BOSTON — The 2004 St. Louis Cardinals won 105 games, a number that hasn't been matched in MLB since that season. They were a great team — with Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds each driving in more than 100 runs, plus Chris Carpenter, Matt Morris and Jason Marquis leading the pitching staff.
Those Cardinals met the Boston Red Sox in the World Series and their 105 wins, well, those didn't mean much after four games. The Red Sox swept the Cardinals, outscoring them in the series 24-12 and bringing Boston its first World Series trophy since 1918. We all remember that. It's history. It was the year The Curse was broken.
Now, the two teams are meeting again in the 2013 World Series. These Cardinals are propelled by a group of high-performing young rookies, guys like Michael Wacha, Matt Adams and Trevor Rosenthal, to name a few. They must be thinking a lot about 2004 right now. They must be itching to avenge Boston's magical World Series run from nine years ago. They must be seething and all-consumed. Right?
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"I think I was in eighth grade," says Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal, all of 23 years old. "I was playing football and baseball and being a kid."
"I don't know," says relief pitcher Kevin Siegrist, 24, when asked about revenge. "Maybe organization-wise. As players, I don't know how many players ... are there any players? Maybe Yadi?"
Yes, Yadier Molina was on that 2004 team. He had three at-bats in the World Series. Chris Carpenter was with the team, but was injured and didn't play in the World Series. Oh, and Mike Matheny, now the Cardinals manager, he was the starting catcher in 2004.
"Maybe for them," Siegrist says. "But there's so many players. It's two different teams."
One of the more ringing endorsements of revenge came from pitcher Shelby Miller, 23.
"You can feel it a little bit," Miller says. "Some of the guys on the team, kind of want a little bit of revenge, I guess."
A little bit. Kind of. I guess. Hear that, Boston? Them's fighting words.
Miller must remember the Cardinals loss well. The memories must be eating at him more and more by the day.
"I was 14," Miller says. "I wasn't watching the World Series, I don't think. I was doing probably something childish, playing video games or something that would interest me more."
Who then of these young Cardinals will heroically lead the charge of revenge? Who will stand up for their brethren of yesteryear?
There, Matt Adams, the 25-year-old big bopping first baseman. He was 16 when St. Louis lost in the Series to the Red Sox. Maybe, as one of the older rookies in the Cardinals' ample stable, he'll have revenge on his mind, being older and wiser and all that.
"No matter who the team is, you want to go out there and win the World Series," Adams says. "But I think it'll feel good being able to go out there and beat the Red Sox. [Matheny's] had our backs throughout the whole season. We want to get this one for him."
You know, that's probably the best we're going to get. So let's just go with it. Win this for Matheny, young Cardinals!
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