August UCB Project – Interview a fellow UCB member

The UCB Project for the month of August is for the members of the group to interview each other. I had the pleasure of talking with Kevin Reynolds from stlcardsnstuff.com. Please enjoy the Q&A, check out his site, and make sure to follow him on Twitter.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself away from the keyboard?

Well, other than the obvious (a lifelong Cardinals fan), I have a beautiful family with a four-year old little girl, a 14-year old son, and a wonderful wife. I tend to work constantly, not necessarily by choice but rather by necessity. During the day, I’m a Technical Writer for a software company, but in the evenings I see marriage and family clients as a licensed professional counselor in Missouri. And that’s where my heart truly is, in counseling. While I love to write, it took me a while to realize that my writing is a personal passion. It’s through my place as a counselor that I look to impact others around me. And, just to fill up the corners a bit, I’m a freelance writer for Yahoo! Sports (the Cardinals beat) and usually-regular-sometimes-sporadic blogger at www.stlcardsnstuff.com.
What made you decide to start blogging? What brought you to the UCB?
Already having a passion for writing, a bachelor’s degree in writing, and a job as a professional writer, it was really just a natural progression of events that my writing life would one day collide with my fan boy life. After the 2004 World Series loss to the Red Sox, I was so devastated that I needed an outlet. Blogging was that outlet. And once I started, I couldn’t stop. Having the ability to contribute to the national conversation about baseball was addictive, especially for a sport that shares such a romantic relationship and history with print media. Of course, writers love writing communities — workshops, gatherings, etc. — and the UCB was something I stumbled upon while reading Daniel Shoptaw’s blog at cardinal70.com. It was a perfect fit.
Who is your all-time favorite Cardinal?
For a long time, that was a simple, quick, and direct answer. Ozzie Smith. He was my childhood favorite and still gets me excited at the thought of meeting him some day. But over time, I’ve come to appreciate the older Cardinals much more than before. Bob Gibson fascinates me, with his attitude, athleticism, and sheer dominance on the mound. Lou Brock, for anyone who has had the chance to interact with him at Spring Training, is like everyone’s generous and kind grandfather. But still, Stan Musial tops them all with the perfect combination of all aspects of the game and humanity.
What is your most memorable Cardinal experience?
Honestly, my most memorable experiences have come rather recently. Being an adult Cardinal fan is kind of like being a kid …but with your own money and no one to tell you what you can’t do :). Number one, though, has to be getting the opportunity after the 2011 World Series to attend Winter Warm-up as a member of the media, press pass and all. Getting the chance to shake hands with players and coaches, talk with them, and essentially do the dream writing job we would all love to have — even just for a weekend — was indescribable. To make things even better, I was able to attend the baseball writer’s dinner when they were celebrating both the 2011 World Series and the anniversary of the 1982 World Series, so players from the 2011 team were on the same stage as Ozzie Smith and Whitey Herzog. Oh…and I was allowed to attend a VIP reception with greats like Lou Brock and Whitey before the dinner. All in all, one heckuva weekend in St. Louis.
Where were you when Freese hit the homerun?
I was at home…wallowing in self-pity…tweeting angrily that we had given away the series, lost in the previous game, blah blah blah…and then BAM! He nailed the triple that tied the game. Everything changed. I said to my wife, “Even if they don’t win, that moment was almost enough!” Then Hamilton hit his homer. And I said to my wife, “I hate Hamilton (then, one of her favorite players) and will always hate him for as long as I live!” Then Freese hit his homer…and we all flipped out in the living room (well, I flipped out…my kids were sleeping…and my wife was half ecstatic half exasperated with having to go through the experience of hearing me complain during fits of depression for possibly one more game). And I love that you only have to ask the question about “the homerun”…and we all know what you’re talking about.
If you were GM for a day, what changes (if any) would you make to the 2013 team?
I would promote Ryan Jackson and give him a shot. I love Pete Kozma — his story, his style of play, his approach, etc. — but he’s a hole in the lineup right now. Everyone talks about Jackson’s regression and BABIP factor, but compared to Pete Kozma right now, the dude’s Joe Dimaggio. I think Kozma could have a place on this team as a utility man, but history suggests the Cardinals are going to look for more eventually at SS. Might as well see what they have in Jackson first while also seeing if the rest Jackson can give Kozma can restore Pete’s swing a bit.
Also, I would slot Martinez and Wacha both in the rotation and remove either Lynn or Westbrook for a time. Lynn is outstanding — except for that whole big inning problem — and Jake has the ability to be that veteran, ground ball starter…but right now, both are costing us games. Let Wacha and Martinez pitch start-to-start, each time earning another game, and give Westbrook and Lynn a rest for a couple weeks. Then, throw both back in to see what they’ve got in September. I wouldn’t want either Martinez or Wacha throwing starts in the postseason if I can avoid it, so getting either Lynn or Westbrook right to man the fourth spot behind Waino, Kelly, and Miller would be ideal. Then, Wacha and/or Martinez can be the quick-hook long men to back up the starters in October.
What do you like most about blogging? Least?
I love the community of writers — the UCB and how we interact with the professional scribes — the most. Being able to connect, discuss, and collaborate is a lot of fun. I also love the opportunities blogging has created, like getting to participate in UCB days at Busch and attend WWU as a member of the press. Probably the least favorite thing about blogging is the difficulty in building momentum for the site. You have to keep at it and do as much as you can to create consistency on your site — just like the professionals — except it’s not your job. You have to do it in your “free time”. That’s hard to do with a family.
Who is your favorite blogger? Cardinal related or otherwise.
I think my favorite Cardinal blogger — from a content perspective — is Bob Netherton. I don’t get to read him as often as I would like, but there’s real value in the historical memory-keeping that Bob offers. As “a person,” I love the man that Daniel Shoptaw is for all of us. His heart and dedication comes out in his interactions with people and is the real glue that makes the UCB and what it is possible.
What one piece of Cardinal memorabilia/history would you love to own? 
Oh, wow. Hmmm…how about the bat Stan Musial used to hit his famous All-Star Game-winning homer? Or the one he used to stroke his 3,000th hit? But you know…I’ve always wanted to have a small theater room in my house to watch movies and baseball games, complete with a mini concession stand. How cool would it be to have a 5-seat row that consisted of two seats from Sportsman’s Park, two seats from old Busch, and one seat from current Busch? That would be cool…watching the Cardinals play in October while sitting in the same seats used to watch Musial, Gibson, etc. That’s magic.

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