2014 UCB Blogger Awards

It’s that time of the year when the UCB does its annual Blogger Awards.  This blog and yours truly are nominated for two of the awards this year:  Best Rookie Blog, and Post of the Year.  If you are a fan of this blog, you can cast your vote here:  Vote .

My ballot is set out below.


1) Player of the Year
Nominees: Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday, Jhonny Peralta.

Winner:  Jhonny Peralta

Peralta accumulated 5.4 fWAR in 2014, the highest by a significant margin of any other position player on the Cardinals.  The remarkable thing about Peralta is that his fWAR was based on both above average offense and above average defense.  This is in contrast to Matt Holliday, whose 3.8 fWAR was all as a result of offense, as his defense was significantly below average.  As one who appreciates good defense as much as good offense, this choice was a no brainer for me.

2) Pitcher of the Year
Nominees: Lance Lynn, Pat Neshek, Adam Wainwright

Winner:  Pat Neshek

This was a tough one for me.  Adam Wainwright is my favorite Cardinal, so a vote for him would always be influenced greatly by personal bias.  Even with that caveat, looking at all three nominees statistically the choice seems clearly Wainwright.  Wainwright accumulated the most fWAR of all the nominees, 4.5, followed by Lynn with 3.1 fWAR and Neshek by 1.9 fWAR.  For pitchers, however, I think the choice has to be evaluated on more than just a strict WAR comparison.  Because a pitcher’s contribution to team wins is concentrated in a smaller fraction of appearances over a 162 game season, and they influence the outcome in a different way than position players, I personally feel I have to consider more than just a statistical comparison.  I feel this way more especially because one of the 3 nominees is a relief pitcher.  For me, the contributions of Pat Neshek stand out this year.  Year in and year out, we expect Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn to give us excellent performances (Well, maybe for Lynn that is not the case with some Cardinals’ fans, but that is a different argument).  Neshek, however, came to the Cardinals with a rather muddy past and the expectations were not so high for him.  The fact that he performed the way he did given those circumstances, for me, puts him on top.  Sorry Waino, I still love you the most.

3) Game of the Year
Nominees: May 20 (Wainwright one-hitter), May 31 (Taveras debut), Game 1 NLDS, Game 4 NLDS, Game 2 NLCS

Winner:  Game 2 NLCS

Despite how the series ended, this game had it all.  Back and forth lead changes, 4 dingers, Matt Adams leaping.  What’s not to like?

4) Surprising Player of the Year
Nominees: Jon Jay, Lance Lynn, Pat Neshek

Winner:  Pat Neshek

I think I pretty much explained this choice in my Pitcher of the Year response above.

5) Disappointing Player of the Year
Nominees: Peter Bourjos, Justin Masterson, Kevin Siegrist

Winner:  Justin Masterson

This was an easy one for me.  Masterson, though he had the promise, didn’t deliver at all.  Kevin Siegrist just had an injury plagued year, I have to cut him some slack.  Peter Bourjos is a victim of circumstances as far I am concerned, despite what others who didn’t know the player at all before he became a Cardinal may think.

6) Cardinal Rookie of the Year
Nominees: Marco Gonzales, Randal Grichuk, Oscar Taveras, Kolten Wong

Winner:  Kolten Wong

Oh for what might have been (quietly sobs about Oscar).

Kolten Wong is the clear winner here.  Marco Gonzales has promise, but didn’t play enough, and Randal Grichuk really didn’t perform that well overall.  And Oscar, he never had a chance.

7) Acquisition of the Year
Nominees: John Lackey, Pat Neshek, Jhonny Peralta

Winner:  Jhonny Peralta

Had to pick Peralta, because he contributed the most and over more games.

8) Most Anticipated Cardinal
Nominees: Rob Kaminsky, Stephen Piscotty, Luke Weaver

Winner:  Stephen Piscotty

Had to go with Piscotty here solely because he is closer to the majors than either of the other two nominees.

9) Cardinal Moment of the Year
Nominees: Taveras’s first home run as the rains came, “The Big City Leap” in Game 4 of the NLDS, Wong’s walkoff in Game 2 of the NLCS

Winner:  Taveras’ first home run.

This won on sentimentality alone.  I had to go there.

10) Best Individual Cardinal Blog

Winner: C70 At The Bat

Our fearless leader consistently puts out good content every year.  And he does it regularly, which I appreciate.

11) Best Team Cardinal Blog*

*–All members of The Cardinal Conclave are considered individual blogs.  No votes for “The Cardinal Conclave” as a whole should be done here.

Winner:  Viva El Birdos

The best sabermetric analysis out there.  This is important to me.  The quality of the baseball discussion is top notch.  The writers and the community as a whole provides high quality intelligent content that I can relate to.

12) Best Media Coverage
Nominees: Derrick Goold, Jenifer Langosch, Stan McNeal, Bernie Miklasz

Winner:  Derrick Goold

I get more good info from Goold, with a minimum of editorial noise.  That’s what I want from media coverage.  Just the facts.

13) Best Rookie Cardinal Blog
Nominees: Baseball Geek In Galveston, Bird Tales, Cajun Cardinal, Gateway Sports Connection, High Sock Sunday, Red Cleat Diaries

Winner:  Bird Tales

I always enjoy Tara’s take on things, even though we don’t always agree.  She has a much better opinion of Mike Matheny than I do, for starters.  I don’t seek content that always agrees with me, that would be boring.

14) Post of the Year
Nominees: The Dawn of the Stephen Piscotty Era in Right Field (Daniel Solzman), Doctor’s Prescription: A Daily Dose of Baseball (Doug Vollet), The End of a Love and a Season (Marilyn Green), The Lynning: Fact or Fiction? (Daniel Shoptaw), The Outfield Chronicles: A Conversation (Christine Coleman), Thinking of Playoff Baseball (Dan Buffa)

Winner:  The Outfield Chronicles: A Conversation

Really funny, and probably more realistic than many of us might think.

15) Best UCB Project
Nominees: Bloggers As Players, Cardinal Hall of Fame Voting, Mailbag, Roundtables

Winner:  Bloggers As Players

I had a lot of fun with this one.

16) Best UCB Podcast
Nominees: Conversations With C70, Gateway To Baseball Heaven, UCB Radio Hour

Winner:  UCB Radio Hour

17) Best Non-UCB Podcast
Nominees: Best Podcast In Baseball, St. Louis Cardinals Extras (MLB.com), Viva El Birdos Podcast

Winner:  Best Podcast in Baseball

18) Best Twitterer

Winner:  Bob Netherton  @CardinalTales

In addition to many insightful observations, Bob has had a litany of interesting name changes and avatars, which keeps it fun.

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