Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

All Yankees, all the time

Looking for my writing? Check out River Ave. Blues, the new home of my baseball writings on the Internet. Good stuff.

An airplane flight

Nothing new today. Just got in on a late flight from Florida. I’ll be bringing you four new columns starting Tuesday night. This week, I’ll start previewing the season. I’ll have a book review, and I’ll follow up on those announcements I talked about last week.

Happy Presidents’ Day

There’s nothing brewing here today, folks. Sorry about that. Join me this week starting Tuesday for a look at Cuban baseball from various angles. I’ll explore the popularity of Cuban béisbol on the island and Cuba and the WBC. Meanwhile, for those of you with a day off, enjoy the Presidents’ Day holiday.

Stark’s blog not really a depature from anything

As part of their expanded coverage for the 2006 baseball season, ESPN.com introduced two new blogs today. Regular contributors Peter Gammons and Jayson Stark got their very own slice of the web behind the Insider wall.

Stark’s blog was so unique, I feel compelled to give it the Fire Joe Morgan treatment. While I enjoy some of Stark’s Rumblings and Grumblings columns, I can’t help but think that ESPN may not have given Stark a choice in this blogging matter. Let’s take a look.

Well, this is it. A lifelong dream realized.

Finally, I’ve arrived. I’m a blogger.

It’s really not that hard to start a blog these days, Jayson. Color me skeptical, but this sounds slightly sarcastic. Not a great way to win over your target audience: Other bloggers.

OK, so technically, it wasn’t a “lifelong” dream. But only because it’s hard to dream, as a youth, of something you only heard of until, like, six months ago.

So “dream” wouldn’t really work here, either. Would it? “Hallucinate” is probably a more applicable term.

But those technicalities don’t matter now, because it’s time. Time to blog.

So, like, six months ago, I was totally browsing the Internet, and I, like, came across this weblog thing. And I realized people called it, like, a blog for short. And OMG, did you know that some of these people have been blogging since, like, 2002.

Now seriously, a journalist for ESPN covering baseball ought to know by now that baseball blogs are widely popular. Even I’ve been blogging on various sites for over two years now, and some baseball blogs are among the most popular sites on the Internet. These blogs have fostered incredible discussions and some incredibly in-depth analyses of the game. They’ve even launched a career or two. Baseball writing can extend beyond Useless Information into, well, Useful Information.

We have plenty of serious blogging going on at ESPN.com. So it’s my intention to make this blog a little different. A little lighter. Possibly even borderline goofy some days.

This is, after all, a sport most of us love, or at least follow, for fun. So my goal is to make this fun. And to get you involved when that seems possible. Those invitations aren’t in the mail yet, however. So more on that later.

Oooh. That’s good. The ever-popular “more on that later” line. That’s the second time in two days Stark has pulled that one off. (The first was in his column announcing a blog.) Meanwhile, for someone who hadn’t heard of a blog, like, six months ago, he seems to know that ESPN has blogs. Funny thing too because Stark’s colleague Buster Olney has been blogging on ESPN since June. That was…let’s see…8 months ago. Surely, Stark new about this.

Meanwhile, it took only six “paragraphs,” but Stark finally told us what his blog is going to be about. It’s a look at the lighter and borderline goofy side of baseball. Now, where have I heard this one before? Oh right. It’s his column – Useless Information – that he seems to pen two or three times a week during the regular season. Could it be that Stark’s blog will just be his regular writing on a so-called blog and for a charge? Is ESPN pulling a fast one on its loyal readers? Tricky, tricky.

Stark goes on in the blog to talk about some Useless Information. He discusses odd clauses in player contracts and ends with a stat on closers who inherited the fewest runners. In the end, it reads like just another Jayson Stark column: one paragraph sentences, some random information, and a trivia-like stat. I can’t say I expected better.

Stark, and to a lesser extent Peter Gammons, have a tough act to follow. Now that he has put the productive outs debacle behind him, Olney and his blogging have emerged as must-read writing for the baseball community. Olney’s site serves as a clearinghouse for baseball information. He features on story usually culled from his extensive Major League Baseball contacts and then provides links to the important and sometimes obscure stories in the media. During the regular season, he doesn’t link to game coverage but rather to the news behind the scenes. It’s a great resource.

Gammons fits nicely into the blogging culture. This off-season, Gammons produced more columns than ever before. While he isn’t as critical as he could be considering his depth of knowledge, he has acknowledge the good work available on baseball blogs throughout the Internet. By releasing just a few tidbits of gossip, Gammons-style, every day, his blog could develop an extensive readership.

But this Stark venture has me confused. His style and scope are better off in column format. Unless he is going to offer something new to his readers, his blog will be just mirrors of his columns, and it won’t be nearly as vital a read as Olney’s blog has become. In my opinion, Stark didn’t get off on the right foot, but maybe he’ll get better. It’s really all about offering unique content and making people think, and Stark’s first blog post didn’t really do either.

MLB.com’s MLBlogs tries a corporate approach to baseball blogging

The cyber-world of baseball blogs has become a very successful cottage industry over the past few years. Baseball blogging is, by far, the most vibrant of any sports blogging community. In fact, baseball blogging seems to rival political blogging in terms of its popularity.

This revolution in amateur commentary and analysis has brought about a growing awareness of cutting-edge statistical analysis in assessing players and teams. It’s tough to imagine the Moneyball Era without popular bloggers and Baseball Prospectus leading the way. I think it’s safe to say that the increased attention paid to baseball and all facets of the game is one of the greatest stories illustrating the benefits of the Internet.

Today, baseball blogging gained yet another measure of legitimacy as MLB.com announced the creation of MLBlogs.com, a pay-per-blog service established by Major League Baseball to create a more interactive community under the auspices of MLB’s Web site. For $4.95 a month or for $49.95 a year, potential bloggers get a site address of http://something.mlblogs.com, and they have the opportunity to sound off on the game.

For MLB.com, this represents another example of the site rushing headlong into the Internet’s unknown future. MLB.com already has the best real-time game-tracker on the Web. They have long offered fans the opportunity to listen to every game of every day for a flat rate of $14.95 for the season. And last year, they introduced MLB.tv, giving fans the chance to watch many games online for only $79.95 for the entire year. This is cutting-edge exploitation of the Internet’s multimedia capabilities.

I wonder, though, if Major League Baseball may be overestimating the potential of blogging. While baseball blogging is pervasive on the Internet, the idea of paying for a blog may not appeal to many casual bloggers. Those that are interested in paying for a blog have already purchased their own domain spaces.

One of the best aspects of blogging is how the only cost is time on the part of the blogger. If I were to use Blogger, as I have done in the past, then I would be blogging for free. Many popular baseball sites are hosted on Blogger. Considering their popularity, these sites wouldn’t gain much from a move to a pay-per-year blogging service.
A quick glance through MLBlogs.com reveals a service trying to address two distinct ideas. First is the one I’ve already mentioned. Major League Baseball wants this new site to develop into a blogging community for fans. Whether this can be successfully accomplished while charging a fee is up in the air. The second function is more in the spirit of other corporate blogs such as those hosted by major media outlets. MLBlogs.com will provide baseball figures with blogging spaces of their own.

In introducing MLBlogs.com, MLB.com’s Mark Newman wrote about some of the more prominent baseball officials and personnel joining MLBlogs.com. Included in this group are Tommy LaSorda, Brewers broadcaster Daron Sutton, and a groundskeeper. The site also features blogs from many of MLB.com’s reporters.

For me, these blogs are the draw of the new site. Hopefully, these “celebrity” blogs will contain interesting insights into the way the game is played and manage. Those of us who blog from the outside looking in often do not recognize the complex economic equations that baseball teams must consider when constructing a team. We don’t have the behind-the-scenes look at baseball that these baseball guys may share with us.

I don’t think MLBlogs.com will be a financial success in the same way that MLB.tv or Gameday Audio is. I think bloggers still like the opportunity to blog for free or on their own domains. I’ll tune in to MLBlogs though to see what those baseball insiders have to say about the sport, and I hope these new venture adds to the already-vibrant discussions that take place within the baseball blogging community.


RSS River Ave. Blues

  • Yanks can’t cash in with runners on base, lose 2-1 to Pirates April 24, 2017
    Source: FanGraphs Well, that game could have gone a lot better. Jordan Montgomery didn’t have the best showing but limited the damage to 2 runs in 6 IP, which is pretty solid. Bryan Mitchell got out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam and tossed another scoreless to keep the Yankees close, but the offense went silent […] The post Yanks can’t cash in with runners o […]
    Sung-Min Kim
  • DotF: Gregorius continues rehab assignment in Tampa’s loss April 24, 2017
    The Yankees announced their first notable prospect promotion of the season earlier today: RHP Albert Abreu has been bumped up from Low-A Charleston to High-A Tampa. The team’s No. 9 prospect had a 1.84 ERA (2.54 FIP) with 22 strikeouts and three walks in three outings and 14.2 innings with the RiverDogs. Abreu, who came […] The post DotF: Gregorius continues […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Sunday Open Thread April 23, 2017
    Your browser does not support iframes.Here is an open thread for the rest of the weekend. The Mets and Nationals are the ESPN Sunday Night Game (Wheeler vs. Scherzer), plus there’s a whole bunch of NBA and NHL playoff games on throughout the afternoon and evening. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s loss, or anything […] The post Sunday Open Thread appe […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Game 18: Nova vs. Nova’s replacement April 23, 2017
    This afternoon’s series finale against the Pirates features a matchup of last year’s fifth starter and this year’s fifth starter. Well, technically Ivan Nova opened last season in the bullpen, but it didn’t take long for him to return to the rotation. Jordan Montgomery started this season in the minors, and like Nova last year, […] The post Game 18: Nova vs. […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Judging from the Start April 23, 2017
    Aaron Judge, huh? Okay, guys, thanks for reading! Check back next week for…something else…and enjoy whatever show Judge’s gonna put on for the next week. Despite Chase Headley‘s heroics and Starlin Castro‘s hot start, the hands-down, no doubt about it, bonafide best thing about the Yankees in April of 2017 has been Aaron Judge. He’s […] The post Judging from […]
    Matt Imbrogno
  • DotF: Frazier homers, Gregorius continues rehab assignment April 23, 2017
    OF Blake Rutherford made SportsCenter’s top ten plays yesterday. He flipped over the wall making a catch in foul territory. The video is above. Hopefully that’s not the last time we see Rutherford on the top ten, eh? Triple-A Scranton (1-0 win over Indianapolis) SS Tyler Wade: 0-4, 1 BB — in a little 1-for-15 […] The post DotF: Frazier homers, Gregorius cont […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Carter’s clutch homer helps Yanks to an 11-5 win over Pirates April 22, 2017
    Source: FanGraphs Well that was a wild one, huh? Look at that win probability graph up there. The Yankees went from being no-hit in the fifth inning to having two five-run innings by the eighth. The end result was an 11-5 win over the Pirates in the middle game of the series. It’s Saturday, so […] The post Carter’s clutch homer helps Yanks to an 11-5 win ove […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Game 17: Still no DH April 22, 2017
    Four days ago the Yankees lost to the White Sox to snap their eight-game winning streak. They rebounded the next day with a blowout win. Last night the Yankees dropped the series opener to the Pirates due in part to some sloppy defense. How will they rebound today? Hopefully with another blowout win. That’ll be […] The post Game 17: Still no DH appeared firs […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Saturday Links: Top 50 Prospects, Cabrera, Forbes, Uniforms April 22, 2017
    The Yankees and Pirates will resume their three-game series with the middle game later this afternoon. Until then, here are a few bits of news and notes to check out. Three Yankees on Law’s updated top 50 prospects list I missed this last week, but Keith Law (subs. req’d) posted an updated list of the […] The post Saturday Links: Top 50 Prospects, Cabrera, F […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Bad pitching, bad defense send Yankees to 6-3 loss to Pirates April 22, 2017
    Source: FanGraphs Blah, that was a clunker of a series opener. A little of this (bad pitching), a little of that (bad defense), and a little of everything in between (0-for-7 with runners in scoring position) sent the Yankees to a 6-3 loss to the Pirates in Friday night’s series opener. Have I mentioned I […] The post Bad pitching, bad defense send Yankees t […]
    Mike Axisa

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