At the end of every season, the United Cardinal Bloggers have Cardinal Blogger Awards as a way to provide some closure. The first half of the ballot consists of the team on the field, and the second half takes a look at the active blogging members of the UCB. This is 7th time they have done this, but it is my first time since I am what is known as a “rookie blogger.”
Without further ado, here is my ballot. I provided reasoning where I saw fit.
1) Cardinal Position Player of the Year: Yadier Molina.
In my humble opinion, Molina was the National League MVP, so it is only fitting for him to get this award. The Cardinals would not have been nearly as successful this season without Yadi’s performance behind the plate, at the plate, and in the clubhouse.
2) Cardinal Pitcher of the Year: Adam Wainwright
Pretty easy pick here. Waino is the ace of the staff, and he performed this way the majority of the season. Fresh off a new long-term contract, he proved his value this season.
3) Game of the Year: September 24 vs. Nationals (Wacha near no-no)
As you all know, I love pitching, and this was one of the best pitching performances I have ever seen in my 23 years of living.
4) Surprise Player of the Year: Matt Carpenter
I’ve always loved Carpenter’s swing, but I never expected him to explode like he did this season. It was a pleasant surprise, and it could not have happened to a better person.
5) Disappointing Player of the Year: David Freese
Pete Kozma was a candidate for this award, but in my opinion, he does not deserve it. The Cardinals expected far too much from him. He wasn’t a proven hitter when they drafted him and never really hit well in the minors. He made the team because of his defense which was above-average all season. Freese on the other hand? Really disappointing. I am a big fan of his, but his 2013 performance was very underwhelming, and I am putting that mildly.
6) Rookie of the Year: Michael Wacha
His performance in October speaks for itself.
7) Acquisition of the Year: Randy Choate
8) Most Anticipated Cardinal: Oscar Taveras
I really hope Taveras lives up to the hype. I think he is the most anticipated Cardinal position player since Colby Rasmus, and we all know how that turned out. Let’s hope for an injury-free 2014 because the sky really is the limit for this young outfielder.
9) Best Individual Cardinal Blog: C70 At The Bat
I enjoyed reading his series previews and game previews almost daily all season. He put in an incredible amount of work and is a terrific writer. He is also the main reason I joined United Cardinal Bloggers this season. Give him the access that Derrick Goold or Jenifer Langosch has, and he could be great.
10) Best Team Cardinal Blog: Redbird Rants
They have a wide variety of content over at Redbird Rants, and I enjoy the fact that they take some risks with their writing. Everyone enjoys a good game report, but just about every news source provides one of those. The Redbird Rants staff goes beyond that, and that’s why I have enjoyed following them all season.
11) Best Media Coverage: Derrick Goold
Though he is sometimes sarcastic with his responses on Twitter, he is the most available/responsive of any of the media members. That deserves a lot of respect because no one says they have to respond to our questions. Also, his stance for supporting Molina for MVP catapulted him above and beyond the rest of the media members.
12) Best Rookie Cardinal Blog: CardinalsFarm
The amount of work John puts forth is incredible. He has to keep up with all of the farm teams, yet is able to produce farm reports almost every night. I love keeping track of prospects including writing some on my own, so his blog is an invaluable resource for me.
13) Post of the Year: Matt Holliday: One Of The Most Cost Effective Players In Baseball (stlcupofjoe’s Sports Page)
This is my favorite post of my early blogging career. I carefully read every single post in contention, and I know it may be frowned upon, but I ended up choosing my own. I thought out of the box and created my own statistic/measure to use as the main premise of the post, “$ / WAR.” Coincidentally, just a few days later, Baseball Reference published a post in which they implemented a similar statistic to it, so that was a pretty cool feeling to have that a reputable source like them thought along the same lines as me.
14) Best UCB Project: Top 7 Prospects
As I stated earlier, I love writing about prospects, so this one had an unfair advantage.
15) Best UCB Podcast: Gateway To Baseball Heaven
16) Best UCB Twitterer: @RetroSimba
It was a dead-heat between @RetroSimba and @CardinalTales, but I gave the slight edge to Mark here. Both are obvious must-follows for all Cardinal fans.
Until next time…
PS, with my school’s Thanksgiving Break starting tomorrow, be on the lookout for some more 2014 MLB Draft preview posts as well as some other posts if any trades are made during that time.
For more updates, follow me on Twitter: @stlCupofJoe