February 2007

Around the Sphere


Wanted to welcome a few new Major League players to the MLBlogosphere:

Curtis Granderson, Tigers center fielder
CJ Wilson, Rangers reliever
JA Happ, Phillies pitching prospect

All three are in their respective camps at Spring Training and posting the occasional blog. Please be sure to leave them lots of comment love. Grandy (pictured above) is going to answer a couple of fan questions for each post, and click the email link at the bottom of his post to get one asked (as opposed to a comment question). Only the emailed questions might be answered.

Be sure to read CJ’s post about why he blogs. Hope other players read that.

Big Nate Chew said he’s about ready to crank his MLBlog up again as well. J-Rod was the first player to resume blogging from camp. We’ll have lots more this season…

For something special, see Curt Smith’s new blog post that he just saved today. He has been writing the definitive Mel Allen book, and there are a lot of Yankee fans as well as baseball fans in general who should read Curt’s latest blog entry in Voices of the Game. We’re very proud to have Curt as part of this community; he’s known to a lot of NPR listeners, has been a presidential speechwriter, has written lots of great baseball books, and gets the blogging thing….

Our own Corey Brock didn’t have to go far for his new MLBlogging gig. He covered the Seattle Mariners last season. They share the same Spring Training area as the San Diego Padres, and that’s his new beat. So all we had to do was tweak his template and links, delete the old Mariner posts, and voila, he’s now in business as our latest Padres blogger….

James T. Russell didn’t understand what it meant when a ball rolled between Bill Buckner’s legs in 1986. But he does now. Catch his new MLBlog, A Mets Fan’s Perspective. Nice intro. Lots more new MLBlogs in general, as again it is heating up for peak signup time. Everyone is blogging about a world champion, everyone has a team full of All-Stars and MVP/Cy Young candidates. Even those Cub fans, and our man Jesse Sanchez says they will fall in love with Cesar Izturis (pictured).

Spread the word about MLBlogs to all your fellow baseball fans. It’s a community linked in from the main navbar on MLB.com and 30 MLB club sites, not to mention mlbplayers.com, which we operate at MLBAM — so unmatched distribution of potential audience. It’s a chance to put legal MLB marks on your Internet space without being flagged! It’s a chance to blog alongside Grandy and Tommy and broadcasters and the MLB.com Fantasy 411 guys and so many diverse fans who all share a passion for the greatest game on Earth. This is what blogs were made for!!!

Think no one could top The Baseball Collector? Well, a mighty MLBlogs welcome to The Ultimate Baseball Collector! Chris is off to a great start.

Remember to post updates here as comments whenever you want and make sure to include your MLBlog’s URL. That’ll prompt more people to discover or rediscover you. I don’t know about you, but it was awesome to see basic news out of Spring Training today such as Phil Garner talking about how hitters seemed to have an approach and how Brad Lidge looked good. We’re talking baseball again! Now let’s bring on some games.

Remembering “Mad Dog”

Dave Cadwell was known to many in the MLBlogs community for much of our first two years as the person behind the Yankee blog Mad Dog Reports and Maddog’s World Cup Reports during soccer’s big 2006 event. We are sad to report that Dave passed away last month. His fiancee, Michele Brickner, emailed to see if we could provide a copy of Dave’s interview on the MLB.com "Under the Lights" radio show that is still archived with others on the MLBlogs.com homepage — so that Dave’s surviving children can hear his voice whenever they need to. It was a good voice, and a friendly and spirited one to all of us around here. And that voice is missed.

Michele just emailed us the following that we thought everyone should see:

"I got the file, and it was wonderful hearing his voice again. And I am sure that his kids will feel the same way. You are more than welcome to mention Dave’s passing to the blog community. He died on January 13, 2007 from a heart attack. If you would like, you can mention the memorial website I am creating. It is not done yet, but it will be complete by March 13, 2007. The address is http://dave-cadwell.last-memories.com. Blogging brought Dave such pleasure (we were even trying to use it to get him into sports writing). Thank you for all your help."

Our condolences to Michele and Dave’s family.

Hats off to MLBloggers

I wrote this article tonight on the MLB.com homepage about our new 39THIRTY and 59FIFTY caps (coming in mid-March to the Shop) from New Era, and it will be interesting to see what MLBloggers have to say about the new authentics that players are wearing now around Spring Training and soon in meaningful games. The game cap will be 100 percent polyester so say goodbye to a long history of wool. The BP cap is 68 percent poly and 32 percent wool. Lots of players love them, some players don’t. One thing I have learned about being around MLB for a long time now is that any change means widely different reactions. In this case, the most important thing is that the new caps already have proven their vapor/moisture management on the fields of Spring Training, so paramount is how it helps the athletes. I happen to be a long distance runner in marathon training now, and just 2 months ago I learned the meaning of the word "wicking" for the first time after asking another runner. I think these are pretty amazing changes to the old baseball cap. Anyone have one yet?

It’s cool to see familiar MLBloggers spring back to life lately. Take Scott Reifert, the White Sox VP of Communications who revolutionized professional sports communication by becoming the first team exec to maintain a daily blog for a large populace, thus filtering out the Chicago media. He’s back for his third season of bloging. Take Kenns Korner. (Apostrophe not his.) Or Kyle Farnsworth is my Bodyguard. And then consider all these new and positively unique blogs that are popping up in the Rookies list on the MLBlogs.com homepage. Like Nick the Twins Fan, who just predicted that his team will be the team to beat in the American League. And the funny thing about that is, even with Brad Radke retired and Francisco Liriano out for the year, one can look at how unpredictable this era is and not find Nick’s view outrageous. Whatever you all are predicting as the majority opinion, let me know so I can be sure to cross that off my list of Fall 2007 possibilities. I am already getting a kick out of the preseason baseball publications, because it is the biggest lock on Earth that whatever most of them are predicting will look really dumb several months from now. No offense to any of them, as I used to work for a baseball magazine (Sporting News). It’s just that this decade is having fun making prognosticators look silly. Repeat after us: Just get your team into the postseason, and then there is no favorite whatsoever.

So right now I’m kind of liking Rangers over Rockies and a huge resurgence by Sammy Sosa under new manager Ron Washington. Mostly, I like Texas because of 100 percent polyester caps that are going to keep players cooler than ever in a hot Arlington summer.

Around the Sphere

If you haven’t gotten in your comments to J-Rod yet, then jump right in. Cardinals outfielder John Rodriguez is the first player to resume MLBlogging after the winter, and he says he is ready for the job battle to come in that Redbird outfield. Nice to have J-Rod back. More players to come. Don’t forget to include your MLBlog’s URL whenever you post a comment anywhere. And while we’re on the subject of Cardinals, MLB.com’s Matthew Leach captures the moment just right.

Please welcome our latest MLBlog from a Major League front office. This one is Friar John’s Blog, taking the padres.mlblogs.com domain. There will be regular updates from the club through that as more MLB teams gradually use this technology as a direct pipeline for two-way communication with fans. No mainstream media as the go-between. It’s also interesting that Padres blogging is starting to come alive around here. It was mostly high and dry through last season for that template, but a few have been started just recently, including San Diego Padres Mom and Padres 7th Inning Stretch News. With Buddy Black at the helm and Greg Maddux and Marcus Giles on the roster, there is more buzz than ever about the Padres going into a season…judging by their recent FriarFest.

What is 1961 Yankee Stadium Replica all about? Just another unique way to make an MLBlog work for you. I’m going to have to go check out the replica over at Mickey Mantle’s.

On a personal note, yesterday was a huge runner’s high. I registered for my first marathon — the 2007 ING New York City Marathon. I appreciate the kind support of friends I have made here over the last couple of years. Got my orange shoelaces and everything. Nov. 4, 26.2 miles, finishing in my little training center called Central Park. Will try to keep a base around 25 miles/wk between now and the All-Star break, when 16-week training would begin. If there are any distance runners in this community, please let me know and maybe we can hook up for a race. I didn’t know that my fellow MLB.com and MLBlogs colleague Jason Beck is a marathoner as well.

Becca the Bullpen Baker has some ticket talk to share with you. Drop by and leave some comment love, and maybe she’ll bake you some cookies!

If anyone is still encountering difficulties in getting past the URL creation screen in trying to start their MLBlogs, we greatly apologize and people are still looking into possible causes. That one apparently has been baffling, and it doesn’t come at a great time with Spring Training opening and everyone at full tilt. I’m sure we can help people out so hang in there if that includes you and sorry.

Sometimes our former intern Herbie says it best.

Please be on the lookout Wednesday for my Valentine’s Day story on the MLB.com homepage and most Club.com homepages. I guarantee you it will be something special to blog about and we will have some fun with it on the MLBlogs.com homepage that day. In fact, if anyone wants to get some nice PR for their MLBlog, go ahead and blog now about why you love the greatest game in the world. And you will recognize one blogger from here in my story, whose help we appreciate.

Everyone have a great Valentine’s Day here from MLBlogs!

Baseball is almost here

First of all, our new friend Scott just left this comment about three posts down on this here community blog, so might as well get it front-and-center:

there… I didn’t really know where this fit in, but I wanted to let
you know about a brand new blog that is going to focus on the lovable
losers from Tampa, the D-Rays (as well as delve into other
baseball-related topics)…



Please be sure to welcome him and all other Rookies (listed on the MLBlogs.com homepage) to the Sphere. Nothing better than some comment love, right?

This is the time of year when the number of new blogs are about to shoot way up. Everyone’s team has the hope of a World Series title. Then the standings start to get real, and a little more real, and then we’re left with a bunch of bloggers who have the patience of 162 games or love what they see so far or are just really hardcore baseball fans. We love you guys.

No news to announce yet, but there are going to be some dramatic enhancements to the community and consumer content space at MLB.com. It’s going to be the most fun year ever. Everything you can imagine, pretty much count on it or share whatever you see missing as the year goes along. Some of it may be gradual. Just imagine a 2007 World Series where all fans are producing and sharing video and pics and truly a part of the in-crowd. We’ll keep you posted here.

Who’s going to be blogging live from Spring Training? Let us know. Please invite fellow fans here as well. It all starts next week…baseball is almost here again. An MLBlog also is a cool way to share and chronicle everything about your fantasy draft for other league members.

Nice to see the Royals using their Around the Horn in KC MLBlog to take everyone inside their ongoing Royals 2007 Fantasy Camp. The Mets created one for their recent fantasy camp as well and loaded it with some cool pictures for the participants to share.

Barry Zito will be blogging again soon here. I’ve never seen any pro athlete match what he did last October, when he blogged right there in the A’s clubhouse immediately after he outdueled Johan Santana to start off the postseason. The new Giants ace still will be right at home around the Bay Area’s bloggerati. Stay tuned for that one and many more.

Spheroid: Bruce Markusen’s Cooperstown Confidential

ClementebookMany people around baseball already are very familiar with Bruce Markusen, a noted baseball author who I first got to know when he was working for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. But with so many new folks around the MLBlogosphere and more to come, here is a more proper introduction to the author of Bruce Markusen’s Cooperstown Confidential. We thank him for taking the time to send us his nine questions as the latest featured Spheroid here:

1. Why do you blog?

As an author and writer, I have this obsessive urge to put my thoughts down on paper, hopefully in an orderly and coherent manner. With blogging, I specifically like the ability to react to stories on the spot, rather than having to wait every week or every other week, as some columnists have to do.

2. What was your favorite post?

I’d have to point to the tribute I wrote to Moe Drabowsky after he passed away last year. He was such a great baseball character, with an incredibly creative array of practical jokes. Drabowsky gave me great material to work with, so writing that post wasn’t nearly as difficult as some other posts I’ve worked on.

3. What is the strangest blogging experience you’ve ever had?

To be honest, I can’t really think of any. A recent post I did on YES Network writer Steven Goldman has been controversial and stirred some surprisingly angry response, but I wouldn’t call it strange.

4. Favorite blogs, including at least one at MLBlogs:

I enjoy Baseball Toaster, which has a variety of blogs, from Bronx Banter to The Griddle. There’s a nice variety there. At MLB, I like Bucco Blog (since I like the Pirates) and also check out The Rumor Mill from time to time. I also like to read up on the other bloggers from Cooperstown, like Dan Holmes and Dale Petroskey.

5. What would you be doing if you weren’t blogging?

Probably taking a nap, or watching more television than I should. In other words, very unproductive things.

6. Where do you think the blogosphere is going?

That’s a tough question. The volume of blogging today is incredible. My guess would be that some people will tire from it, especially if they don’t receive the desired amount of feedback, leaving only the most popular blogs standing.

7. Favorite team and why?

I’ve been a Yankee fan since before I can remember. My family tells me that as a baby, I used to stand in front of the TV watching Yankee games, and when Mantle came to the plate, I would start freaking out, jumping up and down hysterically. I don’t remember that, so I’ll have to take their word for it.

8. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

A lot of people know that I worked at the Hall of Fame, but not a lot know that I hosted a sports talk show for nearly 10 years. I think broadcasting — doing interviews and taking calls — is my real strength.

9. Happiness is . .

My wife and daughter being healthy and happy — and the Yankees returning to the World Series.

Want to be a Spheroid? Email us your responses to those nine questions with "Spheroid" in the subject and we’ll do our best to post it so we can help promote your MLBlog.

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