The World Series champion Cardinals discovered an unexpected foundation of talent and toughness that should serve them well in the coming years. The Rangers, meanwhile, must resist the temptation to let this crushing loss ruin them.
Although there are more high-profile spots on the calendar, the next six weeks of the baseball season is by far the most intriguing. This period of discovery foreshadows the pennant finale and October glory.
Bud Selig talks about parity, but winter moves shift the power in baseball even more firmly to the east. A salary cap or other equalizing measure would limit the ability of its biggest, most watched teams to dominate.