The (Revised) Definitive Guide To The Cardinal Blogosphere

In the spring of 2010, after being inspired by Pitchers Hit Eighth and their work on coming up with a central listing of Twitter accounts, I tackled the same for blogs that covered Cardinal baseball. It was a fairly daunting task (I still remember all the notes I jotted on a legal pad as I searched for sites) and I’ve made some modifications over the years.

Given the amount of time that has passed (and the recent seismic shift in the blogosphere), I thought it might be time to revisit this, tearing it down to the foundations and getting it built up again. I like to feel like I have a passing familiarity with the Cardinal blogging “scene”, though the fact that I think there actually is a Cardinal blogging scene may make you wonder about me. Credentials are available on request, though.

Since we’re kinda starting from a step up from scratch, I’m going to shuffle things around and set up some new categories.  I’m also not going to do as much in the inactive or dead blogs.  By now, there’s too many to really count there, though I will try to hat tip a few that were important either to the blogosphere or to myself.

If I leave off a blog, that probably means I either don’t know about it or had a mental lapse.  Please correct either by leaving the blog and the URL in the comments and I’ll add them into this listing.  Also, just because a blog is found in one category doesn’t mean it couldn’t fit into a number of other slots as well.

Before I dive in, let me take a moment here to say something.  There are a lot of different styles represented below.  There are some that are regular posters, there are some that are sporadic.  There are some that have all the advanced stats, there are some that still rely on more traditional fare.  There are some that have a romantic view of the game and the players, there are some that are much more objective in their musings.  All of them have a place in the blogosphere.  Not all of them are going to appeal to every reader.  If you find one that you enjoy, I encourage you to frequent it often and leave comments so the author knows someone is out there reading it.  If you find ones you don’t care for, move on to the next.

Also, if this inspires you to pick up your figurative pen and start journaling your thoughts, realize that it is very easy to do. Blogger, WordPress and MLBlogs all have free versions that are basically log in and type. Then post your URL and I’ll get you on here!

The Aggregators
Not blogs per se, but you can get there from here

United Cardinal Bloggers–While the UCB does use their site for some original content, typically relating to one of their regular monthly projects, the site also works as a gateway to the new posts of the individual members.  Along the right side of their blog is a listing of new posts by members, updated by their RSS feeds.  The easiest way to find out if there is a new post up for a number of the Cardinal blogs on the web.

The Cardinal Conclave–We’ve never been quite sure what to call this place.  A superblog?  A megablog?  Voltron?  Whatever the case, there are a number of blogs under the Conclave banner, giving plenty of choices with just one URL stop.  Occasionally the membership combines on some original material in The Smoky Room as well.

The Heavies
When you are talking blogs, these have the biggest following firepower

Viva El Birdos–Until recent events, VEB was the undisputed heavyweight of the world.  You know all the stuff Sam Jackson says in the Quicksilver credit card commercials?  Yeah, that was VEB.  Started by Larry Borowsky back in 2005, the reins were handed over to Dan Moore in 2008 and nary a beat was missed.  However, recent changes from on high seem to have alienated many of the regulars.  As you know, our former colleague Mike Grabowski, who wrote here under the heading Red Birds, Yellow Bat, had the unenviable task of stepping into that situation, but quickly realized that wasn’t for him.  Changes always bring turmoil so we will have to wait and see if VEB continues as the gold standard or slips a rung with their new focus. [Edit: As this was posted today, long-time member of the community bgh took over the site reins, easing many complaints.]

Mad Em-Dashes–It would seem very strange to put a blog that really has been only going for a week right up here with the long-time champion of the Cardinal blogosphere.  However, when said blog gets more comments on its first real day of action than the rest of the blogs get in months combined, I think it’s a safe categorization.  Dan Moore moved here after his departure from VEB over differing visions and it has quickly become the place to go for unsettled and disaffected Birdos looking to make a change.  It’s hard to judge just what is going on at MED just yet–will it be daily?  Will it be just Dan?–but for right now it’s the hottest place listed.

The Professionals
Covering the Cards for the major outlets and adding a little on the side

Bird Land–Sure, the Post-Dispatch also has Cardinal Beat, but it’s Derrick Goold’s blog that tends to draw the attention.  Derrick stays busy with all sorts of writing and interaction, but still puts up some quality, thought-provoking, detailed blog posts.  If we thought about it, the rest of us bloggers probably would resent him for making this look so blasted easy.

By Gosh It’s Langosch–Jenifer Langosch has only been covering the Cardinals for a couple of years over at MLB.com, but she’s done yeoman’s work keeping her blog up to date during that time.  Whether it’s updates on roster moves, notes from the most recent game, or passing along the latest press release, By Gosh keeps Cardinal fans apprised of everything they need to know.

The Grinders
Visit daily and odds are you’ll be reading new stuff

Aaron Miles’ Fastball–I’m fairly proud of my output (at least in terms of quantity) but I still have a ways to go to reach the levels Christine and Tara hit at AMF.  Almost every day (and if there’s a gap, it’s rare), one of the two of them puts up a post and they are always worth reading.  Christine’s had the site from its days as a solo blog to its time with Aerys Sports and back off-network again, but the commitment to regular posting has never wavered no matter who is on staff.  At times they have posts that you won’t naturally find at a male-dominated site, but that’s a feature, not a bug.

Redbird Rants–You are going to find regular posts at Redbird Rants as well, which is expected when you have a quality staff of writers.  Hosted on the FanSided network of blogs, RR currently has eight different scribes giving their opinions on the Cardinal news of the day.  There are plenty of links to news stories and other baseball items as well, so the Rants can be a one-stop shop for information or for passing time some afternoon.

I70 Baseball–While Bill does most of his writing these days over at Bleacher Report, the site he founded to cover the Cardinals and their brethren on the other side of the state is still going strong.  The writers over there cover all aspects of both teams and do so on a consistent basis.  You get a little AL in your NL coverage, but variety is the spice of life, right?  You’ll also find regular UCB participant Matt Whitener over there, writing Cardinals when he’s not writing general baseball at Cheap Seats Please.

STL Cardinal Baseball–You want regular Cardinal content?  Ray and Kyle will give you all you can handle and then some.  There’s plenty going on at the site, plus they’ve also got a sizeable community on their Facebook page.  You’ll find regular game recaps along with editorial opinions.  They usually have a strong take, but agree or disagree, it’s worth reading.

C70 At The Bat–All right, odds are you know about this one, given that you are reading it right now.  However, perhaps you came to this post directly from a link and you’ve never heard of C70 At The Bat.  It’s the blog that made the Kessel Run in twelve rambling game recaps.  (It’s wordy enough for you, old man.)  It’s the blog that’s here just about every weekday, talking about the game from the night before and assigning Heroes and Goats.  It’s also the blog that occasionally runs slightly strange parodies, if you are into that kinda thing.

The Old Guard
These folks have been around a while, at least in blogging years.

Go Crazy, Big Boy–To be technical, GCBB isn’t that old, even in the blink-and-they-are-gone standards of the blogging game.  However, Dathan has been blogging for a long while and, indeed, it’s hard to remember when he wasn’t part of the UCB.  He started with Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Goodnight and moved on to Cards Tied For First before setting up shop with us here at The Conclave.  The demands of family, work and school have kept him from putting fingers to keyboard recently, though his offseason journal hopefully will be making a return soon.

CardinalsGM–If you want to go real old school, though, you have go to Tom at CardinalsGM.  Tom’s been with the UCB since its founding and was one of the two that was instrumental in getting UCB Radio Hour off the ground.  Tom’s taken a significant interest in the minor leagues recently, even putting out an ebook this winter that covered the Cardinal system.  Tom doesn’t waste words over there–it’s short, sweet and to the point which means it should be a regular part of your blog reading routine.

Pitchers Hit Eighth–Nick and Josh have been carrying the banner of the nontraditional lineup for some time now, becoming one of the anchors of our Conclave label when we opened up the doors in 2013.  Josh often spends his time writing our minor league coverage at Prospect Preacher, but he’ll still stop by the old stomping grounds from time to time.  As for Nick, when time allows he’ll put up quality posts such as WAR Graph Wednesday or some strong opinions about current controversies.

Fungoes–Nowadays, if you aren’t mixing in sabermetrics with your posting, you are a hopeless Luddite that no one takes seriously.  (Full disclosure: I rarely mix in sabermetrics.)  Pip, though, has been the standard for all other sabermetric Cardinal blogs since 2004.  Yes, 2004, which is an insane amount of time to be putting thoughts to internet.  Pip doesn’t pull punches, backs everything up with stats, loves to work in tables and graphs, and uses the royal we.  What else could you want from a blog?

The Cardinal Nation Blog–Brian Walton has been doing this for a long while as well, breaking stories and providing serious analysis over at TCN.  Brian has been covering the Cards for Scout.com’s Cardinal site, typically focusing on the minors, for over a decade (as well as for his own blog since 2008), but this is the free version (most of his Scout stuff is behind a pay wall).  Brian is a part of the credentialed media and as such brings a different perspective to his writings than many on this list.

The New Guys
The tree of Cardinal knowledge must be refreshed from time to time with new blogging blood

The View From Here–Ben started his internet career by posting comments here at The Conclave.  He then realized that if we could write a blog, surely he could as well.  Ben does a lot of game recapping during the season, writing on a fairly regular basis.  He’s been consistently putting up content during the winter as well, commenting on the news of the day (or week) with aplomb.

Dose of Buffa–If you want to catch a doubleheader of an afternoon Cardinal game and an evening movie, Dan Buffa is your man.  To be fair, Dan will write–and write well–on most everything, but has a special place in his heart for the Redbirds and the reels.  These give him numerous topics to opine about and it’s a rare day when you can’t get a dose of Buffa.

stlcupofjoe’s Sports Page–Odds are, this one is already out of date.  With the Viva El Birdos shakeup, Joe has found himself writing posts at that Internet institution and if the initial reviews are any indication, he’s found himself a permanent home.  While he was on his own, he brought analysis and statistical work that’s not often seen in the blogosphere.  There’s a reason he was named Best Individual Blog for 2013 and, if he returns to his nest, a reason he’d likely win it again for years to come.

CardinalsFarm–When Future Redbirds was folded into the coverage at Viva El Birdos a year or so ago, it left a gap in the independent farm system coverage genre.  John took up that mantle and has expanded his empire greatly in the time that he’s been up and running.  You want news?  He’s got news.  You want rosters?  Yep, got them.  Analysis?  That too.  Pretty much if you want to know something about the minors, here’s where you go.

McGee Triples–This is the newest of the new guys, but Jared’s initial output makes me think he’s a force to be reckoned with.  Detailed posts, backed up with the sabermetric stats that have become the norm for intelligent baseball talk.  Unique points of view and in-depth analysis.  I only quibble with the fact he thinks John Mozeliak is Superman, when it’s obvious he’s a Time Lord.

The Foreigners
Taking the word of Cardinal baseball to distant shores

Redbirds Nest in Korea–Unless you’ve taken up Korean, you’ll need Google Translate for this one.  Seonnam and the gang are covering the Cardinals from half a world away and doing it in style.  Prospect rankings?  Recaps?  Game threads?  They’ve got it all.  I can’t imagine the difficulty of keeping up with the Cardinals from South Korea, but these guys seem to have no trouble with it at all.

The Cardinal Virtue–John was one of our early members of the UCB, covering the Redbirds from the Emerald Isle.  While his posting now comes in fits and spurts, it’s good to know that the blogging bug never really leaves some people.

Solo Shots
Going yard (writing) with nobody on base (by themselves)

Redbird Dugout–As is to be expected from our resident graphic designer, Jon’s put a few different looks up at the Dugout over the years.  However, no matter what the color scheme, the writing is always top notch.  When he’s not writing about the latest moves, you can also find him corralling crazies over at Cards Clubhouse.

Birds On The Bat 82–Chris writes his blog from Texas, which I continually work at not holding against him.  He went through a bit of a dry spell earlier as significant life changes kept him from the keyboard, but we’re hoping that 2014 will have him back in the saddle.

Bird Brained–Another Chris, another Texas blog, though this one a recent relocation from St. Louis.  Chris has already noted how hard it is to follow the Redbirds regularly down his way, but I know that he can work around that problem and continue to give us the thought-provoking posts as he has done in the past.

Cardinals Fan In Cubs Land–You should be reading Mark if only to support him for living behind enemy lines.  However, he gives you plenty of quality writing as well, so it’s not like it’s completely a sympathy read.  Mark’s put up some great stuff this winter, such as projecting out rotations and lineups for the next few years.  He’s also a regular in any UCB-related projects as well.

A Good Right Arm And A Weak Mind–Anytime you can invoke old Diz, you are doing something write.  JP is still getting into the blogging groove after a personal move, but his forthrightness on any topic shines through without question.  There’s humor there as well, something that can help make those stinging losses during the season go down a little easier.

Welcome To Baseball Heaven–Another one of the blogs here at The Conclave, Dustin moved his shingle over here when we got started.  You never quite know when he’ll drop in, but he usually brings a different slant to whatever topic he tackles.

West Coast Redbird–Mike started his blogging career at Stan Musial’s Stance before shutting that down in the afterglow of the 2011 title.  As he’s a San Diego resident, he keeps up with the local nine at Padres Trail but the lure of Cardinal baseball was too strong and he got back into talking about the Birds with WCR, usually with some thought-provoking posts.

Gas House Graphs–Steve Sommer’s reputation as a sabermetrician is well known and we were fortunate when he agreed to join us here at The Cardinal Conclave.  Steve’s been fairly busy with real life stuff and as such as been unable to drop statistical knowledge lately, but it’s OK.  I’m still trying to come to terms with this one.

Born Bleeding–Jeff uses his blog as a full-service site, writing not only about the Cardinals but also about things that might be going on in his personal life or his comments on social issues and controversies as well.  That means you get the full picture of Jeff at his site and know where he’s coming from when he weighs in on the current state of the Redbirds.

The McBrayer-Baseball Blog–Joe McBrayer is one of the few members of the Cardinal blogosphere that actually makes his home in the St. Louis area.  Little news gets past Joe and you can stay pretty up-to-date by following his site.  He’ll give you his opinion on the news as well, not just drop a link and be done with it.

Women Who Love Cardinal Baseball–One of the great things about the Cardinal blogosphere is the number of women who are involved in it.  Diane brings a lot of excitement and enthusiasm to her regular posts.  You’ll find her giving her opinion on the most recent game or news item as well as passing along great info from the Cardinals.

MLB Voice–Interestingly, many of the women that write Cardinal blogs do so by themselves.  Save for the Aaron Miles’ Fastball crew (and here we pause in memory of Cardinal Diamond Diaries, which is much quieter than it used to be), all the other ladies are striking out on their own.  Mary keeps MLB Voice brightly decorated with plenty of links to news of the day and chips in her opinion as well.  Plenty to smile about over there!

A Blog of Their Own–Completing the trifecta of solo women bloggers is Eliza, a St. Louis expatriate now residing on the West Coast.  Eliza’s been writing about the Cardinals from her own unique viewpoint for a few years now, though she just joined up with the UCB in 2013.  Plus, if you like your baseball mixed with poetry, she’s got you completely covered.

Cardinal Doctrines–If you’ve been around the Cardinal blogosphere for a couple of years, you probably know the name Erik Manning.  The original founder of Future Redbirds, Erik lives in the MLB Phantom Zone of Iowa (thus being blacked out from Cardinals games, along with about half the rest of the league) but still can’t resist dropping the baseball knowledge.  He’s had a number of blogs over the years–he and Steve Sommer were at Play A Hard 9 and the original Gas House Graphs together for a while, for instance–but no matter where he is, it’s an interesting read.  Cardinal Doctrines is still pretty new, but should be on your regular reading list.

Turner’s Twist–Scott Turner hasn’t written a lot lately, but when he was writing there were plenty of interesting things going at the Twist.  You’ll find an emphasis on the minor leagues here, though the big club isn’t ignored.  I’m hopeful that 2014 will see more postings over here.

Keene on MLB–Wes Keene hasn’t written a lot in the offseason, but I’m hopeful that he’ll get back to his insights and analysis when the season fires back up.  Following him on Twitter and on Bonfyre, I know that there are plenty of opinions there and he has no problem putting them down in a format that is very enjoyable to read.

Cardinals Best News Links–Want just the facts?  Don’t need opinion, just a link to a story?  Josh has you covered.  If it’s related to the Cardinals, you can find a link to it here.  Whether commentary or news, minors or majors, this is the one place you can go to and find all that you need.

The Birdhouse–Ray is really one of the old guard, as The Birdhouse was around in the last century.  Seriously, he was running The Birdhouse when Mark McGwire was setting records.  The Birdhouse moved under the Scout.com banner in 2005 and Ray (previously joined by Brian Walton, whom we saw above) continued to write there until 2009, when he turned it over to his partner (who renamed it The Cardinal Nation).  Ray’s got the itch again, though, and has brought The Birdhouse name out of mothballs to start covering the Cards yet again.  Right now it’s mainly press releases, but I have no doubt Ray’s opinions on the Birds will be front and center in no time.

Balls & Strikes–Corey’s in an interesting position.  He actually covers the Cardinals for the Dexter Daily Statesman, so his blog flows out of his regular reporting.  Still, he’s been great about being involved with the UCB and that just means you can read him in two different formats, neither of which is likely to disappoint.  He also tried to cause a medical emergency last UCB Weekend by cracking his head on a TV in the conference room, something we aren’t going to let him forget.

View From The Cheap Seats–Speaking of newspaper men that have blogs, Scott has the same sort of setup going on with the Belleville News-Democrat.  Scott doesn’t limit his baseball opining to just the favored nine, but tackles issues from around the sport as well.

Team Players
When there’s too much to discuss for just one person

Stl Sports Minute–There’s more than one Corey who is not just a blogger when it comes to talking sports.  Corey Rudd started out writing his blog and continues to do so, but can also be heard on Fan Interference on CBS Radio 920 in St. Louis, part of the Inside STL radio crew.  The blog allows him the chance to elaborate on topics from the show or vice versa.

Saint Louis Sports–The blogging apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Rodney and Ryan Knuppel, sons of Tom from CardinalsGM, started their site up a couple of years ago to cover all the various sports in the region.  There’s always plenty of new content over there, though often times it’s obviously dominated by whatever sport is in season.

STL Cards ‘n Stuff–This one’s a family affair as well.  Kevin does most of the commenting (when time permits, of course) while his wife Kim chimes in with her own features, usually about finding some great Cardinal memorabilia.  Kevin brings the heat and has no problem articulating what he’s thinking about events or issues.  Of course, the inside UCB joke is that he doesn’t know when to stop articulating, but that’s another (and probably inaccurate) story.

StanGraphs–Spencer and Brian were the shooting stars of the blogosphere in 2012.  They started blogging regularly, joined us for UCB Weekend, and eventually took home Best Rookie Blog.  2013 wasn’t as kind, with time constraints keeping them from bringing their unique blend of analysis and humor to the masses.  Thankfully, we’ve seen a bit of a uptick in posts over there since the season ended, so I hope that they’ll get completely back in the saddle this year.

85% Sports–Eugene, George and Russ have a great baseball blog here, with an added emphasis on their boys in red.  You’ll find all sorts of baseball discussion at 85%, including some in-depth studies and a free agent tracker every offseason.  While the Cardinal content isn’t as front and center as you’ll find at some of the others listed here, it’s still easy to find and worth your time to read.

St. Louis Sports Page–Another site that covers anything and everything when it comes to area sports teams and does so in a multimedia style.  Noted author Rob Rains does most of the writing and reporting here, with input from his son B.J. and others.  When you are looking for sports news, you’ll find it at the Sports Page and do so with ease.

The Historian
Those that don’t study history are doomed to have the 1970s return

RetroSimba–The Cardinal blogosphere has been blessed with great blogs that focus on the deep history of the Cardinals.  Until recently, it was an embarrassment of riches, what with Bob over at On The Outside Corner and Mark here at RetroSimba.  Sadly, Corner is no more, but we are still in very capable hands with RS.  Mark has an amazing way of tying a current event into the history of the organization.  Finding newspaper quotes and giving the feel of the time, so important in establishing context, is just one of the many services he provides.  If you aren’t reading Mark on a regular basis, you aren’t getting the full experience.

The Comedians
Because blogging doesn’t have to be [insert serious and humorless occupation here]

Joe Sports Fan–When you are looking for an irreverent take on St. Louis sports, chances are you head over to JSF.  Matt Sebek and Josh Bacott have made Joe Sports Fan into a nationally-known site and the addition of Dennis Lawson, last seen as part of the UCB with Manfridge Baseball, did nothing to reduce the humor quotient.   Whether it’s Fredbird jumping off a bridge or Will Middlebrooks interfering with a plan, if it can be mashed up or Photoshopped for a humorous take, these guys are on it.

Cards Diaspora–Aaron typically brings the funny during his posts, whether they are about Cardinal baseball or his The Bachelor obsession.  He’s got his takes on what is going on with the Redbirds, but he’ll typically leaven them with one-liners and the creative analogy.  It’s not all about the humor, though, as Mr. Hooks can dig into the issues surround the team as well.  Just don’t expect him to stay completely serious for too long.

———————-

I will try to update this occasionally (you can see how regularly I did that on the old version, but I’ve tried to simplify this one a bit) as blogs come and go.  That’s part of the blogging “game”, as it were.  A year is like seven–if you can get past five, you are either doing something right or just too stubborn to stop.  Respect is due to all those above, who make being a Cardinal fan just that much more fun.

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