The Tenth Doctor: Hello! Okay—New teeth. That’s weird. So where was I? Oh, that’s right. Barcelona!
After about six months (at least) of nagging me, I recently caved into the wife’s demands and started watching the modern Doctor Who. It’s grown on me and I try to watch one whenever I can. Of course, one of the great conceits about the show is the way that it could stay on the air for 50 years (if not continously): The Doctor changes appearances when he “dies” and a new actor takes his place.
Just as the Time Lord takes awhile to get adjusted to his new surroundings, it’s a bit strange to be writing here for me as well. After all, I’ve spent five years at the other place, so it’s to be expected, right? I hope so, at least.
With the formation of this Conclave of Cardinal talent, it seems quite possible that I can double my readership from two readers to four. In which case, those two new readers might want to know just a little about the person behind the keyboard and what they can expect out of this blog. A first post in a new site should be that kind of thing, I believe. Seems right to me, at least. So let’s give it a whirl.
My name is Daniel Shoptaw and I’m an accountant in Arkansas. With St. Louis a 6+ hour drive, my times in Busch Stadium are quite limited, but with the internet and TV coverage of the Cards, I don’t think I miss a lot by being outside of the promised land. I have a wife, a son and a daughter and time with them tends to conspire against me seeing complete Cardinal games, but it’s a tradeoff I’m willing to deal with. Of course, you might want to take whatever I have to say about a game with a silo of salt knowing that, but that’s the way it is.
I grew up with Ozzie as my favorite player and still count it a thrill that I got to interview him back in 2009. I was a big Albert fan until he left (and I still bear him no ill will) and now love to see Adam Wainwright pitch and am proud that he’s a Cardinal for what he does on and off the field. As a Christian, I appreciate him trying to live out his faith in a situation that can’t always be easy for him.
I appreciate the sabermetric side of things, but I’m not smart enough to write in that manner. I think that the analytical side of baseball has brought a lot to the game and the front offices are, as a whole, much smarter than they used to be. I think the Cardinals method of blending scouting with sabermetrics is working well and is the way things are supposed to be. You can’t run a team from a spreadsheet, but you can’t run a team without looking at them either.
I’m an organizer as well. You probably have heard about the United Cardinal Bloggers if you’ve been around reading Cardinal blogs for any length of time. I’m proud to say that I put that together, gathering in all that talent in an effort to make me look good (or, more accurately, hide my writing in amongst much higher quality work.) I took the UCB model and expanded it a couple of years later, founding the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. I stepped away from the BBA leadership last year, having too many plates in the air, but it’s still a great organization that has some really quality people in it. If nothing else, it has filled up my Twitter feed with a lot of great thoughts and humorous asides.
Before all of that, though, I started my own blog. I’ve told the story before, but it’s all Kip Wells‘ fault, another blight on his Cardinal record. He laid an egg in the first game back after the 2007 All-Star Break and it, in coordination with various other factors, led me to starting my first baseball-only blog on WordPress. I moved to the Blogs By Fans network in January of 2008 and now, well, now I’m here in the company of good friends and great writers. I guess that would make this the third regeneration of the blog, meaning I’d be starting my Matt Smith years if we are sticking with modern Doctor Who. However, I’m not that far in my watching, so I can’t tell you if that’s a good or bad thing.
This blog is a lot of reaction and recap. You aren’t going to find a lot of research projects here; that’s one of the great things about joining up here at The Cardinal Conclave, the fact that you can get those projects under the same umbrella but I don’t have to try to come up with them. There are occasional series, of course: the Exit Interviews at the end of last season went over well and the Playing Pepper series will happen every spring. I also occasionally write attempts at humor or parody. I beg your forgiveness for those in advance. You’ll find me on Twitter @C70, the blog has its own Facebook page that gets updated occasionally, and lately I’ve been on Bonfyre before and during games a lot, so download that app and friend me on there.
You’ll also often get geeky references, such as starting off with Doctor Who quotes, titling all the podcast episodes after lines from Star Wars, or referring to the hallowed Firefly. They aren’t continual, but you never know when they’ll pop up.
Mainly, though, I just watch and read and use this blog as my outlet for opinions. I hope you enjoy reading them. I expect I’ll get used to the nose and ears (it’s a metaphor!) soon enough and we’ll be on our way!