Friday, November 20, 2009

UCB Topic: 2009 Cardinal Blogger Awards

This is the third consecutive year for the Blogger awards. and I'm back in the saddle after not submitting a ballot in 2008. It's a fun look back at the past year. The final results of the voting will be put up at Dan's site at some point; I wouldn't expect it to happen tomorrow, but most likely by Thanksgiving.

So, on to the voting:

1. Cardinal Player of the Year - Albert Pujols. Could there be any other? The NL MVP favorite. He's won the Fielding Bible award for his defense at first, and the Silver Slugger for NL first basemen as well. His 188 OPS+ led the league for the second year in a row and third time in 4 years. Easy.

2. Cardinal Pitcher of the Year - Chris Carpenter. This might take some of the sting out of finishing second in the Cy Young voting. Honorable Mention - Joel Pineiro.

3. Game of the Year - 29 July 09 (Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2 (15)). Widely considered to be the best game of the season at the time. This game saw a classic pitchers duel between Pineiro and Clayton Kershaw; a clutch single from Colby Rasmus to tie it up in the bottom of the ninth; a rare (at that time) bad Franklin outing; Ludwick tying the game at 2-2 in the eleventh, then throwing out Ramirez trying to score in the twelfth; and finally AP knocking in the winner with a booming shot to CF in the fifteenth. Honorable Mention: August 23 09 at San Diego - Smoltz's debut, AP's 40th HR, Franklin's meltdowns start in earnest. I was there, too.

4. Surprise Player of the Year - Brendan Ryan. He gets the nod here because most observers did not expect him to evolve into the everyday shortstop, which on May 19 is exactly what he was. Honorable Mention: Blake Hawksworth, Joel Pineiro.

5. Disappointing Player of the Year - Kyle Lohse. Khalil Greene is too easy a choice, and let's face it: based on his 2009 numbers are pretty similar to his 2008 ones. No, it's gotta be Lohse, who followed his 15-win campaign in 2008 with a 6 win effort in 2009. To be fair, the hit by pitch really screwed up his year, as opposed to Lohse just sucking out loud; but no matter what the reason or why, he didn't perform as we had hoped. Which makes him the disappointing player for 2009. Honorable Mention: K. Greene, Rick Ankiel.

6. Cardinal Rookie of the Year - Colby Rasmus. Led all NL CF in UZR/150 (13.4), and was having a ROY-caliber season when he got hurt in July. Honorable Mention: Blake Hawksworth.

7. Off-season Acquisition of the Year - Trever Miller. Signed for $500k on 12/3/08, he ended up being the better of the two left-handed specialists, and one of the most reliable guys period out of the Cardinal bullpen in 2009.

8. Mid-season Acquisition of the Year - Matt Holliday. Let's see... DeRosa was hurt, Julio Lugo can't play defense, Smoltz - well, Smoltz was pretty good. But Holliday's arrival helped spur the Cardinals to their best month of the season (August), and vaulted them into the playoffs. Honorable Mention - John Smoltz.

9. Most Anticipated Cardinal - David Freese. If he can hit and play defense at the major league level like he did last season in the high minors, the Cardinals will have an ecomonical bat under their control and a big contributor in the middle of the order.

10. Best Individual Blog - Stan Musial's Stance. If I don't vote for myself, who will? OK, OK, OK. Let's invoke the 'can't vote for yourself' rule. In that case, Fungoes gets the nod. Not only do I learn something every time I stop by, Pip was selected to represent the Cardinal Bloggers in Rob Neyer's SweetSpot Network. Can't do much better than that.

11. Best Team Blog - Pitchers Hit Eighth. Viva El Birdos is still very good, but I prefer the insight I get from Nick and Josh.

12. Best Media Blog - Derrick Goold's Bird Land.

13. Best UCB Project - UCB Debate Day. I thought it was an intriguing idea - ask a question with two possibilities, then have each possibility covered by a different blogger. It made for some interesting reading, especially when the writer was arguing for a position he might not actually believe in. I also thought my 'Cubs aren't the Cardinals biggest rival' was one of my five best, so far, in 2009.

14. Most Optimistic Cardinal Blog - Pass. I can't differentiate between the blogs. Everyone in the UCB is optimistic and pessimistic, as appropriate given the situation.

15. Funniest Cardinal Blog - None. We're all pretty good writers, but high comedy isn't our strongest suit. Perhapst Fredbird Follys will fill the void here in 2010.

16. Rookie Blog of the Year - Pass. I can't keep track of all the blogs out there. I've no idea which blogs have been around 'forever' and which just started up last week.

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