Cardinal Blogger Appreciation Month: CardinalsDiaspora.com

Today is the first edition of Cardinal Blogger Appreciation Month (BAM!), and we'd like to introduce you to athooks of cardinalsdiaspora.com. Recently we had a chance to speak to Mr. Hooks about the St. Louis Cardinals, hoping to start a new revolution of bloggers interviewing other bloggers. Buzz Bissinger is probably setting his internet on fire right now, out of protest. And as you can see, we posed for a group photo (although behind all those sunglasses, I can't really tell who's who; there's a more accurate picture of him by question one).

Besides Cardinals Diaspora, athooks is the Monday leadoff man on the STL Cardinals section of insideSTL. With a Monday/Tuesday one-two punch like us, I've heard some comparisons to Brady Anderson/Robbie Alomar circa 1996 (thanks mom). Reasonable people say it's pretty comparable to Lenny Dykstra/Mickey Morandini circa 1993...I don't know about the tobacco habits of Hooks, but I can't really argue with my half.

Below is our gauntlet of hard-hitting questions. The one thing that slipped my mind was some analysis on "The Streaker" story that he broke a few weeks ago. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check the full story here, and there should be more updates from him throughout the week. Enjoy.

1) How much time per day do you spend writing and doing research for Cardinals Diaspora (and other site(s) you write for)?

I've actually outsourced my research to an assistant- James Frey. He's been coming up with some incredible stuff lately, too. (Message to everybody: If you don't think I can cram a outdated literary reference into a sports blog interview, suck on that first line...)

Actually, I come from the Stephen A. Smith school of sports journalism- shoot first and ask questions later. I might pull an occasional Google search for a fact here or there, but for the most part it's pretty much lock and load with the bullshit. Luckily RVB [ryan vb], an esteemed statistician, covers my ass up with some great information. We tend to balance each other out.

2) A few of us here nerd out over prospects and the draft. Any draft thoughts? How confident are you in the improved minor league system?

They call it the minor leagues because you aren't good enough to be in the major leagues. Is it a necessary system to develop talent? Yes. Does it affect me or what I watch nightly in any way? Not so much. Ok, so I might occasionally check in on a prospect that's highly touted like Colby Rasmus, but for the most part- I don't care. 99% of the time a guy like, oh, Nick Stavinoah will tear up inferior minor league pitching, get a call up, and become less than average. And not to pick on Nick, he may become a contributor one day, but a majority of the guys that need to be in the bigs will be in the bigs. You can't send or keep them down.

I've always been a big supporter of trading potential for proven MLB talent. In most instances you are trading a very dicey commodity (talent) for something that's tangible (MLB stats). Teams like Tampa Bay spend decades stockpiling all these 'future stars', but as we've seen, it takes more than a little patience to create a winner. PS: they haven't even won anything yet.

I need the Cardinals to be the Cardinals. A contender. A legitimate threat to make the post-season. If we lose a Dan Haren every now and then to keep feeding the beast in St. Louis, then so be it. The Yankees, Sox and Cubs do it. Win now. Nothing's promised tomorrow. Aside: That wasn't necessarily a 'funny' answer to your question, but I do feel better.

3) We're also a fan of random jerseys. Do you own any gross jerseys (any player, any sport)?

1994 Team USA basketball jersey. #7 Shawn Kemp. It is THE pride and joy of my (limited) collection. Every time he has an illegitimate kid I wear it out to the bars and get housed. In a related story, I'm an alcoholic.

4) Why did you start blogging about the Cardinals? What are your other favorite sites or blogs?

I've always thought of the Cardinals being a conduit for my ramblings, not necessarily the be all end all of my writing. In other words, most of the people I interact with on a day to day basis usually mention the Cardinals and what's going on with the team, but it isn't the bulk of our conversation. I kind of think of Cardinals Diaspora in the same vein. I usually try to mention baseball on a daily basis, but if that turns into 3,000 words on why David Archuletta can lick my balls with his American Idol performance last night- then so be it. Baseball is great because there usually is something to talk about everyday, so it lends itself to blogging a bit more than other sports.

Great sites, in no particular order: JoeSportsFan.com, SportsPickle.com, Deadspin.com, WWTDD.com and JelloTime.com

5) Here's your chance to call out other members of your site: who is the best wiffleball player at CD?

Me. End of story.

6) Hypothetical question time: you're watching some Cardinals playoff baseball. Albert is up, bottom 9, bases loaded, down by one. The tv is in front of you, while a naked Jessica Alba (or naked Jessica Simpson, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift [for you], etc - any famous young lady typically allergic to nudity) is standing exactly behind you. There are no mirror-type devices around and you have to pick one to look at (note: Joe Buck's mic broke and Tim McCarver has to do play-by-play, so if you turn around while still listening...you won't really be able to tell what happened). What do you do?

I throw a brick through the TV. And it's not because I'm any less of Cardinal fan. But the odds that I get a second shot with a neked female celebrity are far less than the odds of AP coming through in the playoffs. In the clutch. Again. Check that. I'm so confident Albert takes care of business that I don't even have to watch to know the Cardinals won, plus I had Taylor Swift naked in my house, making it the best day ever. We're all sure she's 18, right? Right?

7) What is your favorite and least favorite thing about Cardinal fans?

Cardinal fans are too damn polite. It's sounds pretty hack fan to say something like "Well if the guy is making millions of dollars and can't hit the dern ball…" but really- I kind of agree. Sometimes I just want to go to a baseball game and take my rage out on some of the lesser performing athletes on the team, but the 86-year-old nun keeping score and shushing me with silent guilt means I'll just have to hire another hooker. Damn you Sister. But seriously, we don't boo enough. Guys get real comfortable here and it breeds compliancy. On the other hand, people show up. Not many cities can have 12:30 Tuesday day games and pack the house. From coast to coast Cardinal Nation is represented. I like that.

8) My sources tell me they saw Mark Mulder checking out monster.com the other day. What field of work do you recommend for the left handed person ("pitcher" is no longer applicable)?

What's the easier joke here; slot machine (he knows all the arm positions) or big oil executive (boffo profits for little to no work while the average guy suffers)? It's a tough call, but I think I'm going off the job board and saying Mark Mulder would be an incredible gay porn actor. Especially if he goes back to the frosted tips. He's probably straight, but the life-sized cutout of him in front of Faces means he's got a ready-made audience, plus he's got great experience screwing average working guys like us that pay for tickets for nearly 3 years now!

9) Has there ever been a worse batting music/player pairing than Ludacris' #1 Spot and David Eckstein?

I'd love to say it's Albert Pujols' 'PiƱata Party', a hot mess of horns and Mexican yelping that only he could get away with, but I'm afraid that might be misconstrued as latent racism. So I won't. The answer is obviously a tie between Tony Womack's use of 'Yeah!' by Usher (never once was that phrase spoken when Tony stepped in to bat) and 'Wanna Be Starting Something' for Brian Barton. You just can't have a white guy sheppard in our only black player, right?

Thanks to athooks for giving us his thoughts. If CD ever does any feature stories on bacon, I'm sure we'll be the first place they turn.


Anonymous said...

Any Team USA jersey is gross. Doesn't matter on name or sport. Gross.

Anonymous said...

i'm sure there's a 1992 Laettner jersey out there somewhere.

i was impressed with his batting music knowledge, too. it's hard to find other batting music historians out there.