Every month, as you probably know by now, the United Cardinal Bloggers do some sort of blogging project. There are some that are pretty fixed–the rest of the year will be some annual recurring ones–but there are a few months that get to be free for some unique or interesting ideas.
August is one of those times. It’s hot, the season is in the dog days, and you just want to be casual and not have to think terribly much. So, for this month’s project, we decided to have a little fun. We’re making up a lineup and roster of United Cardinal Bloggers members, assigning them to roles on a baseball team.
To do this, I took a look at the UCB roster. While not everyone is a regular and active poster, I did want to try to squeeze in as many folks as I could. I’ve met many of them and they are good folks. If I left anyone out, I extend my apologies. I tend to always have at least one good brain lapse while doing these projects, so you well may have been the one.
While I do list them out as starting lineup, rotation, bullpen, etc., that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be reading everyone on here. Really, you should be.
(Also, let me address the Viva El Birdos thing. As they are not a technical member of the UCB (in part because SB Nation frowns on that kind of thing, I think), they are obviously a huge portion of the Cardinal blogosphere. They aren’t listed on here because of their lack of membership (and because it’d be darn impossible to sort out all their writers) but if you lumped them in one group, they’d hit third and play just about anywhere.)
Let’s get cracking on this. Again, don’t read anything into this–it’s August and we’re having fun. No subtleties or sub-blogging here!
Leadoff: Dan Buffa, Cardinals Nerve Center, SS. As you know from being around us here at the Conclave, Dan has no problem generating content. A guy like that, putting up posts not only here but in other spots, would have to translate to a high OBP guy with a little pop. Plus his range–name a topic, he’s written on it somewhere–puts him in the middle of the infield.
Second: Ben Chambers, The View From Here, LF. Another guy with consistent content. Ben’s got the doggedness to hang in there and give you a good AB. If nothing else, he’s going to get that runner over and lots of times, you’ll have two on and nobody out.
Third: Matt Whitener, Cheap Seats Please, CF. Whitener is smooth as silk and it shows every third week on UCB Radio. He’s also got Buffa-like range both in places he writes and in topics he covers. The man’s got the thump to back up his points and get those runners in.
Fourth: Jon Doble, Redbird Dugout, 1B. Jon might not write every day, but when he does he usually knocks it out of the park. He’s got the ability to swat away arguments over at CardsClubhouse and be able to handle the hot shots that come his way as well.
Fifth: John Nagel, CardinalsFarm, RF. While I’m listing John here, this really is a team spot. The CF team brings you so much pop when it comes to the minor leagues, plus they are a high average place as well. This middle of the lineup is like having the MV3 back together.
Sixth: Cole Claybourn, High Sock Sunday, 3B. Cole might not post all the time, but he’s proven he’s a heavy hitter with recent interviews of Gabe Kapler and Andy Benes. Plus that Joe Kelly gif? Man, talk about lengthening a lineup!
Seventh: Tom Knuppel, CardinalsGM, C. A catcher needs to ooze veteran leadership, be able to keep a team in line and on task. Being that Tom’s got a son on this team, there’s no doubt he’s seen more baseball than many of us and he can bring some thump to a post as well.
Ninth: Tara Wellman, Bird Tales, 2B. No way I could leave my regular Sunday co-host out of the starting lineup. Tara’s got a quickness to think on her feet and come up with credible answers to my not-so-credible questions. Her writing isn’t bad either and since we hit the pitcher eighth around here, she’s a great second leadoff batter.
Rotation: Christine Coleman, Aaron Miles’ Fastball; Matthew Philip, Fungoes; Wes Keene, Keene On MLB; Diane Schulz, Women Who Love Cardinal Baseball; Mark Tomasik, RetroSimba. I think the best of rotations are the ones that mix up the look. Blazing heat one day, slow crafty stuff the next, pinpoint control after that. You get a mix of styles with this rotation–whether it’s the regularity of a Christine post, the calculating style of Pip, the upper-90s heat on Saturday from Wes, the quality start from Diane or the storytelling experience of Mark. You don’t stand a chance hitting against these fine folks.
Bullpen: Rodney Knuppel, Saint Louis Sports; Eliza, A Blog Of Their Own; Steve Somner, Gas House Graphs; Mark Sherrard, Cardinals Fan In Cubs Land; A.J. Blankenship, Gateway Sports Connection; Jeff White, Born Bleeding. If the rotation gets in trouble or just needs a breather, we’ve got a great bunch of arms out there ready to take their shot. There’s versatility (Rodney and A.J. both cover more than baseball), there’s baseball IQ, there’s everything you need to close out a win. While these bloggers may not write every day, they bring quality when they do trot out of the pen.
Bench: Mary Clausen, MLB Voice; Dathan Brooks, Go Crazy Big Boy; Marilyn Green, Red Cleat Diaries; Joe McBrayer, Cardinal Red Baseball; Kevin Reynolds, STL Cards ‘N Stuff; Daniel Solzman, Redbird Rants. I’d say that this bench is much stronger than what the Cardinals have, but that’s not exactly saying a lot. Some of these bloggers are pretty regular, some pretty scarce, but all of them can come up with the big hit when it’s needed. Plus, if you’ve got to give a starter a breather, you don’t drop down much when any of these writers slide into that day’s lineup.
Manager: Bill Ivie, I70 Baseball. If there’s anyone that knows how to manage a talented roster, it’s got to be Bill. Heck, I think 80% of these listed have worked for him at one time or another anyway! Bill manages the staff over at I70 well and would bring a light and intelligent touch to guiding this group as well. Plus he wouldn’t double switch for apparently no reason.
Coaches: Mike Metzger, West Coast Redbird; Brian Vaughn and Spencer Hendricks, StanGraphs; Dustin McClure, Welcome To Cardinal Baseball, Nick Waeltz, Pitchers Hit Eighth. You don’t necessarily see these guys often, but they bring a wealth of talent and experience when you do. Plus with Brian and Spencer, there’s likely never going to be a serious moment. If a loose team wins championships, this club would roll through October without a hitch.
Minor League Talent: Doug, Baseball Geek In Galveston; Harrison Hudson, Cajun Cardinal; Tiffany, Party Like It’s 1982; Cole Brand, Caught Him Looking. Just like the big league Cardinals, this organization has some quality talent working its way up through the ranks as well. Most of these have joined the UCB in the last couple of months and we are still getting to know them, but the quality is pretty evident. Doug puts out a great post every day and, while the others may not be that regular, they still have a lot of great things to say.
Again, if I’ve forgotten anyone, I apologize. I tried to squeeze in everyone that I could think of that was blogging at least a little bit. If you are a regular reader here but not of the above, give them a read and see what they are up to. There’s good stuff all the way through here and I’m proud to be associated with such folks!