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Description: Conventional baseball wisdom holds that teams leading their divisions on Labor Day make the playoffs. The St. Louis Cardinals were not leading the National League Central nor were they even in contention for the wildcard. Yet today the Cardinals are world champions, completing improbable comebacks to gain a playoff berth and then advance through each round.

Source: B. Nightengale, “Cardinals’ Improbable Run Results in 11th World Series Title,” USA Today

Date: October 28, 2011


Questions for discussion:

  1. The “never say die” attitude reflects what aspect in the general definition of motivation?
  2. What needs would be satisfied by making the playoffs/winning the World Series? How might the needs satisfied vary from player to player?
  3. No doubt the Texas Rangers wanted to win the Series as much as St. Louis. Using Expectancy Theory, discuss how Cardinals’ performance in the last two months of the season may have given them more motivation to win it all.
  4. Imagine you are Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa. How would you use Goal-Setting Theory to increase your team’s chances of winning again next season?

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