Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Interview with a UCB'er

For our August United Cardinals Bloggers project, we got the pleasure of interviewing (and being interviewed) by our fellow UCB'ers.  Christine Coleman of Aaron Miles' Fastball interviewed yours truly for the project.  Be sure to check out her site to find out more about me.

My task was to interview Matthew "Pip" Phillips of  Here are his responses to my probing questions:

1.   Where do your Cardinals roots come from or how did you become a Cardinals fan?

I grew up in southwestern Illinois cheering for the Cardinals, mostly inheriting the allegiance from my mother, who as a girl was a big fan of Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst. My favorite player was Keith Hernandez, and so when the Cardinals traded him after he captained their 1982 championship team, I felt betrayed and ultimately turned to the dark side (Mets). For the rest of the '80s and until 2006, I rooted against the Cardinals. But thankfully I returned to the fanship of my youth and now cheer again for the Cardinals as a recovering Mets fan.

2.  Why did you create your blog or why did you start blogging?

I started the blog in the fall of 2004 as a way to comment on the playoffs and coordinate watch parties with my friends. At the time, the title was "Fall Classic," but after the World Series I just kept writing and renamed it Fungoes and focused on the Cardinals and have been writing ever since.

3.  Who is your favorite Cardinal player of all time?  What is your favorite moment/memory?

Although with the attaining of a lot more age and a bit more wisdom I can acknowledge that the Cardinals have had many better players (both on and off the field), my favorite remains Hernandez. To this day, I still claim to have the largest collection of Keith Hernandez baseball cards. My favorite moment was probably at the old Busch Stadium when my wife informed me that she was expecting our daughter by giving me a baby-sized Cardinal cap with a pregnancy test attached to it.

4.  What do you feel are this team's greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: Power starting pitching, balanced lineup, diversity of role relievers (ground-ball guys, strikeout guys, LOOGy). 
Weaknesses: Defense, mismanaging (sacrifice bunting, suboptimal use of players).

5.  How far do you see the Cardinals going this year?

I see them winning the division; anything else would be disappointing. After that, it's of course a crapshoot, more based on luck than talent.

6.   Finally, what moves would you like to see the Cardinals make this offseason?  

Buy out Westbrook's option, which is what they should've done last year.
Let Beltran walk, unless he'll settle for a one-year contract (move Craig to RF and Adams to 1B).
Make a play for Stephen Drew.

Be sure to check out the other interviews on the UCB website to find out more about the Cardinals bloggers.

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