Since its the end of November, its time for the annual United Cardinals Bloggers awards. This is my first year running a Cardinals blog and thus my first year voting. Below you can find the official ballot and my selections for each. To check out the other bloggers' ballots, go to unitedcardinalsbloggers.com.
1) Cardinal Position Player of the Year
To me, this was a no-brainer. Not only did Yadi have another fine offensive year, but he was another pitching coach on the field and the Cardinals went through a seemingly endless supply of rookie pitchers. Without him, I do not think we would have made the playoffs.
2) Cardinal Pitcher of the Year
Another no-brainer. Adam Wainwright was the best starter and returned to his proper place as ace of the Cardinals staff.
3) Game of the Year
–May 10 vs. Colorado (Miller’s almost-perfecto)
–May 11 vs. Colorado (Wainwright’s no-hitter into 8th)
–August 26 vs. Cincinnati (comeback capped by Craig slam)
–September 4 at Cincinnati (Adams 2 extra-inning HR)
–September 24 vs. Nationals (Wacha near no-no)
–Game 4, NLDS
I went with Game 4 of the NLDS. Facing elimination, Michael Wacha pitched a 1 hitter through 7.1 innings, giving up only a solo homer to Cardinals killer Pedro Alvarez in the 8th, before fellow rookies Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal shut the door.
4) Surprise Player of the Year
Mujica stepped up big time this year, becoming the Cardinals closer after Jason Motte was lost to injury and Mitchell Boggs fell apart. It was a huge leap for a career middle reliever and he took to his new role well.
5) Disappointing Player of the Year
Freese's lack of production in 2013 was surprising after a very good year in 2012 and may open the door for Kolten Wong (and an offseason trade for Freese).
6) Rookie of the Year
While Wacha was outstanding in the postseason, there would have been no postseason if not for the excellent work turned in by Miller. His 15 wins and 3.09 ERA were second to Adam Wainwright among the Cardinals regular starters.
7) Acquisition of the Year
I'm sure most of you would pick Ty Wigginton for acqusition of the year (just kidding), but considering how few moves the Cardinals made, Choate was just what the Cards needed. The epitome of a LOOGY, Choate only pitched 35.1, but had a 2.29 ERA and held lefties to a .176 average.
8) Most Anticipated Cardinal
Injuries derailed Taveras' season, but they did not diminish his top prospect status.
9) Best Individual Cardinal Blog*
–Write-in: _Retro Simba
Like most baseball fans, I get caught up in the history of the game and Retro Simba provides a unique perspective on the history of the Cardinals.
10) Best Team Cardinal Blog*
–Write-in: Viva el Birdos
There is no surprise that VeB has been around for so long.
*–Individual means the blog was written mainly by one person, while a
team blog is composed usually by two or more. For classification’s
sake, each blog under The Cardinal Conclave label are considered
separate entities and should be considered in either team (Pitchers Hit
Eighth) or individual (everyone else).
11) Best Media Coverage
Langosch has proven time and again that she belongs with the big boys.
12) Best Rookie Cardinal Blog
–Dose of Buffa
–stlcupofjoe’s Sports Page
–The View From Here
Good writing and analysis.
13) Post of the Year
Bad Body Language Has No Place In Baseball (Cardinals Fan in Cubs Land)
Closing The Book On The John Axford Trade (On The Outside Corner)
Doors Close On The Cardinals In 2013 (Dose of Buffa)
How A B-17 Nearly Clipped Cardinals In World Series (RetroSimba)
Matt Holliday: One Of The Most Cost Effective Players In Baseball (stlcupofjoe’s Sports Page)
Memories Help Come To Terms With The Season’s End (Aaron Miles’ Fastball)
RIP Stan The Man (Women Who Love Cardinal Baseball)
Time For The Relievers (The View From Here)
What Does Your Cardinals Jersey Say About You? (C70 At The Bat)
I voted for the "RIP Stan The Man" piece. It was a fine tribute to "The Man".
14) Best UCB Project
–Cardinal HOF Inductees
–Cardinal HOF Memorabilia
–Top 7 Prospects
I like doing the roundtables with everyone and getting their perspective on the Cardinals.
15) Best UCB Podcast
–Conversations With C70
–Gateway To Baseball Heaven
–UCB Radio Hour
–Write-in: _None-I don't follow podcasts
16) Best UCB Twitterer
–Write-in: None - I don't follow twitter much
So, those are my picks. Who or what would you have picked differently?