The UCB Awards

It’s time once again to fill out the votes for the United Cardinal Bloggers end of the year awards.

Most awards ballots are anonymous, but not the UCB. In order for a ballot to be counted, you have to post it for the world to see. Guess that keeps us honest, huh?

For the first time you, our fans, get a chance to vote. Head over here and fill out your very own ballot and help show the great people of the internet your love for i70baseball.

Enough stalling, here is the Cardinal and Blogger landscape as I see it:

Cardinal Player Of The Year
Lance Berkman

The Big Puma did it all this year and made an entire city fall in love with him all over again. He put together an impressive season, put another solid bat into the lineup, and even gave the team a bit of a discount to retain his services. No longer “Fat Elvis”, Puma Time arrived in full force in 2011.

Cardinal Pitcher Of The Year
Chris Carpenter

The focus here is the fact that this is the pitcher of the year, not a specific half. Carp put together a solid year by the end of it all and was really the bulldog and ace of this staff when they needed one. He was a leader of this team when the team needed a leader and somewhere along the lines took my advice and held this team together.

Regular Season Game Of The Year
September 28 at Houston (Carp throws a shutout on the last day)

More for the day than the game, this was far and away the best single day in my baseball memory. All over the country the game was contested in highly competitive games with playoff implications and the Cardinals found themselves right in the middle of it all.

Post Season Game Of The Year
World Series Game 6 – Two Rallies With One Strike Left

There really are no words to describe this game. The greatest Cardinal victory that I have ever witnessed. Thank you, David Freese.

Surprise Player Of The Year
Kyle Lohse.

Seriously, I have been the leader of the charge to dump Lohse and his salary (and that manscape beard) at the earliest convenience. By the time the dust settled, he led the team in wins. Again, Kyle Lohse led the 2011 Cardinals in victories. Before you Sabermetric stat heads jump all over me, I don’t care, wins are still important to me.

Disappointing Player Of The Year
Colby Rasmus.

I admit it very openly, I am a fan of Rasmus. Even as a fan, you get tired of saying “this is the year”. Everything in my baseball knowledge pointed to this being a year for Colby to break out. That either shows that I have very little baseball knowledge or that this kid has daddy issues far beyond what even Freud could understand.

Cardinal Rookie Of The Year
Daniel Descalso.

I love me some Danny D. Kid showed some resilience this season, played a strong enough hot corner to be a finalist for the gold glove, and showed some heart. If he does not get serious consideration for the second base job next season, I have to wonder why.

Pre Season Acquisition Of The Year
Lance Berkman.

This award should be a landslide. There were a few of us that kept a positive attitude about Berkman when he was signed, but I don’t think anyone expected that John Mozeliak got that good of a deal.

Mid Season Acquisition Of The Year
Octavio Dotel.

I really did not give Dotel much of a chance coming over and viewed him as draft pick compensation at the end of the year. Now, I find myself hoping the Cardinals find a way to keep him for another season. He was money down the stretch and got the Cardinals out of some tight spots that this bullpen could have never been trusted with before his arrival.

Most Anticipated Cardinal
Shelby Miller.

The tall Texan has a great opportunity ahead of him and it may be coming in 2012. Until then, I will keep checking the minor league box scores every five games to see how well he performed yet again.

Best Individual Blog (Written By One Person)
On The Outside Corner

I may be a little biased here as Bob Netherton also writes for i70baseball. But, honestly, it is impossible to read Bob’s site without learning something. I consider myself a historian of this game and I love the tradition and history it provides. Bob captures that in new ways every single post and that is not easy to do.

Best Team Cardinal Blog (Written By More Than One Person)
Pitchers Hit Eighth

Last year, PH8 and i70 split the votes and were co-holders of this award. I have been a fan of Nick and his crew for quite a while and considered it an honor to be mentioned with them. I still do. From the funny and spot-on analysis of Dennis to Nick’s straight forward and poignant posts, once you sprinkle in some April Fool with Josh and a little bit of Andrew, the site is a must read daily.

Best Professional Cardinal Blog
Bird Land

One of my hardest choices as I have a lot of respect for Derrick Goold and Matthew Leach. In all, I think Goold does a great job of giving the fans what we want to hear about, even if it is not the biggest story of the day.

Best Rookie Cardinal Blog
Birds On The Bat 82

It is not the most catchy name, but the site (and it’s author) have earned my respect this year. Here’s hoping there is many more years of some 1982 love.

Post Of The Year
Diamond Diaries – 9 Years Later

I am a sentimental guy and I’ll be damned if stories of Jack Buck and Darryl Kile don’t get me every time. Angela Weinhold (another of i70’s own) did an amazing job of capturing the moments from nine years ago that rocked the very foundation of Cardinal Nation.

Best UCB Project
Roundtables

Twice a year this group of blogs exchanges ideas throughout discussions started with simple questions in the roundtables. It is one of my favorite projects I have ever been a part of.

Most Optimistic Cardinal Blog
Diamond Diaries

Honestly, I do not remember a time when the girls of Diamond Diaries ever gave up on this team this year. We were all ready to mail it in at some point, but they kept the faith throughout.

Best UCB Podcast
Conversations With C70

“You are listening to my Daddy’s show!” may be the best intro I have ever heard on a podcast.

Best UCB Twitterer
gr33nazn

That’s “Green Asian” for those of you that did not know (I didn’t for a long time). Dennis from Pitchers Hit Eighth brings the funny to 140 characters or less better than anyone I know. He is right there with a quip or an anecdote for most anything and is always there with some encouraging words for real life.

Best Fake Cardinal Twitter Account
None

Sorry folks, I just don’t do the fake accounts. The squirrel and tortoise annoyed me all post season and most of the other stuff is pure drivel. I’m abstaining form this one.

That’s my ballot. Hope everyone enjoys, feel free to comment below, and don’t forget to go vote yourself.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

Author: Bill Ivie

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