Cardinal baseball, from the girls
Monthly Archives: November 2011
Whether you spent your long holiday (one ‘L’, not two) weekend filling up on turkey and pumpkin pie, battling the frenzy of Black Friday and/or watching football (only because there isn’t any baseball, of course,) we have a few more Thanksgiving moments to share with you before the mistletoe madness and Christmas rush officially takes over the planet.
As part of our giveaway of the Official 2011 World Series Film DVD set (thank you, thank you to A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions), we asked readers interested in winning FREE WORLD SERIES DVDs to send entries telling us which Cardinal players they were most thankful for in 2011.
The following five fun THANKFUL entries showed up in our inbox. From those, we had the difficult task of picking a winner. And because we couldn’t pick just one… we’re giving away TWO of the 2011 World Series Film DVD sets. Congratulations to our lucky “thankful” winners:
Here are the two entries that topped the list for their creativity and won free Cardinals World Series Highlights DVDS:
Our other three fabulous entries (and honorable mentions) were from Nancy, Kent and Eric :
Kent made us stop and think with his unexpected entry:
“The Cardinal that I am most thankful for is Ryan Franklin. Ryan had a very tough start to begin the 2011 season. He was bashed and criticized on twitter, Facebook, the newspaper and on TV. He handled the poor start with dignity an class even though the people that were bashing him did not. Eventually he was informed that he was being released and again he didn’t leave the team kicking and screaming, but handled it with class.
After laying low for the remainder of the season, Ryan reappeared and again was a person of class. I feel that Ryan is the epitome of what I hope that all Cardinals both past, present and future will portray!
I admire and respect Ryan Franklin and so do all of his teammates!”
Eric summed up his choice by going right to the top:
Tony La Russa would be my choice. It all starts at the top. Being a consummate professional. And having the time of his life from August the 24th on including donning a hearts on fire pendant and a talisman from Carlos Santana himself. To guide a team from 10.5 games out to a World Series victory is beyond reproach. Plus handling all the media crush, the AP contract situation, the Colby Rasmus trade among other things. I know the city will miss Don Tony. He made me smile right up to the last out of the World Series. Wish him the best and I’m thankful we had the right skipper for the red draped ship.
This DVD absolutely surpassed my expectations. So much more than just a rewatching of the series, this DVD combines those lovely behind-the-scenes videos and interviews that make us smile while perfectly complementing the theatrical narrative of our Cardinals’ incredible journey to the 2011 World Championship. Close-ups of the boys, player interviews (including multiple moments of insight from our darling MVP, David Freese), new video angles and footage I’d never seen from the televised coverage of the World Series – all pleasant surprises. Even though I knew how the story went (oh, don’t you LOVE happy endings?!?) I was on the edge of my seat, cheering and reliving the ups and downs as the Cardinals (again) ba
ttled through 7 hard-fought games against the Texas Rangers. My son may or may not have rolled his eyes at one point, saying “Mom, this has already happened, you know…”
Okay. Honestly? The 2011 World Series Highlight Film DVD set is phenomenal.
Buy it for your Dad, uncle, cousin, grandpa, sister… whomever you know that loves the Cardinals.
Then go and watch it with them. Win/win!
…or you could just go buy it for yourself. Consider it your little way of lightening Santa’s load. He’ll have more room in his sleigh. You’re so thoughtful!
And when you settle in for some December DVD baseball magic, try not to cheer out loud when Freezer hits that walk-off homerun (again). I dare ya!
Didn’t win? Didn’t enter our other “Guess the Pujols Presser Date” contest?
It’s okay. You can buy it HERE:
2011 WORLD SERIES HIGHLIGHT FILM 2-DISC SET
A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB productions has provided us the opportunity to review these DVDs and give away a few sets to some lucky Diamond Diaries readers.
So….Want to win?
Contest #1: Enter your guess for the date of the press conference when Albert Pujols will announce that he will (or will not) be a Cardinal in 2012. Enter a date (and a time in case of a tie) in the comments section below. The closest guess wins. Deadline for entries: November 24th at 6pm CT.
(unless, of course, the press conference happens BEFORE November 24th…)
Contest #2: Send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) telling us which Cardinal you were MOST THANKFUL for in 2011 and why. We Diamond Diaries gals will pick our favorite email and we will publish all entries over the Thanksgiving weekend. Deadline: November 24th at 6pm CT.
——– ——- ——-
Want more info?
The World Premiere of the 2011 WORLD SERIES HIGHLIGHT FILM 2-DISC SET is coming November 22nd, at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis. For more information on this Red Carpet event and to buy tickets, click <HERE>
Every year the United Cardinal Bloggers have what is known as the UCB Awards – a way to not only recognize what the team has done in the past year, but also recognize the fact that the UCB is one group of people that are all here together writing about this crazy team we love. This year we have even had the joy of following our boys all the way to the top! But now that the champagne has all been sprayed, the confetti cleaned up and the championship swag all hitting the shelves, it is time to look back and recognize the year that was.
As an added bonus, this year everyone is invited to check out the ballot and vote for their favorites! If you are so inclined, you can head over here to see what’s what and have your say in the awards. As for our team, we decided that we would make one collective vote, so our thoughts are all sprinkled throughout.
On to the ballot!
1 – Cardinal Player of the Year: Lance Berkman. This was a unanimous decision, and Erika said it best, “Berkman won me over early, picked up a clubhouse leadership roll, slugged and walked his way on base and hit in more than his fair share of baserunners. When the Cardinals signed Berkman, I was warned I would love him – and I do.” Make that we do!
2 – Cardinal Pitcher of the Year: Chris Carpenter, without a doubt! His horrific start to the year left us all scratching our heads and wringing our hands, trying to figure out what was left of our co-Ace since Adam Wainwright went down for the year and we had no one else to turn to. He then buckled down and became the bulldog starter we all hoped he still could be. After several shut down performances – shutouts, out-dueling aces, big game wins and locker room speeches – he was the leader the boys needed on the mound.
3 – Regular Season Game of the Year: September 7 – Cards vs. Brewers. Carp throws a shutout, Nyjer Morgan throws a temper tantrum, the Cardinals gain momentum and scribes and fans everywhere go into a frenzy. What more could a die-hard fan ask for?
4 – Postseason Game of the Year: Diane summed it up when she called game 6 of the World Series a game for the ages. What else could happen? The boys were down to their last strike twice. The hometown hero – David Freese – came through, and we all found ourselves cheering and hugging our loved ones to the bitter end.
5 – Surprise Player of the Year: Lance Berkman. Why? Umm… did you see his 2010? It was ugly, to put it gently. He was an absolute wildcard signing. It could be great or it could be a bust, but most of us were just kind of hoping for a shade above mediocrity. Lance turned us all into believers and even worked his way into some chatter for MVP awards. We’re excited to see the Puma again next year!
6 – Disappointing Player of the Year: It’s a tie that I’m not going to break between Ryan Franklin and Colby Rasmus. Franklin just had to go. Had. To. Go. Where he went we honestly didn’t care, but as long as no one let him in to the bullpen where he could try to sneak on to the field and snatch another defeat from the jaws of victory, we were not sad to see him go. As for Colby… he had been built up for such great things, but just could not overcome daddy drama, TLR issues and streakiness to be the effective centerfielder the team needed. Enjoy Canada, Colby!
7 – Cardinal Rookie of the Year: Daniel Descalso. HOW could you argue against Dirty Danny D here? For awhile he was Mr. Clutch, coming up with timely hits over and over. Despite a relatively low batting average, you cannot argue with the facts: he appeared in more games than just about any other Cardinal this year, despite having fewer than normal innings for a regular third baseman his glovework earned him a finalist nod for a Gold Glove, and he became the first ever relief third baseman, inexplicably coming in game after game in roughly the 7th or 8th inning to relieve Freese. There’s just something about this kid you have to love!
8 – Pre-Season Acquisition of the Year: Lance Berkman (What, like you thought were were going to say Ryan Theriot?!). Diane notes that the Cards got him for a bargain. He was the leadership spark the team needed.
9 – Mid-Season Acquisition of the Year: I was kind of leaning towards Marc Rzepczynski, if for no other reason than because he has an awesome name, and TLR still can’t pronounce it (never mind how poor Mike Shannon bungled the thing repeatedly). However, the girls outvoted me and went with Rafael Furcal! Erika? “Finally, I love our shortstop again. Diving, spinning, range — and a bat (just not a postseason bat.) ;)”
10 – Most Anticipated Cardinal: Shelby Miller. A lot of hype has been built up for this kid, and he honestly didn’t help his cause by getting himself suspended from the Springfield Cardinals (AA) for a time this year. Our hope is that he takes the winter to grow up enough to handle the pressure that he’s going to face in the next few years.
11 – Best Individual Blog: On the Outside Corner is informative, historical, and always timely. Bob will find a way to relate something that happened in 1967 to the random obscure play we witnessed last night that left us all scratching our heads and you will suddenly realize that you know absolutely NOTHING about the history of the St. Louis Cardinals. We’re always thankful for his Twitter tales too!
12 – Best Team Blog: i70 Baseball might be about those blue clad baseball players on the other side of the state too, but they never fail to bring new content about our Redbirds. Their hard work does not go unnoticed!
13 – Best Professional Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer from Matthew Leach is always informative, usually the first to report the news, and written by a writer that is always 100% classy, no matter what venom is being thrown around the twitterverse. Bravo, Mr. Leach.
14 – Best Rookie Cardinal Blog: El Maquino is one of many new kids on the block for this year. He’s a good writer, aspiring sportswriter, and we might not always agree with him, but he is always informative.
15 – Post of the Year: We had a split vote here… If Backyard Dreams by Bill Ivie over at i70 Baseball doesn’t either bring a tear to your eye or a wistful smile to your face, there is seriously something wrong with you. SERIOUSLY. Erika sent her vote over to Pip at Fungoes for his post called Why the Cardinals Will Still Beat the Brewers, and Diane tipped a nod my direction (with a note that she might be biased) by selecting my post commemorating Darryl Kile’s death entitled 9 Years Later. It is obvious to see that there were some incredible posts out there this year (and I wasn’t about to choose my own post or break the tie on this one – there were a lot of great ones to choose from!).
16 – Best UCB Project: The roundtables are a great way to not only clog up our email inboxes for a month and a half, but also hear a lot of thoughts and opinions getting floated around the various sites. If you haven’t been catching them all head over to the UCB site to check out the list!
17 – Most Optimistic Cardinal Blog: That one is easy for us – Bob with On the Outside Corner takes this one as well. No matter what happens, Bob always knows that a) it could always get worse, b) “Remember that one time in 196<fill in the blank> when this happened? Yeah, we could have that.” and c) tomorrow is a new game. Thanks for reminding us Bob!
18 – Best UCB Podcast: UCB Radio Hour takes the cake here. All of the unique voices and opinions bring us back every week. We enjoy hearing all of them!
19 – Best UCB Twitter-er(-er-er-er): Erika and Diane left this one to me, so I’ll say it: @gr33nazn. Do you laugh every day? Do you want to? Follow Dennis. Learn about sporks, 8 lb. chalupas, the Sing Off, brain bleach, and random other topics… oh yeah, and baseball. He does that too.
20 – Best Fake Twitter Account: @TortyCraig might have retired from the scene, but we still had a blast hearing what he had to say about Master Allen, sprinkles and the like. I’m told he will now graze off during the sunset from Allen Craig’s backyard. Enjoy retirement Torty.
It was my assigned day to post the question to the UCB Fall Roundtable. This was the first time I have posted a question to the Roundtable, so I hoped that everyone would be nice and not laugh at my question. Below is the question that I asked:
Good morning everyone! Congratulations to Mike Matheny on being selected as the new Cardinals manager! One of Mike’s first duties will be to look at the Cardinals coaching staff and see if changes need to be made.
Today’s question is, which of the other Cardinals coaches would you like to see leave and why? My choice would be Jose Oquendo. The players obviously don’t respect him – they run through his signs at third base.
Thanks for participating! Have a great day!
Here’s the answers that I got, some of which were edited for brevity:
Daniel Solzman – I would not get rid of Oquendo just because Albert decided to use his inner-Enos and make a mad dash for home. Let’s like saying get rid of Derek Lilliquist because the bullpen didn’t hear the right name. I’m guessing it may be Petini’s time to go though.
Daniel Shoptaw, C70 at the Bat -Interestingly, that was the topic of my post this morning. Or at least who I believe will go, not necessarily who I want to go. I think the easiest way to get some new blood into the coaching staff is to let Dave McKay follow Tony either out the door or at least to a different position in the organization. Chris Maloney could take over first and start learning the ropes at the big league leve.
Mark,Retrosimba.com – Diane: Dave McKay. Seems like a nice guy, but other than being a loyal buddy to Tony La Russa, his contributions to the team were minimal. No one ever talks about him being a leader. His departure wouldn’t hurt the team.
Christine Coleman, Aaron Miles’ Fastball – I agree with Nick – I don’t know that I necessary want to see anyone go. But having just read that Chris Maloney was promoted to the major league staff, someone must be leaving. So my option would be Joe Pettini (and have Maloney be the bench coach).
Dathan Brooks, I70Baseball.com – Jeff Murphy, anyone? I don’t know. This seems like it could be a dangerous topic, as I suspect most of us have no idea what these folks do outside of the fraction of what we all see every half inning. It’d be awfully hard to say goodbye to the man who helped bring us the illustrious 35-game Cardinals career of Cody McKay, no? (c:
Ray DeBousse, stlcardinalbaseball.com – I wouldn’t really “like” to see any of them go. However, I’d really like to see Chris Maloney promoted, which most likely means Pettini would be sacrificed. The McGwire situation should be an interesting view, given Matheny’s past comments about steroids and McGwire’s obvious success as hitting coach. I’d like McGwire to stay if possible.
Tom Knuppel, CardinalsGM.com – I am thinking two coaches get “reassigned” or move on. One is the reports that the Cardinals are wanting a new bench coach w/major league experience and the word is a Grady Little hiring may be in the works. This puts Pettini out of in a new position. If Maloney is truly on board, that probably means McKay is on the way out. I would like to see “Pop” Warner gets some coaching time with the big club.
Bob Netherton – My first choice is Jose Oquendo as well, but perhaps not for the same reason. One of the coaches I want to see continue in some capacity is Joe Pettini. He was in the Cardinals system long before the arrival of Tony La Russa, and I would like to see him stay. Pettini’s retention could go a long way in making Matheny’s transition easier since Joe handles a lot of the little things, like organizing practice. Dave McKay is a “Tony La Russa” guy from his Oakland days but I have no desire to see him anywhere else but St. Louis. If another spot needs to be opened up for Chris Maloney or Grady Little, I would prefer to keep Pettini over McKay – but that’s a very hard choice.
Chris Mallonee – As others have mentioned, this is a tough question because fans know so little of the behind the scenes that goes on. Matheny faces a tough task. He has no experience, and he has to lead a group of experienced coaches that just won a World Series title. There is no coach that I would like to see leave unless they can’t commit to backing Matheny 100%. All that to say, the only coach I would “like” to see leave is one that can’t fully support Matheny and would cause dissension in the clubhouse.