UCB, I C A…Great Time
Posted By JE Powell
I didn’t really know what to expect going into Sunday for the United Cardinal Bloggers event at Busch Stadium III. Well, I guess I kind of knew what to expect, as far as meeting other bloggers and watching Cardinals baseball. Some of the highlights were meeting Deckacards from Cards ‘N Stuff, Dennis from Pitchers Hit 8th, Daniel from Cardinal 70, and Joe and Mike from Cards Droppings, Tom and the guys from Cardinals GM, as well as briefly meeting Christine from Aaron Miles’ Fastball, and Erika from Cardinal Diamond Diaries. It was pretty cool to put faces with some of the very good blogs I read. Other blogs were represented there, but I didn’t get around to meet everyone, which was a little disappointing. I hope to meet others next time there is an event.
Another highlight was a Q&A with Cardinals GM John Mozeliak. Here are some of the topics he touched upon. He:
- Feels that the key to this season is the pitching. If the pitching can hold up then the Cardinals should be successful
- Views the Cardinals Minor League as the strongest it’s been since he joined the team in 1995
- Hasn’t had any substantial contact with Pujols (and his agent) regarding a contract extension, but still has high hope about resigning Pujols after the season
- Believes that, should another Cardinals starting pitcher go down due to injury, there are minor leaguers ready to step in
- Hasn’t made a decision on whether to pick up the options on Adam Wainwright for 2012 and 2013 or to negotiate a contract extension
- Has checked on Matt Holliday and Holliday is feeling better since the surgery, but Holliday feels a little “bloated” (John’s word)
I really appreciated John taking the time to sit down and have a discussion with us little ol’ bloggers. I have been guilty on many occasions of criticizing Mozeliak (and Jocketty before him) about moves they made or didn’t make, but I realize now (it took me long enough!) that Mo’ really does have the best interests of the team in mind. He said the organization felt that this season getting players with better hitting was a little more important than defense, hence getting Ryan “The Riot” Theriot and trading away Brendan Ryan. Mozeliak made a good point that when he makes a move it’s because he feels it addresses and issue or is a good move that benefits the team, but that not all moves work out the way he thought they would. I didn’t take this a “political” statement (simply meant to placate), but rather as sound logic. Cardinals fans often have the power of hindsight in that we can analyze a move a few weeks, months, or years down the road and say that it was a “stupid” move or a “great” move. Mozeliak admitted that Chris Perez has done very well for the Cleveland Indians, but that at the time he felt that getting Mark DeRosa would help the Cards with hitting and defense. DeRosa was injured a week later and wasn’t quite right the rest of the season. Here’s what I came out of the Q&A thinking: Cardinals fans shouldn’t just assume that every move Mo’ makes is the right one, but we should give him the benefit of the doubt. I am sure I will criticize Mo’ at some point the future, I just hope I can step back and look at whatever move he made from a logical standpoint and not an emotional one.
I would like to take a moment to thank the St. Louis Cardinals organization for their generosity and hospitality. I may be new to the whole blogging game, but they treated us well and it was very much appreciated. In the Ozzie Smith Legends Club Party Box, there was plenty of room to sit comfortably and blog (which you can read the live blog transcript here) and the food was delicious and plentiful. I think the next trip I take to St. Louis for a game is going to have to be with a large group and in a party box. It was that cool.
And now for the part of the show where I actually talk about the game. Cardinals won. Enough said. Well, no, not enough said. If you give me an ear I will do my best to talk it off, so I cannot leave it just at “Cardinals won.” First of all the final score was 2-0 and the game was just a little over two hours long, mostly because Jaime Garcia pitch so, so well today. He allowed no runs and only 4 hits while striking out 9. That’s one hell of a good game. The Cards need that, too. After the no decision that Carp got on Thursday and the batting practice that Jake Westbrook pitched yesterday, it had to be great for morale to have Garcia pitch so well, especially after a rough spring.
Starting right now, in this blog post, I am going to try a new feature called 3 X 3 where I will give three positives and three negatives from selected games.
- The Cardinals won 2-0
- Garcia is looking as good, if not better, than last year. One game does not a season make, but it’s certainly a good sign
- Molina got a nice hit up the middle for the go-ahead run
- Skip Schumaker and Ryan Theriot do not have any rhythm on double plays and neither can seem to handle throws from Molina
- Pujols hit into another double play and would have hit into a second one had the Cards not had two outs already
- Holliday is still a week or two or more from returning the Cards offense seems to need his bat. The Cards were outscored 16-8 in the series and the Padres DID NOT score a run in the last game of the series.
All in all, it was a very successful day at Busch III. The Cards won, I got to meet some very cool people, I had a great time, and, oh yeah, the CARDINALS WON!!!
A quick note: My Grandpa used to tell me that a majority of games in baseball will see the winning team score more runs in one inning than the rest of the team scores all game. Just a little interesting thing to keep an eye on. I have found this to be fairly accurate, though it could be me remembering all the times that it worked out and forgetting when it didn’t. It did hold true in two out of three games the the Cards-Padres series.