For the ninth straight year, the United Cardinal Bloggers are proud to present the Cardinal Blogger Awards. The various members of the UCB will be posting their selections on their blogs over the next couple of weeks, but the last few years we’ve given you, our readers and followers, a chance to let your voice be heard as well.

Below is the ballot for this year’s awards, complete with links where appropriate. We encourage you to cast ballots with care and forethought. Read the posts nominated for post of the year. Maybe sample some of the podcasts. The on-field stuff should be easy, but the blogging portion might take a bit more time.

No questions are required, though. If you’d like to skip around and just answer certain ones, that’s fine, though we’d of course like your opinions on everything. You can cast your vote here until Friday, November 20. Expect the awards to be announced on a special UCB Radio on November 25.

Again, the LINK TO THE FORM.

1. Cardinal Player of the Year
–Matt Carpenter
–Jason Heyward
–Jhonny Peralta
–Stephen Piscotty
–Write-in: _______________

2. Cardinal Pitcher of the Year
–Jaime Garcia
–John Lackey
–Carlos Martinez
–Trevor Rosenthal
–Write-in: _______________

3. Cardinal Game of the Year
May 31 vs. LAD (Martinez pitches on Oscar Taveras Day)
July 8 vs. CHC (Peralta game-winning home run)
August 31 vs. WAS (five-run rally)
September 9 vs. CHC (Piscotty caps late rally)
September 20 vs. CHC (Heyward throws out Rizzo at home)
September 28 vs. PIT (Scoreless until 9th with division on line)
–Write-in: ___________________

4. Surprise Cardinal Player of the Year
John Lackey
–Stephen Piscotty
–Trevor Rosenthal
–Write-in: ______________

5. Disappointing Cardinal Player of the Year
Peter Bourjos
–Jon Jay
–Brandon Moss
–Write-in: _______________

6. Cardinal Rookie of the Year
–Mitch Harris
–Tommy Pham
–Stephen Piscotty
–Write-in: ______________

7. Cardinal Acquisition of the Year
–Jonathan Broxton
–Steve Cishek
–Jason Heyward
–Brandon Moss
–Write-in: ______________

8. Most Anticipated Cardinal
–Anthony Garcia
–Michael Ohlman
–Alex Reyes
–Luke Weaver
–Write-in: _______________

9. Biggest Cardinal Injury
–Matt Adams
–Matt Holliday
–Carlos Martinez
–Adam Wainwright
–Write-in: ____________________

10. Best Cardinal Blog, One Writer
–Write-in: ____________________

11. Best Cardinal Blog, Two or More Writers
–Write-in: ____________________

12. Best Cardinal Media Coverage
–Derrick Goold
–Jenifer Langosch
–Bernie Miklasz
–Rob Rains
–Write-in: ______________

13. Best Rookie Cardinal Blog
Me and Willie McGee
The Redbird Retreat
–Write-in: ___________________

14. Post of the Year
Are the Cardinals Supposed to be Scared? (Kevin Reynolds, About.com)
Talking Twitter with the Cards (Daniel Shoptaw, C70 At The Bat)
In Defense of Mike Matheny (Dan Buffa, KSDK)
Carlos Martinez, Human Tsunami (Josey Curtis, The Redbird Retreat)
Why Billy Southworth Managed Cardinals with Heavy Heart (Mark Tomasik, RetroSimba)
–Write-in: ______________________

15. Best UCB Podcast
Best Dans in Baseball
Bird Seeds (video)
Conversations With C70
Gateway To Baseball Heaven
STL CardGals
Talking About Birds
UCB Radio Hour
–Write-in: _____________

16. Best Non-UCB Podcast
Best Podcast in Baseball
Cubs Cards Cast
St. Louis Cardinals Extras (MLB.com)
–Viva El Birdos
–Write-in: _____________

17. Best Podcaster (not best show, best actual podcaster)
–Write-in: _____________

18. Best Twitterer
–Write-in: _____________

 

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Every September, we take a look at the farm system, seeing who might be considered the top prospects in the Cardinal system. Follow the links below to read up on everyone’s picks and we’ve summed it up into an overall UCB list below! (Points were awarded in inverse order–the prospect ranked first got 7 points, etc.)

Cardinal Red Baseball
CardinalsGM
Pitchers Hit Eighth
The Redbird Retreat
RetroSimba
Riding the Pine

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In the past few years, the Cardinals have expanded out their Theme Nights to encompass various different flavors of the fandom.  Star Wars Night, Missouri Night, even American Girl Night have been on the calendar this year.  And while the marketing and promotions department does a great job coming up with these things, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a helping hand.  So this month, the UCB is coming up with different Theme Nights they’d like to see in the future.  Some are likely to be humorous, some serious, but all worth reading or listening to!  Keep checking back as posts are linked here!

C70 At The Bat
The Redbird Retreat
STL CardGals (podcast)
STL Sports Minute
Women Who Love Cardinal Baseball

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One of the regular traditions of the United Cardinal Bloggers is the Progressive Game Blog.  This is our eighth year to attempt this and it’s always an interesting way to take a look at a regular season game.

If you’ve never been a party to our Progressive Game Blog before, the key here is that it is not a live blog.  This allows the blogger to dig up stats, tell stories, do research, etc. to illuminate what happened in the inning they covered.  The hope is usually to get them up before the next game, though with this year’s game taking place on a Saturday evening before a Sunday afternoon game, that may not happen.

Cards are 3-4 in these PGB games, as you can see from last year’s writeup.  For the second straight year, they’ll be taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers as we take in the action.  Last year, St. Louis got to Zack Greinke early and held on when Trevor Rosenthal got Andre Ethier to ground into a game-ending double play, taking it 4-2.  We’ll see what sort of magic is in store this year.

To set the stage, the Cardinals are 32-16, 6 1/2 better than the second-place Chicago Cubs and have the best record in baseball by 2.5 games.  They’ve won their last five, including last night’s contest against the Dodgers when John Lackey continued the Dodgers’ road woes by putting up seven scoreless innings, striking out nine in the process.  Just as a point of reference, at this time of year the 2004 team, winners of 105 games eventually, were 26-23 and tied for third in the division.  We keep saying it, but this could be a special season, even with the injuries they continue to sustain.

Los Angeles comes into this one 28-19, two games back of their rivals the Giants for the division lead.  The Dodgers have lost two in a row and have been shut out in their last four road games.  They were able to take series against the Padres and Braves in the midst of that run, but the offense has not been a strong suit for this team lately, which is surprising given their payroll and the names that make up the lineup.

Today, that lineup has to contend with Michael Wacha.  Wacha is looking to run his record to 8-0 and his ERA is under 2.00 for the season, meaning the Dodgers may have trouble breaking out of their offensive doldrums.  Wacha’s only appearances against the Dodgers were in the 2013 NLCS, which went the young hurler’s way.

Name PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
Adrian Gonzalez 6 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .167 .000 .167 0 0 1 0 0
A.J. Ellis 5 5 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 .400 .400 .800 1.200 0 0 0 0 0
Andre Ethier 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Clayton Kershaw 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
Chris Heisey 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 19 18 4 2 0 0 0 1 3 .222 .263 .333 .596 0 0 1 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/30/2015.

The Dodgers send to the mound Carlos Frias.  Frias will remind no one of the aces of the staff, having a season mark of 3-2 and an ERA of 5.34.  That ERA is pretty deceptive, though, as his last time out he allowed 10 runs in four innings to the Padres.  Before that explosion, his ERA was a more reasonable 2.55 and that game against San Diego is really the only blip on his season so far.  Frias has never faced the Cardinals as a team, but has seen a couple of their hitters and had success against them.

Name PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
Mark Reynolds 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Jason Heyward 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/30/2015.

Could be another exciting one today for the Cardinals.  To take you through it, here is the UCB lineup.  (* indicates their post is up and the link is directly to it)

First: Aaron Miles’ Fastball*
Second: I70 Baseball*
Third: Cardinal Nerve Center*
Fourth: Baseball Geek In Galveston*
Fifth: On The Outside Corner
Sixth: Fungoes*
Seventh: Bird Tales*
Eighth: The Redbird Retreat*
Ninth: I70 Baseball*
Extra Innings/Postgame: C70 At The Bat*

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