So, the Cardinals are one win away -- from becoming the worst team to win a World Series. At least, they will have the worst regular-season record of any World Series winner. The irony is that baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was musing a couple of weeks ago that he might pursue changes to the playoff system, to make it harder for wild-cards to win it all. If it's bad to have a World Series like the wild-card 2004 Red Sox, who had the second best record in baseball that year, what can we say about the 2006 Cardinals? Are they more deserving because they survived their second-half collapse, hanging on to win their division on the final day of the season?
The Cardinals are obviously a good team, with a tremendously underrated (or underachieving, before now) pitching staff. They have baseball's best player, in Albert Pujols, and a pretty good supporting cast. Did they deserve to be in the playoffs? Under the three-division format -- the answer is "yes." They have proven to be the best team in the playoffs, and that's all that should matter. Their performance in the playoffs has been all the answer they will ever need to give.