Last night, the St. Louis Cardinals became the first team to win their division with a 6-1 victory over the rival Chicago Cubs. It is the Cardinals' second consecutive NL Central title, and their fifth in the last six years. After a long, grinding season, one would expect the Cardinals to break out the bubbly, shooting champagne corks around the room and generally acting like fifth-graders let loose in their father's wine cellar. That's the whole fun of it.
But LaRussa was having none of it. For the second consecutive year, even though the Cardinals had mathematically clinched the division, LaRussa would not allow the team to celebrate because the team's magic number wasn't officially zero. The team's bewildered owners attempted to talk LaRussa out of it, but he wasn't having it, even telling clubhouse attendants to take down the plastic they had put up in the locker room.
Even better: If the Cardinals lose to the Cubs this afternoon and the Astros lose tonight — "officially" making the magic number zero — LaRussa says the team still won't celebrate. "Not until a win," he says. We wonder how long he can take this; heaven forbid the Cardinals lose a few in a row and the team has to set its playoff roster without its manager continuing to stubbornly refuse the existence of them.
Cards Clinch Division Title [STL Today]