Getting To Know You — UCB Style

Earlier this month, I had the chance to “interview” (more like chat with) a fellow Cardinal blogger as part of the United Cardinal Bloggers August project. John from STLFearTheRed.com was my interview partner. Here, you can read one half of the interview. To complete the conversation, visit John’s blog for my answers to his questions!

 

 How did you end up a Cards fan?

I have been a Cardinals fan about as far back as I can remember. I am a third generation Cardinals fan (as if that somehow lends more credence to the fact that I am a fan) and some of my fondest memories are going to games with my dad and grandpa when I was a kid. I have a 8-month old daughter who, I hope, will become the 4th generation.

Do you have a specific memory of watching the Cards that stands out more than the rest? 

My most specific memory (and fairly recent as recent memories are much clearer, of course) was a three-game series my wife and I went up to Milwaukee to see for our honeymoon (it was her idea too). In that early September 2009 series, Pujols homered in all three games and in the third game Matt Holliday hit a top of the 9th, game-winning home run and John Smoltz started that same game. My wife and I were quite hoarse from cheering that game. It was fantastic.

How did you get involved with the UCB (and blogging in general)?

I started blogging back in February of this year. My daughter was only a few months old and due to certain circumstances, we had to take her to a babysitters during the week, so I had free time and wanted to do something constructive. Thus, the blogging site was born. However, since then we have moved and I have the great pleasure of seeing my daughter every morning (I work 2nd shift) and that takes up the time I used to have to blog. Hopefully, as she gets a little older I will be able to have her sit on my lap (without squirming so much) and “help” me blog. As far as the UCB goes, I honestly cannot remember the exact events, but I think I was emailing bloggers to ask permission to link to them and one of the people I happen to email was Daniel from Cardinal70.com, who, as you know, spearheads the entire UCB operation. I had no idea at the time that there was this cool group of bloggers, but I really have enjoyed being a part of it.

What are your top five favorite Cardinal moments?

My top five Cardinals moments, in no particular order:
  • The Ozzie Smith back flip. I loved seeing that as a kid
  • The Dive: Jim Edmonds saves the 2004 NLCS when he made a spectacular diving catch
  • Pujols Tries to Catch the Train: In the 2005 NLCS Pujols hits a home run so far that it nearly hits the train on the tracks at Minute Maid Park in Houston (that might be one of the Top Ten Iconic Moments in Cardinals History)
  • Enos Slaughter’s Mad Dash: I, of course, have only seen this in highlights, but it was my grandpa’s favorite moment ever, and it was definitely a classic moment in baseball history
  • Beltran Turns into Iceman: Waino throws such a wicked curveball that Beltran is frozen at the plate and called out on the third strike to end the 2006 NLCS and propelling the Cardinals into the World Series, which they won in five.

If you could pick any one current player, any team, any position, to add to the Cardinals roster, who would it be?

So, any currently player, huh? I would probably go with Curtis Granderson simply because he his hitting the ball extremely well and patrols center field pretty well and the Cards need a center fielder with a bat.

Much has been said about BAD trades of late. Which one have you disliked the most?

I think the worst mid-season acquisition was probably Mark DeRosa. I am not suggesting he’s the worst acquisition in Cardinals history and he was a bad acquisition only in hindsight. He missed a chunk of the season after the Cards traded for him (giving up Chris Perez who has been a very good closer for the Indians) and then he left the Cards after the season. He was basically a rent a player who wasn’t around much. I realize that his injury was basically a fluke, but he didn’t contribute much and the Cards lost a good closer. Again, it was only bad in hindsight.

Changing gears a bit — what do you make of the people saying the Cardinals are the “most hated team in baseball?” Are they right? If so, why?

First of all, it’s hard to claim that the Cardinals are the most hated team in baseball with the New York Yankees on the table. I also find it humorous that Brandon Phillips would go to the media and call the Cardinals “whiny.” It’s like like a little kid going to his teacher and saying “Billy is being mean to me!” I think part of the “problem” (and I hesitate to call it a problem because I don’t think it is) is that Tony La Russa rarely smiles and has an intensity about him. He wants to win. Dave Duncan wants to win. The Cardinals routinely put out winning teams, whether they win the division or not they usually have a winning record, and La Russa isn’t going to let other teams get an unfair edge. I think some people call La Russa and the Cardinals whiny because La Russa is trying to keep the opposing pitchers honest.

Many examples of players calling the Cardinals a hated team or players on teams that routinely get beat by them. In fact, I didn’t see any examples from Cubs players which, since the Cubs have historically been the Cardinals biggest rival, would seem to be a no brainer. I know I have really hated the Red Sox and Mets (from 2000 when the Cards lost to them in the NLCS) because they beat the Cardinals. I think if one were to look hard enough, you could find a dozen examples of players hating any given MLB team. That’s sports and compitition.

How many games do you get to a year? And what is your favorite park besides Busch?
I typically get to two to three games a year, though in 2009 I managed six games.  That’s the most I have ever went to in one season. I live in Central Illinois and its a three-hour drive to get to a game.  I think if I lived closer I would go more often.  My favorite non-Busch stadium is Miller Park.  It’s has comfortable seating, good pricing on drinks. (Their collector cup soda was only $4 for 44 oz., which is more soda and a lower price than most other ballparks.) Plus, Brewers fans don’t really care for Cubs fans either, so we got along quite well when I was there.

What’s your favorite commercial featuring a Cardinal player?
My favorite commercial is the ESPN commercial where the copy machine is telling Pujols to destroy the ESPN analysts and then from Pujols’ point of view, we see that Pujols is a robot, much like the Terminator.

How much do you keep up with the minor league system? Is there anyone specific you’re excited about seeing get a shot in St. Louis? 
As far as the minor league goes, I am looking forward to what Shelby Miller and Zack Cox can bring to the plate, so to speak. I think they both have some very good talent, but only time will tell what they make of it.
Thanks, John, for chatting with me and sharing your Cardinals experiences! You can find John at STLFearTheRed.com.

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