The Cardinals' Tony La Russa is an old-school manager, and as such he doesn't believe in conceding anything until the last out has been made.
Still, even La Russa figured St. Louis was done late in Thursday's Game 6 of the World Series. Before the game Cardinals' management had told La Russa that, should the team lose, it wanted his players to go on the field and thank the fans before Major League Baseball presented the Texas Rangers with the World Series trophy.
And while La Russa considered such talk negative before such a big game, in both the ninth and 10th innings Thursday he found himself reminding the team of its postgame obligations. The players, obviously, found another way to give thanks, staging improbable rallies each time before winning the game in the 11th, 10-9, on David Freese's leadoff home run.
"There was a couple of times, in the ninth and 10th with two outs, I told some of the guys, 'We've got to do the fans right,'" La Russa said. "So we went from that to celebrating. That's a big emotional change.
"Once it got started it's much more fun to think, 'Hey, we can do this' [than] 'Oh, it's not going to work.'"
-- Kevin Baxter in St. Louis
Photo: Tony La Russa. Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty Images.