Postseason: UCB Roundtable

It’s roundtable time! If for whatever reason my blog is the only blog you read (I wouldn’t know why) and you don’t remember the format I’ll lay it out quickly. We do this twice a year, before and after the season, where as a UCB group each blogger has a day in which they submit a question to the others via our Google Group. They then compile the responses and post them on his or her respective blog. Below I’ll show you my question and follow with the responses including my own. You can visit for the other roundtable Q&A.

My question involves a scenario: MLB has contacted you regarding the work you do on your blog and would like to offer you a job for 1 season covering any team of your choosing EXCEPT the Cardinals (Don’t worry you’ll have MLB.TV). They’ve made arrangements with all other 29 teams and you get to select the one of your choosing. The team you select would then give you full access to their club.  Essentially anything you wanted to see or anyone you wanted to talk to and pick their brain you would have including players, coaches, front office, tv and radio personnel and even the fans. You’d start in Spring Training and go until their last MLB game is played. Your job would also include travel and stadium accommodations to their Minor League clubs as well. The only stipulation is you would need to blog at least once per day discussing your experiences and that given team.

So my question is: Which club would you choose and why? The direction you take your answer is completely up to you. Examples could be because of certain players, front offices you’d love to see work, geography, or maybe they are your second favorite team and/or an organization you just respect. You do have the option to turn the opportunity down as well. The choice is yours. Oh, and your regular job will be there when you get back and your family can come see you anytime on MLB’s dime.

My response would be the Washington Nationals. Coming off a very disappointing loss to the Cardinals in the NLDS in which Stephen Strasburg made zero appearances I’d love to follow the drama. They’ll have not only Strasburg back but also Bryce Harper in his second season and an overall solid team. I wanted to stay in the National League and cover a competitive team as well.

The rest of the group:

Daniel Solzman:

If I can’t choose the Cardinals, I would turn it down.

Dennis Lawson:

I would pick the Astros simply for the opportunity to cover the team’s transition to the AL.  As a bonus, spending time hanging around Luhnow and Goldstein would be entertaining, especially when they do their war room for the amateur draft at a local Fuddrucker’s.

Just imagine all the young talent set to go through Houston during the next few years.  They have a lot of interesting players and young talent, and then there is Tyler Greene.

Christine Coleman:

Interesting question, Dustin.

My choice would be the Astros as well. The fact the team is switching leagues next season, and going into the AL West, would certainly offer plenty of interesting fodder to write about daily. But the rebuilding process starting with the minor leagues, and with the front office personnel they’ve brought in to help with that like Kevin Goldstein, would be fascinating to see and learn about and write about — although the story will take years to completely unfold.

I had the opportunity to watch a River Bandits game with Jeff Luhnow in June 2011 and it was an unbelievably great experience. Obviously he was still with the Cardinals at that time, so I was able to learn much about the current Cardinals and the future as well. Overall he’s a very cool and engaging guy too, so having the chance to spend more time talking with him, learning from him and seeing him in action would be welcome (and terrific to write about).

Plus, in learning more about their minor league system, I’d have the chance to be home and go to games at my favorite minor league ballpark.

Mark Tomasik:


The Reds _ because I’d want the chance to spend each day learning how Walt Jocketty operates, how he goes about putting together a big-league team, a farm system and a staff, and to get him to talk about his remarkable time as Cardinals’ general manager and what that was like in leading the transition from Joe Torre to Tony La Russa and building the Cardinals clubs of the Mark McGwire-Albert Pujols eras.

Tom Knuppel:

The Dodgers- always been a class organization and love the weather.

Rodney Knuppel:

Definitely the Cubs. Because then I could see how NOT to do things. But, I would only do it if I could have a bottle of hand sanitizer with me at all times to keep me from getting the nasty germs of Wrigley Field and the surrounding areas. During this entire process, I would laugh at their decision making knowing that no matter what happens – the Cubs Suck.

Daniel Shopaw:

I’m such a homebody that I’m not sure I’d care for traveling much for a team, but if I had to do my regular blogging routine (with a little more access) for another team for the next year, it might be the Nationals.  You’ve got some great talent, a historic city, seeing how they rebound after a devastating playoff loss.  Lots of good possibilities, but that’d likely be my choice.

Wes Keene:

I would select the Texas Rangers for this assignment. In addition to appreciating the geography of the team, I would like to cover the team itself. How must it feel to be an organization that has been “this close” three years in a row. Two world series losses in back to back years followed by a heartbreaking theft of the division title at the tail end of the season have to be devastating.

I would want to cover a team that has to recover not just from injuries, loss of free agents, and the struggles every team has to cope with, but also has the mental hurdle to overcome. The Cardinals are more on the opposite end of the spectrum where the impossible always seems possible to fans just because the Cardinals *can*. In Texas it must feel a lot more like “no matter what we do, we’ll end up blowing it at the last moment”. In short, I’d like to see how the other half lives.

Bob Netherton:

I’d pick the Nationals.  On top of what Daniel has alread said, the intrigue around the decision to shut down Strasburg last year would make for some fascinating stories.  It would also be interesting to follow Bryce Harper as he transitions from prospect to franchise player, and the demands and maturity that requires.

Mary Clausen:

What a great question! Problem is, I’m not real sure.  If I had to pick a team that would be enjoyable to write about, I think I’d pick the Chicago Cubs.  My website is all about Fun! & they would be Fun! to write about – I think.

Matt Whitener:

This is a good question. I write a full league column now, and really
try to avoid the Cardinals as much as I can when I’m there. So of all
the teams in baseball I cover throughout the year, the one I would

The Yankees

It’s unbelivably fun to cover a team that has only one option every
year, if for no other reason, than to get to write extremes non-stop
everyday. You don’t have to be measured when you assess them and the
expectation of competition lets me be able to rip and praise them just
the same. Plus, there’s a ton of really, really good players to watch
all the time.

I love to write Hot Stove too, and they are constantly at the middle
of it all year round. Great gig to have.

Dathan Brooks:

Definitely not a clown question, bro.

I’d be inclined to choose the Rays.  I think it’d offer perspectives that may not be found many other places.  It would be a good exercise to see how truly difficult it is to try to compete in the AL East with the likes of NYY & BOS on a payroll that’s a fraction of those teams you face.  You’d get to spend time with Joe Maddon and his hair, which would make the whole thing worth it, by itself.  …unless he’s really Clint Hurdle–think about it, have you ever seen the two of them in the same place at the same time?  An opportunity to be around some of the game’s young stars, and gain a better understanding of the unique challenges that are brought forth by things like low attendance, & a less-than-ideal ballpark, to name a couple.  It would also provide good opportunities to possibly see some really interesting trades take place.

Chris Mallonee:

I’d like to cover the angels for many reasons. See if there’s any tension between Pujols and trout, what kind of guy Pujols really is behind the scenes, watch trumbo hit everyday, and just watch a team with lot of pressure on it to win. Covering the best hitter and rookie of our generation on the same team, would be pretty sweet.

Tara Wellman:

Great question!

I’d have to think long and hard about which team I’d want to spend a season with. But, because of their current, shall we say, “situation,” I’d be inclined to choose the Red Sox. I wouldn’t have any kind of emotional connection to the team, and there is so much chaos in that organization right now, that I’d never be short a headline or an eyebrow-raising soundbite! Plus, my curiousity makes me wonder what you do when you’ve hit rock bottom,and how you keep the demanding Boston fans from totally turning on you.

At the very least, it would be an interesting summer.

And I’m told there’s all the fried chicken you can eat …

Nick from Pitchers Hit Eighth

Pirates for me. An (in theory) up and coming organization with still interesting minor league teams – and I get to watch 81 games at PNC to boot!

About Dustin McClure

I'm a proud member of Cardinal Nation living in St. Louis. I'm not claiming to be a good writer nor do I aspire to be one. Just happy to have a place to share my thoughts on Cardinal baseball with others.
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One Response to Postseason: UCB Roundtable

  1. Pingback: UCB October Project: Postseason Roundtable — United Cardinal Bloggers

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