It’s almost time to close the book on 2010 and find out just how many of your friends and family don’t actually know the words to “Auld Lang Syne”. If you need help on the song, I recommend this version performed by Street Corner Symphony from this year’s season 2 of the The Sing Off. Before we completely close the book, I’ve got a few parting shots for Cardinals baseball, the fans, aliens, and our readers to fire off first.
- The Ludwick Bridge. I’ve already dedicated enough space to why I didn’t like this trade, but I failed to address one element. At the time of the trade, Ryan Ludwick was actually the oldest starting position player on the team at 32. By all accounts, he was both well-respected and popular within the organization, and I think he was a bridge between some of the “star” players and some of the less established ones at times. Removing him from the clubhouse changed the team chemistry a lot, and I think it showed more than anybody every realized it would.
- Old Souls. There is no single “right way” to put together a winning baseball team. Pujols and Holliday may be “old souls” and have a very no-nonsense approach to preparing for and playing the game of baseball. That’s fine for them. It doesn’t work for everybody.
- I haven’t heard any more blather out of Fay Vincent, so I’m guessing that he hasn’t been kidnapped by aliens again. Former assistant GM, John Abbamondi might as well have been, though. If you aren’t familiar with Abbamondi, then I’ll at least tell you that he was a naval officer and both a Stanford and MIT graduate. He’s both a “baseball guy” and a “business guy”. He’s joining the Padres as their VP of Strategy and Business Analysis. I read that as “he’s going to get us from point A to point B over the next 3-5 years with X amount of $$”. He’s the right guy for the job. Good luck, John.
- One of my favorite things about Cardinal Nation is that fan opinions tend to start out the off-season all over the map and return to their normal focus by spring training. This off-season seems no different. As always, the Nation is ready to back whatever team leaves spring training (hopefully intact).
- I’m already tired of hearing about the Chris Carpenter trade speculation, even if I did start some of it back here. After the team finishes with Albert’s contract extension, it might not be a bad idea to address Carpenter’s option year. If he’s on a slow decline, then why not restructure his option year to make sure he doesn’t feel a lack of respect by having a $15M option declined?
Reader appreciation – I owe the readers of this humble space a big “thank you” for taking the time to make your way to the PH8 URL on a regular basis. It’s cool if you use the BBA iPhone app, the UCB Android application, or an RSS reader as well. I don’t care how you get there, just get there if you can. Seriously, it’s humbling to conjure baseball madness and get positive feedback. “Thank you” just doesn’t seem to do it justice.
How humbling is it? Try 1st page of Google search results humbling. I just happened to do a search for “cardinals baseball” back in the middle of December, because I was curious about where some of the more popular blog sites would appear. I was both shocked and appalled to see PH8 appear on my screen. It may never happen again, but that’s not the point. For at least that one moment, there was evidence of absolute geek Utopia right there on my laptop. Thank you all. (Note: It happened again yesterday and today, so I think it’s official that we’ve broken the internet. I apologize for this.)
For those keeping score at home, I’ve been writing for PH8 for just over 3 months now, and I owe Nick (the George Steinbrenner of PH8) a big thanks. There are no minimum requirements or deadlines, so naturally this is already my 58th post of debatable quality in that time. If I had to behave like a “real” writer, I’d probably be lucky to drop 1-2 posts of debatable quality per week.
As with nearly everything, there is much room for improvement. Therefore, I have some baseball and blog-related 2011 resolutions to share.
- Follow more sports writers on Twitter. Actually, I should just try to follow at least 1. I currently follow zero.
- Use bold print less, because it has a smudge effect when squeezed through the magical RSS feed.
- Embrace the BBWAA HOF vote no matter how idiotic it is. For what it is worth, I think that Blyleven, Alomar, and Bagwell will slam it home this time. I think that Larry Walker will earn less than 35% of the vote, and Palmeiro will be lucky to get 20%. If Morris doesn’t move up toward 60%, I don’t think he’ll get voted in by the writers, and both Larkin and Lee Smith need a 4-5% jump to show momentum is on their side.
- I will not ridicule people for suggesting that the Cardinals give up Colby Rasmus for a pile of baseballs and some defensive driving discount coupons. I won’t do it. Instead, I’ll sneak a post in about this shortly before midnight on the December 31st, but at least it won’t be 2011 quite yet.
- I will improve at both Wii Bowling and Wii Baseball on Wii Sports. My skill level at both games is just pathetic.
- Less talk, more rock.
I’ll try to leave this post alone, but it will be very tempting to add to it in the last minutes leading up to midnight. I’ll be completely sober, but that won’t inhibit me from writing something ridiculous. You should all know me better than that by now.
Thanks for reading.
Happy New Year!!!