BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals shouldn't have all that much in common.
The Red Sox play in a big media market with a television network they own and are one of only four teams with a current payroll over $150 million.
The Cardinals play in what is considered a much smaller market, have a television deal with Fox Sports and are 11th in the majors with an $115,222,086 payroll.
If you ask either manager, both teams have their own "ways," and they are far more similar than one might think. The Red Sox way and the Cardinal way have their respective teams getting ready to play for a world championship, and will be on display Wednesday night at Fenway Park. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07.
"There's that relentless approach to play a complete game every night," Red Sox manager John Farrell said, when asked about the Red Sox way. "I know that can be selling a broad brush, but we look to be relentless in every aspect of the game. That's a mindset -- an attitude that we've worked hard at creating."
Since the dawn of the 21st Century, only three teams have won more than one World Series title, and two of them are playing here Wednesday.
The Red Sox swept St. Louis in 2004 and then swept Colorado in 2007. St. Louis' first title of the century came with a 4-1 series win over Detroit in 2006, and then a 4-3 win over Texas in 2011. San Francisco is the other team with two World Series titles.
"Two historic franchises with a lot of history and a lot of success. You know we take a lot of pride in what has been able to kind of define the Cardinal way and how we go about our business," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, who is in his second year as manager. "But we also realize we're about right now."
Right now for both of these teams includes building a foundation with homegrown players and adding to the foundation with free agents. These are not a team of so-called mercenaries who travel from team to team, searching for that next big paycheck.
That's not to say the Red Sox and Cardinals don't have those players. John Lackey, Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino are three Red Sox big-ticket free agents. St. Louis' Carlos Beltran has twice been a high-priced free agent pickup, once by the New York Mets and this past offseason by the Cardinals.
There are 27 players on these two rosters, 10 on the Red Sox roster, who were drafted and developed by their current club.
Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester are all going for their second rings as players the Red Sox have developed. Nine Cardinals, led by catcher Yadier Molina and second baseman Matt Carpenter, played in the 2011 World Series win over Texas.
Another similarity is that both of these teams have developed players while winning. Boston has had only two losing seasons since 1997 and St. Louis two since 1995. That means neither team is drafting high.
"A lot of credit needs to go to our scouts, obviously, and our system," said Matheny. "They have a plan in place of what they're looking for."
What also makes this matchup interesting is that both managers didn't work their way up from the minors as a coach or a manager. Both Farrell and Matheny were front office executives before they became managers.
Farrell spent five seasons as the director of player development for the Cleveland Indians while Matheny took his job with the Cardinals after serving as a special assistant in St. Louis' player development department.
"I think it's a great example of a lot of work by people that might not gain a lot of the notoriety or acknowledgment," Farrell said during a Tuesday session with reporters. "The scout who's out in the northwest finding a young guy from that territory, or a coach at the entry level in rookie ball, their imprint is on the players that have started their career in that original organization."
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