Tonight, the annual Cardinal Blogger Awards will be announced on the UCB Radio Hour. Although I am very late, I wanted to submit my post with my votes.
There are 9 awards for actual St. Louis Cardinals, and 9 awards for Cardinal bloggers.
Award 1: Player of the Year
Nominees: Allen Craig, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina
The Cardinals had a great offensive season (with over 5 players hitting 20 home runs), but this award has to hands down go to Yadier Molina. Molina followed last season’s career year at the plate with an even better year this year. In addition, he was the glue that held the pitching staff together through many injuries and helped young guys like Joe Kelly, Trevor Rosenthal, and Shelby Miller adjust to the majors. Yadi also was a coach on the field while Mike Matheny was acclimating to the big league game.
Award 2: Pitcher of the Year
This is another no-brainer,Kyle Lohse.From June through the end of the season, Lohse ripped off 18 of 22 quality starts and had an ERA under 2 in June and August. He was consistently good night-in and night-out, and is about to reap a big payday for it somewhere other than STL. He is as much to thank for the Cardinals playoff berth as Yadi.
Award 3: Game of the Year
Nominees: June 13 vs. White Sox, July 16 vs. Brewers, July 21 vs. Cubs, NLDS Game 5
Another fairly simple one….Game 5 NLDS. This is one for me that will go down in history as an all-time great game right up there with Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.
Award 4: Performance of the Year
Nominees: Chris Carpenter’s five innings in his return against Chicago, Adam Wainwright’s shutout of San Diego, Shelby Miller‘s start against Cincinnati, Carlos Beltran‘s 3-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI game versus Washington
A close runner-up is Waino’s shutout, as that helped fans to know that vintage Waino could return at any time. But I have to go with Carlos Beltran’s game against Washington. He was such a huge addition to the team this year, but never as much as when the lights shone the brightest during the playoffs.
Award 5: Surprise Player of the Year
Several good nominees here. For this one, I have to go with Jon Jay. He alleviated a lot of concerns about if he could be the everyday CF and even was the one directing traffic between two perennial All-Stars Holliday and Beltran. His role was extra important, because once Berkman went down, the club really didn’t have a solid OF to come off the bench. Jay had an solid 40 RBIs and impressive 19 stolen bases. He also did a very solid job from the leadoff spot, putting the ball in play 84 % of the time.
He saved the Cardinals a lot of money/prospects by not having to go out and get another starting OF until presumably Taveras joins the big club.
Award 6: Disappointing Player of the Year
I can’t fault Berkman and Furcal for getting injured. Furcal was a great spark plug the first half of the season. Descalso was a disappointment at the plate, but tremendous in the field, so by default that leaves this award for Scrabble.
He went from a guy touted to be a potential starter as justification for the Rasmus deal, to a guy that was never called on in “late and close” situations. His innings load dropped from 62 to 47 from the previous year, ERA rose by almost a point, and WHIP was 1.35. Not good for a guy paid good money to come in and get a couple of batters out. His biggest problem was his k/9 dropped from 8.9 in ’11 to 6.4 in ’12.
As much as I love watching me some Trevor Rosenthal blowing heat past guys whenever he wants to, Matt Carpentergets this award for me. The guy played several positions in the field well as needed, and hit nearly 300 with 46 RBIs in less than 300 at-bats. The guy should be a huge addition to the ’13 team.
Award 8: Acquisition of the Year
Both were great acquisitions. Mujica solidified the bullpen, and was absolutely tremendous in the 7th inning. However, Beltran just had too good of a season to pass him up for this award. I would venture to say Mozeliak was pleasantly surprised that Beltran put up even better numbers in 2012 than he did in 2011.
Award 9: Most Anticipated Cardinal
There are so many exciting prospects coming up through the ranks right now, but this one has to go to Taveras. The guy is top 5 prospect in most every list that I see, and Mozeliak said the best bat to come through the minors since El Hombre.
Award 10: Best Individual Cardinal Blog
Here is the tough part, essentially picking amongst a bunch of great friends. There are so many good Cardinals blogs to pick from. c70, Cardinals GM, Fungoes, On the Outside Corner, and the list goes on.
I’m not going to go with any of the ones listed above however. I’m going to vote for a guy that I’ve gotten to know the last year who I really enjoy reading his work. There’s nothing overly flashy about what he writes, just good solid consistent content. I really enjoy his insights on all things Cardinals, so my vote goes to Kevin Reynolds at CardsNStuff.
Award 11: Best Team Cardinal Blog
I’m going to wuss out and not vote on this one
This one is just honestly too hard for me to call.
Award 12: Best Cardinal Media Blog
Nominees: Bird Land, By Gosh It’s Langosch, Cards Beat
Bird Land by Goold. He’s great.
Award 13: Best Rookie Cardinal Blog
Another very hard call, but I’m going to go with Keene on MLB.
Award 14: Post of the Year
Nominees: Cardinal Executives Candid With Bloggers (RetroSimba), Darryl Kile’s Final Inning (Aaron Miles’ Fastball), On Life, Love and Baseball (I70 Baseball), STARS for Baby Reesa (Pitchers Hit Eighth), We Don’t Get To Write The Endings (C70 At The Bat)
Gotta go with i70′s post. All were great, but thatone was tops for me.
Award 15: Best UCB Project
Nominees: Buck/Kile remembrances, Roundtables, Top 5 Iconic Moments, Top 7 Prospects
I vote for Buck/Kile. It was just such a memorable time in Cardinals history, losing two greats so close together like that. It was great to be able to honor them again 10 years later.
Award 16: Most Optimistic Cardinal Blog
I’m going to go with On the Outside Corner
for this one. Bob always helps Cardinals fans come off the ledge when something crazy happens (like Matheny bunts) to remind us it’s a game we all love, and we have been in that situation before and made it out ok. Very therapeutic for me during games
Award 17: Best UCB Podcast
Nominees: Conversations With C70, Gateway To Baseball Heaven, Pitchers Hit Eighth, Redbirds of a Feather, UCB Radio Hour
I appreciate each of these for the different purpose they serve. Gateway is a nice Sunday evening quick hitter to get you ready for another week of baseball. Pitchers Hit Eighth are always so creative and fun to listen to. But I’m going to have to give this one to Conversations with c70. It’s a unique podcast that I always really enjoy listening to.
Award 18: Best UCB Twitterer
going to go with Bob Netherton @CardinalTales. The guy just does an awesome job of giving stories from the past and interacting with everyone kindly and very professionally.
So there are my awards for 2012!
Thanks for reading.