May 2008

Another MLBlogger on MLB.com

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Congrats to Marc Hershberg for being the latest in a growing line of MLBloggers to get MLB.com bylines, one of the perks of blogging here. The yellow checkmarks are examples of the kind of play he just got. As you can see from this screenshot on the current iteration of the Dodgers.com homepage (a huge audience), there is a full mediawall panel devoted to his review of the new Dodgers 1988 World Series Collector’s Edition Boxed DVD Set available now at the MLB.com Shop. That panel also links to his very own MLBlog, and we also linked to it from the tagline of his article. His review also is in the headline stack on the first screen of that page, above “Hip surgery performed on Dodgers’ Abreu.” Marc was among those who responded to my “call for content” — and we will keep doing that every so often as DVDs keep showing up on my desk from my colleagues upstairs at MLB Productions. His “payment” was keeping that DVD set valued at $70 and an MLB.com byline for his clip file.

As you can see from one of my recent posts here, I am still interested in finding someone to review the equivalent DVD set for the Diamondbacks’ 2001 championship season. It’s just sitting here on my desk next to my phone, collecting dust. Fortunately none of my colleagues or cleaning crew people has swiped it yet. Email me with “Dbacks Review” in the Subject line if interested, and I am looking for someone who maintains a credible Dbacks MLBlog. Someone is going to be the next MLBlogger with an MLB.com byline.

We have been doing this for about a year now and so far it seems like a successful experiment. It’s a win for us because we get good content; it’s a win for MLB Productions because it sells their DVDs; it’s a win for bloggers because they have bylined articles on one of the Internet’s largest destinations; it’s a win for other fans because they get to see why to buy the DVDs; etc. And it just feels like the right thing to do as blogging becomes more mainstreamed; who knows where this experiment will go.

Mark/MLB.com

Hall of Fame Class of 2012 vs. 1936

The ballot for the 2012 Hall of Fame Class could include:

Craig Biggio (retired)
Mike Piazza (retired)
Roger Clemens (limbo)
Barry Bonds (limbo)
Sammy Sosa (no idea)

Statistically speaking, it would be the greatest Hall of Fame class since the first:

Ty Cobb
Walter Johnson
Christy Mathewson
Babe Ruth
Honus Wagner

Speaking as a Lifetime Honorary member of the Baseball Writers Association of America who votes each December, I say let’s just throw Pete Rose onto the ballot for 2012 as well (in place of Sosa, a doubtful first-balloter) so we can make it a legit five-on-five and let everyone have at it.

You would match up Bonds again Ruth, Clemens against Johnson, Rose against Cobb. Mathewson and Piazza both basked in the big-city limelight, both dominating over a long period, so we’ll pair those two. That leaves primary infielders Biggio (2,850 games, 291 homers, .281, 414 steals) and Wagner (2,787 games, 101 homers, .329, 722 steals).

Could be fun. Give me five years to let all the he-said/she-saids play out, see if anything changes with Charlie Hustle in a half-decade, and just imagine what it could be like with Clemens and Piazza together in Cooperstown for a whole loving weekend.

Looking forward to your blogs about the whole subject, now that Piazza has walked away for good.

Jon Lester No-hitter Posts

We have aggregated a lot of the Red Sox Nation bloggers in the main mediawall panel at MLBlogs.com, and feel free to comment here with your Permalink or main MLBlog URL so that others can find it. Also remember to put “Jon Lester” and “no-hitter” in the tag field of a post like that, so that anyone who does a tag search for those terms might find you. Some Sox fans like Arielle already mentioned it in the previous post’s comments here so scan through. Congrats to Lester and it has been a steady stream of unique MLBlogger analysis in the Most Recent Activity feed on our MLBlogs main page all last night and all today. One day soon that no doubt will be wedded more closely in various ways to our main MLB.com coverage…kind of inevitable, no? You sure didn’t need a BBWAA pass or media credential and a Fenway seat to be able to immediately write about it and have a large audience. The world sure has changed from when I was at Indiana University journalism school and newspapers ruled. I don’t think I have read a print newspaper in this calendar year yet, with the possible exception of occasionally curiously looking at a NY Times Sunday Book Review section at a Starbucks or on the lobby floor of my apartment. . . . “MLB is on the cusp of a new era,” writes the Boston University journalism student in an interesting debut post at The Truth. Yes, that blogger went with the Yankees template. So, do you agree that Joba should be able to show whatever emotion he wants after a big out in the eighth? Leave your comments there and welcome a rookie. … In case you have not found it yet, welcome the new Beat the Streak Report maintained by our fantasy staff at MLB.com. Considering the massive number of people entered in that ongoing contest and the chance to win $1 million this year, it is a given that it will have a major audience. They are waiting to answer your questions/comments on that blog so take advantage of it! … If you go to Yankee Stadium, pick up a copy of the monthly Yankees Magazine. There’s a cover story about player blogs including all the great ones here at MLBlogs, like Bengie Molina, with quotes from yours truly. … Our friend Murray Cook, MLB’s head groundskeeping consultant and one the original MLBloggers who launched on the same day this whole area did, just blogged from China about the impact of the earthquake tragedy there. I’m headed there to cover the entire Summer Olympics and am curious myself what the mood will be after that disaster. … Speaking of Olympics, Tommy just addressed the U.S. Water Polo team. … Guess you noticed that Mark DeRosa chose a permanent title for his MLBlog: The Pulse. – Mark/MLB.com

Favorite MLB Moment

I know we’ve done the Most Memorable Moments (Ripken 1, Gibson 2, etc) thing at MLB in recent years, but after watching Manny’s unbelievable Lambeau Leap/double play he pulled off today in Baltimore I was just wondering what your favorite MLB moment was. Something that unquestionably just sticks out, might not be the most famous moment, just personally unforgettable to you. Post yours on your blog and leave the URL here and maybe we can highlight some on MLBlogs.com and have some Manny-like fun with this. Gotta tell you that our entire office here at the MLB headquarters was going crazy and everyone telling colleagues around them to watch it. That is one of the reasons that our MLB.com Mobile Video Alerts are insane-popular so far this year; you are somewhere at work or running an errand and suddenly you get a Video Alert on your mobile phone and you are watching Manny Being Like Manny Never Before. I wrote a story on MLB.com during the last World Series about all the top Manny moments over the years, and I think that has to jump right to the top of the list, don’t you think? Maybe over him going to the bathroom inside the Green Monster during a pitching change and stopping the action.

Also, somewhere out there is the fan who got the high-five from Manny in the home run seats during that double play, and you are most definitely invited to start a blog here and tell us what it was like. Someone find that fan! It wouldn’t be that unusual, as fans in key situations come up with MLBlogs every now and then. Remember Shaun Dean?

Spheroid: Phillies Phollowers

By: Jennifer Zambri-Dickerson
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Why do you blog?
Because the little voices tell me to…OK, well really it all
started when I got tired of shouting all this stuff at the TV and decided to
write it down.  It’s all about channeling the energy into a
productive and happy place!  Well, I guess it is not always happy, but I
try.  My life essentially revolves around the Phillies during baseball
season — I plan literally EVERYTHING around the game schedule, the
special events, I plan trips to away games, etc. So I figured,
between all that, the thousands of photos I take of these guys every year, and
all my constant yapping about the team, I may as well add this blog to my
writing repertoire.

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What was your favorite post?
Well, although it covered a nasty Phillies loss, I am going to have to go with
Foul
Ball Homer + Sloppy Defense = One Ugly Loss
” because any post where I
get to talk about Chase Utley’s pants is just off-the-charts entertaining
to me!

Strangest blogging experience?
I guess the oddest thing would be finding out that fans of teams other than the
Phillies are actually reading my blog.  Even got comments from a few of
them.  That’s kind of fun, because those are true baseball
fans.  My Dad even reads it, and he as a general rule, hates sports. 
Can you imagine?  I swear I must be adopted.

What is your favorite blog, including at least one MLBlog?
Phillies Insider
on MLBlogs, written by Larry Shenk, who was the Phillies VP of Public Relations
since 1964, until going into semi-retirement just this year.  Very
informative blog and full of humor too, which suits his personality well. 
I also like “LadiesDotDotDot.wordpress.com
— which caters specifically to women and is some of the funniest and most
“out there” stuff I’ve ever read.  They pretty much say
whatever they want.

What would you be doing if you weren’t blogging?
In my “other” life, I am a school teacher and a freelance writer
and photographer.  I am almost never without a camera and cannot be pulled
away from watching baseball or photographing baseball.  In the offseason,
you can find me huddled up in a corner, chewing my nails, heart racing and
frantically rambling nonsense to myself in a vain attempt to remain calm until Spring Training begins.

Where do you think the blogosphere is going?
I think eventually, the blog will replace newspapers, just like CDs
replaced cassette tapes, which replaced vinyl albums before that.  I
can’t tell you the last time I looked for news in a paper.  I go
straight to the Internet.  Now, you do need to know where to look for
“reliable” sources and many “blogs” now are not really
that source.  They are more opinion then news.   But in the
future?  Can bloggers become the newspaper reporters of the past
Maybe…who knows?

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Favorite team and why?
The Phillies!  When I was eight, I was playing on a boys
tee-ball team and we were invited to a Phillies game to go out on the field and
shag some balls in front of the crowd.  I had seen Pete Rose on TV and
thought he was a really tough, really determined player…the kind of
player I wanted to be.  So I remember being disappointed that the coach
would not let me play first base that day, but I stopped there on my way out to
right field, stood on the base for a minute and looked around. I thought, ok,
this is what Pete Rose sees everyday…cool. Then, off to right field I went
where I listened to the crowd yell, “Oh my God, there is a little girl
out there!”, and various things of that nature. This was 1980 — not
a common sight back then. I was so nervous by the time the ball was hit to me,
with all those people yelling and staring, I thought for sure I’d drop
it. But, thankfully, I did ok.  One near embarrassment down, one to
go.

After that, we were escorted to the dugout to meet Dallas Green
and have our photo taken with him. He walked right over to me and started
making a big deal over me being the only girl and said I would get to stand
next to him for the photo. After that he teased me a bit, told me I was pretty
and then asked if I would marry him. And I will not forget this as long as I
live…I actually said to him that I did not think my Mom would let me.
Yes, I was a total dweeb. Not sure what I was thinking there. I was nervous and
it was the first thing that popped into my head. Duh! Of course, he laughed at
me and I was rightfully embarrassed. Silly girl.

Anyhow, I watched the Phillies faithfully after that and as we
all know, they won the World Series that year. I have met Dallas Green many
times since that day and have always been tempted to ask him if he’d
still like to marry me. Somehow, I think it wise to keep that to myself though.
I think there may be a statue of limitations on
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marriage proposals. Especially
when they involve 8-year-old girls.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Probably that I have a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science
and that I used to work at a zoo handling snakes, lizards and all kinds of
creatures.  That freaks most people out…at least the snake part
does.  Also, I play six different musical instruments. I minored in music
too, just in case I needed to charm one of the snakes back into its basket.

Happiness is…
The Phillies win the World Series; it inspires people everywhere to support
their “Go
Green
” campaign, thereby putting an end to Global Warming and saving
the environment, bringing LOVE and WORLD PEACE to us all!  Dream big, my
friends, dream big…

To be considered as a featured Spheroid, feel free to email us with your responses to those nine questions and be sure to put “Spheroid” in the subject line. Have fun blogging…

Spheroid: Around the Horn with Dan Weisman, Baseball Investigator

Title: Around the Horn with Dan Weisman, Baseball Investigator
MLBlogger: Dan Weisman
Template: Padres | First Post in The Show

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Why do you blog?

I truly, truly enjoy baseball. My first memories are of baseball games. Some of the greatest and most memorable events of my life are permeated with baseball. I eat, drink and sleep baseball. My only regret today at a somewhat advanced age is I no longer feel comfortable playing. With that said, I’ve seen so much and see so much, I’d like to give other fans and fellow travelers a bit of humor, insight and memory related to the sport. The new communication environment with more free-form writing possibilities in blog formats works well with my writing and observatory style.

What was your favorite post?

The next one. I don’t want to waste my, or anyone’s, time. I liked the Dr. Strangeglove and From Japan with Love posts.

Strangest blogging experience?

So far, checking the viewer stats and seeing where viewers reside. My gosh, Moscow, Shanghai, Singapore, Africa, all over South America and incredibly well-distributed across the U.S. and Canada. As someone who grew up in a print journalism environment, just seeing the diversity and spontanaeity of viewership was wild.

What is your favorite blog, including at least one MLBlog?

So far, I like the Detroit Tigers Daily Fungo which you featured. That guy has done an amazing job. I’m very impressed with the time he puts into it and the quality of information.  Daron Sutton’s is fun, and well-done with a mix of image and materials. Alyssa Milano’s for not-so-obvious reasons. and obvious ones.

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

Watching baseball. I also dumpster dive and scrounge for money; exercise, hike and batter-cize, and watch television. All My Children fan. Also, drive around Rancho Santa Fe and chill.

Where do you think the blogosphere is going?

Obviously, more interactive. Addition of social networking features. Easier access to features. More mobile features. Other ways not appreciated just yet.

Favorite team and why?

Different  teams at different times. As my life and location changed, so, too, did my allegiances. Today, I have sympathies for some teams and enjoy watching some teams more than others, but I find this is function of the team makeup at the time generally.

Very earliest days, the Giants. Then, shifted to the Mets because they were the ultimate underdogs and so was I. After that, the Astros and heady days at the Dome. Following that, Mariners, as stuff happened, then in time for some championships with the Blue Jays, followed by Devil Rays and Padres.

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

During my days in Arkansas, I actually debated Bill Clinton about sports on numerous occasions at various places. I was assigned by the Arkansas Democrat to cover him. I’m also a Rice University graduate. Rice and Arkansas were in the old — and I do miss it — Southwest Conference. So, Clinton and I would discuss the Rice-Arkansas football games. We also talked about other sports like baseball and basketball, etc. At the Pepsi-Coke challenge, he took the taste test and said, “I can’t decide. They both taste good.” (Footnote: Never saw Hillary around any time then.)

Happiness is…

A great seafood barbecue a’la my old New Orleans home. Oh yes, and a game-winning home run in the bottom of the Ninth Inning to win the game and avoid a 100-loss season. Y’all can go home, now.

To be considered as a featured Spheroid, feel free to email us with your responses to those nine questions and be sure to put “Spheroid” in the subject line. Have fun blogging…

Adding the Lou Widget; Welcome to TWIB

Updated 4:50 p.m. ET on Wednesday

Warm MLBlogs welcome to the crew behind the scenes at This Week In Baseball, everyone’s favorite show dating back to the days of Mel Allen. They just launched Behind the TWIB Notes, and if you want to get a feel for it, go there and click on the link to listen to the classic TWIB theme. It’ll put you in a bigtime baseball mood! Leave comments for the crew, share memories of great TWIB highlights past, and be a regular on their blog.

I couldn’t resist adding the Lou Piniella Bobblehead widget to the top of this blog for a daily affirmation, and you might want to consider the same whether you are a Cubs fan or just a baseball nut like the rest of us. It is part of our ongoing Pepsi Clutch Performer of the Month voting campaign. So first of all, you should join the voting there and make yourself eligible for a free trip for two to the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis, and you can click “Get the Widget” on that index page if you want to go through each step. Shortcut

To place the widget like I did, click on “Grab” and then click on “Embed”. Copy that embed code and place it at the end of your Blog Description text field under your General Settings. For now, the Link Lists in our Movable Type software do not permit use of widgets as with the previous Typepad app, so that’s one place to position it. You also can simply place it within your text post, clicking on the Edit HTML icon on the far right side of your toolbar over the text field. Piniella will be there to give you a different “affirmation” each day. . . .

Welcome back to Mark DeRosa. The Cubs’ second baseman returned to blogging action over the weekend and has immediately become the No. 1 MLBlog by traffic, just inching past Inside the Dodgers. DeRosa said he will try to do this weekly, and he has invited fans to leave comments with a permanent suggestion for his blog’s title.

Welcome also to Brett Wallace. The Arizona State University standout is blogging from the perspective of a much-scouted prospect leading up to the June Draft. This is the first year we at MLBAM have offered this kind of regular perspective, added to our overall comprehensive Draft coverage at MLB.com.

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