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Giving Thanks, Cardinal Style

Posted on November 22, 2012 at 9:35 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals | United Cardinal Bloggers
It's Thanksgiving, which, by definition, means a time of giving thanks.  We know all the basics--I'm always thankful for my family, my friends, the fact that I'm gainfully employed, etc.--but the following is a list of things that I'm thankful for in relation to being a Cardinal fan.  After all, that's a large part of life, right?

--To reiterate what I said yesterday, I'm thankful that Stan Musial is still with us, representing all that is good and pure about the game and showing us that talented people don't have to have the flaw of being egomaniacal jerks.

--I'm thankful that the Cardinals have good ownership.  Especially after the debacle that has taken place in Miami, it's good to know that those in charge in St. Louis really do have the team and the fans in mind.  Do they want to make money on their investment?  Sure they do.  However, they've gone about it in a way that doesn't insult the fanbase, that doesn't ruin the traditions that we have in the area.  Even the alternate jersey was done with tradition in mind, even as it broke from it.  Bill DeWitt and his fellow investors should be commended for the job that they do in St. Louis.

--I'm thankful that John Mozeliak has turned out to be such a good general manager.  We didn't know what we were getting at the time and I'm on record as saying I thought it was a compromise hire, but Mo has set a steady course as well as making the moves to get the Cardinals in position to win (and actually did win) a World Series.  Mo's also done a great job with the minors and keeping the talent coming.  In other words, I'm thankful that we still have players like Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal, instead of seeing them in other uniforms.

--I'm thankful that, for the most part, the organization takes into account character when constructing their team.  Baseball seems to have less of this than other sports anyway, but it's rare when you hear about any Cardinal in an off-field kerfluffle.  For the most part, the team is made up of solid individuals who play the game the right way and seem to live their lives the same way.  We don't know how they really are at home, of course, but they at least give off that sort of public perception, which is better than some others.

--I'm thankful that I get to see Chris Carpenter pitcher.  We hear the legends about Bob Gibson and most of them have to do with his performance on the mound, but some of them are just about his toughness.  How he continued to pitch on a broken leg.  How he glared down batters and never gave in.  When we tell the legends about Carp, we'll talk about that toughness.  We'll talk about his glare.  We'll talk about him returning from having a rib removed.  We'll talk about NLDS Game 5.  On the UCB Radio Hour last night, we talked about the fact that, one way or another, it seems like no one else should wear 29.  He's that important to this chapter in Cardinal history.

--I'm thankful for Adam Wainwright and I sincerely hope that I can be thankful for him being a Cardinal for many years to come.  There's nothing better than seeing that curveball drop in for strike three and watching Waino throw another gem of a game.  Add into that the personality he shows in public and with his clubhouse dances and you've got someone that needs to be in Cardinal red for a long time.

--I'm thankful that Carpenter and Wainwright and all the pitchers have Yadier Molina behind the plate.  Molina is another one that could challenge the Cardinals' policy about retired numbers, because if he doesn't make the Hall of Fame (which, granted, he is on a trajectory to achieve), can you imagine the unlucky person who would have to follow him and wear 4?  That'd be some huge shoes to fill.  Molina's defense will always be what we most appreciate about him--someone needs to make a shirt that says "America runs on Dunkin.  America doesn't run on Yadi."--but his offense was underrated for a few years, though obviously that's not the case now.

--I'm thankful for the history of the Cardinals.  Eleven titles in and of itself is a pretty awesome thing to be tied to, but there's so much more in the 120+ years of Cardinal baseball.  All the Hall of Famers.  The classic moments, the larger than life personalities, the fact that the minor league system as we know it began with Branch Rickey when he was the Cardinal general manager.  So many wonderful baseball topics run through St. Louis.

--Finally (well, finally because I need to start getting ready for my family Thanksgiving, not because I'm running out of things to be thankful for!), I'm thankful for the fact that the fanbase of this organization is so awesome that it generates some incredible bloggers and wonderful people.  The United Cardinal Bloggers are like another family to me, one where we talk a lot of baseball, sympathize with each other when things go bad both on the field and in our personal lives, and rejoice when the opposite of each occurs.  Our weekends in St. Louis are always one of my personal highlights of any year and I'm honored to be a part of them.

To one and all, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and, if it is relevant, safe travels.  May God bless you this day!

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Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%

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