Twitter Mailbag

by on November 17, 2010 · 2 comments

In the short period of time that I’ve been contributing here at PH8, I’ve noticed that about half of my new Twitter followers are #stlcards fans.  Approximately 3-4 times each week, one of these new followers will tweet or dm an interesting sports question that requires a bit of time to reply, and 140 characters simply isn’t sufficient for a full response.  A recent question prompted me to consider collecting several of these and creating a full post – complete with verbose answers.  Of course, names are omitted to protect the innocent and multiple tweets/direct messages are combined to make the questions coherent.

  • Q:  I noticed your “UCB Ballot”. What is that about?
  • A:  The UCB Ballot is the official voting method used by the 40+ members of the  United Cardinal Bloggers to select winners of the UCB  Awards.  For more information, go here


  • Q:  What blogs do you follow?
  • A:  I follow nearly all of the UCB blogs.  I’m especially interested in blogs that offer a very different perspective than what PH8 offers, and I really like blogs that post frequently.  I’d list them all here, but then I’d feel obligated to link to them all.  I also follow several personal finance and IT/business blogs as well.


  •  Q:  I’m interested in blogging.  How did you get into blogging?
  • A: I wrote a post titled “Why I’m Not A Blogger”.  Nick from PH8 read it and offered me the opportunity to be a blogger here.  Strange world.


  • Q:  Do you follow any other baseball teams besides the Cardinals?
  • A:  Yes, I follow the Braves, Padres, Yankees, and Rays quite a lot.  I’d also be willing to watch just about any kind of organized baseball there is as long as it is televised or there are stands involved.  If 18 people want to get together on a field in the Dominican Republic in January and play ball, I’d be willing to watch. 


  • Q:  What’s your take on expanded playoffs?
  • A:  I’m against shortening the 162 game schedule and the WS finishing in November.  I don’t think that adding 1 more team to the playoffs and giving the division winners a “bye” is a great idea, either.  Extra days off are not necessarily helpful in baseball, and idle time is painful enough as it is.  If anything, I’d like to see the current format revised.  I think that seeding should be simplified so that the 1 and 4 seeds play each other, even if they are from the same division.  I also think that the first round should be a 3-2 best of 5, and the subsequent rounds should be 2-3-2 with a 7 game series played in a total of 9 calendar days.


  • Q:  Why did you predict Arroyo to win the Gold Glove over Wainwright?
  • A:  Waino had 1 error while Arroyo had 0, and I seriously doubt that the voters bothered to notice any other statistics.


  • Q:  What’s your take on Uggla rumors, Pujols’ extension, Brendan Ryan‘s future, and Jake Westbrook?
  • A:  First, I don’t think that Albert’s contract extension is tied to what the team spends in 2011, because the extension wouldn’t kick in until 2012.  That happens to be the last year for Lohse ($11,875,000) and possibly Carpenter ($15,000,000), assuming that Carpenter’s option is exercised.    That’s as much as $26,875,000 coming off the books for 2013, and I would hope that at least 1 starting pitcher within the organization will be ready to step into the rotation by then (cheaply at that).  As for Uggla, he’d be nice to have for his production, but I tie logically tie him to Westbrook in a way, because I’m guessing that the team can’t afford both.  It’s probably an either/or scenario.  In a previous post, I detailed my plan as team GM, and I went overboard with an opening day payroll of $109,075,000.  In reality, I think that’s easily about $5-7M more than the team plans to spend, but it would still represent a huge jump over 2010’s opening day number of approximately $92-93M.  Yes, the team could probably add Uggla for 2011, but they would be drawing names from a hat to fill the last starter’s spot.  The team could cough up the cash for someone like Westbrook or Jon Garland, but they would be on the hook for multiple years at around $8-10M/yr.  They would also not have made the upgrade to the middle infield that Mozeliak described at the end of the 2010 season.  Then again, I think it’s awfully hard to replace what Brendan Ryan brings to the team in the field, and it’s not a stretch to expect him to improve upon his offensive numbers from last year.  I’m not expecting .290 with 80 rbi, but a solid .270 would Gold Glove caliber defense would be really nice.  As for Skip, I could tolerate another year of him at 2B.   I still think Skip is a useful piece on the team, and he’s always a nice 3rd or 4th outfielder as needed.  Given the fact that they targeted Westbrook during the exclusivity period prior to free agency, I tend to think that he’s their primary focus.  Follow up:  Westbrook was just re-signed for 2 yrs / $16.5M which is just a bit more than the 2 yrs / $15M price tag I placed on him in my post on September 30th of this year. 


  • Q:  Do you think Colby Rasmus should/will get traded?
  • A:  No.  Just about anything can happen, and just about everybody has a price, but I don’t see this happening.  Mo would be irresponsible not to listen to an outlandish $1.50 on the dollar offer for Colby or Albert.  That’s his job.  If nothing else, he’s at least entitled to get a free lunch out of the deal.  It’s just that left-handed CFs who have 30hr/yr power and are cost-controlled for several years are really, really hard to find.   


  • Q:  Do you follow any St. Louis beat writers on Twitter?  If so, who?
  • A:  No, I don’t follow any beat writers on Twitter.  I follow at least 50 tweeps who follow the beat writers, and they retweet nearly everything the beat writers tweet, so there isn’t a need.  Besides, I’m more interest in what the everyday fan has to say, because the average fan throws out opinions and uneducated/educated guesses that make for interesting conversation.  That’s not to say that the St. Louis beat writers aren’t good and worth following, because they are really good in my opinion.   


  • Q:  Your posts often talk about payroll and numbers.  Are you into economics?
  • A:  Actually, I do read quite a lot about financial markets and both macro/micro-economics for fun, and I’m conversant on topics like derivatives, collaterized debt obligations, and tranches.  However, I’m mostly interested in the “baseball economy” as it were.  This in no way implies that I really am good at balancing a checkbook, though.


  • Q:  How long have you been a Cardinals fan?
  • A:  Let’s just say that I’ve been a fan for 30+ years and leave it at that.


  • Q:  Who is your favorite Cardinals player (current)?
  • A:  Adam Wainwright. 
Cardinals fan since I could hold a fishing pole steady. Accidental blogger. Opinionated. I could care less about what you think of me. Constantly confounded, bemused, and confuzzled (ie I'm a pc and a mac). I'm an IT infrastructure analyst with a penchant for breaking tech toys. I ate a sabermetric primer for breakfast. I love playing "All-powerful GM of MLB". The 2010 Cardinals represented a good, practical definition "cognitive dissonance". The 2011 version got by on duct tape and a prayer, and I'm fine with that. They just need new tape for #12 in 12.
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PH8 November 17, 2010

Wow, you get a lot more questions than I do – maybe I’m doing it wrong? 😉

Dennis November 17, 2010

Haha. I’m new, and a lot of these actually came within about 2 weeks of my first post here. If I actually let my friends on FB know about PH8, I’d get spammed. It’s like they said in Ghostbusters though. “Never cross the streams.”

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