Today is a semi-holiday, and thus, this will be the only scheduled post at Viva El Birdos today. That semi-holiday, of course, is my mom’s birthday. “Happy birthday, Mom!”, I scream into the void knowing full well she will only see this message if somebody shows it to her—I guess the whole raising me for
eighteen going on twenty-eight years makes up for her not reading my News and Notes posts.
But of course, today is also the final day of 2016, a year which has had many, many ups and downs but for which, for me, and I’m sure for the other writers at Viva El Birdos, writing at this website consistently been a tremendous honor and privilege.
I started at VEB last December (my “the Cardinals should sign Gerardo Parra” piece, he of -1.8 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement and -2.8 Baseball Reference Wins Above Replacement, has aged like a fine wine mixed with sulfuric acid), at the same time as fellow writers Alex Crisafulli and Ben Markham.
By virtue of hire date, I am so grateful to be lumped in with these two—Alex has such an obvious passion for the Cardinals, particularly the 1980s and 1990s Cardinals teams with which he came of age as a sports fan, that resonates in everything he writes, and Ben is, to put it briefly, wayyyyyyy smarter about baseball than I am. I learn a great deal about the cutting edge of baseball analysis from reading his work, all while still feeling like I have so much left to learn (I do; we all do).
Ben Godar (VEB bylaws, of course, indicate that there must be at least two active Bens on the site at all times) remains an utter delight, whether he’s breaking down Cardinals players or reviewing a thirty year-old cookbook (I would not have guessed I would consider this a must-read, but here I am).
The red baron (I don’t remember the exact rules on preserving his—or possibly her—anonymity off the top of my head, so I’ll stick with his pen name) speaks with a unique voice which could only be described as quintessentially his, in a way that I couldn’t dream.
Josey Curtis, our newest masthead writer and fellow prospect specialist, produces a volume of content, at VEB and elsewhere, that few writers anywhere can touch, and I look forward to reading more of her stuff here in 2017.
Joe Schwarz has forgotten more about pitching than I will ever know, so I don’t even try anymore. He was one of my favorite Cardinals writers on the internet before I ever even bothered to register an account with SB Nation, and now I get to call him my colleague and friend. Life comes at you fast, and sometimes that is a good thing.
Heather Simon, whom I have arbitrarily decided to call by her actual name for once on one of these things instead of Lil Scooter, is one of the most relentlessly positive people I have ever met. My proudest accomplishment of my time at VEB is relaunching the Viva El Birdos podcast (you should catch up on it, if you haven’t), and being able to co-host it with somebody who enjoys it as much as I do makes a sometimes arduous process completely worth it.
Craig Edwards, to use some baseball parlance, doesn’t have a hole in his swing. He covers an expansive array of topics and, at VEB and at FanGraphs, everything is consistently fantastic. He is an indispensable part of Cardinals media, and having received praise from him on posts I’ve written throughout the year has been a highlight for me.
The VEB game recappers work tirelessly throughout the year—I’ve pinch-hit in recap duty twice and at first I thought it’d be easy: describe the action, say what happened...it’s actually quite a bit trickier to do in practice than in theory. I’d thank you all individually, as you each have your own quirks and tendencies that make a theoretically redundant piece if you watched the game an entertaining read every time, but I am positive I will forget somebody. You know who you are.
But most of all, thank you to everybody who makes reading Viva El Birdos a part of their baseball consumption. I love writing for this website (and no, this isn’t some elaborate post which ends with me announcing my resignation) and knowing that people are reading and enjoying and thinking along with what I am writing makes the whole process worth it.
Anyway, my New Years Resolution for 2017 is to write about Cardinals playoff games. Help me out, Cardinals.
Here are the posts from the final business day of 2016.
The top games of 2016
I wrote about the five most exciting Cardinals victories of 2016, as measured by average Leverage Index. Because you fine folks deserve it!
(Back to pseudonyms) Lil Scooter wrote about Dexter Fowler and how he is giving fans free stuff on Twitter. It’s a cool gesture, and Fowler seems to be perfectly executing a Twitter account which is both polished and personable.
Josey Curtis wrote about why the Cardinals should extend Carlos Martinez, a stance with which I have no disagreements. Carlos Martinez is good and likable and I like good and likable players on the baseball team I like.
That’s it. If you’re going out tonight, please remember to be safe. Have a great weekend, everybody.