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When Brenden first approached me about writing for The Intrepid STL, my one request was if I were to come on board, I didn’t want any writers worse than me.

That was the appeal of my old home, Redbird Daily, along with getting the chance to write with the estimable John Nagel (@CardinalsFarm). Before I set out to go to The Intrepid, I wanted to know I could be part of a team that I completely respected. That was the standard John set up at Redbird Daily, and that’s what I wanted to keep. If there was going to be any sort of embarrassment by association, I was going to be that embarrassment, dammit.

So you can imagine what I said to Brenden when I found out that he might be recruiting THE Joe Schwarz (@stlcupofJoe) to our team.

I sat back amazed, excited, thrilled, and slowly typed “You better not be paying him you Jonas-haired little asshole runt.”

When I was assured again that Brenden is far closer to being homeless than being able to afford to spend a single penny on a writer, I started thinking of just how cool it was that I was going to be on a team with Joe.

Let me tell you a story about Joe that you probably don’t know.

Joe was in Pittsburgh recently when he saw a woman contemplating suicide on the city’s famed Roberto Clemente Bridge.

“I saw her put one leg up on the railing, and obviously that grabbed my attention,” Joe told CNN’s Brook Baldwin

Recognizing the woman’s intentions, the Illinois native said he calmly approached, and ultimately reached out to prevent her leap.

“I put both arms around her, and I just started talking to her, and I said, ‘Why don’t you come back on this side.'”

OK, so that wasn’t actually Joe. That was MLB umpire John Tumpane, and that entire section was plagiarized from this article.

Still, I’m certain that Joe, a pharmacist by day, would have recommended a reliable knee brace to her had she survived the fall.

The point is, even though I don’t know Joe personally, I’m sure he’s a pretty good guy.

A pretty good guy, a fantastic writer, and – and I don’t say this lightly – an MLB worthy analyst.

I don’t have the vocabulary to describe Joe’s pitching analysis. I tried to look up synonyms for “exciting,” but one of them was “orgasmic” and, well, I got distracted and started looking up other things.

Still, and I mean this authentically, can you think of someone who is better at blending data analysis with real live scouting observations (non-Pain Guy division of course)? Joe can watch a pitcher throw, recognize trends, find those trends in the data, and explain them in such a way that it is easily understandable to a simpleton like me. It amazes me every time.

Joe writes articles for we plebes that organizations should be paying for and studying. I write articles with fart jokes for 13 year olds. It would be seriously emasculating if not for penis size.

I want you to consider how exciting this is.

We have Joe Schwarz, the premier pitching expert in the blogosphere.

We have Zach Gifford, whose groundbreaking work with Statcast data has been praised by some of the biggest names in the St. Louis media.

We have John Nagel, the most trusted source for Cardinals minor league analysis on the internet.

We have Brenden Schaeffer, the premier up and coming St. Louis sports writer, seamlessly blending traditional and new media.

We have me, doing whatever it is I do, playing drums in the background, acting as the Ringo.

And we have the Oquendo, the secret weapon, CardinalsGifs, who can seemingly take any strange demand on short notice and produce a cool and unique graphic almost instantly. (You guys also have no clue how many fantastic ideas and concepts he comes up with).

With this team you can feel the energy. I mean hell, I hate this stuff and even I am energized. The future was already exciting, and now with Joe on board, it feels like a powerhouse of content is about to be unleashed. I cannot tell you how elated I am not just to be working alongside these guys, but actually collaborating together, producing results that are greater than any one of us could bring alone.

So even though Brenden did not keep his promise about housing no writers worse than me, I’m still delighted to be the one to introduce Joe as a member of our team. We hope you’re pumped up about what this means. I can guarantee you we are. There is something special here that I sincerely hope to be a part of for a long, long time.

Unless VEB accepts me to fill their vacancy.