A team of determination, not destiny

Baseball, perhaps more than any other sport other than golf, is a game of concentration. A split-second, a hundredth of an inch, the slightest hesitation is the difference between a home run and a harmless pop out to the shortstop.

The cerebral nature of our pastime is just one of the things that has made the St. Louis Cardinals' season so inspiring. Despite the death of a team leader, Darryl Kile, the death of Cardinal broadcaster Jack Buck and the numerous injuries that have tested the Cardinals' character, the Birds have kept their focus.

This is why the Cardinals are not a team of destiny as many have stated. Destiny implies that the stars have aligned in such a way that it was meant to be. Remember when the New York Mets beat the Boston Red Sox on the famous Bill Buckner error? Maybe that was destiny. Winning Powerball with a dollar bill you found on the sidewalk; that's destiny.

No, the Cardinals are a team of determination.

If anything, destiny is working against Cardinals, the latest evidence being third baseman Scott Rolen's shoulder injury.

Somehow, the talented and relentless Cardinals have managed to channel the negative factors, even ignore them, and still keep the split-second focus it takes to win games.

Even if the Cardinals don't get past the National League Championship Series, much credit should go to the Cardinals' general manager Walt Jockety and manager Tony La Russa. Here's hoping that the Cardinals fight destiny all the way to a title.