While sunny images of Cardinals pitchers and catchers and Peter Bourjos definitely make it seem like the 2014 baseball season is actually here, the weather throughout too much of the country tells us winter is still upon us.
So what better way to make it through more cold, snow and ice than looking back on the wonder that was the 2013 pennant-winning Cardinals season?
The United Cardinal Bloggers have published our fourth annual season recap, “Purpose, Perseverance and Power Arms: The 2013 St. Louis Cardinals.”
And 2013 wasn’t just another year for the Cardinals — it was another deep run into October, all the way through the World Series as they stormed past Pittsburgh and Los Angeles to become National League champs.
From the first days in Jupiter to that last night in Boston and beyond, the United Cardinal Bloggers chronicled and analyzed St. Louis’ season and now are bringing that knowledge to you in this collection. From the season of Shelby Miller to the career of Chris Carpenter, from the MVP-worthy work of Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter to a recap of each postseason series, the UCB prepares you for the upcoming season with a look back at the successful season that we don’t want to forget.
With a foreword from Will Leitch, senior editor at Sports on Earth, Cardinal bloggers from across the Internet present “Purpose, Perseverance and Power Arms” to give you a unique look at the team. It features a variety of work from 17 different bloggers, plus a capsule on every player who wore the Birds on the Bat in 2013. Plus you’ll get an overall look at what’s to come in 2014.
With 38 different players taking the field for the St. Louis Cardinals over the course of 179 games from April 1 to Oct. 30, it was sometimes difficult to really highlight even the impressive seasons — like that of rookie Seth Maness.
For pitchers, it’s usually the starter or the closer who get all the blogging attention and we certainly wrote plenty about Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal and even Carlos Martinez. All justified, of course. And we did mention Maness, most often with the phrase “double play” used in the same sentence. But it wasn’t quite the same glowing praise — instead usually along the lines of “hey, he did it again!”
An article about a week ago in his hometown newspaper, The Pilot in Southern Pines, N.C., brought Maness to mind again. “‘One of Ours’ Makes the Big Time” chronicled Maness’s year, starting with his major league debut in Milwaukee on May 3 when he threw six pitches, and six strikes, to get three outs — all ground-outs, of course. After that:
The next night proved emblematic of what would become a hallmark of his rookie season. In the eighth inning of a tie game, with runners on first and second, the batter ground into a double play to end the inning. The Cards scored a run in the ninth, and Maness got his first Major League win in his second outing.