How They See It: St. Louis NL MVP Voters Guilty of Favoritism?

The recent hate-fest between some of the internet’s typing heads and those darn, pesky St. Louis Cardinals (who apparently just win too darn much, darn it) rages on.

First there was Deadspin’s Drew Magary and his passionate, yet eloquent dictum entitled: Why Your Cardinals Suck. Gosh, I don’t know why, but from the title I really thought the Redbirds were going to get a fair shake there. That had to be the most shocking part. Which I guess was the point.

In fact, upon reading Magary’s post, I was so shocked that I curled up in the fetal position in my bedroom closet and cried for two hours. But then I got hungry, made myself a sandwich and somehow found the will to go on. It probably helped that the Cardinals’ playoff game was about to start.

Anyway, The Emperor was no doubt pleased, as the hate continued to flow. Buzzfeed comprised a list of 23 Reasons It’s Perfectly OK To Despise The St. Louis Cardinals.

And one of them wasn’t Cardinal Nation’s inexplicable devotion to DJ Casper (Everybody Clap Your Hands)? What about the general overuse of the phrase “Cardinal Nation” to describe the team’s loyal following? Come on man. At least do your research.

All of a sudden, the Cardinals are the new New York Yankees? The new Evil Empire?

Last time I checked, I don’t remember the Cardinals using small market teams like Kansas City, Pittsburgh and others as de facto minor league affiliates. Feel bad for the Pirates now? Just wait until the Yankees and Red Sox get their hands on some of that sweet, sweet Pirate free agent candy.

Then came last week’s NL MVP vote, the individual ballots of which were made public for the second year in a row. (As opposed to years past, when the ballots were hermetically sealed in a jar, strapped inside a NASA space probe and shot into the sun to destroy the evidence- kind of like how Superman got rid of all the nuclear weapons in Quest for Peace.)

This time, it was accusations of favoritism that went flying. Over the weekend, Bill Baer of HardballTalk charged the Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel with being “homers” because they were the only two writers to cast a first place vote for Yadier Molina instead of Andrew McCutchen. Deadspin once again joined the party, and even included a fancy chart to make their case.

It’s really difficult to argue with a fancy chart, especially one that bright and colorful. But take a gander at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Bill Brink’s ballot, and you might notice something interesting.

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Brink has Molina ninth in the NL MVP race, behind Carlos Gomez, behind Joey Votto, behind Shin Soo Choo. He’s even behind his own teammate, Matt Carpenter.

But wait, there’s more. McCutchen hails from Fort Meade, FL. He signed to play baseball for the Florida Gators before being drafted by the Pirates. So it’s curious that the two writers representing the Marlins, Juan C. Rodriguez and Clark Spencer, voted Molina ninth and tenth, respectively.

At least Goold and Hummel gave McCutchen second and third place votes – not ninth or tenth.

This was an obvious attempt to limit Molina to as few total voting points as possible. Apparently the home team (Pittsburgh) and hometown (Florida) writers were worried the MVP race would be a little closer than it turned out – understandable given that the Cardinals a) won the Central, b) had the best record in the National League, and c) Molina was the club’s unquestionable MVP.

Leaving Molina off the ballot entirely would have been only slightly less ridiculous than voting him ninth and tenth behind lesser players from lesser teams. No other writer had Molina lower than fifth. This is not to say that McCutchen was not deserving. Both men were.

Nice try, nouveau Cardinal haters, but if there was any homering going on in this MVP vote, it was in Pittsburgh and Miami, not St. Louis.

Yasiel Puig plays baseball with 50 kids in Dodger Stadium

In our new endeavors over at RookiesApp.com, we’ve gotten to know the owners of fabulous Los Angeles Pizza Company, who are starting to distribute their venue’s information on custom-printed baseball cards.  It’s just about the best thing ever – especially for a venue that is a short walk away from Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine.

Owner Oscar Arce is intimately involved in the surrounding Northeast Los Angeles Little League.  Also involved due to proximity and interest: Dodger phenom Yasiel Puig.

Cardinals fans got to know, love and loathe Puig during the NLCS this fall.  Say what you will about Puig’s on-the-field antics (we’ve said plenty), but by all accounts, he’s an affable dude that is passionately involved in the Los Angeles community.  On Monday afternoon, he showed this off by inviting Oscar Arce and a few of his teams (approximately 50 kids) into Dodger Stadium for a rare round of batting practice on the field.

Arce tells us that the entire event lasted over two hours and sent us the photos below.

Following an organized scrimmage game that featured pitching, the kids were all given Dodger hats and shirts.  Puig then invited all of the kids (and family members) into the Dugout and into the Dodger clubhouse and batting cages.  Waiting in the clubhouse was a full dinner spread of Dodger Dogs and all the fixings.  Puig sat, ate and laughed with the kids.

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Latest Pujols Jersey Modification Epitomizes Why Cardinals Are Good

Sure, he may be long gone, but Albert Pujols is still winning games for the St. Louis Cardinals.

In fact, he’ll be winning many more games for the Cardinals in the years to come, as documented by the following jersey modification:

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Unless you’ve been living in a cave beneath the future site of Ballpark Village and were only recently forced to the Earth’s surface by the ear-splitting vibrations of actual construction noise, you probably know by now that the Cardinals acquired pitching phenom and NLCS MVP Michael Wacha with the 19th pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft – a compensatory pick the Cardinals received from the Angels when they stupidly inked Pujols to a quarter billion dollar deal.

Which makes this more than just your average modified Pujols jersey. It’s also a small, wearable piece of Cardinals history that tells the story of how the Cardinals deftly turned a burdensome, franchise-crippling contract into what could be a once-in-a-generation pitcher.

In very succinct fashion (pun intended), this jersey tells the story of why the Cardinals are in the championship hunt almost every year.

It also cements John Mozeliak as the Warren Buffett of baseball GM’s. The guy is simply the master of buying low and selling high.

Manager Candy Monday Showdown

In an unexpected and rather transparent gambit to dethrone Mike Matheny as the undisputed king of #MCM (Manager Candy Monday), the Detroit Tigers have hired Brad Ausmus as the team’s next manager. Well played, Tigers, but as Ric Flair famously said “To be the man, you must beat the man.”  While both men are certainly easy on the cleat chasing eyes, there can be only one #MCM champ.

The challenger: – Bradley David Ausmus, age 44, 5’11″, and 200 pounds.  Played 18 seasons as a big league catcher, won 3 Gold Glove awards, and has a distinguished and confident aura.

The champion:  Michael Scott Matheny – age 43, 6’3″ tall, and 210 pounds.  Played 13 seasons as a catcher, won 4 Gold Glove awards, and has that LL Bean model hair and swoon factor going for him.

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Matheny looks like the handsome dentist that has ladies flossing every day and twice on Sundays.  Ausmus looks like someone who just tried pitching a tent on a beach while filming a Cialis commercial.  When it comes to the 162-game grind, which would you rather have calling plays from your dugout?

 

It wasn’t mechanical issues that delayed the Cardinals plane to Boston

The Cardinals’ plane heading to Boston finally left St. Louis around 8 p.m. CST last night, approximately 7 hours after the original estimated time of departure.  After initial rumors that Jaime Garcia locked himself in a bathroom with an flight attendant, it was reported that there were mechanical issues with the plane.

Mechanical issues?

Please.  We know the real reason the plane couldn’t leave St. Louis.

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Obstruction.  Yup, definitely obstruction.

Desperate for work Shelby Miller submits resume to Cardinals

After several failed attempts to draw attention to his body of work via Powerpoint presentations and fruit baskets, Shelby Miller has resorted to applying for his own job.  Submitted just hours ago, Miller’s rather impressive resume provides compelling evidence that he has recently excelled at throwing a baseball.

Given the current condition of the St Louis Cardinals, one would think that a person which such a promising skill set would be deemed useful.  Maybe not.  In hopes of alerting current management to his presence Shelby passed along the following resume with a cover letter to Mike Matheny and John Mozeliak – both of whom we believe have actually met Mr. Miller.

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We do not yet know whether the resume was rejected or not, because this was the last thing Shelby sent before his company email account was deactivated.

Bachelor constestant and bro dog share giggle over cancer joke

Mocking cancer victims on television during Game 4 of the World Series of Mostly American Baseball takes a special kind of maliciousness.  Using a Stand Up 2 Cancer sign to make a funny about a Molina having cancer requires next level wanton ignorance.  Hijacking a solemn dedication to cancer victims and cancer awareness for your next “look at me” moment?  That’s your $6 StubHub ticket to eternal condemnation.

Bachelor contestant Sarah Newlon, consider yourself my be-atch.

After you finish apologizing to the Molina family, the SU2C organization, MLB, Cardinals fans, Red Sox fans, and every other living being on the planet, go make me a sammich.  When you are done, take a moment to reflect on the terrible life decision(s) that brought you to this point.

During a rather emotional and poignant Stand Up 2 Cancer moment, Newlon shared a good laugh with her Bro Dog partner in crime by standing up for “Molina”.

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Not even Beelzebub thinks that’s funny, Sarah.  Perhaps you should stick to your day job of flaunting your wares in short skirts and bikinis.  Alternatively, you can try to make amends.  Here’s a few ideas for starters…

  1. Head to the nearest tattoo shop and get a “Cancer Sucks” tramp stamp (unless you already have one).  This will guarantee that hundreds, nay thousands of people get the message.
  2. Go on some scandalous reality tv show and list your top 20 indiscretions and/or transgressions, beginning with the time you were on tv during the World Series.
  3. Go on Jimmy Fallon’s show and admit freely that you are actually a man.
  4. Adopt 50 puppies and kitties, and then spend the rest of your life hoarding them but treating them well.
  5. Use your fame (and infamy) to make the world a better place by spreading the word about how terrible the Hardee’s commercials really are.