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 Post subject: Answers with Brian Gunn
PostPosted: May 26 09, 8:01 am 
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Thanks for the questions everyone. Brian has replied to some of them already via email, and I'll start posting them here as I get them:



Ghostrunner wrote:
What are your favorite Cardinal moments (or favorite players) since you quit writing Redbird Nation in 2005? Any disappointments?


BG: Hi Ghostrunner… My favorite Cardinals moments are probably the same as most Cards’ fans – Pujols’ homer off Lidge, Ankiels’ triumphant return, and of course our run in 2006. Wainwright vs. Beltran was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been while watching a sporting event. I called my dad as Beltran was walking to the plate and I misdialed his number b/c my fingers were literally shaking too much. When Wainwright froze Beltran for the last out the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders.

As for disappointments, oddly enough the winter of 2006 was a bit of a letdown – a little bit of postpartum depression, perhaps, but probably more that the rest of the baseball world seemed so unimpressed by our championship. That was a weird time, and it just continued into 2007 – the awful start, Carpenter missing the season, the death of Hancock, the Encarnacion injury, Spiezio entering rehab. I didn’t expect a ton out of the Cards that season, but I certainly didn’t expect so much darkness.

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On the blog, you had an entry for casting "Redbirds: The Movie." My favorite being Julia Stiles as Scott Rolen. Any new suggestions for the current crop?


How bout these casting choices?

Skip Schumaker: Seann William Scott

Rick Ankiel: Kenny Chesney

Khalil Greene: Jeff Spiccoli (sorry, that’s a gimme)

Chris Duncan: The giant from Disney’s cartoon “Mickey and the Beanstalk”

Ryan Ludwick: Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Adam Wainwright: Pablo Schreiber

Chris Carpenter: John Doe, from the rock band X

Colby Rasmus: Grimace (the McDonald’s character)

Kyle Lohse: Randy Flores

Quote:
I've always thought Curt Flood's bio would make for an interesting film or TV movie. As a screenwriter, are there any stories or published Cardinal-related books you think would make good movie material?


I actually wrote a chapter on Curt Flood for the Maple Street Press’ 2009 Cardinals Annual, which is a terrific book put together by Larry Borowsky (of Viva El Birdos fame).

Code:
EDIT - Thought I'd put a link here for anyone interested in the book. I know we have a lot of fans of Brian and Larry's here. - ghostrunner

http://www.maplestreetpress.com/book.cfm?book_id=45


Flood’s story is fascinating, but it’s so murky and inconclusive that it’d take real writing chops to shape it into a movie.

As for more Cards-related movie material, Halberstam’s October 1964 is a little simplified, but it could make a decent movie. A character study of Rick Ankiel would be interesting. But I most love to see a movie about Chris von der Ahe, the Cards’ owner in the 1880s and ‘90s, an eccentric Barnumesque huckster who supposedly invented the World Series. The dude was bonkers.


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PostPosted: May 26 09, 8:05 am 
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haltz wrote:
Thanks for taking our questions.

One of my favorite pieces of Cardinals writing is something you wrote with Rich Lederer discussing Jim Edmonds. Now that the dust has settled, what are your thoughts on his HOF case? What do you think should happen, and what do you think will happen?


BG: Thanks for the compliment, Haltz. I haven’t properly studied this issue, but my gut tells me that Edmonds falls short for the Hall. Like Rice, Mattingly, and Dale Murphy, his decline was fairly swift, so he doesn’t have those crazy counting stats that Hall voters love.

That said, I don’t think most people realize HOW good he was – probably the best centerfielder of this decade, and just a notch below Snider, Larry Doby, etc.


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PostPosted: May 26 09, 8:10 am 
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docellis wrote:
What Cardinal related websites to you regularly visit and what are your favorites?


BG: I’m afraid to list all the sites I visit for fear of slighting someone, but I will say that I really enjoy reading Dan Moore at Viva El Birdos, Bernie Miklasz and Derrick Goold at the P-D, Pip over at the blog Fungoes, as well as a few others.


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PostPosted: May 26 09, 8:12 am 
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PujolJunkie wrote:
Have there been moments, specifically 2006, where you felt as if you were missing out as far as not blogging goes? And if so, were you ever tempted to begin blogging again during that season or others?


BG: There are only two occasions, PujolJunkie, when I start getting the itch to blog. The first is when I have some nagging question that I wish I had the time to study on my own. For example, I know John Mozeliak is a bright guy who knows infinitely more about baseball than I do, and yet for the life of me I can’t figure out why he decided to scrimp on infield defense when he has a rotation that’s built for keeping the ball down and in play. I’m sure there’s a logic to it, but I wish I had time to explore it.

The other times I get the urge to blog is when all is well in BirdLand. After the Cardinals won it all in 2006, I wrote an article about it for The Hardball Times. The next few days I was flooded with emails from fans sharing their experiences. There was the guy who first saw the Cardinals win it all, in person, in 1946. And the guy who had tickets to the clinching Game 5 but got stuck on a runway in Cleveland, missed his connecting flight, and eventually relied on a woman sitting next to him on the plane (who didn't even know who was playing in the World Series) volunteer to drive him to Busch as soon as they landed – he made it in the 9th inning. Then there was the Orthodox Jew who desperately wanted to go to the game but, b/c he was observing Shabbat and b/c the game took place after sundown on Friday night and b/c the use of mechanical devices was for him forbidden, had to WALK 8 miles to get there.

Those kinds of communal stories abound in the world of blogging, and yes, I miss ‘em.


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PostPosted: May 26 09, 8:14 am 
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New Pagodi wrote:
The team has clearly been trying to use more younger players in recent years. Do you think they'll be able to return to being a perennial postseason team with this strategy? Or do think it will only result in more disappointing seasons?


BG: I’m a big supporter of the youth movement. The Jocketty method – landing big superstars by snookering clueless GMs – simply isn’t possible these days, when nearly every front office has a proper understanding of player valuation. Besides, in this economy (particularly St. Louis’ economy, where the unemployment rate is inching toward 9%) cheaper is better.

Now, as for whether this method will turn us into a perennial playoff team, who knows. I wish our farm system had more Grade-A prospects – we seem to have a large number of B/B+ guys (which is a big improvement on where we were a couple years ago), but, outside of Rasmus, not a lot of next-gen All-Stars. Nevertheless, a decent supporting cast can go a long way as long as the Cards stick to their highest priority, i.e., resigning Pujols before ’12.


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PostPosted: May 26 09, 8:15 am 
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maddash wrote:
Brian, can you give us your thoughts on what role the internet (specifically blogs) can play in the career of an author, or screenwriter, or sportswriter. Have you run into fellow writers who have parlayed a successful blog into having their script picked up, or manuscript published?

Simply put, does Brian Gunn put Redbird Nation on his resume?


BG: Good question, maddash. I don’t have a résumé when I go up for screenwriting jobs, and even if I did I doubt Redbird Nation would help much with it. Nevertheless, the best way to become a writer is to start writing, and the best way to get someone to read your stuff – especially if you’re outside traditional publishing channels – is to post it online. You look at someone like Joe Sheehan (who began posting on news groups before landing a gig at Baseball Prospectus) or Bill Simmons (who started as a Boston blogger and is now perhaps the most widely read sportswriter on earth) and you wonder how (or if) they’d ever have a career pre-Internet.


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PostPosted: May 26 09, 8:23 am 
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More answers to come later....


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PostPosted: May 27 09, 3:22 pm 
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ghostrunner wrote:
New Pagodi wrote:
The team has clearly been trying to use more younger players in recent years. Do you think they'll be able to return to being a perennial postseason team with this strategy? Or do think it will only result in more disappointing seasons?


BG: I’m a big supporter of the youth movement. The Jocketty method – landing big superstars by snookering clueless GMs – simply isn’t possible these days, when nearly every front office has a proper understanding of player valuation. Besides, in this economy (particularly St. Louis’ economy, where the unemployment rate is inching toward 9%) cheaper is better.

Now, as for whether this method will turn us into a perennial playoff team, who knows. I wish our farm system had more Grade-A prospects – we seem to have a large number of B/B+ guys (which is a big improvement on where we were a couple years ago), but, outside of Rasmus, not a lot of next-gen All-Stars. Nevertheless, a decent supporting cast can go a long way as long as the Cards stick to their highest priority, i.e., resigning Pujols before ’12.


This is quite true.


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PostPosted: June 1 09, 7:39 am 
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JL21 wrote:
Brian,

What is PG Porn? (i.e. when did it air, where did it air, etc...). Is it as hilarious as it sounds?

Looking in the crystal ball, what do you see moving forward for the Cardinals organization in terms of success, development, etc...?


BG: Hi JL21. PG Porn is actually MORE hilarious than it sounds.

No, honestly – PG Porn is a side project, a series of comedy shorts that I developed with my brothers James and Sean. It’s basically pornography for people who like everything about porn – the acting, the storylines, the cinematography – except the sex. You can see episodes here:

http://www.spike.com/hub/pgporn


The Cards should continue to produce serviceable big-league players, which is a vast improvement over where they were a few years ago, and Jeff Luhnow deserves a lot of credit for that. What they need to work on is developing more high-ceiling prospects. Right now we have a lot of guys (particularly pitchers) who are high on reliability but low on the stud factor. Compare that to, say, the Brewers in recent years (with Braun, Gamel, Gallardo) or the Reds (with Bruce, Votto, etc.) and you can see where our pipeline is falling short.


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PostPosted: June 1 09, 7:42 am 
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planet pujolsian wrote:
Brian, have you been able to spend time with any present or former Cardinals? Any impressions or funny anecdotes you could share?



BG: Unfortunately, planet pujolsian, I’ve never spent a decent amount of time with any Cardinals. I do, however, have a friend who was an usher at Busch for years, and he has countless stories to tell, most of which I can’t print here. But he does remember Pedro Guerrero having gold-tipped shoelaces delivered to his locker just before game time. Also Willie McGee saying “hey man, thanks, OK” – all the time, no matter what anyone else said, no matter the situation. His favorite players were Ozzie Smith (genuinely nice), Terry Pendleton (ditto), and Dan Quisenberry (he’d walk past the ushers with a friend and have fake conversations where he’d say, really loud, “Yeah, my spitter was f**cking awesome tonight!”). Biggest jerks, in his opinion: Mark Clark, Bernard Gilkey, Gregg Jefferies.


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