I’ve had a while to get over the fact that the Cardinals didn’t make the playoffs, and that those pesky Cubs won the World Series instead of Cleveland. However, I walk across the street from Busch Stadium on my way to the Metrolink station every day, and seeing all the flags at the stadium put away for the winter makes me sad. But life goes on, and on this Election Eve, it’s now time for the 2016 Cardinals Blogger Awards. You are invited to vote for the 2016 Blogger Awards until November 18, 2016 (that’s my birthday, BTW), and here’s the link for you to cast your ballot: 2016 Cardinals Blogger Award Ballot. My selections in each of these categories are listed below, but don’t let that affect your vote. 🙂
1) Player of the Year
X Aledmys Diaz
Jhonny Peralta got hurt (what’s new?). Aledmys took over and took off like a rocket. If Aledmys hadn’t gotten hit by an Andrew Cashner pitch, he may have been one of the candidates for the NL Rookie of the Year. I’m looking forward to seeing what Aledmys can do in seasons to come.
2) Pitcher of the Year
X Carlos Martinez
As Adam Wainwright faltered early in the season and had a rough stretch in August, Carlos took over the position of ace on the staff. He had a 16-9 record, the best record of the staff. His pitches and the speed of his pitches were wicked. I can’t wait to see how he pitches next season.
3) Game of the Year
—April 8 at Braves (three PH HR)
—April 14 at Brewers (Garcia 1 hit, 13 K)
X July 16 vs. Marlins (Adam Wainwright shutout)
—July 22 vs. Dodgers (Matt Adams home run in 16th)
—July 27 at Mets (snapping Famila’s save streak)
—August 5 vs. Braves (Jaime Garcia 8 scoreless, 11 K)
—August 8 vs. Reds (5 run 9th)
—August 14 at Cubs (Piscotty tiebreaking homer)
—September 9 at Pittsburgh (three HR in 9th)
—October 1 vs. Pittsburgh (rally plus Gyorko winning homer)
The July 16 game was a magical game in a season that was less than magical. Adam Wainwright pitched one of the games of his career in front of his teammates from the 2006 World Series who had come to town to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Cards’ World Series win. Waino showed he could still pitch like a master.
4) Surprise Player of the Year
_ Aledmys Diaz
X Jedd Gyorko
I’m sure we all thought “Jedd who?” when we heard that Mo had traded Jon Jay to the Padres. Jedd showed his grit and his moxie as he hit home runs when it counted. The Cards got the best end of that deal, especially when Jay got injured and was out most of the season.
5) Disappointing Player of the Year
_ Michael Wacha
X Write-in: Mike Leake
I was going to select Kolten Wong, but he didn’t play enough to give a good sample size. Mike Leake got my only write in vote instead. There was a great deal of hoopla when he was signed, and it was hoped he would help with the team since Lance Lynn was out after Tommy John surgery, but he only had a 9-12 record and a 4.69 ERA. Hopefully, Leake will pitch better next year.
6) Rookie of the Year
X Alex Reyes
Brought up mid-season, Reyes quickly impressed and ended up with a 1.54 ERA, which was the best ERA on the pitching staff. I’m looking forward to seeing how Reyes will pitch during a full season.
7) Acquisition of the Year
X Seung-hwan Oh
Oh was the best player that Mo picked up last winter. Oh was originally signed for eighth inning relief, but he flourished in the closer role when Trevor Rosenthal got hurt. “Stone Buddha” is one of Oh’s nicknames and if you watch him pitch, you see why. There is no emotion on Oh’s face when he pitches.
8) Most Anticipated Cardinal
I don’t follow the minors all that much, so I don’t feel qualified to answer this question.
9) Best Individual Cardinal Blog
I love all the UCB blogs equally, so I don’t want to play favorites. I respectfully decline to vote in this category.
10) Best Team Cardinal Blog
X Write-in: Cards Conclave
CC was founded by UCB head honcho Daniel Shoptaw, and he and several other writers share their thoughts about the Cardinals there. Many different voices in one location – you can’t beat it.
11) Best Media Coverage
X Derrick Goold
–Jose de Jesus Ortiz
X Rob Rains
A tie here, but I selected them for different reasons. Derrick is great on Twitter and very responsive to followers who tweet at him. His columns are informative and well written. Rob does a great job covering the Cardinals on his (and wife Sally’s) website STLSportsPage.com. Rob has great analysis.
12) Post of the Year
–”Cardinals Find Perfect Timing as Playoff Hopes Crash”–Bill, I70 Baseball
X”The Kolten Wong Situation”–Daniel, C70 At The Bat
–”Lou Brock, the Lucrative Acquisition Fleet Footed All-Star Societal Difference Maker”–Josey, The Redbird Retreat
–”Not Our Year”–Diane, Women Who Love Cardinal Baseball
X ”Worrying What the Flash Means: How We Talk About Race in Baseball”–Chase, Double Birds
I will take Proverbs 27:2 to heart (Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth, A stranger, and not your own lips.), and not vote for my own post. I found myself liking two of the other posts equally well. Daniel’s post took Rob Rains’ interview with Kolten Wong and expanded upon it. Chase’s post covers the race problems in today’s game and is very well written.
13) Best UCB Podcast
X Bird Seeds (video)
–Conversations With C70
–The Double Birds Podcast
–Gateway To Baseball Heaven
–Meet Me At Musial
–Talking About Birds
–UCB Radio Hour
Okay, I admit, I don’t listen to many podcasts, but I have watched Bird Seeds and it’s very enjoyable. Video podcasts are the future of podcasts and Tara does a very good job with Bird Seeds.
14) Best Non-UCB Podcast
–Best Podcast in Baseball
–Cards on Cards
–Cubs Cards Cast
–St. Louis Cardinals Extras (MLB.com)
–Two Birds on a Bat
–Viva El Birdos
As mentioned above, I don’t have much time to listen to podcasts, so I have no vote for this category. Sorry about that.
15) Best Podcaster
Another category in which I don’t feel qualified to vote.
16) Best UCB Twitterer
X Write-in: @CardinalsTales
Bob Netherton (a/k/a Big Green Bob) is my favorite UCB Twitter guy. He doesn’t write many blog posts, but that’s okay because short-form writing is his best game. He tells it like it is and doesn’t mince words or characters when it comes to the Cards. If he’s in the mood, he will post what he calls Twitter Tales, where he takes a classic Cards game and posts it on Twitter, 140 characters/letters at a time. When he’s not expounding on the Cards, he posts Twitter posts with photos of yummy food cooked on his Big Green Egg barbecue grill.
Don’t forget, tomorrow is Election Day, so go out there and do your civic duty. And don’t forget to vote for the 2016 UCB Blogger Awards! Here’s the link again for that, so you don’t have to scroll back up to the top – 2016 Cardinals Blogger Award Ballot. Thanks for reading! See you next time!