Happy Leap Day, everybody!
February 29, of course, is a very special day for a relatively small portion of the population. Roughly 4.8 million people worldwide have birthdays today, and will only have a birthday once every four years.
Per Baseball Reference, 12 men born on Leap Day played in the Major Leagues. Improbably, two of them were four-time MLB All-Stars: Al Rosen, a 1953 AL MVP who twice led the league in home runs and runs batted in for the Cleveland Indians; and Pepper Martin, a two-time World Series champion for the "Gashouse Gang" St. Louis Cardinals of the 1930s. The most recently active player with a birthday today is Terrence Long, who played for five teams from 1999 to 2006 and finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting with the Oakland Athletics.
It appears, through some of the least rigorous investigative journalism I have ever conducted, that Mr. Long has a Twitter account (or a very dedicated person who decided to sporadically impersonate a journeyman outfielder, for some reason). So be sure to wish him a happy birthday (based on my experience with Leap Day birthdays, you might want to wish him a happy 40th rather than a happy 10th).
About to have a wonderful birthday!!!LEAP YEAR!!!!!— Terrence Long (@tlong1295) February 29, 2012
Also, be sure to catch up on VEB posts throughout the weekend.
In case you haven't been following closely (it's February, Spring Training has barely started, and Stephen Curry solved basketball; I get it), VEB projections are in full force. The latest crop of predictions to be made are for a trio of Cardinals pitchers: ground ball cult hero Seth Maness, 2015 midseason acquisition Jonathan Broxton, and 2013 NLCS MVP Michael Wacha. Question abound: Will Maness continue to enjoy a reputation as a double play-inducing magician? Will Broxton surpass Matt Adams to take the Clarence Clemons Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in being referred to simply as "The Big Man" by Cardinals announcers? Will Wacha live up to his initial Adam Wainwright comparisons? Click through to weigh in.
A few questions with El Gallo
This can't really be measured, but I would dare say that the most popular Cardinal among the VEB community is probably Carlos Martinez. And Joe Schwarz had a nice little Q&A with the man himself on Friday. When asked about "El Gallo", the nickname bestowed upon him at VEB, Martinez stated his preference for "El Tsunami" (more on that in a bit). But, as VEB user/A+ user name haver Jon Snowzeliak notes...
Speaking of The Pitcher Frequently Known As El Gallo, noted Carlos Martinez aficionado ("fangirl" might also be an appropriate term) Lil Scooter listed ten reasons you should watch his "Tsunami Waves" video. Read the post, watch the video, or do both repeatedly. You only get one February 29 every four years and you ought not waste a second of it.
Why you shouldn't fear the Cubs
Well, actually, this is more "why you shouldn't write off the 2016 season because of the Cubs in February". I compared the 2016 rosters of the Cardinals and Cubs and analyzed the plausibility that the Cardinals can still win a division in which the Cubs are heavy favorites entering the season.
When ESPN ignoring the Cardinals is a very good thing
ESPN's Dan Szymborski wrote a list of the 25 worst contracts in baseball, and Craig Edwards evaluated the current contracts of the Cardinals. No Cardinals cracked the list, while former Cardinal Albert Pujols was #1.
A look at some Cardinals prospects
Last but not least, the red baron evaluated two Cardinals pitching prospects: Arturo Reyes, who finished 2015 at AAA Memphis, and Trey Nielsen, who finished 2015 at high-A Palm Beach. There is plenty of good writing about these two pitchers, but you deserve fair warning that the post's main photo is a rather horrifying picture of Jordan Walden, who looks in this particular photo to be either very angry or very sleepy, and perhaps both.
Have a wonderful Leap Day. Just think: in most years, it's already March.