Before we get into who won what, appreciation must be expressed to all that took the time to cast their ballots. Some did detailed posts, some just marked their selections. However they did it, though, it’s great to have them making their choices and helping out with the fourth annual Cardinal Blogger Awards. So kudos to:
Chris, Bird Brained
JD, Bleed Cardinal Red With Me
Daniel, C70 At The Bat
The ladies of Cardinal Diamond Diaries
Bill, i70 Baseball
Joe, The McBrayer-Baseball Blog
Dennis, Pitchers Hit Eighth
Bob, Throatwarbler’s Blog
Scott, View From The Cheap Seats
Dustin, Welcome To Baseball Heaven
To save some time and space, here’s a link back to the ballot so that we can skip over the listing of the nominees and go straight to the good stuff. After the jump, we’ll dive right in.
1. Player of the Year
Ever since we started these awards four years ago, this has been the exclusive domain of Albert Pujols and this year is no different. Albert collected nine votes as he had another one of his typical Hall of Fame-type years. The only difference in 2010 is that it was not as unanimous of a selection as it has been in the past. Matt Holliday was able to siphon off three votes to give AP his closest competition in the history of the award.
2. Pitcher of the Year
When a guy is runner-up to the NL Cy Young award, odds are he’s the best pitcher on his team as well. Adam Wainwright was selected by all twelve of our voters for his stellar performance on the bump for the Cardinals.
3. Game of the Year
A benches-clearing brawl, which results in a career-ending concussion for Jason LaRue. A big home run by one of the major participants in said brawl. A win that pushes the Cards into a tie for first. So many things were going on in the August 10th game against Cincinnati that it’s not surprising that it was deemed the most memorable game of the year. Ten voters with that direction, with the other two singling out the July 18th game against Los Angeles, when the Cardinals rallied from being down late to score five runs in the eighth and ninth to pull out a win and keep their longest winning streak of the season alive.
4. Surprise Player of the Year
Jaime Garcia came to spring training ticketed for Memphis. He wound up being third in the NL Rookie of the Year race. While some knew he had potential to be good, to be that good that quickly got him 7.5 votes in this category. Jon Jay, who made his own rookie splash, got three votes and David Freese, yet another rook, got the other 1.5.
5. Disappointing Player of the Year
When a team that should have strolled into the playoffs comes up short, it’s not surprising that there’s a battle for which player disappointed more. Brendan Ryan‘s fall at the plate, coupled with some of his defensive lapses, was enough to edge out injured and inconsistent pitcher Kyle Lohse 4.5-4. The reason that the middle infield is a focus of this offseason is pretty obvious when you note that second baseman Skip Schumaker wound up with two votes of his own. Brad Penny, who started off well but then was lost to injury, got the other 1.5.
6. Rookie of the Year
See the comments under “Surprising Player of the Year”. Jaime Garcia won this one as well, sweeping all twelve votes.
7. Acquisition of the Year
John Mozeliak made some moves before the season and he made some in the season. The one that panned out the most was Jake Westbrook, which could be like saying he was the tallest Smurf. Westbrook pitched better than his record indicated, though, and will be back for two years in St. Louis. Westbrook collected 11 votes, with one voter unable to in good conscience vote for any of the alternatives.
8. Biggest Off-Field Story
It’s what we bloggers live for, right? Controversy or something to keep us pecking away at our keyboards. The story that most of us felt was the biggest, the one that got the most screen time as it were, was the Colby Rasmus story. His relationship with Tony La Russa, his trade requests (or non-requests), his playing time, all of that added up to quite a bit of time and effort spent on our part talking about it and taking sides. Which is what it’s all about, of course. Four selected Rasmus, while others that got some support were Mark McGwire’s return to baseball (3), Jaime Garcia’s being shut down without him knowing (2), the Stand for Stan campaign, which paid off last week (1), La Russa’s decision to be part of the Glenn Beck rally (1), and the exploits of Felipe Lopez, which got him released (1).
9. Most Anticipated Cardinal
We’re always looking to the horizon, keeping tabs on those baby birds. Thankfully, the farm system is now producing a number of players worth keeping an eye on. Even though there are some new names and faces, the winner is a repeat selection. Shelby Miller got 6.5 votes, as the young flamethrower continues to capture our imagination. Others receiving votes include 2010 first round pick Zack Cox (3.5) as well as Lance Lynn and Adrion Chambers (one each).
10. Best Individual Cardinal Blog
Now we get into the good stuff. We’ve paid our lip service to the team, but you know these are the awards all the bloggers are holding their breath about. There are a lot of quality blogs being written by a sole proprietor, but this year’s Best Individual Blog is split between Fungoes and C70 At The Bat. Pip has won every year before this, so it’s not a surprise that his quality blog is back at the top. As for the other, well, I’m a bit biased on that so I’ll move on. Both of those blogs wound up 4.5 votes, with Throatwarbler’s Blog garnering two and RetroSimba getting one.
11. Best Team Cardinal Blog
The team method of writing a blog is extremely popular, as it helps share the burden of writing while still coming up with regular quality content. This year, the best team in the Cardinal blogosphere is another tie, with the gang at Pitchers Hit Eighth and the bunch at i70 Baseball taking home the title. You can’t go wrong with selecting either one of those groups to read on a regular basis. Both of them got 4 votes, with Joe Sports Fan, Play A Hard 9, and this official UCB blog getting one vote. (One vote went to a blog that is an individual and so was not counted.)
12. Best Media Blog
Again, there is no wrong choice in this one. For the third straight year, Bird Land by Derrick Goold took home the title, but Matthew Leach’s Obviously, You’re Not A Golfer gave him stiff competition. Bird Land received 5 votes, OYNAG 4 with three abstentions. St. Louis is really blessed to have such active, intelligent and talented writers covering the team!
13. Best UCB Project
As usually happens in this vote, the Roundtables ran away with the voting. Eight votes for this project that happens in March and October, with three votes going to the January All-Decade Cardinal Team and one selecting May’s Progressive Game Blog, one of the signature projects of the UCB.
14. Most Optimistic Cardinal Blog
This season tested the resolve of even the most chipper of the blogging fanbase, with a team that seemed to go out of its way to frustrate those that watched regularly. That said, there are some that handle that better than others. Perhaps it is the difference in the genders, but the ladies at Cardinal Diamond Diaries were judged to be the most optimistic out there. CDD received 5.5 votes, with C70 At The Bat getting 3.5, Busch Birds and Future Redbirds getting one each, and one person not making a selection.
15. Funniest Cardinal Blog
That’s funny ha-ha, not funny strange. That’d be a whole different vote. Anyway, humor is not an overriding theme for most of the blogs, but the ones that have it have it in spades. Joe Sports Fan has made a career out of poking fun at things Cardinal, so it’s not surprising that they take home this one in 2010. JSF received 4 votes, with another strongly humorous site, Cards Diaspora, gaining two picks. Thoughts About Cardinals and Cardinal Diamond Diaries both got a vote, as did Fredbird Follies. Three people made no selection.
16. Rookie Cardinal Blog of the Year
As with the major league organization, the lifeblood of the UCB is new blogs coming in and bringing their perspective and energy to the group. This year was a banner year for that, which made it tough to narrow it down to one BROY. In the end, though, the Diamond Dolls made it a double win, taking home the crown for Cardinal Diamond Diaries. They received five votes, while Welcome To Baseball Heaven got three and i70 Baseball got two. RetroSimba received one vote, as well as one voter who selected all of the nominees.
Congrats to all of our winners and thanks for participating in this and all UCB projects!