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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Q&A Interview with a Cardinal Blogger

Today's game 3 between the Dodgers and the Nationals has been rained out. apparently the weather is pretty bad in Washington D.C. showers are expected all throughout the night. so tomorrow the Dodgers will be playing a traditional Double header. this means tomorrow's original game will start at the normal time of 10AM our time. then 30 minutes after the first game ends, the second game begins.
after the double header, the Dodgers will fly to San Francisco for a three game series with the Giants.

since the Dodgers are rained out today, Ill take this break to bring you guys a special post.

last week I stumbled upon a very well written informative blog. this was not a Dodger blog, but a Cardinal blog.  this blog is run by Mr. Daniel Shoptaw. who is also a member of the UCB (United Cardnal Bloggers Alliance) I was able to get an interview with Daniel. I asked him many questions about the Dodgers, the Cardinals, the Dodgers ownership situation, MLB free agency, MLB expanded playoffs, realignment, postseason awards, and more!
while this is a Dodger blog, were also all Baseball fans no matter who we root for, and its always interesting to hear the viewpoints from other fans, especially other intelligent thoughtful fans. Cardinal fans have always been known for their passion and love for baseball. St. Louis has always been a great Baseball city.

here are his answers listed below. I wanna thank Daniel for his time. have a read below. Im hoping we can continue to work with Daniel on other Projects in the near future. check out his blog if you have the time, you'll see why I like it. well anyways, enjoy the interview, and feel free to comment below. if you can think of any other questions we've missed or would like to ask Daniel. let us know as well. well see you guys tomorrow morning for a Dodger twin bill! GO BLUE


Q:Us Dodger fans here have had quite a year. the ownership situation has hung over the team like a dark rain cloud. however it seems like were finally moving on from that black pall. there is an offer on the table from the guy who used to own the LA marathon out here to buy the Dodgers for 1.2 billion. what do Cardinal fans think of the Dodgers ownership situation? what do you think of Frank McCourt? do you think MLB will approve a sale to an overseas investor in order to get rid of McCourt?

From afar, of course, you only get to see what the media portrays.  I've followed the Dodger situation somewhat, though I wouldn't say closely or consider myself any sort of expert.  Seems to me, though, that both McCourts come off shady and not really worthy of a baseball team.  It also sounds like MLB would sell the Dodgers to a wealthy monkey if they thought they could get rid of Frank McCourt.

Q:the resurgence of Lance Berkman has been a big reason for your team's success this year. did Cardinal fans originally like this singning? do you think the Cardinals will bring him back?

I think a lot of fans were pretty optimistic, though cautiously so, when Berkman was signed.  I think a lot of us expected that his bat would probably rebound, but we weren't sure how well he could play the outfield.  Obviously, he's done well in both aspects of the game.  Berkman wants to return--so much so that he nixed a deal to Texas by saying that if he was traded, he wouldn't resign--and the Cards seem to want him back.  If they can figure out the money with the impending Pujols situation, I think they'll do what they can.

Q:we have our own version of Pujols over here in LA. his name is Matt Kemp. Im sure you've heard of him, LOL he's having quite a year over here. who do you think will win the NL MVP this year? if Kemp gets to 40/40, do you think he wins it automatically?

Of course, what's going to hold Kemp back is the Dodgers' season.  Not sure how fair it is and you can arguing whether that should be part of the calculation, but there it is.  However, if he gets to 40/40, he's going to definitely be in the conversation.  Justin Upton is going to be tough to overtake if Arizona wins the division and Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder will be up there, but Kemp should make a good showing.

Q: do you think the Cardinals can catch the Crew?

No.  I write this as they have lost again to the Reds and have returned to 9.5 out, but I didn't really think they'd catch them even after the sweep last week took them to 7.5 out.  Just too far to go in too little of a period of time, plus this is a team that's not shown the ability for any sort of extended run.  Their season-high in consecutive wins is four.  That should tell you something. 

Q:it is looking like the Dodgers have turned their season around. but unfortunately it may be too little too late.  what do you think of the Dodgers current hot streak? do you think they could make a run? or have they run out of time?

The Dodgers are now 11.5 out, so I don't think they can make any sort of run either.  Though they might be able to run down the Giants, which would ease some of the sting of this season, wouldn't it?

Q:who do you think will win the NL cy young? Kershaw? Halladay? or Kenendy? or some one else?

Roy Halladay is going to be tough to beat, just because of his reputation and his season.  I do like what Kershaw is doing (he's on my main fantasy team) and hopefully he can win it all. 

Q:what do you think of MLB's expanding the playoffs with an extra wild card? for? or against?

I'm against adding anything more to the playoffs.  Of course, I was never for (and still don't care for) the wild card in the first place. 

Q:MLB realignment. Good? or bad?

Bad, if you are talking about the 15-in-each-league, constant-interleague-play version that was floating around earlier this year.  I detest interleague play on a normal season, much less having to watch it every day.  Now, moving teams into four divisions or something? That I might be able to get behind.

Q:who's your pick to go to the World Series?

It's so very, very hard to go against the Phillies in the National League.  That pitching staff is just going to be so deadly in a short series.  On the AL side, I don't follow it as closely but I'm guessing Boston. 

Q:The Dodgers signed Juan uribe in the offseason to a 24 Million dollar contract. Juan Uribe is a bum. LOL he was quite a bust. who was your biggest "uirbe" or "bust"?

Biggest bust?  Interesting question.  The Cards didn't sign very many big free agent contracts in the last few years.  Obviously Berkman has come through.  Probably the one that most fans would point to would be Kyle Lohse, who signed his four-year deal on the last day of the '08 season, then has spent the majority of the contract hurt or ineffective.  He was very strong at the beginning of this season, but has faded down the stretch.

Q:what do you think of the former Dodgers? Furcal? Theriot? Dotel?

While I still haven't forgive Furcal for stealing the 2000 ROY away from pitcher Rick Ankiel, he's been a great addition to the Cardinals.  He's not hitting a lot (though he's popped a few homers), but his defense has been a wonderful thing to see and something sorely lacking from this team.  I note that the Cards are looking to bring him back for next year, though I doubt they exercise the option to do so.

Theriot has been a disappointment, but an expected one.  When the trade for him was first made, Cardinal fans expected he would play second next to Brendan Ryan, but the Cards had different plans, installing him at short and shipping Ryan to the Mariners.  It quickly became obvious that his defense was too much of a hurdle for him to overcome and his offense wasn't good enough to do that.  He's now playing a little second and being a bench player, but I expect the Cards to nontender him in the offseason.

Dotel has had some stellar performances and some not-so-great ones.  He's been a pretty nice piece in the bullpen, but nothing special and I don't expect he'll be back next season.

Q: do you think MLB should step in and take complete control of the Dodgers until a new owner is found?

The Dodgers are one of the crown jewels of baseball and as such should be treated with respect and dignity.  I think that MLB control might add to that dignity for a while, but the process by which they obtain control would be messy.  It's a balancing act, but I don't think anyone would disagree that it's in MLB's best interests to take control as soon as possible. 

Q:who is your favorite Cardinal of all time?

I grew up with Ozzie Smith, so he still tops my list of Cardinals.  In fact, a couple of years ago I got to interview him, which was a real thrill.   Albert Pujols is also high on my list of all-timers and Adam Wainwright is working his way there.

Q:do you approve or disapprove of Manager Tony Larussa's moves this season? why? or Why not?

Which ones?  TLR gives the fans at least 2-3 moves a game to argue over, not to mention his off-the-field maneuverings.  I'm a huge TLR fan, have been since his days in Oakland, but it seems like some of the things he's done this year are a little over the top, like the arguments about Milwaukee's in-stadium advertising or them getting up and in on Pujols.  Couple that with the fades that this team has had the last few years and perhaps it is time for a new voice in the clubhouse.  That said, I do expect TLR to be back next season, as that will put him second all-time in managerial wins. 

Q: How long have you been a Cardinals fan and when did you start blogging?

I really started watching and following baseball in 1987, but I have some memories of the 1985 World Series with the Cardinals vs. the Royals.  I've never followed another team, though, sticking with the Cardinals all the way.  Dad was a Cardinals fan and this was Cardinal country due to the AA team in Little Rock being a St. Louis affiliate at the time.

I started blogging right after the All-Star Break in 2007.  There was some optimism for the Cardinal team after the way they'd ended the first half, but Kip Wells came out, gave up five runs in the first, and that bubble popped.  I started writing about that and I've not stopped since.

Q: The San Francisco Giants are the Dodgers biggest rival. Which team is the Cardinals biggest foe?

Depends on the season.  Of course, historically you have the Cards/Cubs rivalry, which is a nice one but it usually doesn't mean anything.  Still, you never want to lose to the Cubs.

Back in the early part of the last decade, the Houston/St. Louis rivalry was a strong, professional, respectful rivalry.  Both teams treated each other well and there was some great baseball played.

Right now, some Cardinal fans would point to the Reds as a rival, especially after last season's brawl in Cincinnati, while some would point to the scuffles with Milwaukee.  I'm sure if Pittsburgh ever got really good, there'd be a rivalry there too!

Q: What is your opinion on Sabermetrics and the use of advanced statistical analysis in baseball?

I think Sabermetrics are a great thing for baseball.  I don't understand all the advanced stats, and occasionally I think they get fancy for fancy's sake, but on the whole I think they provide good information and help people see the big picture.  We tend to remember the bad, but not the good, or vice versa.

I do think stats should be a tool for analysis, not the whole analysis.  There's still room for scouting and human observation, I think. 

Q: Who is your all-time favorite baseball player and why?

It's still going to be Ozzie Smith, but if I had to branch out from Cardinals, Ken Griffey Jr. would probably be on that list. 

Q:Do you miss Blake Hawskworth?

Not as much as I thought we would.  Hawksworth was a guy we enjoyed following in the minors and were glad to see him get his shot in the bigs.  That said, the young bullpen arms have been pretty solid this year (after Ryan Franklin and Miguel Batista were let go) and while he might have still had a job here, he might not have, so it's best to see him pitching in LA.  It was good to see him when the Dodgers came to town a couple of weeks ago, though.

Q:what is the United Cardinals bloggers? do Cardinal bloggers interact together on projects?

The UCB is a group I established soon after I started blogging.  It's a way for Cardinal bloggers to interact with each other, to get to know the others that are writing about the Cardinals, as well as to work on various projects together.  For instance, in September the member blogs will be posting their Top 7 Cardinal Prospects and we'll compile those into a master list.  In October, we'll do an e-mail roundtable and post those transcripts, and in November we do our annual Cardinal Blogger Awards.  

Not only has this worked to grow friendships, but we've been able to use this group to attract the attention of the Cardinals and have some interactions there as well.

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