Moving On

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a site called Blogs by Fans. I thought it was another blog clearinghouse, much like the Bloggapedia, Blog Catalog, etc. buttons that I have on the site. There was a place for submissions, so I gave them a link to this blog.

Turns out that it is a little more than a clearinghouse. It’s a blog network and they’ve asked me to join them. After a good bit of thought, I’ve agreed.

So, starting tomorrow, you should be able to find me at www.cardinal70.com. Change your bookmarks accordingly! It’s a new design, a new location, but basically the same writing. I’ll leave this blog up so you can find anything I might have written in the past, but the archives are also going to be transfered to the new site.

Ironically, it’s probably the only way this blog can be compared to VEB. Larry wrote a blog called Curveblog for about eight months before moving to the SB Nation network and becoming Viva El Birdos. I’ve been writing for about seven months and now I’m moving to a blog network. Like I said, though, the comparisons end there!

I hope you’ll follow me over to the new site and let me know what you think of it. Thanks for reading!

Spanning the Globe, AL Style

Yesterday, we took a tour around the National League. Today, let’s hit the junior circuit.

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Spanning the Globe, NL Style

One of the great things about having XM radio is being able to hear other teams’ broadcasts, getting a general idea of what the fans in that market are thinking about (plus, of course, all the great voices!) Thanks to the internet, we can do that daily. The next couple of days, we’ll take a look at each team that doesn’t play in St. Louis. I’ll have a blog link and a newspaper link, with a little discussion tossed in there as well. Blogs, for the most part, come from the team lists at striketwo.net.

And, without further adieu, let’s look around the National League:

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Reader Interaction Post #1: Why Are You a Cards Fan?

With the general slowness of the offseason, it seemed like a good time to find out about the people that read this blog.  If you’ve not commented before, this would be a great time to start.  I think you will find it’s a fairly easy and painless process. 

The question before you is why are you a Cardinals fan?  How did you come to follow the Redbirds?  (This, of course, assumes that most of the readership of the blog is a fan of the team from St. Louis.  If you are fans of another team, feel free to substitute their name and tell that story.) 

My first real baseball memory isn’t of the Cardinals, but of the Detroit Tigers.  My family visited my aunt and uncle that were living outside of Detroit in 1984 and we went to see a game at the old Tiger Stadium.  I remember that fall watching those same Tigers win the World Series. 

However, in this area, it’s tough not to be a Cardinal fan.  I remember in 1985, we had just moved into a new house and the cable had yet to be hooked up, so my dad stood in the kitchen listening to the Cards and Royals on the radio.  I also remember being very disappointed the morning after Game 7 when the DJ on the radio said, “This one is for Whitey Herzog” and played “Goin’ to Kansas City.” 

This is Cardinal country, mainly due to the fact that St. Louis is the closest baseball team, the fact that KMOX helped raise a generation of fans that are passing it down to their offspring, and the fact that the Cardinals usually win.  When I really started following baseball, it was 1987 and the Cards were going to the Series for the second time in three years. 

I latched on to Ozzie as my favorite player, followed by Big Mac (who I followed while he was in Oakland as well) and now Albert.  Somewhere along the way I got onto message boards and now into blogging about the team.  It’s been a gradual transformation and there’s no one definitive moment in my fandom, but it’s been fun all along the way. 

And it’s a lot of fun to have my son very excited about baseball and the Cardinals already as well! 

So that’s me.  How about you?

General Stuff

*Congrats to Future Redbirds for their 500,000 hit. They do some great work over there following the minors and probably are the second-most visited blog after VEB. Great job, guys!

*In case you are curious, this blog is just shy of reaching 5400 on the hit meter in exactly five months. Way off of 500,000, of course, but it makes me feel pretty good to know that someone is reading this stuff. And I really appreciate those that comment, because I hate feeling like I’m talking to myself.  I’m also proud of my fourth-place ranking in Cardinal blogs at Striketwo.net.  And everyone above me has multiple authors, so I’m the top solo artist.  (Hey, I’ll take what I can get!)

*For those of you that participated or were otherwise enthralled by the Cardinal Blogger Awards, you might be interested in this. The inspiration for that was the Boardie Awards at CCH, and the ballot for the fifth incarnation of those awards was posted today.

*A not-so-joyous comment for the holidays: Bernie says that there is “nothing going on…it’s going to be a hard winter.” He’s also not big on the signing Prior idea, though Deadspin does say that the Cards are very interested in him, though whether that is true or just Will Leitch wishful thinking, I don’t know.

*David Eckstein signed with the Blue Jays for one year. That market for shortstops dried up quickly. Hopefully he will have a good year with the Blue Jays. He had a great run as a Cardinal, but it was time to part ways.

Examining the Wreckage

So the Mitchell Report came out yesterday (available for download here).  Have you heard anything about that?

I’ll be honest with you.  I’ve not read it.  At 400+ pages of legalese, I’m not sure when and if I’ll make it through the report.  However, like you, I’ve heard a lot about what’s in it.

First off, Pujols is ticked and I can’t blame him.  That initial list that came out (you can read the real-time reactions in the Mitchell Report thread at the Clubhouse) had a lot of people, including him, on it that were nowhere to be found in the report.  However, even just having your name tied to a report like that, even if it is an inaccurate report that is withdrawn, can cause your reputation a lot of harm.  I saw someone later claiming that was a list of players that they didn’t necessarily have enough evidence to put into the report.  (BTW, Nate Silver at BP did a good job debunking that list.)  Some guy that doesn’t pay much attention may have caught that report and now think AP is a user.  Or people will say, as that other one did, “there’s no smoke without fire.”  For my part, I don’t think there was anything to it, just someone throwing out names.  I’m glad Albert did make a statement about the whole thing, though.

Second, from what I can tell, the Mitchell Report doesn’t tell us just a whole heck of a lot that we didn’t already know.  We knew lots of players used steroids in that time period.  We knew most of the names from one leak or another.  Even the big names of Clemens and Pettitte had before been tied to steroids and been suspected for some time.  While there were some former Cardinals on the list that we didn’t know about (Gary Bennett being the most recent, probably Fernando Vina being the most prominent), none of them made that much of an impact on me or the team.  Vina was a fan favorite and there could be some people disappointed with him today, but that’s about it.

And lastly, the most interesting thing out of the report was the lack of evidence tying Mark McGwire to steroids.  His andro use was talked about, but of course that was legal at the time and well known.  The only other information was the stuff from Jose Canseco’s book.  Mitchell investigators could find no one to verify those charges.

So the question for Hall of Fame voters, who are filling out their ballots now, is how do you keep him out?  There is less evidence against him doing things than certain Hall of Famers Bonds and Clemens.  As probably numerous people have said in the last couple of days, if you start keeping out people you just suspect used, you have to not induct anyone for a good 10 years or so, until this new class, people that have gone through testing, are eligible.  I don’t think that will happen.

We have players from the Dead Ball era in the Hall that probably wouldn’t be there if you used today’s criteria on them.  But the game was different then and most everyone played with the same conditions.  You could make the case that the Steroid Era was the same way.

More Random Thoughts

Just because there’s not that much out there:

  • The Mitchell Report is due tomorrow.  Assuming that the dog doesn’t eat his homework, I’m sure Mr. Mitchell will give us plenty of things to talk about in the grand scheme of baseball.  Will there be any Cardinals on the list?  Supposedly 60-80 current and former players will be, so it’d be hard to have the Cardinals passed over.  Also, what are the odds that the report makes it to tomorrow with no leaks?  I’d place those odds pretty darn low.
  • Apparently our good friends to the north have picked up another outfielder.   We’ll see how well he translates to the major leagues.  He’s 30, so he’s in the middle of his prime.  Being the Cubs, you’d figure it’d blow up in their faces.  Even if he does well, I don’t think he’s a difference-maker, but maybe I’ve just not followed him enough.  I still think the Brewers are the team to beat in the NL Central.
  • That same article indicates that Mark Prior will be non-tendered today.  I’ve talked about picking up Prior a couple of times, under the non-tender scenario and the trade route.  I think Mozeliak should be on the phone with his agent as soon as the paperwork clears the MLB front office.
  • I remember reading something (and I’ve searched for a link, to no avail) that Mozeliak said before the winter meetings that he expected to have stuff done by mid-December.  It’s getting to that point and not much has happened.  I know the Cards are in an awkward position of basically giving up on ’08 for ’09 and ’10, but still Mo, throw us bloggers a bone and make some sort of move!
  • If you want to look around the Cardinals minors while the news is slow, check out Future Redbirds’ prospect lists.  That should give you a pretty good indication of who is who in the farm system.  I’m guessing Erik and company will be adding the community top 25 they just finished to that page soon.