The St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers employed vastly different philosophies on their way to the NLCS. Yahoo's Jeff Passan put those differences into clear perspective in an excellent piece written on Thursday. If you haven’t checked that out yet, it’s advised you do so before the battle of the heavyweights really gets rolling.
On Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch attempted to highlight the differences as well, headlining their coverage with the following illustration.
It's the 'Cardinals' way,' according to the Post-Dispatch, which one could say compares favorably to the strategies used successfully by the New England Patriots and San Antonio Spurs in the NFL and NBA respectively. They all spend the money when necessary, but their emphasis is on the far less exciting aspects of sports, like scouting, development, preparation, and above all else, consistency.
Then you have the 'Dodgers' pay,’ as they’re calling it, which speaks for itself. They’re the big market club with seemingly unlimited resources that solves every problem by throwing money at it. They’re a superstar driven team, though let’s not overlook the fact they have developed many of their own. Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp to name a couple.
It’s an amusing, creative and mostly accurate portrayal of the two organizations, though obviously in St. Louis they‘re painting the Dodgers as the villains. But maybe you see things differently. Maybe you find the Cardinals approach boring and the Dodgers quick road to success more appealing. So we'll ask the question.
Which philosophy would you prefer: The Cardinals way of building and sustaining, or the Dodgers ‘pay’ of going all in now and worrying about the consequences later?