C70 At The Bat

(For explanation, see this post.)

On the seventh day of Christmas, my Cardinal love gave to me

Seventh place a-sitting,
Six homers a-helping,
Five slugging Redbirds,
Four players to Miami,
Three Patron saves,
Two Cardinal stars,
And an unmovable Yadi.


  1. Yadier Molina played in 136 games and had more at-bats (501) than any other Cardinal.  He was second in games played to Matt Carpenter but had more starts at one position than Carp did.
  2. Molina and Carlos Martinez were selected to represent the Cardinals in the All-Star Game in Miami.
  3. Tyler Lyons, the Patron Pitcher of the blog, picked up three saves this season, the most of any pitcher never assigned the ninth inning.  It’s also my blog and there was going to be a Patron Pitcher reference.
  4. On December 13, the Cardinals sent Sandy Alcantara, Magneuris Sierra, Zac Gallen, and Daniel Castano to the Marlins for outfielder Marcell Ozuna.
  5. Five Cardinals (Paul DeJong, Carpenter, Tommy Pham, Randal Grichuk, and Jedd Gyorko) had 20 or more home runs in 2017.
  6. On August 28, after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Houston area, Carpenter pledged $10,000 for every home run he hit from then until the end of the season, an amount quickly matched by teammate Adam Wainwright and the Cardinal organization as a whole.  Carpenter hit six home runs in that span, raising $180,000 for relief efforts.
  7. By wins, the Cardinals finished seventh overall in the National League this season, with their 83 wins trailing Los Angeles (104), Washington (97), Arizona (93), Chicago (92), Colorado (87), and Milwaukee (86).

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(For explanation, see this post.)

On the sixth day of Christmas, my Cardinal love gave to me

Six homers a-helping,
Five slugging Redbirds,
Four players to Miami,
Three Patron saves,
Two Cardinal stars,
And an unmovable Yadi.


  1. Yadier Molina played in 136 games and had more at-bats (501) than any other Cardinal.  He was second in games played to Matt Carpenter but had more starts at one position than Carp did.
  2. Molina and Carlos Martinez were selected to represent the Cardinals in the All-Star Game in Miami.
  3. Tyler Lyons, the Patron Pitcher of the blog, picked up three saves this season, the most of any pitcher never assigned the ninth inning.  It’s also my blog and there was going to be a Patron Pitcher reference.
  4. On December 13, the Cardinals sent Sandy Alcantara, Magneuris Sierra, Zac Gallen, and Daniel Castano to the Marlins for outfielder Marcell Ozuna.
  5. Five Cardinals (Paul DeJong, Carpenter, Tommy Pham, Randal Grichuk, and Jedd Gyorko) had 20 or more home runs in 2017.
  6. On August 28, after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Houston area, Carpenter pledged $10,000 for every home run he hit from then until the end of the season, an amount quickly matched by teammate Adam Wainwright and the Cardinal organization as a whole.  Carpenter hit six home runs in that span, raising $180,000 for relief efforts.

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(For explanation, see this post.)

On the fifth day of Christmas, my Cardinal love gave to me

Five slugging Redbirds
Four players to Miami
Three Patron saves,
Two Cardinal stars,
And an unmovable Yadi.


  1. Yadier Molina played in 136 games and had more at-bats (501) than any other Cardinal.  He was second in games played to Matt Carpenter but had more starts at one position than Carp did.
  2. Molina and Carlos Martinez were selected to represent the Cardinals in the All-Star Game in Miami.
  3. Tyler Lyons, the Patron Pitcher of the blog, picked up three saves this season, the most of any pitcher never assigned the ninth inning.  It’s also my blog and there was going to be a Patron Pitcher reference.
  4. On December 13, the Cardinals sent Sandy Alcantara, Magneuris Sierra, Zac Gallen, and Daniel Castano to the Marlins for outfielder Marcell Ozuna.
  5. Five Cardinals (Paul DeJong, Carpenter, Tommy Pham, Randal Grichuk, and Jedd Gyorko) had 20 or more home runs in 2017.

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Every year around this time the United Cardinal Bloggers have typically taken on the project of looking back at the last calendar year and noting the biggest stories that happened over those 12 months.  I don’t know that any other bloggers are going to do it this year but, given I don’t have much else to write about, I figured I’d take a whack at it.  Counting them down…..

#5: The Memphis Magic

Not only did the AAA club win 91 games (a mark the big league club couldn’t approach even with 20 more opportunities) and took the Pacific Coast League championship, but they also provided much of the good that St. Louis had this season as well.  Whether it was true minor leaguers like Paul DeJong, John Brebbia, or Harrison Bader making their major league debuts after time on Beale Street or folks like Tommy Pham and Luke Weaver returning to the bigs after starting the season there, even the middling success the major league club had would have been unattainable without the latest version of the Memphis Mafia.

#4: Another cold October

For the second straight year, the Cardinals wound up watching all of the playoffs from their various living rooms.  In some regards, just the fact that they still were technically alive going into the last week of the season was an accomplishment given they spent a majority of the year under the .500 mark.  Still, for an organization which made Red October almost commonplace, missing out on any sort of playoffs, even the Wild Card Game, two years running made a lot of Cardinal fans irate, especially when there didn’t seem to be the urgency from the organization to try to correct the issues during the season.

#3: Old faces in new places

On June 9, the Friday before UCB Weekend (which gave us plenty to ask John Mozeliak about), the Cardinals made more significant changes in one day than they had in a long time.  Out went Jhonny Peralta.  Out went Chris Maloney (reassigned within the organization but, given that he’s now with Atlanta, that seems to have been an euphemism).  Mike Shildt moved from quality control coach (which we still really don’t know what that was) to third base coach.  Bill Mueller temporarily was replaced at assistant hitting coach, though that really was due to a family emergency and he was back after a week or so.  Pop Warner came up.  A lot of deck chairs were shuffled and while it seemed to make an impact initially, that might have been because the Cardinals were playing the Phillies.

Less than a month later, after Mozeliak had said in that press conference that even his job was on the line, he was out as GM….and bumped up to President of Baseball Operations, with Michael Girsch taking on the GM role.  It’s difficult to say what sort of change this has enacted in the front office.  The intent was to let Mozeliak look at more big-picture items, places where the Cardinals could exploit inefficiencies and the like, and let Girsch handle the day-to-day.  So far, it’s still a lot of Mo being the public face so that may still be in development.

Finally, at the end of the year, there was another coaching shakeup.  With David Bell leaving for San Francisco, a new bench coach was going to be needed.  The Cards shifted Shildt again to that role while bringing back fan and player favorite Jose Oquendo to return to third base.  Derek Lilliquist, who had been on the staff since the Tony La Russa days, was let go as was bullpen coach Blaine Ilsley, with noted pitching coach Mike Maddux being hired to take over for Lilliquist and Bryan Eversgerd promoted from Memphis to take Ilsley’s spot.  Not to be overlooked, the Cards also hired Willie McGee to be an outfielders and baserunning coach.  The number of potential managers on the staff seems to portend a warming seat for manager Mike Matheny, but that may be a story for 2018.

#2: Pham-tastic

While it seemed very little went the Cardinals way in 2017, there’s no doubt that Tommy Pham made his presence known.  With his contact prescription off during spring training, he actually lost out on the final roster spot to Jose Martinez.  He took a couple of days before reporting to Memphis to get things corrected and came out swinging with authority.  In 25 games in Memphis, he slashed .283/.371/.500, numbers that amazingly got better once he was promoted and the Cards realized the Matt Adams in the outfield idea wasn’t completely thought out.

Pham hit .306/.411/.520 with 23 homers and became the first Cardinal since Reggie Sanders in 2004 to hit more than 20 homers and to steal at least 20 bases.  He brought stellar defense, enough that he’ll bump Dexter Fowler out of center when next year rolls around, and an honesty to media (both traditional and social) that was either refreshing or off-putting, depending on your point of view.  There was little going on that Pham wasn’t involved in and it got him down-ballot MVP votes as a result.

#1: The big trade

For what seems like forever, the feeling has been the Cardinals had 1) plenty of money and 2) almost too many prospects.  A trade for something, most likely a notable slugger, seemed almost inevitable.  However, nothing of the sort happened last offseason.  The trade deadline was quiet and even though there were expectations of “a busy August”, all that entailed was ridding the club of Mike Leake, paying Seattle to take him off their hands.  The 2017-2018 offseason, though, was going to be different.  The Cardinals were in on everything.  The dam was going to burst.

Still, nothing happened.  While much of the early winter was tied up in a pursuit of Giancarlo Stanton, a pursuit that eventually ended not because St. Louis didn’t offer a good deal but because Stanton wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause, it still felt like there were multiple avenues that could be pursued.  A lot of sound and fury signifying nothing was what many fans were coming to believe.

Finally, as the winter meetings wrapped up, the Cardinals pulled the trigger on the most prospect-heavy deal they’ve made in a long time, sending Sandy Alcantara and Magneuris Sierra, both of whom had major league debuts (but limited action) in 2017, along with two other prospects for outfielder Marcell Ozuna.  Ozuna, considered by many to be third on the “desirable Marlins outfielders that could be traded” list, boasted 37 homers and a .312 average.  The Big Bear brings immediate thump to a lineup that had its power fairly decentralized and lacking in that one big power threat.  Whether Ozuna, who turned 27 after the season, is becoming that player or had a career year remains to be seen but the #4 spot would seem to be locked up for at least the next two season.

There were other things, of course.  The aforementioned Leake deal plus the trade that sent Stephen Piscotty to be in Oakland closer to his ailing mother.  The complete dropoff by Aledmys Diaz which saw him go from a starter to Memphis to, after the season, Toronto.  The drop in popularity for Matt Carpenter, who now is seemingly reviled by a section of the fan base.  The non-tendering of Trevor Rosenthal after he had Tommy John surgery.  The collapse of Seung-hwan Oh.  There are many, many more.  If there is one that you think should have made the list, let me know in the comments!

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(For explanation, see this post.)

On the fourth day of Christmas, my Cardinal love gave to me

Four players to Miami
Three Patron saves,
Two Cardinal stars,
And an unmovable Yadi.


  1. Yadier Molina played in 136 games and had more at-bats (501) than any other Cardinal.  He was second in games played to Matt Carpenter but had more starts at one position than Carp did.
  2. Molina and Carlos Martinez were selected to represent the Cardinals in the All-Star Game in Miami.
  3. Tyler Lyons, the Patron Pitcher of the blog, picked up three saves this season, the most of any pitcher never assigned the ninth inning.  It’s also my blog and there was going to be a Patron Pitcher reference.
  4. On December 13, the Cardinals sent Sandy Alcantara, Magneuris Sierra, Zac Gallen, and Daniel Castano to the Marlins for outfielder Marcell Ozuna.

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One of the earliest Cardinal blogs on the Internet was Fungoes, written by Matt Philip.  It was a sabermetric-centric site as that sort of outlook was just coming into fashion.  Pip was a great guy, a fun blogger to read, and the fact that he’s not only gotten away from that writing but also let the website lapse is a loss to us all.

One of Pip’s traditions each year was to cover the 12 days of Christmas from a Cardinal perspective, using numbers generated from the past season.  You’ll find the 2014 one here thanks to the Internet Archive.  I didn’t do as much digging or have as much flair as Pip did, but I’ve gone ahead and decided to try to resurrect the concept.  I’m a little behind because this didn’t occur to me until this morning, so we’ll do the first three today and then you’ll have to keep coming back for the rest!

On the third day of Christmas, my Cardinal love gave to me

Three Patron saves,
Two Cardinal stars,
And an unmovable Yadi.


  1. Yadier Molina played in 136 games and had more at-bats (501) than any other Cardinal.  He was second in games played to Matt Carpenter but had more starts at one position than Carp did.
  2. Molina and Carlos Martinez were selected to represent the Cardinals in the All-Star Game in Miami.
  3. Tyler Lyons, the Patron Pitcher of the blog, picked up three saves this season, the most of any pitcher never assigned the ninth inning.  It’s also my blog and there was going to be a Patron Pitcher reference.

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Popular Theme Night Scheduled for June 13; Includes Exclusive Star Wars-Themed Cardinals Jersey

ST. LOUIS, Mo., December 14, 2017 – To celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Cardinals are announcing details for the sixth annual Star Wars Night at Busch Stadium on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

Fans who purchase a special Star Wars Night theme ticket will receive a one-of-a-kind Star Wars-themed Cardinals jersey featuring the traditional Cardinal birds perched atop a lightsaber.  A portion of each special ticket sold will be donated to Stand Up To Cancer.

During the 7:15 p.m. matchup against the San Diego Padres, Busch Stadium will be transformed with the sights and sounds from the movies including special scoreboard graphics and music.  Prior to the game, fans in attendance will have the opportunity to take their photo with costumed characters situated throughout the ballpark.

Theme tickets for the 2018 Star Wars Night are available for a variety of prices and go on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. CT at cardinals.com/starwars.  Fans must purchase the special theme ticket in order to receive the exclusive jersey.

Star Wars Night is just one of the many unique personalized Theme Ticket promotions planned for the 2018 season.  A full schedule of theme events will be released in January.

Theme Tickets are customized promotions that allow a select number of fans to celebrate a common interest while enjoying access to a unique promotional item and/or exclusive pregame event.  Targeted around different occupations, organizations, communities, celebrities and more, Theme Tickets let fans enjoy the game in a whole new way.  Fans can learn more about Cardinals Theme Tickets at cardinals.com/theme.

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In the wake of all the Giancarlo Stanton talk, there’s been a lot of talk about how St. Louis “isn’t what it once was” when it comes to a destination for various players.  Free agents won’t come, folks say, because the aura and the mystique isn’t there anymore.  That could somewhat be true, but let’s discuss one possibility.

The Cardinals have never been that destination.

When we talk about big names and big signings for St. Louis, who comes to mind?  Jim Edmonds.  Scott Rolen.  Mark McGwire.  Matt Holliday.  What did all of those folks have in common?  They were traded to St. Louis, with no recourse a la Stanton’s no-trade clause.  They came to love the location, the fans, the atmosphere but if given a choice not one of them (well, OK, maybe Indiana boy Rolen) would have chosen the Cardinals on the free agent market if they’d not been baptized in baseball heaven in the first place.  That was Walt Jocketty’s MO for the longest time.  Get them to St. Louis and you can keep them.

The big free agents never came, though.  Holliday didn’t sign an extension with the Cardinals and went to free agency, but the others were locked up before they could get away.  Holliday, if you remember, didn’t exactly jump on returning to the Cardinals, not signing a deal until January to return.  If the pull to St. Louis was so great, why didn’t Holliday put pen to contract much sooner, perhaps even before the end of the season like McGwire did?  Now, admittedly, Holliday said around the time of his signing that he kinda had St. Louis on the mind during the free agent period, but he didn’t just drop everything so he could be a Cardinal.

As one of our regular Meet Me at Musial listeners pointed out (I broached this topic on our last show), Carlos Beltran did come to St. Louis and that’s a fair point.  Beltran wasn’t the biggest fish on the market that offseason, but he was a notable name and a guy that had plenty of success even as his career was (supposedly) winding down.

Now, you could easily make the case that the “trade and keep” philosophy isn’t working out as well either.  Jason Heyward never seriously entertained returning to St. Louis, it doesn’t appear, and we’ve seen this year that Juan Nicasio might be a similar story.  That’s a strong argument that things aren’t maybe what they were in the first decade of this century.  However, I don’t think you can point to Stanton or others as a sign that things are bad or that Mike Matheny has made it where players don’t want to come to St. Louis.

Would we still be talking about such things if David Price had just been a bit quicker to make up his mind to come to St. Louis?  The stories are that he was just hours away from becoming a Cardinal before Boston went over the top with the money.  Price wanted to be here, it seemed.  Having a major free agent make the choice to be a Cardinal might have nipped some of this in the bud.  You also have Dexter Fowler, but the competition for Fowler was a bit lesser and the Cardinals had to give him an extra year to get him to commit.  It felt like St. Louis was almost a drawback that had to be overcome, which is the way many fans look at it now.

I guess I wouldn’t disagree with those folks, I just would say that it’s not a recent occurrence.  It’s not because of Matheny.  It’s not because they’ve missed the playoffs two years in a row, though that certainly doesn’t help.  The biggest names have always been traded for or home grown.  I don’t think what we are seeing now is really any huge sea change from what things have been for many a year.  When you are competing against places like New York or Los Angeles, it’s going to be tough to get someone to come to the middle of the country.  You have to write a check significantly larger than your competitors then, something the Cards have historically not wanted to do.

Derrick Goold also makes the point that players are coming to free agency earlier in their life span, so they are concerned with different things than they were years ago when Mike Hampton famously chose Colorado for the schools (and the hefty contract).  That probably plays into it as well, but Hampton himself shows that this idea of the big name players not choosing St. Louis is not a current trend.  That offseason that Hampton was being battled over was after the 2000 season, a whopping 17 years ago.  (Which is so hard for me to believe because I remember that battle quite well!)  Even then, fancy presentations and large dollars weren’t enough to get the prize the Cardinals wanted.

Let’s also point out that it doesn’t seem that St. Louis’s reputation as a baseball city has been affected much at all.  One of the only reasons Stanton even met with the Cardinals was because, given that they share a spring training facility, he’d seen what kind of organization they were, what kind of fan support they had, their focus on winning.  While he still didn’t think he’d fit in the way he wanted to, he had nothing but respect for the club if his public comments are to be believed.  There are no reports, anonymously or otherwise, of players having a major issue with anything baseball-related with the Redbirds.  It still seems like Baseball Heaven, it’s just that if you want something besides baseball, it could be a little lacking.

It’s fitting that the farm system was an invention of the Cardinals (or, more fairly, Branch Rickey while he ran the club) because that’s where they’ve gotten many of their best players from.  They’ve also done a fine job bringing in players via trade.  When it comes down to bringing in a player cold, though, that’s always been a weakness.  That didn’t start in the last few years and it’s not likely to stop anytime soon, I don’t believe.  It’d be nice to have a Manny Machado, but it might take trading for him and lavishing a huge extension on him before he reaches free agency (a tough task, but he’s not a Scott Boras client so it might be possible) to get him into Cardinal red.  Trying to grab him or Bryce Harper or anyone else of that ilk next winter?  That seems much less likely.

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Luke, I Am Your Blogger

OK, I can’t actually start this post without confirming my Star Wars credentials.  I know that the line that this post title is a takeoff on doesn’t actually exist.  I can quote you the scene from The Empire Strikes Back with the surrounding context.  I know Vader says, “No, I am your father.”  However, it’s a paraphrase that, like “Play it again, Sam” from Casablanca–another line that doesn’t exist–has entered our collective consciousness.  I know you don’t expect much from this site, but you do expect accuracy when it comes to a galaxy far, far away and I want you to know that trust is not misplaced.  (Also, while we are here, The Last Jedi looks amazing, doesn’t it?)

Now that the geek card has been played, we can move on to the baseball.  Last night, probably in response to this tweet, the Cardinals signed relief pitcher Luke Gregerson to a two-year deal.  Gregerson, who most fans know went to San Diego with Mark Worrell from the Cardinal minor league system in the deal for Khalil Greene, has been a solid relief presence for most of his career before stumbling last season with the Astros.  Of course, he also has a nice new World Series ring to bring into the clubhouse, just like last year’s signing, Dexter Fowler, did.  You wonder if this is John Mozeliak’s subtle way of letting the players know this is what they should be striving for.

Anyway, I saw some folks I respect, most notably Zach Gifford and Joe Schwarz, aren’t enthused at all about this signing.  I’m sure they’ll have an article up at Birds on the Black later today to explain why and it will make a lot of sense.  I’m not smart enough to look at heat maps and exit velocity and things like that, so my admittedly amateur eye looks at the stat lines.  I know that’s not the best way to look at things always, but it’s what I’ve got and what makes sense to me.  Gregerson’s had a very good career up until last year, his first major stumble.  He’s still a guy that has struck out over 10 per nine innings four times in his career–including the last two seasons–and often has a FIP under 3.00.

What stands out to me, like most anyone, is that last year he gave up 13 home runs, which was almost double his previous career high.  It was more than he gave up in 2015 and 2016 combined.  If that home run total is more like 6-7, and moving to Busch from Minute Maid should help that, that ERA and WHIP is going to drop.  (I know, reliever ERA is worth about as much as paper in a paperless office, but let’s go with it.)  Gregerson also gave up about two hits per nine more last year than he ever had before, another number that might have been inflated.  His batting average on balls in play last year was .308, which was significantly more than most of his seasons.  There are reasons for me to think that he could get back to being a solid piece in a bullpen where many folks have claimed that the Cardinals should throw arms at the problem.

There’s also the Mike Maddux factor to take into account.  He’s not necessarily a pitcher whisperer like we think of Dave Duncan being, but he’s obviously got a strong reputation as a coach.  It would seem a decent possibility that if Gregerson’s issues last year were mechanical, Maddux would find the flaw this winter and get him to correct it.  Of course, we don’t know if that was the problem or not.

Now, Gregerson is also going into his Age 34 season.  It’s possible that last year was not a blip but the beginning of a trend.  That’s a fair approach to take at this.  I’m also not enamored with the idea of a two-year deal, because so many of the multiple year contracts that the Cardinals have had over the past few years, whether they’ve been signings, extensions, or acquired in a deal, have been a bust, usually because the pitcher winds up spending part of the deal injured.  Gregerson has appeared in 60 games every year but 2016 (when he was in 59) so he’s been fairly durable.  With Mo’s luck, that will catch up to him sometime soon.

There was a notable tweet that indicated, as the Cubs also signed Brandon Morrow yesterday, that both teams had found their closer.  That was quickly derided by a lot of Cardinal fans, because there’s no indication that Gregerson will be used that way.  Sure, he had 46 saves in ’15 and ’16 combined, but he’s not been a closer much of his career.  It would seem more like he’s a replacement for Kevin Siegrist in the seventh inning, letting the Patron Pitcher of the Blog Tyler Lyons take the eighth and whatever closer is acquired the ninth.

So what does the bullpen look like right now?  Assuming that the Cardinals can’t shake Mike Matheny from his 13 man pitching staff, currently it is probably:

Matthew Bowman
John Brebbia
Brett Cecil
Gregerson
Lyons
Alex Reyes (?)
Ryan Sherriff
Sam Tuivailala

If Reyes isn’t ready to go for the beginning of the season, it would probably be Josh Lucas or John Gant until he was cleared to return to action.  That’s a staff that still doesn’t have an obvious closer (as we mentioned above) and it’s not Matheny’s strength to mix and match and be creative.  It would seem some more work needs to be done but there are going to be some names that will either be moved or cut in the shuffle.  Brebbia and Sherriff do have the option of returning to Memphis, which could help, but the 40-man is getting crowded.

The winter meetings kick off today in Orlando.  By Wednesday, this roster should look a lot different (should being the operative word).  It could be fun to see what they’ll do!

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Yesterday we wrapped up our look through all those that got votes in our Top Cards on Twitter project.  However, we did things differently this year.  Instead of ranking people 1-25 on a ballot, I asked you to give me a valuation of the account on a 1-10 scale, where one was barely worth following and 10 was a must-follow.  So it was possible to wind up with more points but have less “vitality”, if you will.  Let’s look at what the top 10 accounts by average per ballot was (minimum 20 ballots):

Handle Points Ballots Average
cardinalsgifs 382 40 9.550
StlCardsCards 334 38 8.7895
dgoold 357 41 8.7073
LangoschMLB 344 40 8.6000
miklasz 326 38 8.5789
C70 349 41 8.5122
bschaeffer12 318 39 8.1538
crashstl 276 34 8.1176
stlcupofjoe 323 40 8.0750
CardinalTales 246 31 7.9355

Not a real different look here.  A reshuffling of sorts but only CardinalTales really jumps up much.  Look at that overall average for gifs, though.  As you’ll see in our next table, which shows those that had the highest percentage of 10 votes, he was probably as close to perfection on this kinda thing as you can get.

Handle Ballots %10
cardinalsgifs 40 65.00%
StlCardsCards 38 50.00%
miklasz 38 50.00%
dgoold 41 43.90%
LangoschMLB 40 37.50%
TexasCardsFan1 36 36.11%
CardinalTales 31 35.48%
SimulacruMusial 32 34.38%
stlcupofjoe 40 32.50%
crashstl 34 29.41%

A bit more variety here.  A couple of folks that might not have gotten overwhelming support overall but what support they got was very strong and devout.

Who got voted on the most?  Nobody was voted on all of the 43 ballots, which given the form was a little surprising.

Handle Ballots %
C70 41 95.35%
dgoold 41 95.35%
cardinalsgifs 40 93.02%
LangoschMLB 40 93.02%
stlcupofjoe 40 93.02%
vivaelbirdos 40 93.02%
bschaeffer12 39 90.70%
hochman 39 90.70%
Ben_Fred 38 88.37%
miklasz 38 88.37%
StlCardsCards 38 88.37%

Probably not a surprise there are a lot of media types on there, given their reach, plus I’m on there because I am the one running this thing and odds are you found it from my links.

Anyway, just a few little tweaks and ways to look at things.  Hope you’ve enjoyed the whole series and we’ll probably do it again next October!

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We’ve reached the last of our list, though we’ll be looking at it through some different prisms tomorrow. If you are just now tuning in, where have you been? Here are the other links for you:

76-97
51-75
26-50
21-25
16-20
11-15
6-10

We’ve put this off long enough.  Who are the best Cardinal Twitter accounts?

Number 5: miklasz
Sincere thanks to everyone who has supported my lengthy career at the center of the sports-media industrial complex.

On Twitter since: February 2009
Number of Tweets: 37.7K
Following: 1,411
Followers: 140,228

Number of ballots: 38
% that were 10: 50.00%
% that were 1: 2.63%
Total points: 326
2016 rank: 15

Being that I’m not in St. Louis and I don’t tend to listen to sports radio, I tend to think about Bernie less than I did when he was at the Post-Dispatch and was doing Best Podcast in Baseball with Derrick Goold.  However, it doesn’t appear his move to radio has affected his import and popularity at all if these results are any indication.  Bernie’s always been a “tell it like it is” guy and an interesting read.

Number 4: StlCardsCards
(No bio)

On Twitter since: March 2014
Number of Tweets: 44.9K
Following: 606
Followers: 4,817

Number of ballots: 38
% that were 10: 50.00%
% that were 1: 2.63%
Total points: 334
2016 rank: 1

Last year’s Top Card followed that up with another solid year on Twitter, even if he couldn’t figure out where he wanted to write his humorous posts that had to be over 140 (or 280) characters.  Now he’s settled in as part of that new Birds on the Black site to bring down the quality of that site to a more manageable level.  There’s no telling what you’ll get on CardsCards Twitter feed but it’s probably going to be funny, has a good chance of being offensive, and is often going to be a highlight of your day.

Number 3: LangoschMLB
Christian. Cardinals beat reporter for http://MLB.com . Regular contributor to http://101sports.com , MLB Network and Cardinals Magazine.

On Twitter since: July 2009
Number of Tweets: 21.7K
Following: 388
Followers: 63,172

Number of ballots: 40
% that were 10: 37.50%
% that were 1: 0.00%
Total points: 344
2016 rank: 4

It’s hard to believe Jenifer has been covering the Cardinals for almost six years now.  She continues to do so with professionalism and solid reporting.  Her Twitter account isn’t often going to interact with followers but it still has a lot of Cardinal news and links to her work.  I also want to extend congratulations on her absence at the beginning of next season as she has her first child.

(As I have done the last three years, I include my account on the list but don’t count the results in the overall rankings, just noting where I would have fallen, which would be right here.  I appreciate all those that gave me the good reviews and would like to extend my thanks for all the votes!)

Number 2: dgoold
Lead Cardinals beat writer for St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Proud father. Bookworm. Lapsed cartoonist. World Record-holding INF. Friendly neighborhood word slinger.

On Twitter since: September 2008
Number of Tweets: 118K
Following: 1,440
Followers: 95,786

Number of ballots: 41
% that were 10: 43.90%
% that were 1: 0.00%
Total points: 357
2016 rank: 2

It’s not surprising that the beat writer in a baseball-obsessed town always gets ranked highly.  We’ve done this three years and Derrick has finished first once and twice second.  He’s usually good about interacting with followers, though the answers aren’t always what folks are looking for.  He’s indispensable for news relating to the Cardinals, especially this winter with so many irons in the fire.

Number 1: cardinalsgifs
⚡ “I don’t know who put out the hit,” Maddon said “I don’t know if Tony Soprano is in the dugout”

On Twitter since: May 2015
Number of Tweets: 25.3K
Following: 1,199
Followers: 4,882

Number of ballots: 40
% that were 10: 65.00%
% that were 1: 0.00%
Total points: 382
2016 rank: 33

You want a challenge? Find someone to say something slightly negative about gifs.  Even on Twitter, that place where negativity thrives, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything.  Gifs is great about helping anyone who asks–see the Exit Interview header he did for me as an example–and now is putting his creativity behind the Birds on the Black site.  With the talent there and gifs running the show and the visuals, there would seem to be no stopping them from internet domination.

So there you have it!  Tomorrow, we’ll take a couple of different looks at the data just to show a few things.  Thanks for sticking around!

1 comment

Another day and no resolution on the Giancarlo Stanton front.  However, if the rumors and reports are accurate, it seems like St. Louis might be best served by moving on.

According to Craig Mish last night, neither St. Louis nor San Francisco is on a (I assume) recent list of teams he’d accept a trade to.  (It’s possible that he’s just referring to the general no-trade clause that we’ve been dealing with this whole time, though I thought that only had the Dodgers on it as acceptable and right now there are teams other than LA that he can be dealt to without asking his permission.)  The Cardinals have been working on this deal for longer than the five weeks that it has been since the end of the World Series and it still feels like they’ve made no headway.  Mish cautions that the Cards aren’t out of the mix for Stanton yet, but let’s look at it this way.  San Francisco has a lot of advantages over St. Louis in this whole thing and they haven’t been able to seal the deal.  I don’t think Stanton has ever felt farther away.

(Imagine, though, if Stanton goes to the Dodgers and Shohei Ohtani winds up in, say, San Diego.  Missing out on both prizes of this offseason would be pretty painful, especially when many Giants fans felt Stanton was already in their pocket.)

I’m not saying that the Cardinals should just pull out of the Stanton sweepstakes or anything.  Obviously until he makes a decision, the whole Dumb-and-Dumber “so you are saying there’s a chance” thing comes into play.  You want them to be in a position to strike if things line up right, but now it feels like there are so many moving parts that to have them line up just right is asking the cosmic tumblers to click into place.  (Two movie references in one paragraph.  I feel like Dan Buffa.)  John Mozeliak talked about patience in an interview with Derrick Goold last night and it’s not a terrible thing, but it feels like patience will only get you so far.  You can wait and wait and wait and it may still never come to fruition.

The club is obviously working on various other plans and hopefully they are ones that are close to fruition.  The fanbase, which was already not inclined to cut a lot of slack, has become restless over this Stanton ordeal and there needs to be something to show for this offseason soon.  The move for Miles Mikolas is intriguing and interesting, but it can’t be anything more than an appetizer or a side salad to this winter’s main event, whatever it might be.

Which raises the question, what are Plans B, C, D, and the rest?  We haven’t heard Josh Donaldson‘s name much as it doesn’t feel like Toronto is motivated to move him.  There were the rumors of a Chris Archer, Alex Colome, Evan Longoria deal and while that’d be a lot of fun, Longoria’s not the transformative bat that we have continued to ask about.  Not that most fans would be disappointed to add Archer to the rotation and Colome to the bullpen, but the focus for this offseason was an impact bat and while I’ve been a fan of Longoria for quite some time, I don’t know that he qualifies as that anymore.  He had a strong 2016, but the years around have been good but not great and he’s under contract until he’s 37, I believe.  Again, having a strong defender and 20 homer bat at third isn’t a bad thing, but Jedd Gyorko‘s given that sort of pop the last couple of years and his defense hasn’t been terrible.

Most of the focus would tend to stay on Miami and their other outfielders, Christian Yelich and Marcell OzunaViva El Birdos and others like Adam Butler over at The Redbird Daily have been high on Yelich as a solution to the problems St. Louis is having (and if you listen to Goold much, it seems he’s on that bandwagon as well), but if Miami moves Stanton, how motivated are they to move a guy like Yelich, who they have signed through 2022 and will only cost $7 million next year and $9.75 million the year after?  Wouldn’t that be the guy that they wanted to build around as the leader of their next youth (and cheap) movement?

That leaves Ozuna and I guess your feeling on him can be tied to how representative you think his 2017 is going to be.  Ozuna hit 50 points higher than he ever has, had 14 more homers than his previous career high, and his 145 OPS+ dwarfs anything else he’s done.  Next season will be his Age 27 season, which is when players are often starting to develop into whatever they are going to be.  So if you are telling me that he’s going to hit .312 with 37 homers or a reasonable facsimile thereof, I guess that he would be that bat that we’ve been looking for.  Of course, there are just as good odds that last year was a career year and he’s going to wind up more like a .275 with 25 homers guy.  Which is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s hard to say that’s going to transform the lineup.  There are a lot of players in that same arena that already calling St. Louis home.

No matter who comes, unless there are options that aren’t even being whispered now (a complete possibility given this front office, but not to be expected), it’s going to have a bit of a disappointment attached to it, I think.  A lot of folks put a lot of stock into a Stanton deal.  Getting what would appear to be a lesser talent, even if it is a good, smart move that makes the team better, is going to feel a little less than stellar.  Still, we’ll all forget any impatience or disappointment if the 2018 Cardinals can win a lot of ball games, so hopefully a move will be made soon that will put them closer to that ideal.

You would figure the roster would be significantly different by this time next week.  (Though, in fairness, we’ve thought that a few times already this winter.)  Winter meetings will be done and surely Stanton will have made his decision by then.  I would hope so, at least.  For a winter that promised us a lot of “roster churn” from the front office, it’s been remarkably stagnant, it feels like.  Trevor Rosenthal is gone and Mikolas is here, but that’s really about it that is notable.

As for Mikolas, he’s an interesting guy that blossomed in Japan after being nondescript in the beginning of his MLB career.  He’s also carried quite a workload the last year or so in Nippon Professional Baseball, which should mean that he can cover a chunk of that innings gap we have been looking at.  His addition also means that Alex Reyes can start the year in the bullpen and at his own pace while Jack Flaherty can develop a bit more in Memphis.  (Obviously, this all is as of right now–trades could change this.)  Mikolas looks to be a mid-rotation starter but there’s plenty of disagreement about what he’ll do in the big leagues.  Still, even at his worst it looks like a pretty good fourth starter and it allows for either development or trades.  It’s not a big contract–two years, $15 million, I believe–so it can’t burn them like a Brett Cecil contract can.  (I still hold out hope for Cecil to get back to form this season, though.)

While this is a move that makes sense and improves the club, that’s not the sort of shakeup that we as fans have been expecting.  We’re probably getting closer to that sort of move but that doesn’t mean it is imminent.  Patience may be a big thing for Mo, but it’s not our strong suit!

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