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The First Five

Posted on July 14, 2012 at 1:27 PM
Filed Under: Cincinnati Reds | St. Louis Cardinals | United Cardinal Bloggers
"80% of success is just showing up"--Woody Allen

I've heard that quote a few times recently, though granted it was a little more applicable to this blog when I heard it as "80% of life" rather than success.  Still, I think it fits pretty well for what I'm wanting to say today.  

Five years ago, after an abysmal Kip Wells start (I know, that doesn't narrow it down, but here's the box score) I decided to start writing down my thoughts on the Cardinals in a dedicated place.  While the URL has changed, most everything else has not in those five years.  Running the numbers, this will be post 1,420 I've personally done (not including the 47 guest post entries) and that's almost 80% of the days that have passed since I started.

Along the way, there have been epic posts.  There have been posts that flopped.  There have been posts that I was very proud of.  And, of course, there have been the parodies.  There's even been a post that draws the unsuspecting, as I've gotten some hits from people who hit this post expecting pictures of Daniel Radcliffe.

Over the past five years, I've been able to do things I never thought possible.  I got to see the inside of the Fox Sports Midwest truck and talk with the various on-air personalities.  I was able to ask John Mozeliak a question and watch a game from the Cardinal suites.  I was able to meet other Cardinal fans from all over the country and count them as some of my good friends.  Folks, I even got the chance to talk to my childhood hero, Ozzie Smith, and be interviewed by KMOX.

I even started actually talking about the Cards.  UCB Radio Hour led to Gateway To Baseball Heaven and, after being inspired by the Pitchers Hit Eighth boys, Conversations With C70 was born.  I've never heard of anyone being bored to death by any of those shows, though it could be because the next-of-kin didn't know who to inform.

Most of these things were because I just showed up.  Early on, I had the idea for the United Cardinal Bloggers and due to the incredible talent that is involved with that group, it's made it a lot of fun to sit down and talk about the Cards, either here or on Twitter.  I kept plugging along, often by ideas that were stimulated by their posts or discussions.  I've been honored to be associated with this group and privileged that they keep humoring me and my ideas.  If it wasn't for them, most everything in the preceding paragraph wouldn't have happened.

I solicited some ideas for what to do to honor this anniversary.  While I got some good ones, I realized that the best way to honor this day is to treat it like most every other.  I've always said this is more of a workman-like blog.  It's not going to hit the heights that places like Viva El Birdos is going to hit.  It's not going to bring the interesting insights or points of view that places like Pitchers Hit Eighth bring.  As I said originally, it's an regular joe blog, 

Which means that, after all that hoopla, there's Cardinal stuff to talk about.  And I better hurry, because the next game starts in a couple of hours and I'd hate to be still here when it does.  After the jump, if you please..........


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The Cardinals faltered last night in Cincinnati, losing 5-3.  Things were rocking and rolling along, though again the Cardinal offense wasn't really clicking, until the seventh inning.  Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

The Goat has to go to Allen Craig.  Not only was he 0-5, but his errant throw led not only to the Reds go-ahead run, but put Adam Wainwright in peril as well.  I winced every time I watched that highlight, just glad that Wainwright's barrel roll didn't cause any lasting damage.

I wasn't able to watch the game, being out with some good friends that I hadn't seen in a long while, but it sounds like Wainwright pitched a fairly good game, just got caught with some bad luck there late.  It happens.  And, if the Cards had beaten up on Mat Latos like the career numbers against him indicated, perhaps they'd have had enough runs to withstand that seventh inning or make some different decisions during it.

We'll give the hero to Skip Schumaker for his two-for-three, RBI night and it was good to see Yadier Molina back and with a couple of hits as well.  Sorry that Barret Browning is no longer perfect--his base hit to Brandon Phillips proved costly when Fernando Salas allowed a triple to Ryan Ludwick--but I think I still trust him more than most out of the pen.  In fact, I'd have probably yelled at the TV when Mike Matheny made that change last night if I'd been watching.

Couple of news points before we look at today's matchups.  First off, Lance Berkman, as expected, is being activated before today's game.  Shane Robinson has been demoted and I've not seen a lineup yet, but I'd expect Berkman is in it.  Hopefully not going on the rehab assignment won't mess with his swing and reactions too much and he can be hitting like Berkman usually hits very soon.

Also, the Cards have signed Brian Fuentes to a minor league deal.  It was about three years ago that St. Louis looked to sign Fuentes, but he wanted three years at about $11 million per.  Wisely, the Cards passed and have done fairly well without him.  Fuentes has struggled (as was kinda expected) and was released by the A's recently.  I know some are excited by the signing, but I'm not expecting much out of it.  It's a no-risk move, of course, and one the Cards probably should have made, but I just don't think we'll see him produce at the big league level.  I've been wrong before and could be again here, but I don't see it.

Kyle Lohse goes against his former team today, something that's often worked out for him.

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Scott Rolen 24 21 5 1 0 1 2 2 2 .238 .333 .429 .762 0 1 1
Jay Bruce 22 21 6 1 1 1 4 1 7 .286 .318 .571 .890 0 0 0
Brandon Phillips 21 19 4 1 0 0 1 1 2 .211 .238 .263 .501 0 0 0
Ryan Ludwick 19 18 3 0 0 0 2 1 7 .167 .211 .167 .377 0 0 0
Joey Votto 18 17 6 2 0 0 1 0 4 .353 .333 .471 .804 0 0 0
Ryan Hanigan 14 12 2 1 0 0 0 2 2 .167 .286 .250 .536 0 0 0
Drew Stubbs 11 10 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .100 .182 .100 .282 0 0 0
Zack Cozart 6 4 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 .250 .500 .750 1.250 0 1 0
Wilson Valdez 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .250 .400 .250 .650 0 0 0
Johnny Cueto 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0
Chris Heisey 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Bronson Arroyo 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Homer Bailey 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Mike Leake 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Devin Mesoraco 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .500 .000 .500 1 0 0
Miguel Cairo 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Mat Latos 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 157 139 30 6 2 2 10 11 31 .216 .279 .331 .610 1 2 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/14/2012.

Joey Votto and Jay Bruce have done some damage, but that's not entirely unexpected.

Cardinals get to face Mike Leake.  Not as many data points, but they are favorable.

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Carlos Beltran 9 9 1 0 0 1 1 0 3 .111 .111 .444 .556 0 0 0
Matt Holliday 9 8 4 0 0 0 2 1 0 .500 .556 .500 1.056 0 0 0
Yadier Molina 9 9 3 1 0 0 0 0 3 .333 .333 .444 .778 0 0 2
Rafael Furcal 8 8 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .250 .250 .250 .500 0 0 0
David Freese 6 5 2 1 0 1 2 1 0 .400 .500 1.200 1.700 0 0 0
Jon Jay 5 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .200 .200 .400 .600 0 0 0
Skip Schumaker 5 4 1 0 0 1 5 0 1 .250 .200 1.000 1.200 0 0 0
Daniel Descalso 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0
Tyler Greene 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 1.000 1.500 0 0 0
Kyle Lohse 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 1
Adam Wainwright 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Total 60 57 16 4 0 3 11 2 8 .281 .300 .509 .809 0 0 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/14/2012.

Matt Holliday's done quite well in limited time and Molina has done well also. Again, yesterday seemed to give St. Louis the advantage in the pitching department and we saw how that turned out. Hopefully today's advantage will be much more effective.

Before I go, I'd like to toss out a link for you to examine when you get the chance.  Big Leagues Monthly is a web magazine that has just started up and, if the first issue is any indication, it's going to be around for a long time to come.  Some good names in there contributing, people I've gotten to know through the BBA and other channels.  If you want to read some good baseball writing, check it out!

Thanks to everyone that's read over the past five years.  Looking forward to the next five!

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3 Comments

3 Comments | Leave a comment

Congrats on five years! Quite the milestone. And thanks for all you do for the UCB. It's very much appreciated.

It has been my personal pleasure to stop by here and read your "workman" blog quite often over the past couple of years. It is also through and because of you that I have met so many wonderful people that share the same passion for baseball that I have. Those relationships are priceless to me and you have been a conduit and a lightning rod for those kinds of things to happen for a lot of people. Don't aw shucks me either. It's true. It's all true. Thank you so much for who you are and what you bring to the table. And thank you for this blog which has given me plenty of pleasurable reading for a long time now. Here's to many more years of great things for you and your fine writing.

My thanks to both of you for the comments. William, you may not want it, but aw shucks anyway. I don't know that I've done as much as you think, but if I've been helpful in any way to expanding your baseball circle, I'm glad to have helped.

Christine, I think I should be thanking you! AMF gives the UCB projects much more visibility than they would otherwise get and I appreciate how much you and the rest of the staff get involved and help me out. Thank you so much!

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Heroes
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)

Goats
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%)

2012
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%)

2011
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%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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