The Bachelor: Countdown To Juan Pablo

Written by athooks on .

The Bachelor is BACK!

Sort of. 

Tonight we get 'The Countdown To Juan Pablo'. A behind the scenes look at, well, something. Let's find out together what this pre-hour is all about. 

7:01 - A montage of audition submissions to ABC. These two women in particular are probably regretting their decision to press send on that email. (Yes, those are their actual quotes.)

7:06 - "I LOVE that he has a daughter"? That's the very first thought you have upon hearing the news that Juan Pablo is the next Bachelor?

This is either a referendum on Jaun Pablo's milquetoast appearance on The Bachelorette last season where now she only remembers 1 singular detail of the man, a woman who has had trouble conceiving in the past and is specifically searching for a partner with child in tow or the paradigm of dating has completely shifted into a direction I wasn't cognizant of.

You tell me.

7:11 - Lucinda. Eats bacon. Full body hugs with leg wrap-arounds. Immediately regrets her choice of clothes from this morning. And that second bowl. 

7:12 - Elise. Not a chance she was expecting Chris Harrison right? That's definitely what girls wear when they're hanging around the house. 

7:14 - Full disclosure... I'm rooting for Christy. Sort of. As of this post, she only has 162 followers on Twitter. So I think I have a chance, no?  (I'm not sure why Twitter folowers mean anything... LET ME DREAM, OK.) I'm rooting for Juan Pablo to break her heart so I can swoop in and save the day. Stay the hell away, Wolfner. I'm here for you Christy 

7:15 - Lauren. 25, eh? Might be familiar with this meme...

7:26 - Could we get a surprise appearance from the mom later this year? Looks like they're going to pimp the father angle HARD this season. Either the mother signed off on all this, is out of the picture completely or she's going to show up for surprise DRAMA in the final 3. Called shot. 

7:34 - The (possibly) drunk uncle. Doesn't know why here's here. Doesn't know why he's got a camera in his face. And doesn't know who Juan Pablo, you know, actually is.

7:42 - Time to bring it down a notch. A remembrance for Gia, a former contestant, that died in 2013. Google if you want more details.

7:52 - This is the show that Tidy Cat rolls out a new product. In case you were wondering what their marketers thought about you. 

7:56 - This season's tease:  Jumping off boats into the ocean. Sunsets. Waterfall makeout sessions. Praying to Buddha. Skinny dipping. Hard eye rolls. Wet cartwheels. Crying. Fairness (as much as possible). More crying. Public restroom drama. DEATH WISHES. Interviews cut short. And more...

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38 Days: Pitchers & Catchers Report

Written by athooks on .

Are you ready?

I'm kind of ready.

Here's the view from downtown STL today. Thanks @DGoold for giving us some hope. 

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Carlos Beltran Wants You To Work In Healthcare?

Written by athooks on .

Carlos Beltran probably doesn't care where you work.

This probably isn't Carlos Beltran.

But when surfing the web tonight, I couldn't help but think that if this isn't Carlos Beltran in this ad, then this guy needs to start a career as a Carlos Beltran impersonator. 

Turns out this wasn't an original thought. 

I Google'd 'Carlos Beltran Convergys' and some results did pop up. Like a Tweet from @JaseBandelow and a story from Fox Sports Southwest that had an outdated link. 

Or maybe this actually is Beltran and I just gave Convergys some free publicity while making myself look dumb. 

Probably that.

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Cardinals 2014 Winter Warm-Up Autograph Prices

Written by athooks on .

It's an annual tradition.

No, not the Winter Warm-Up.

Looking up how much the Cardinals value each of their past and present team members. 

Ok, yes. All the money raised goes to Cardinals Care. We're sure they do good work. But the real story is the price chart below. It tells you every single thing you need to know about how the Cadinals brain trust values a player, coach or formerly involved person with the team.

It's supply. It's demand. It's slightly embarssing for everyone involved. And it's worth a look.

1) The highest value? Yadier Molina - $100

2) The lowest value? Jack Clark, Tony Cruz, Shane Robinson, Tylor Lyons, John Mabry, Pete Kozma, Sam Freeman and Mark Ellis - $5

3) Does Jack Clark have to split his fee between Cardinals Care and The Pujols Family Foundation?

Here's the full list:

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Jeff Suppan Retires & The Friday Links

Written by athooks on .

It feels like Tuesday, but it's FRIDAY! 

Sometimes the mid-week holidays aren't that bad after all, right? 

Here's a toast to Jeff Suppan. The former St. Louis Cardinals starter from 2004-2006 retired this week. His career with the team spanned 3 seasons, produced 32 wins and a 2006 NLCS MVP honor. He made the announcement 6 years to the hour when his mom passed away as a tribute.

In total, Suppan pitched in 448 games (417 starts) over 2,542 2/3 innings for 7 different teams, including both the Cardinals and Royals in Missouri. He never did make an All-Star team. He never generated a Cy Young vote. But he was part of one of the most improbable St. Louis Cardinals World Series wins. Ever.

He was also the the creator and curator of the 'Word Of The Day' segment on FSN. From a 2006 interview with MLB.com, he talked about the bit:

It started out that whenever I talked to the scribes, I would always joke around and use cliché words like "pinnacle" and "apex" as a joke. We started going back and forth looking for new words that I could use in my repertoire. I gave one to one of our media guys once and he used it on the air. It became a thing that people love and they ask me every day what the word is. Now I have to stay on top of my game with words. "Surreptitious" is a word I like to use now, and it's a small thing that teachers probably appreciate me doing. It's just a fun thing to do.

Best of luck in whatever is next for Jeff 'Soup' Suppan. In just 2 years, he'll be back at Busch Stadium celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the 2006 World Series. Feel old?

Now, the Friday Links...

Advertising. LINK HERE

Irony. LINK HERE

Mean. But you'll do it this summer. LINK HERE

Didn't take long, did it? LINK HERE

Best news bloopers from 2013. LINK HERE

Good shot. LINK HERE

That's it. That's the week. And by the time Monday rolls around (for most of you), it'll feel the furthest from baseball season all year long. It's cold. Real cold. But we'll get through it together and come out the other side with Spring Training soon after.

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Thinking About Jason Motte

Written by athooks on .

Jason Motte. 

What about Jason Motte?

He was a late season revelation in 2011 that parlayed his opportunity into 42 saves in 2012.

He's also the first winner of the Darryl Kile Award - given and voted on since 2004 by the Cardinals to an inspirational teammate - to not play a single inning in his award winning season. 

By all accounts, this is a dude that you want on your team. Not only good on the field when he's playing, but also a leader inside the clubhouse and outside in the community. He's formed the Jason Motte Foundation to 'Strike Out Cancer' 

Unfortunately, he underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2013 and was usurped by Trevor Rosenthal, who manager Mike Matheny has already tabbed as the closer for 2014. 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Derrick Goold profiled Motte's recovery today

While Mr. Goold's piece portrays Motte's goals as simplistic (get to Spring Training, keep building up strength, take it one throwing session at a time...), the story got me thinking about Jason Motte in a more complicated way.

He's kind of been this little treat we could look forward to indulging in come spring '14. But now that the calendar has turned over and pitchers and catchers are just 6 (or so) weeks from reporting to camp, the realities of Jason Motte's situation with the Cardinals are real.

And they might not be pretty if you're a huge Motte fan.

1) He's trade bait.

Jason Motte is scheduled to make 7.5M dollars in 2014 before hitting free agency after the season. As many platitudes as Mr. Motte wants to espouse, his agent probably isn't as willing to let a contract year go by with a 'whatever happens... happens' approach.

Closer's windows of opportunity are short. And once Motte shows that's he's fully healthy, other teams WILL be interested in seeing if the Cardinals would part ways with him. After all, he's a free agent after the season, a proven closer in the bigs and the kind of guy you want around your team.

The Cardinals don't have a great role for him.

He isn't young enough to be an 'up and comer' type fireman in the bullpen. He wasn't the former closer that's willing to do anything to stay on a MLB roster. He got screwed by an injury. And you better believe that there are several teams that are having conversations internally, waiting to see how this spring plays out.

2) Matheny's track record in the playoffs with pitchers...

The strange "benching" of Shelby Miller and Edward Mujica in the post season doesn't necessarily prove that the Cardinals manager is willing to bury assets to the detriment of his roster... but it does make everyone kind of wonder how he'd find the right role for Motte, assuming that Rosenthal and Martinez handle the 8th and 9th innings.  Will he have Motte on the 25 man roster just t0 be there.

Pragmatically, there are opportunities for innings over the course of 162 games. 

But the Cardinals aren't stretching Motte out to be a long-relief guy. And they aren't going to use him in just mop-up roles, either. Only time will tell what the plan is for Motte, but doesn't it feel like everyone involved is taking a wait and see approach?

The waiting could last into the season. Just like Miller and Mujica found out.

3) No place moving forward.

Even if you believe that the Cardinals and Matheny can find a role for Motte in 2014. 

Even if something happens and Motte closes some games in 2014 and proves to be a wise insurance plan. 

Well...

He's not coming back to the Cardinals in 2015 without taking a huge paycut. Yes, he seems to be a good dude. Yes, the Cardinals are happy with how he's handled a difficult situation. But the byproduct of having a thriving farm system is that sometimes people that you don't want to get squeezed out? 

They do.

Motte still has to prove that he's ready to pitch again. All indications are that he's on track to return to work in the 2014 season. The possibility of something coming up that changes everything written above is out there.

The time we find out what happens is coming soon. And on a team with very few (interesting, at least) storylines heading into the spring... Motte figures to be on everyone's mind. 

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The 6 Biggest CD Posts From 2013

Written by athooks on .

The beauty of the internet is that every move, every click, every action - they're all trackable. 

So when you're looking to mail in a year review column, you can just sort by hits, pick out the top posts and then re-post them to get even more hits.

Everyone wins!

It's time for the Cards Diaspora year in review, a look back on the posts that you made popular throughout the year.

6 seems like the best number to pick to look back on. After all we did lose baseball's perfect knight in 2013, so we'll go with 6. 

As always, thanks for spending any of the free time you have with us at Cards Diaspora.

We honestly appreciate you choosing to do so when there are millions (billions?) of other sites you could go to. 

Here we go... 

6. The Best Profile I've Ever Read

When I saw this made the year end list, i was pretty excited to click on the link, because I honestly had no idea - zero - what this post was about. 

Turns out it was a profile of Ted Williams. And almost 12 months later, I still haven't found a better longform piece that's baseball related. 

I wish I would have credited the person that Tweeted out the link to these 'best of' Esquire pieces, because they are awesome. 

Well worth the read if you missed it earlier this year.

5. Stoney's Denver: An Official Cardinals Bar

A girl I know, but hadn't talked to me prior to her trip, spent some time in Denver this summer. I got on Facebook one day and saw her and her boyfriend taking selfies at... where else... Stoney's. 

They had asked around and people told them that Stoney's was the place that Cardinals fans went to in Denver. So if the flag isn't official enough for you, then having it be the default 'Cardinals' bar that local reference should do the trick.

We packed the place for the World Series in 2011.  

Two years later and The Nation has a stronghold in another major American city.(If you're in NYC, go to Foley's Pub.)

4. Aaron Miles Robbery Story Comes To TV!

Aaron Miles will ALWAYS be a legend with this site for his manliness. So when friend of the site John Bucher sent in this h/t about his real life story getting the TV treatment? 

I. Was. Stoked.

Turns out from the hits, that you were too. Anyone actually see this on TV? It simply can't be as awesome as how I picture everything played out in our heads.

3. Ozzie Smith Gold Glove Bobblehead Night?

One of the most popular posts of 2012 was 'The Ozzie Smith We Weren't Supposed To See'. If you didn't read it, well, you're not alone. But in a sentence or two, it's just a vent piece about a kid that grew up with some pretty crappy Cardinals teams in the 90's and didn't have much to root for.

So Ozzie's Gold Glove streak was more important to me than it should be. When he put them up for sale, it was kind of a referendum on how much energy I put into talking/thinking about those awards. At least IMO.

When the Cardinals announced that they were doing a special give-a-way night... with an Ozzie Smith Gold Glove bobble head... we had to drudge all this back up again.

2. Saying Goodbye To David Freese

I much preferred this piece after everything was official. 

But I also knew that heading into the playoffs, this was probably going to be it for David Freese as a Cardinal unless he had such a killer post-season that letting him go would lead to a revolt a la 2011.

Even then, I'm not sure it would have been enough to keep him in St. Louis. We'd seen him struggle for long stretches in 2013. We knew that Matt Carpenter would need to be find AB's after an MVP caliber season in 2013. We knew that Kolten Wong would be the second baseman. It all added up to Freese leaving.

Nobody was writing about it, though.

So we put this out there. And most of it held form. It's pretty sad that the World Series run kind of negated a big emotional sendoff for Freese. But he'll be back with the Cardinals when he retires. And we'll always have 2011.

1. Jon Jay, David Freese & College Humor

It produced the biggest number of hits on CardsDiaspora.com in 2013. 

Partly because it was posted on January 1st and had the most days to accumulate that traffic. Partly because this had kind of sat under the radar around Cardinal nation. 

It's a good way to end 2013, though. David Freese reminding us that we're going to miss him on and off the field in 2014. 

Many good things are coming for you in 2014. We hope that you make The CD a part of your new year. 

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Cards Diaspora In Huffington Post (Again)

Written by athooks on .

Dang it.

Totally forgot to promote this when it was actually, you know, relevant. 

It the (now, I guess) annual Sports Festivus 'Airing of Grievances'. And for a second straight year, they asked us what we wanted included on behalf of Cardinal Nation. 

Click the image below to see the whole slide show. And if we get asked back in 2014, we'll post it time appropriately. 

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Merry Christmas 2013

Written by athooks on .

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On The Twelfth Day Of Cardinals Crapmas

Written by athooks on .

It's a Cards Diaspora holiday tradition: the 12 Days of Cardinals Crapmas, where we find the worst items that someone might be tempted to gift. All previous days are linked at the bottom of this post. 

DAY 12

So we made it. 12 days. 12 items. All things you can get online (with one exception to make fun of what the Cardinals consider 'plus size'). 

But the (possibly) best item was saved for last. 

Again, we're not making these up. You can actually go and buy a tin of 2011 World Series cookies from the official St. Louis Cardinals team store right now if you really wanted to. 

Yes, you are reading that right. 2-0-1-1. 

This isn't a celebration of the Cardinals appearance in the 2013 fall classic, it's from 2 YEARS prior. I get it, no good cookie deserves to be tossed out before finding a proper stomach... but 2011? 

I hope (HOPE) that those aren't the same cookies that were in the tin circa 2011. And they probably aren't. Still - how do we find out for sure without having to spend 36.99 plus shipping? 

It'll just have to remain a mystery. A mystery that reminds us once again that professional sports teams will take our love and squeeeeeeeeze every last penny we've got out of our wallet. 

Thanks to @shaw0n for creating the Cardinals Crapmas idea several years ago. And a Merry Christmas to all of you reading. Hopefully Santa brought you one of the hundreds of cool items that we found searching for the crap. 

You can read all of the entries below:

Day 1 HERE | Day 2 HERE | Day 3 HERE | Day 4 HERE | Day 5 HERE | Day 6 HERE

Day 7 HERE | Day 8 HERE | Day 9 HERE | Day 10 HERE | Day 11 HERE

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