With the changes in the Conclave roster, it seemed a good time to let you, our readers, know a little bit more about the guys that you are reading, whether they are coming over from The Redbird Daily or have been a part of the Conclave for a while. So I (Daniel Shoptaw, also known as Cardinal70) thought I’d ask a few questions of these writers. Enjoy!
Blogger: Adam Butler
Blog Name: Bird Law
Daniel: For those that don’t know, who is Adam Butler outside of his blogger life?
Adam: I’m 26 years old and live in Jerseyville, IL. Just under an hour north of St. Louis. I attended Ranken Technical College in St. Louis and received a degree in electrical control systems. I’m currently an electrician for MetroLink, which is St. Louis’ light rail public transit, for those that don’t know.
Daniel: I know you aren’t necessarily out there every day but I imagine at times as part of your job you get to be around Busch Stadium. Does the sight of the place give a little boost to your day?
Adam: It can be pretty cool working around the stadium at times. On a few different occasions I’ve driven by as the fireworks go off and I’ll cheer with no actual idea of what I’m cheering for. Other times I’ll be watching the game on my phone and hear the fireworks go off. Since the stream on my phone is on a delay I’ll know the hitter hits a home run before actually seeing it. It can be rough as the offseason winds down. It just makes me even more impatient for warm weather and Cardinals baseball.
Daniel: What made you get into blogging in the first place?
Adam: I’ve been a huge Cardinals fan my entire life. I’ve always enjoyed digging through player stats and sort of playing armchair GM. That probably comes from my love for fantasy sports. Blogging was something that always intrigued me but I’m clueless when it comes to building a website so I didn’t really know how to get into it. I felt like it would be cool to have my ideas go beyond constant text messages to my friends. Whenever I saw @Cardinalsfarm on twitter say he was starting up a site and looking for writers I figured I’d give it a shot and he let me join the team at The Redbird Daily. It’s been a fun ride ever since.
Daniel: What aspect do you like to write about the most?
Adam: I enjoy digging into the batted ball data with Fangraphs or Statcast more than anything. I like finding things that players are doing differently from year to year and determine how we should adjust our expectations for that specific player.
Daniel: Have the constant text messages with your friends slowed down or has your writing just been in addition to them?
Adam: The text messages with my friends pertaining to the Cardinals have slowed down somewhat as we’ve all gotten older and have more and more going on in our lives. At this point, they’re pretty much limited to my fellow Bird Law co-host Rusty Groppel. Our messages often lead to things that are discussed on the podcast or sometimes will lead to an idea for an article that one of us will write.
Daniel: What do you think has been the highlight of your blogging career so far?
Adam: Two things stand out to me when I think about my relatively brief blogging career. The first was covering the 2018 WWU. That was an extremely fun experience and one that I’ll never forget. The second is attending the annual blogger day events at the stadium and getting to meet a lot of the people that I interact with on a daily basis. It’s kind of wild just how many genuinely great people I’ve met through all of this.
Daniel: Covering WWU, I hear, is a little different than the Q&A at Blogger Day. What was it like to be in the “media scrum” interviewing the players? Did you get any questions asked?
Adam: WWU was definitely different than the Blogger Day Q&A. There’s a much more serious tone to it all. You’re there with people that are being paid to find stories and meet deadlines. You have to sort of find the right balance between letting the reporters do their jobs and also getting the information that you want. I think if I’m ever lucky enough to cover the WWU again I’ll be able to approach it a little less as a fan and more as a guy that’s there to get information that I’ve been looking for and would be able to ask more questions.
Daniel: What do you like most about being a Cardinal fan? What do you like most about the online Cardinal community, which would include Twitter, blogs, podcasts, and the like?
Adam: My favorite thing about being a Cardinals fan is the overall success that I’ve seen in my lifetime. Sure they get frustrating at times, especially lately. But when you step back and look at the big picture, the biggest complaint of my lifetime is that the team is too mediocre. When you look around the baseball landscape, that starts to feel like a really good problem to have.
As far as the online Cardinals community, I like the research that it brings more than anything. Local media can do everything in their power to keep the fans up to date on the happenings with the team, but when it comes to research, they don’t come anywhere close to what the blogging and podcast community has to offer.
Daniel: You are young enough to not really remember before this ownership group and their run of success, as are a lot of fans. Do you think that feeds into the discontent we see online and other places?
Adam: I’m sure it does. I’d like to think I’m a bit more realistic in my expectations because I follow the entire league as much as possible. I’m sure many fans only pay attention to the Cardinals and where they’re at in the standings and don’t pay any attention to the continuous losing that goes on in places like Miami. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, people can be fans however they want to be. But in general I do think the Cardinals have put themselves into a situation where mediocrity is seen as failure and, in a way, it is. When looking around the league, though, you begin to realize just how lucky we’ve been the past 20 or so years as Cardinals fans.
Daniel: Who do you like to read in regards to the research? Is there a certain topic or focus that you find yourself most interested in?
Adam: I read as much as I can on Fangraphs. Their content is second to none, in my opinion. MLB.com has some good writers as well that are using Statcast to create some very informative content. Mike Petriello, for example, is a favorite of mine.
As far as certain content that interests me I really look for two things. Number one is just sort of keeping up with the league as far as players who are over performing or under performing their metrics so that I can be as informed as possible about what we should expect moving forward from certain players. Number two is looking for in depth research of anything that I don’t have a good understanding of. Articles on things like spin rate for a pitcher or spray angle for a hitter are things that I enjoy reading about and trying to get a better grasp of.
Daniel: Why the Conclave and what are you looking forward to with the new platform?
Adam: What I’m excited about with the conclave is that I know that you are very committed to keeping the site going and keeping top notch content flowing. Myself and my colleagues from the Redbird Daily can go back to focusing on what we got into blogging for, which is writing quality content. I think this will be a very good fit for everyone involved.
It’s great to have Adam over here at The Conclave now. (As Kyle Reis likes to say, love that Adam Butler.) It’s also wonderful to have the excellent Bird Law podcast as part of our offerings!