St. Louis Cardinals Win 2011 World Series

Tony La Russa hoists the hardware

The St. Louis Cardinals rallied from a 3-2 game deficit to claim the 2011 World Championship. David Freese was named Series MVP.

The one-day rain delay prior to World Series Game 6 turned out to be a huge factor for the St. Louis Cardinals as it allowed them to bring Chris Carpenter back for Game 7 on three days rest. The ace allowed two first inning runs before tossing five scoreless frames following.

David Freese tied the game in the bottom of the first before Allen Craig's third-inning solo home run gave the Cards the lead to stay. St. Louis went on to take their 11th World Series title in franchise history in winning Game 7 by a 6-2 score Friday evening at Busch Stadium.

Game 7 attendance of 47,399 set a new single-game Busch Stadium III record, eclipsing the previous high of 47,325 reached Thursday night in Game 6 of the World Series.

Boxscore

Freese was named Series MVP after batting .348 (8-for-23) with three doubles, a triple, home run, seven RBI and four runs scored. During the post-season, he was 9-for-19 (.474) with runners in scoring position including seven extra-base hits. Freese set MLB all-time post-season marks in RBI with 21, extra-base hits with 14 and total bases with 50 and tied for the most post-season doubles ever with eight and hits with 25.

Catcher Yadier Molina set a Cardinals World Series record with nine RBI. Though he had only one hit outside of Game 3 and batted .240 in the Series, impending free agent Albert Pujols had six RBI and tied Craig with three home runs. Lance Berkman batted .423 in the Series, drove in five and scored a team-high nine times.

Carpenter made three starts, pitching 19 innings. He won two games, including Game 7, and logged a 2.84 ERA. Jaime Garcia did not pick up a win, but allowed just two runs in 10 innings for a 1.80 ERA. The Cardinals pitchers held the Rangers to a collective .243 batting average in the seven games.

Related article at The Cardinal Nation Blog: "Cardinals invite fans to celebrate 11th World Championship Sunday"

VIDEO FROM FoxSportsMidwest.com and FOXSports.com

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Hear the Cardinals thoughts as they took Game 7 away from the Rangers and won a classic, improbable World Series.

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Interviews during the clubhouse celebration.

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The awarding of the trophy

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David Freese receives his World Series MVP award

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Lance Berkman, Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter speak

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Top 5 moments of the 2011 World Series

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David Freese showed up when it mattered, helping deliver an eleventh World Series title to the city of St. Louis in thrilling fashion.

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Tony La Russa's post-game comments (from MLB and ASAP Sports)

LA RUSSA: Well, not if you're a professional baseball player. I mean, this is what you dream about. There isn't anybody on this team, the other team, too, that when you're a young kid you don't think about winning the World Series, and it's always in Game 7. Truly a dream come true. It's hard to really imagine it actually happened.

Q. After the rainout, did you really have any doubt that you were going to start anyone other than Carpenter?

LA RUSSA: Well, I did, because that's not the way we do it. You like to look at all your options, and last night with Dave there was so much going on after that game, and I said, "Let's be smart and I call you in the morning." I called him and said, "Let's lay out the options." And he said, "It's Carp," and he hung up on me. So it's Carp.

Q. Earlier tonight, the Commissioner was talking about a moment you guys were up in Milwaukee and it might have been mid-August and he was basically congratulating you on a season, and you said to him, "Well, it's not quite over yet." Do you remember that moment? And could you just talk about what was going through your mind at that time as we go forward.

LA RUSSA: Well, you've got to practice what you preach, what you preach to your team. Especially if you think you've got a legitimate chance to compete. It's a long season. If you watch the history of baseball, teams come back, and sometimes they could have come back but they give in or give up. And I knew the character on our team, the coaches knew the character. We just challenged them to don't give up. Started winning some games so we can regain some respect, and then it got better and they just grabbed that play every game like it's the last game and relentless until the end.

The only thing was as we got close to the trading deadline, Mo asked us if we made some changes, and we had asked, this is where we need help. Do we have a chance to win? And we said, yes, and he went out and put his neck on the line and made the changes. The first couple weeks with a better ballclub we weren't playing well, and we kind of avoided Mo for a while, but then we started showing that he had given us more weapons, and this is where we ended up.

Q. We asked you a lot about Game 6 before, but now that everything is over, can you wrap your head around the past 24 hours, to go from one strike away twice to now being World Champions? That must be a lot to absorb.

LA RUSSA: I mean, I heard several players say it. We made an effort today led by the veterans, went to everybody and just said, "Look, let me rephrase it, we're going to put Game 6 in a box and put it away." Because you just can't come today feeling great vibes about last night, Texas is too tough and we've got to make sure we're ready to compete because if we got beat tonight, then it was a good story. Now that we've won it, it makes yesterday greater.

It's just typical of our club. They really embrace something that is legitimate, and they embrace the fact but now it's time to think about Game 6, and that's part of this historic run. I mean, it's hard to explain how we made it happen except the club has great guts. Really we have more talent than people think, but we have great guts.

Q. This is your third one, but everything you guys have gone through this year with the injuries and 10 1/2 back in August and the things you went through, what does this one mean not only for you but for some of those guys who haven't won one in the locker room and for this franchise?

LA RUSSA: It's just about us as an organization. I mean, this one is just different. It was really hard and it was different. As I said a couple days ago, it's like your favorite dog, favorite cat. They're just different. They're still your favorites. But in the end, I mean, as a staff, a lot of us have been together a long time, and we have always gotten turned on by guys veterans who have a chance to win a world championship. So it's really special for some of those guys that paid a lot of dues, great players, never get to the World Series, some get there and don't win it. We share that with -- even the young guys, this may be the last time you play in it, you don't have any assurances. You know that turns our staff on and has for years, and it's part of what we try to talk to the players about, and today, this year, it worked. I'm really happy for all the organization, but I'm especially happy for the first-timers.

Q. Can you talk about what it was like to go through this seven game series, all the twists and turns, different stories for each game? What was that like?

LA RUSSA: The only thing we tried to it's not selling, it's just telling the truth. The season is so demanding, it really challenges everybody on a club and the entire organization because you get hurt, you have to bring guys up. But when you get to October, there's no more fun and excitement that you can have, the last eight teams standing. We really talked about how the only way you don't enjoy it was if you don't compete to the best of your ability, and if somebody beats you, tip your cap.

I didn't realize until maybe the day before yesterday, first series we won in five games, right? Second won we one in six. You start looking for anything that will make you feel optimistic. So I say, crap, that's they way it's going to be, we're going to win in seven. Usually I'm wrong, but five, six, seven. It's a competition, highest level, the Phillies were great to play against they're so good. The Brewers everybody expected nonsense and we both played each other as tough as we could, really good games, very exciting. And then you have the Rangers, two time American League Champions, they're very good. I think a lot of us -- I heard Ron say it, too, we're evenly matched, so it just comes down to who gets the final victory, and we got it.

Q. I've heard you say this week, I think, that you're enjoying yourself more in this World Series than at other times before. Could you give a few examples of things you say, I can do this or don't have to do that anymore, the kinds of things that liberate you?

LA RUSSA: What I meant was this is the latest one. The last time we got into the playoffs in 2009 I enjoyed that. Because every time you get in, it's the immediacy of -- you lose three games in the first round, you're out. I mean, that's fun. During the regular season you're always kind of weighing -- you show confidence, you have to protect this, be careful with that, and now in the playoffs it's just -- I mean, literally you try to separate every inning you play, and that goes back to the Oakland A's in the '70. You ask Sal Bando and those guys, that's what they used to teach. You can literally play every inning times seven games. The inning you're playing you can win or lose that game that you may win the Series, and if you adopt the attitude the urgency is all around you and guys play better.

Q. We saw last night just how difficult it is to get those final outs of a championship. What did it mean for your bullpen to come through the way it did, not just tonight but down the stretch in general?

LA RUSSA: Well, I mean, I can't -- I mean, I think this is the way all pitching coaches and managers operate. There wasn't anything that happened last night that surprised Texas. The game is just too hard, and there's too much talent. It's a fine line. Today when Carp came out and we had that first inning -- you know, if Dotel does not retire Andrus, then we were going to have to use Rzepczynski against Hamilton, which meant we had to play the two innings without a left handed reliever. That was scary and that was a big out.

Then you have Lance and the middle of the lineup and you think, okay because now, we've got a shot because Rep is there. So now we've got a four run lead and I told Dunc or Joe Pettini one of them, a four run lead and they had some right handers and then they were gonna have some left handers. If Motte struggles, I don't know if I'd do it, but I was going to play him in the outfield. I've never done it before in my life. Take him out, bring in Rzepczynski for the left hander and bring him back for Kinsler. When you're doing all that, because you know it can get away from you, and that's part of the stress of those last innings, because it's a real small margin of getting those last outs. It didn't happen yesterday, it happened for us today.

Q. Did you know you were going to put in a lefty?

LA RUSSA: No, man. I was going to ask him, do you like left or right better? I mean, I don't know if I would have done it. That would have been I've never done it, but it has been done, it would have made sense because we didn't want to use Salas because he threw a lot yesterday, and we were worried about Murphy and then Moreland was a tough guy for us, so...

Q. We've talked so much about the bullpen in particular over the course of this series. Is there any substitute for an ace for a guy who can pitch like Carpenter did tonight, especially on short rest?

LA RUSSA: I'd have to go back over the game. This was unusual because the bullpen was such a factor so often. Normally the way you get here is you have a good, solid rotation. That's how we got here, but just right there at the end, just got a little sluggish. So normally they pitch six or seven, bullpen gets the last two or three, and that's how you win. That's a really tough way to win over the long haul, but a lot of our relievers are young guys. And you mix in Arthur and Dotel and the experienced guys, and I mean, it really worked. I can't give them enough credit. Derek Lilliquist, first year with us. It's a different way to win.

Q. You wear the uniform, you know the relationship between this city and the players and manager. Can you imagine a Cardinals world without Albert in it?

LA RUSSA: No. No. I mean, I know it's a great organization, he's a great player, and part of their greatness is their conscience, their intelligence, and they're going to try like heck to make it work. We never talked about it. The season is over, now it's time to start talking about it. They're going to try and make it work and we'll see if it can work or not.

But they're both great, and the organization is going to try to keep him here, and Albert wants to stay here, and best effort, we'll see if it comes off or not.

David Freese post-game comments

Q. When you wake up from this dream, what are you going to be thinking?

DAVID FREESE: I don't know yet. I'm trying to soak this all in. I've tried to soak in this whole postseason as much as I can because you never know if it's your last attempt at a title. You know, it's going to take me a little bit, I think, to realize what we've accomplished. And the funny thing is if we go down tonight and we're NL champs, we still did a ton that nobody thought that we could accomplish. And then just to win it is an incredible feeling.

Q. To grow up in St. Louis, could you ever, ever have imagined to be the NLCS and World Series MVP in the same postseason?

DAVID FREESE: No, I've had plenty of days of my life where I thought I wouldn't be even close to being a big leaguer. I'm here because of everybody around me. They've put so much trust in me to accomplish not only baseball but just stuff in life, and to do this is -- I'm just full of joy, finally.

Q. What did Tony La Russa bring to this championship?

DAVID FREESE: Everything. He started it. That guy deserves all the credit. You know, he rallies the troops. He's got a plan with every thought, with everything he says. He's got a great idea of what it takes to not only win a game but to get to this point, and for me to come to the big leagues and play under him right out of the gate, I couldn't ask for anything more.

Q. This is your first one, but you're going to have some more years to hopefully try to get another one. For some of these veterans like Arthur and Octavio and Rafi and Lance and Nick, and all these guys who don't have a lot of years left to play, what's it mean to make sure they get one?

DAVID FREESE: That's what all of us less experienced guys, we talk about that all the time, let's get these veterans that have done this for so long, let's get these guys a ring and keep working. I think I heard a stat or something that Dotel has been traded five times in the middle of a season, and on each occasion he never played the playoffs until this year. I mean, that's incredible. And for those guys to get this is amazing.

Q. The Rangers obviously got some quick momentum in the first inning. Tell us about your at bat in the first that turned it around and got things rolling your way.

DAVID FREESE: You know, when you hit fifth, sixth, seventh, whatever, you hope to hit in the first because good things are usually happening. I got up to the plate, had a fairly good idea about what was going to go down, so I took that approach, stuck with it, and got the bat out there and put it in the gap. I think that was a big turning point because it kind of started the game over and got things back to even.

Q. In the ninth inning, with three outs to go, Motte is on. At what point do you start allowing yourself to think, OK, we've got this thing?

DAVID FREESE: Playing the Texas Rangers, not until the last out. There's been a lot of times in this series where players or teams, you know, you start to smile, you start to this and that, and then all of a sudden it switches on you. You learn real quick, you play Philly, you play Milwaukee, you play Texas, there's no time to kind of take it easy. You've got to put it on them. There is some luck involved and momentum to win a championship, but we did enough things right this series to win it.

Q. After last night's walk-off home run, could you imagine things feeling any better than they did last night coming into tonight?

DAVID FREESE: You know, I didn't sleep much because I was so focused on this game. I was telling people like before Game 6 against Milwaukee, I slept like an hour. I was so fired up, I wanted to play that game. You roll on adrenaline this time of year.

I sit here right now, and I still can't believe that we actually did this. I keep thinking about mid-August, the mood of the team, kind of the disappointment of what was going down. And Carp said, "Let's get together and talk about some things." You know, most importantly we said that the fans deserve for us to make a run at this. You get 3 million plus for the last however many years consecutively, that's incredible, so they deserve this just as much as anybody else.

Q. We've seen this team swing at early pitches in counts, but most of the early runs tonight, including your hit, were on 3-2 pitches. Is there a different strategy or mindset coming in with this pitcher?

DAVID FREESE: Yeah, I don't know if it was a different mindset. Sometimes when you're feeling good at the dish, you get in the habit of you think you can kind of hit everything, and that's kind of when you get out of you kill your hot streak, this and that, and you've got to kind of zone it back in. You look at all the teams that get deep in the postseason, it seems like those are the teams that work counts, wear down pitchers. You look at Philly and the Yankees over the last few years, they've seen more pitches, I think, than anybody, and they do that for a reason.

So for me, I've got some guys behind me, and obviously a few guys ahead of me in the lineup that I just sit and watch and I learn and I soak up everything they do, from Spring Training on. I'm with Matt Holliday every day in the offseason. He took me under his wing a couple years ago when things weren't too hot, and he's a big brother to me. I owe him everything.

Q. After your hit and yet another St. Louis comeback, did you have a sense at all that the Rangers were losing a little fire after that, that it was just one comeback too many?

DAVID FREESE: No, I think Texas coming from the American League, that ballpark, they understand anything can happen, and I truly feel like they believed in the ninth inning that there was a shot that they could come back. I mean, look at what's happened over the course of this postseason.

You know, I look over at that team, and it seems like they have a lot of fun over there, and it seems like that's a lot of talent, obviously, and a great group of guys. We just won it this time.

Q. Not to bring up a sore subject, but I remember very well you being down in Springfield, Missouri, and the injury you had down there. When you're on top like this, how nice is it to be able to think about where you've come from and being able to overcome things like that?

DAVID FREESE: Yeah, I think you've got to kind of take a step back and understand all the work you've put into it, and then you realize how many people are the reason why you're here, starting with my folks. You know, I quit out of high school, and they were the only two people that supported that decision. If I listened to everybody else, I wouldn't be here right now, no chance.

But it's amazing. I sit around and think -- I just think about everybody that's involved in all this, and it takes a lot of people to get to this point.

Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter post-game remarks

Q. When you throw a bunch of guys into the mix that have never played on the same team so late, you never know what's going to happen. Talk about how the team gelled.

ALBERT PUJOLS: Well, you pretty much brought guys here in the trade, guys that knew how to play the game. You know, with experience and like Dotel being in the postseason, just guys that are winners. They mixed pretty well right away into our ballclub, and that's why we're here. Some of those guys that we've got in the middle of the season were able to help us out to accomplish what we want, and that's to be a World Champion.

Q. When you're on the podium there celebrating with your teammates and the crowd is going berserk, is it hard to imagine playing in any other city for any other team?

ALBERT PUJOLS: I don't think that's a question right now that you should ask. Right now it's just enjoying the moment, man, and just you know, sitting at first base with three outs left and just thinking about through all the things that we went through this year as a group, just how special this group of guys that we have are. You know, and to be able to do that and just bring another championship title to the city of St. Louis, it's just amazing.

Q. We know that during the season you liked to just talk on what your life is as a ballplayer, your focus on playing the game. It's over now. You've won the championship. Congratulations. Can you talk a bit from the heart now what this means to you, how important this is to you to win this championship, your second?

ALBERT PUJOLS: Every time I talk, I talk from my heart, so I don't really have to -- I don't have two faces. Whatever I tell you is how I feel, whether you want to believe it or not.

You know, I keep saying, all year long, you know, it's really special, man, to be around a great group of guys like this and I just thank God to give me the opportunity every day, to live another day where I can wear this uniform and just the special career that He has given me so far. Just being here on the highest stage. Out of eight teams, somebody was going to have to be a champion this year. I'm just asking God every day to let it be us and let us have the opportunity. If it was meant to be our team, that we were going to win and going to try to do our best. It's pretty special, man.

To compare it with 2006, it's the same feeling pretty much, because this is what you play for. It doesn't matter the numbers, it doesn't matter the records, it doesn't matter the money that you make; what matters is to raise that trophy and to be able to bring that smile to the city of St. Louis, and not just the city of St. Louis but all our fans around the world.

Q. You seem to rejoice in the success of your teammates as much as anybody does, and you've been obviously around to see the trials and tribulations of David Freese. What has it meant to you as probably a mentor of him to see the success of him and walk away with the trophy? Everybody assumes it's probably going to go to you or Holliday or Berkman.

ALBERT PUJOLS: Well, that's the main thing. I said earlier, I don't have a word yet how to describe David Freese. When we first got him, just a humble guy, I liked him right away as soon as we got him in the trade. To be able to go through the things that he has gone in his career and just to show who David Freese is on this stage. We all knew what kind of player he was just because of the injuries, sometimes it's tough to perform at this level. I just thank God that he allowed me to be a part a great player that showed pretty much everybody how he played the game, and when he's healthy. I just thank him.

Pretty much the same way Mike Matheny, Fernando Viña, Edgar Renteria, those veteran guys took me, they took me under their wing. And Darryl Kile, they taught me how to play the game and how to care about guys and not just care about the game. Care about the person, and that's we've done some things through our young guys that you guys don't get to see it. You sometimes catch a lot of stuff from people, from fans, things that happen sometimes during the season, but in that clubhouse only the players know and our managers the things that are going on. And I just thank God that He gave me the opportunity to just be an encouragement to David Freese and to some of my teammates.

Q. '06 was your first time, Albert. Now you have people like Dotel and Rzepczynski and Edwin and Furcal who come over here for their first taste and you were able to help them get that. I think this would have to make this somewhat different but also gratifying that you helped other people experience what you had in '06, as well?

ALBERT PUJOLS: You know, this is how this organization works. I mean, you know, the same way that I had in '06, veteran guys that have been there before to give me the opportunity to win my first one, that's the same way that I and the same feeling that I have to help these guys. I just thank God they helped me out to be a part of that.

We as a team perform on this level like nobody could have believed, and we believe in ourselves, we knew what we were able to do, and from the bullpen through the starting pitchers to our offense. Just when everybody pretty much were thinking that we were down after a tough game, the way that we bounced back, just incredible.

Obviously right now a lot of things go through my head and thinking about just the whole season, but probably like two or three weeks from now, that's when I'm really going to be sitting down and saying, wow, where we were, and now we're the 2011 World Champions. It's unbelievable, and just like you say, to be a part of -- just giving Arthur Rhodes, a guy that has been in the league 19 years, Octavio Dotel, Rafael Furcal, all those guys, the opportunity, along with us to win another championship is pretty special.

Q. Chris, can you talk a little bit about your mindset in the first inning. You give up two, your team comes back, scores two for you in the bottom and you're nails for five innings. Talk about your mindset between the first inning and going back out for the second?

CHRIS CARPENTER: First of all, I just want to add one thing to what Albert said about the opportunity to for guys that aren't a part of this, that have never been a part of this, it is really gratifying, I think, for players that have, because we've played so long, and guys play this game for one thing, most of them, and it's for a World Championship. You think about that when you're a kid.

And to have the opportunity to be able to experience that with guys like Arthur and guys like Dotey and guys like Furcal, people that haven't experienced this before that have been around for a long time is amazing. I just wanted to add that.

Going off of the second inning, I felt like in the first I felt pretty good. I got the ball up to Michael Young, but I felt like I made a pretty good pitch to Josh that he hit for the double. Coming back out for the second, I didn't know how long they were going to let me go. So I was just trying to do everything I can to get one out at a time. If it was two innings, one inning, three innings, four innings, I had no idea, and nobody said anything to me about it. So I just continued to go out and try to make pitches, and I felt like as the game went on, I felt stronger. My stuff got better, my command got better, and I was able to make some really good pitches when I had to. And I mean, these guys, again, never gave up. This team is unbelievable. Most amazing team I've ever been a part of.

Q. It would be one thing during your time here to win one World Series, but during your time, and especially you and Chris together, three World Series appearances, two wins. What does that mean to you to have those multiple World Series appearances and wins? What does that mean to you, and where do you think it fits into the context of Cardinals' history, the rich Cardinals' history?

ALBERT PUJOLS: Well, it's awesome. This is what you play for, to be a World Champion, and you know, it's hard to get one, and to be able to have the opportunity to win two in 11 years. I mean, I can go around the guys that play 15, 17 years, 14 years in this game and never won one. And to be able to be in three World Series and to win two, it's incredible.

You know, when you get ready to go to Spring Training and get down there, our main goal is that: What can we do this year to improve our club and to be a World Champion. Pretty much that's what our mind and our focus are every day that we take the field.

This year, you know, through the injuries early in the year with Wainwright and Spring Training and as soon as a the season starts, a couple of the position players and myself, and to be able to accomplish this is even sweeter. It's just an unbelievable feeling, and I'm blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of this great group once again.

Q. Berkman said after the game that he approached you and said, "Come back. Let's do this again." What did you tell him?

ALBERT PUJOLS: Just the same thing that I am going to tell you. I was enjoying the moment. Listen, I'm going to be prayerful about it. Whatever decision I make hopefully is the best decision I make for my family and the fans and everybody. Right now I am just going to enjoy the moment and just celebrate with the guys and pretty much just thank that my teammates that helped me out to accomplish another World Championship, because at the end of your career, those are the sweeter moments that you take. And there's a lot of tough time that we went through this year and a lot of sweet moments, you know. And the way that we did it is incredible. You know, there's not too many teams in the game that done it like that. I'm just blessed to be part of that.

But to talk about my contract right now, that's the last thing that I'm thinking about. I'm just kind of letting everything come in and the game that we won today.

Q. David Freese spoke before about you speaking to the team in August. I'm wondering how you recollect that.

CHRIS CARPENTER: Well, I mean, I've answered that question many times.

Q. Not after the World Series, though.

CHRIS CARPENTER: I hear you. I hear you. And it's different each time. But there was a few of us. It wasn't just me. There was a few of us that felt that something had to be said, and it wasn't about we need to clean it up and start playing better to win the World Series. It was, we need to start playing like St. Louis Cardinal baseball or like the St. Louis Cardinals play baseball.

So we sat down, and a few of us spoke, Albert spoke, I spoke, I think Lance spoke, I think Gerald Laird spoke because he was on that team that fought back to be able to play that 163rd game that year against the Twins.

You know, it was about not embarrassing ourselves. It was about continuing to play hard, to give something for our fans, no matter if we won or we didn't win. It was about playing hard and playing like we are capable of, not embarrassing ourselves, and also not giving up. It was a nice conversation, I think. I mean, it really wasn't that whole it wasn't that big of a deal, it was just, let's go play and have some fun. I love these guys. I said this then, to start the meeting, I said, this is the best group of guys I've ever been a part of.

And there's been some things in this club that I've had so much fun being a part of. And when I come to the ballpark, to be able to see these guys every day has been great, and I didn't want to ruin that. I didn't want to ruin it for the last month and a half of people start pointing fingers and all that stuff. I just thought, hey, you know what, we might not win another game the rest of the year, but we've had so much fun with a group of guys, let's just continue to do what we need to do to have fun.

Q. I'm going to continue with that theme. The feel of this team this year, the atmosphere has been totally different, the chemistry has, and then the trade came. Was it the skill set of the guys that you guys brought in, and/or was it the missing piece for the personality of this team to propel this team to where you are now?

CHRIS CARPENTER: Yeah, that's a good question. I think that we had a great personality in the clubhouse to begin with. I told Dotey tonight, we were sitting in the locker room before the end of the game, before he went down to the dugout and having a beer, and we were talking about this ballclub and talking about the personality and the experience that he brought, what Arthur brought to that bullpen, to solidify that bullpen down there.

I talked about what Jacks did when he came here and moved into the rotation. I mean, he was a huge part of it, also. I think it is a little of both; I think that no question personality. It made some of those kids down there relax. Zep comes in, does a great job, as a left handed guy. Arthur brings experience, brings veteran leadership. Dotel brings that same just to relax the guys, just be like, hey, this is what it is, and that solidified that bullpen part.

Jacks solidified that starting rotation spot. And then we get that trade with Furcal, that comes in to solidify the shortstop defensively, offensively, the energy that Rafael Furcal I'm not quite sure what his numbers were or what he did from the time he came here or not, but the energy that he brings to the ballclub every day is amazing, and I think that, like I said, it was a little bit of both.

Q. At what point do you stop celebrating the savoring of this and you start looking toward the next year? How long can this go?

CHRIS CARPENTER: I don't know, that's a good question. I'm supposed to start my offseason workout program on the 1st, which is only a couple days away, so we'll see what happens. But I'm going to enjoy the moment tonight with my great teammates and my family and the people that are involved in this organization.

Q. What are you going to remember the most about this season? Is it playing dominoes and talking trash in the back, or what is it?

ALBERT PUJOLS: Just everything pretty much. When you review the whole season and just sitting down, from April all the way to September, October and then now, being able to win the World Series, you remember everything. I mean, just how relaxed I think we were after the second half, you know, when you add those guys like Dotel and Furcal, like Carp said, and Edwin, and just the attitude that those guys brought up here. Chris just said, we had a great group of guys and great core, and part of that is because our manager and the veteran guys that we have here, and when you added those veteran guys here, it didn't take long for them to get used to Cardinal baseball.

But just pretty much every moment, Furky (Furcal) flipping and doing his little thing, his sprint before the game in the clubhouse and just being loud, and Dotel yelling and laughing and just all the guys enjoying the great moments that we were having all year and in the last two months of the season, including the postseason, were unbelievable. I think the best moments of my career pretty much because just the way that we did it, the way that we got in and the way that we finished, we're the World Champions, it's pretty special.

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