm that we have known the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals for the past seven months. During this time, we've ripened a wavering acquaintanceship into an everlasting kinship built on passion, perseverance and critters towards the bottom of the food chain.

At times, we found the '11 Cardinals to be deceptive, dilapidated and as deficient as Craig Paquette's mustache. Their public stigma shows inadequacies in the typical underachiever categories; maturity, paranoia, and communication. But we can promise you, during our fellowship, they showed the ability to overcome these attributes and complementary adversity of many different flavors. And we're both better because of it.

The shortcomings that were encountered and dominated by the '11 Cardinals include: {YSP:MORE}

Public Embarrassment: The Cardinals clubhouse leader and incumbent closer accidentally tweeted a photo of Albert Pujols in his underpants while country singer David Nail roamed through spring training medical facilities.

Contractual Controversy: The team adapted to national and local media hyperventilation when Albert Pujols was not able to agree to terms with the franchise before an arbitrary deadline ended eight-months before his contract did. The team also responded admirably to long nights spent researching the meaning of "home town discount."

Crippling Injuries: The '11 Cardinals were roughly a week into spring training with when they learned that staff ace and annual Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright shredded an elbow ligament. Then, they learned about Matt Holliday's substandard appendix the day after opening day. Then eventual World Series MVP David Freese was lost several times throughout the season to a wrist/ankle/head (choose one, whenever) inadequacy. And above all else, the team came back from a collective soiling of their underpants when Albert Pujols' wrist collided with Wilson Betimit in June. Pujols only missed two weeks, but the down-time forced a daunting amount of "Pujols is having an off year" narratives.

Inadequate Talent: The season began with Ryan Franklin and Ryan Franklin's 88 mph fastball as the team's closer. Eventually Franklin retired, but the collective stink of Miguel Batista, Brian Tallet, Trever Miller, and Bryan Augenstein permeated throughout an area near the outfield wall that is supposed to contain effective Major League relief pitchers. The stink was distinguished and zero of the aforementioned pitchers finished the season on the World Series roster.

Wild Game Infestation: The team was distracted by frequent sightings of a large stuffed Puma in the outfield concourse of Busch Stadium. To make matters worse, these sightings were coupled with reports that the furry puma sought fisticuffs with the team's incumbent mascot, Fredbird.

Meddling Parents: If you're thinking that sideline Dads are only something that occurs in fifth grade tee-ball leagues, guess again. The team adapted to repetitive controversy created by Colby Rasmus' father, who decided that public message boards and St. Louis sports talk radio was his best outlet to proclaim that his son needed his professional guidance, not the staff assembled by Colby's Hall of Fame manager.

Spoiled Children: The highly-touted Colby Rasmus and his father were eventually shipped out of town for Edwin Jackson, Mark Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel, and Corey Patterson. The trade was wildly mocked and chastised throughout baseball, but the acquisitions solidified the Cardinals bullpen and Rasmus finished the season with a .201 OBP with Toronto.

Medical Emergencies: Tony La Russa suffered from a wicked case of shingles, causing players and assistant coaches to look up "shingles" on WebMD to determine if it is contagious.

Field Intruders: Distractions included attractive bare-foot females and rally-inducing rodents that sauntered across the Busch Stadium field while games were in progress. Not to mention, a moth that flew into Matt Holliday's ear in late August, causing him to be removed from a game.

Gambling Pressure: Players experienced intense pressure when they were notified that an optimistic Cardinals fan threw down $250 on them to win the World Series, despite odds posted at 999/1 in August.

Brutal Competition: A path to the NLCS included an elimination game in Philadelphia against a gentleman named Roy Halladay. A path to the World Series included playing against a team so talented that a decade-old Pixar film was enough to inspire them. A path to the franchise's 11th World Series championship required defeating a lineup so deep that the team's manager felt it was justifiable to bat their hottest hitter, Mike Napoli, seventh and eighth.

The list of adversity is daunting and distinguished. Because they were able to reach the highest level of performance excellence while consuming the adversity noted above, we are formally recommending the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals. Their logo would be a tremendous asset on your coconut. If you have any other questions, or demand additional references, please send all inquiries to

Yours faithfully,

Matt Sebek and Josh Bacott

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COMING THURSDAY: The Padres lecture that took awhile to complete. Then we're done for good. We swear.