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We're not here to analyze, scout, predict, project or proclaim Derek Jeter a "winner." (Well, not this season, anyway; not any longer.) We're here to Second Guess. Hey, isn't that half the fun of baseball's postseason? So let's Second Guessing the World Series.

Sunday, October 24

Forget second guessing tonight. Call it first worrying.

If you're a Cardinals fan, you wanna hurl right now.

Woody Williams looked like Robin Williams, manic and full of cheese. Matt Morris was the only Matt worse than Hasselbeck on Sunday. The opposition's handed out eight errors and your boys have turned them into, umm, oh yeah, zero wins. Scott Rolen can't buy a thrill, Jim Edmonds has blown cold like a wind out of the north and somehow you've made Mark Bellhorn look like a natural-born killer.

You're down 0-2 and you just want to cry.

But here's the thing -- you're better off than a Sox fan right now.

Because a Sox fan, being a Sox fan, is more worried than you are. Because a Sox fan, being a Sox fan, is thinking (and when I say thinking, I mean obsessing over the fact that, wearing a path in the carpet because and kneeling in prayer knowing prayer is no match for the hard truth that) ...

Schilling is done.

Even if they shake the Babe, there's no way they get out from under the Affleck curse.

Pedro's ERA goes up almost a 1½ runs on the road, and he's headed to the House that Stan the Man Built. And he has to hit now, too, so we've got that working for us.

Eight errors in two games?! Eight?! Crimminy. Bill Mueller isn't playing defense, he's rehearsing the Russian Roulette scene out of "The Deer Hunter."

And speaking of errors, are we really going to trot Big Papi out to first base for three straight games?

And speaking of Big Papi, when does the cold streak come?

There's no good chowder in St. Louis.

La Russa, goofy as he looks in those shades, is no idiot, so there's no way he doesn't pinch-hit for Mike "Poor Man's Tom Pagnozzi" Matheny in another key situation.

Eventually, a guy with a name like So Taguchi is going to break through and claim his rightful spot as the perennial unlikely World Series hero, right alongside Mark Lemke and Mookie %$@! Wilson. I mean, how can he miss, the guy is just, you know, So Taguchi.

James Taylor and Donna Summer? This is the best we can do? What, Peter Cetera and Gloria Gaynor were busy? You think the Cards are going to go with a Taylor-Summer caliber duo? No way. They're going to have somebody born since 1980 has actually heard of.

Pujols is clicking. Still.

Rolen isn't. Yet.

Jim Edmonds vs. lefties this year: .330/.400/.613.

Jim Edmonds vs. righties this year: .293/.423/.651.

Francona made good moves these first two games. Embree. Foulke. Kapler for Manny. Pokey for Bellhorn. He's looked reasonable and quick. How long can that possibly last?

Jeff Suppan has looked very good this postseason (2.84 ERA/0.89 WHIP), and he throws somewhere on the order of 47 pitches from 23 different arm slots. He's exactly the kind of guy who can mess up hitters' timing.

I'm not saying anything, I'm just saying ... have you ever seen Mike Timlin and Calvin Schiraldi in the same place?

Manny's going to bounce a flyball on his head. Full Canseco. I just know it.

I don't care what anybody says, Busch is full of ghosts. There's a pinwheel-eyed Darrell Porter spirit floating around; Vince Coleman's blown knee wanders the hallways; Willie McGee's hangdog mug floats in mid-air like the red spaceship Greg rigged for Bobby Brady, just scaring the begeezus out of everyone; and if you listen carefully, speakers all over the joint, from the john to the beer stand, play that Jack Buck "Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!" thing on an endless loop. It's spooky.

The Cards haven't lost at home this postseason.

By the way, who do you think Joe Torre's MVP year was with? It wasn't the Braves, I'll tell you that.

The Yanks were up 3-0, this is nothing. We ripped the hole of possibility wide open, changed the rules. Now it's going to come back and bite us on the butt. You know it will.

And so it goes for the Red Sox fan.

So, dear Cardinals faithful, wherever you are, take heart. You don't have it so bad, really.

-- Eric Neel

Previous editions of Second Guessing
Oct. 23: World Series, Game 1

Oct. 21: World Series preview

Oct. 20: Damons and Demons

Oct. 19: Curt Schilling's legacy

Oct. 18: ALCS Game 5 as it happened

Oct. 17: First-guessing NLCS Game 5

Oct. 16: Another Scrap Iron stinker

Oct. 14: Another Scrap Iron stinker

Oct. 13: The ALCS & NLCS are already over

Oct. 12: Yankees get the better of the Red Sox

Oct. 11: Phil Garner got away with one

Oct. 10: Phil Garner wears the dunce cap

Oct. 9: Ten things on Twins-Yankees

Oct. 8: Angels decide to go with Jarrod Washburn

Oct. 7: Did Bobby Cox play too much Small Ball?

Oct. 6: Ron Gardenhire leaves in Joe Nathan