Cardinals look to bright future after Fenway failings

Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:04am EDT
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By Julian Linden

BOSTON (Reuters) - Fenway Park is an unforgiving place for losers. No-one knows that better than the Boston Red Sox.

They went 86 years between World Series victories until they broke their drought in 2004. On Wednesday, they clinched their first title at home since 1918, the last year Babe Ruth was with the team before being traded to the New York Yankees.

A resounding 6-1 defeat, and 4-2 best-of-seven series loss, meant it was the St. Louis Cardinals who were left with the empty feeling of falling at the final hurdle in the quest for baseball's biggest prize.

As the home crowd sang Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline", a Fenway favorite, the visitors retreated to the locker room to dwell on what might have been.

"I think the floodgates opened," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told reporters.

"I told them to hold their heads high. They have nothing to be ashamed of. We all know that we could come out and play a better game than what we did here, but we did a whole lot more than anybody gave us credit for or expected us to do.

"There's a lot of things that they can look on in a negative way, but this isn't the time for it. They have to be very proud how they represented themselves, each other and this organization."

After beating the big-spending Los Angeles Dodgers to win the National League championship, the Cardinals arrived at the World Series confident of winning, despite fielding a relatively inexperienced team.   Continued...

Fans gather after the Boston Red Sox won the MLB baseball's World Series by beating St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6, at Landsdown Street near Fenway Park in Boston October 30, 2013. REUTERS/Tory Germann (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)