July 2008

Latest Leaders

July 24-30 page views within the MLBlogs Network:

Most Visited FAN BLOGS

1. The Rumor Mill – MLB Rumors
2. THE BOSTON RED SOX BLOG
3. Heading Around First
4. Flair For The Dramatic
5. Red State Blue State
6. Prince of New York
7. Blogging Dodgers and Baseball
8. Pick Me Up Some Mets!
9. 15th Street Reds
10. Bruce Markusen’s Cooperstown Confidential
11. The Brewer Nation
12. The Baseball Collector – Chris Los
13. Phillies Phollowers
14. The ‘Burgh Blues
15. Yogi Brewer
16. Yankees Chick
17. Can of Corn
18. Ranger Trade Talk
19. Bleeding Pinstripes
20. Baseball Cleats & Shoes
21. Baseball, The Yankees, and Life
22. Phillies Red Pinstripes
23. Red Sox Nation Daily
24. Southside Pride
25. My Brewers
26. Statistician Magician
27. Baby Paul’s Baseball Blog
28. sittingstill
29. Red Sox Hen
30. I Was Born in October of 1986

Big
movers include THE BOSTON RED SOX BLOG (Steve soars from #14 to #2),
Heading Around First (upstate NY 16-year-old debuts at #3), Flair For
The Dramatic (Vanessa familiar as commenter on many MLBlogs, rockets
from #21 to #4), 15th Street Reds (brought comment friends, debuts at
#9), Bruce Markusen (blogs live from Cooperstown, inducted this week at
#10), The ‘Burgh Blues (JB asks here last week in comments and ye shall
be rewarded); and, of course…BABY PAUL!

Most Visited MLB PRO BLOGS

1. Trade Talk

Updated 10:23 p.m. ET on 7/31: Just wanted to thank Trade Talk for being so successful that it pretty much immobilized our tag search and commenting capability at MLBlogs! Next time we will be better prepared and apologies for the trade-deadline service disruption.

2. Inside the Dodgers
3. The Pulse
4. MLB.com Organizational Report (new)
5. Bombers Beat
6. Beck’s Blog
7. Brownie Points
8. Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
9. CastroTurf
10. The Baseball Collector
11. Inside the White Sox
12. Postcards from Elysian Fields
13. *touch* ’em all

Make sure you check out Alyssa’s post about welcoming Manny to LA.

14. National Youth Baseball Championships
15. Beat the Streak Report
16. MLB.com’s Fantasy 411
17. Major League Bastian
18. Newberg Report
19. Siguiendo a los Mets
20. B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful

You guys don’t love me anymore.

Leave comments with your full URL on other MLBlogs such as these powerhouses above to attract visitors, and then keep them coming back because you blog like Josh Hamilton homers in the first round! Also offer to trade blogroll links. Have fun!

Josh Hamilton Reruns

Am I an obsessed baseball fan if I want to spend every night watching Josh Hamilton’s 28-HR Round 1 in the State Farm Home Run Derby?

It’s on ESPN2 now and I am enjoying it as much as I did in person. Hammy, crush No. 18 for a 518-footer. Erin, grab him right afterwards for an interview. Reggie, say how much the fans were treated the way you used to treat them.

I don’t mean to diss Justin Morneau but that is going to stand the test of time for me. I was at Ripken’s 2131, Big Mac’s 62, Dr. J’s Last House Call, etc, etc…and Hammy’s 28 is always going to have a special place no matter what. I’d watch the rerun all the time.

And the most amazing part is that it only set the stage for the best All-Star Game ever. What’s funny is that here at MLB.com, and among the voting populace, we made such a huge deal over Ryan Braun charging from nowhere to become the No. 1 starting outfielder in the N.L. — and yet what’s more memorable now is the other Ryan, Ludwick, replacing him in the seventh inning and proceeding to play the last nine innings. A full regulation game.

It’s just so weird. Looking back at that week, you remember the HR Derby runnerup more than the winner, and you remember the guys who played the last nine or 10 innings more than those who garnered all those votes to start. OK, back to trade talk

MLBlogs Network system update

Thanks for everyone’s patience today. Perennial powerhouse Google, the evil empire, apparently trying to hold off upstart Cuil in the National League Search standings, decided to slam our comment.mlblogs.com server with bots and thus rendered it virtually useless. It was Googlebot, Yahoo Slurp and msnbot, mainly.

LogicWorks hosts our MLBlogs, and they tell me the majority of that traffic has been blocked at firewall and that the load on servers has dropped, thus allowing legitimate traffic to be processes. The next step is setting up a robots.txt file to prevent such episodes from occurring in the future. Performance for comment.mlblogs.com should be better now, and please feel free to report here.

Could this have anything to do with Cuil and renewed attention on search market share? Did Google have to do this before the trade deadline? It is a mystery. But as always, baseball perseveres. It is unstoppable. No one can get in its way.

This just in: Brian Duensing, the Twins’ Triple-A lefty, is going to be the player MLBlogger for MLB.com’s coverage of the Summer Olympics starting next week in Beijing. Stay tuned.

Going for Chinese food

Lots of you are blogging about Manny. Like Sarah and Ian and The Heirloom and Rob (VP of Red Sox Nation). Leave a comment here with your URL if you are doing likewise. Andre Ethier is not blogging about Manny. ‘Dre is blogging about food. Mark DeRosa is not blogging about Manny. The Pulse says to “Bring on the Brewers.”

Gibson is not blogging about Manny. Gibson is dreaming about October.

Meanwhile …

nǐ dài wǒ qù nǎlǐ? (where are you taking me?)

wǒ bèibǔle ma? (am i under arrest?)

wǒ xīwàng gēn lǜshī liánxì (i want to talk to a lawyer)

nǐ qīpiàn wǒ (you’re cheating me)

qǐng zàilái yìlún (another round, please)

Yes, your friendly neighborhood MLBlogs rancher is bound for Beijing next week and the Summer Olympics. I have never been on that side of the world. I have no prayer whatsoever of speaking Mandarin. Even if I could learn “useful phrases” I would have to master the five different “tonalities” and thus I risk asking for coke instead of a Coke and thus I should know those phrases above. Seriously, inasmuch as I am from Indiana and thus still learning my own language, I welcome any input.

I will be with the USA Baseball Team wherever they go for MLB.com and USABaseball.com, from the Wall to the pandas to the Opening/Closing ceremonies to the competition at Wukesong Stadium from Aug. 13-23. We’ll have one of the players blog here as well. So I anticipate many translators. But there will be times when I am winging it and that is when it will get interesting. I am basically going to carry a “playbook” around with me (printouts, manuals, whatever it takes) and point to stuff. I might never open my mouth there, except when I am gasping for air while training 30 miles a week in smog. I am sure I would do nothing but possibly wind up in a prison or something. And let’s hope the security is up to the task because I’m already tired of reading about terrorist plots.

Seriously, it is a great time of year and I can’t wait to be there for it. I don’t know about you, but I grew up with those McDonald’s cards that would give you a Big Mac for gold, fries for silver and a drink for bronze depending on what event is listed on the card. I grew up with Mark Spitz, Mary Lou Retton, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, and the voices of Jim McKay, Bob Costas, and that singular Olympiad music. I am looking forward to being around a team of players whose lives normally are a single-minded obsession of reaching a parent MLB roster, yet now focused on representing a nation. Next stop Beijing, next week…

Welcome to the proprietor of Brewing for Glory, who is ready for Crew vs. Cubs again. Welcome to Ever Ever After, who seems to have been touched by the October Gonzo spirit. (Did you vote on OG’s blog? Aaron Boone’s walk-off homer in 2003 is leading in the polling results as of this moment.) By the way, how do you like seeing MLBlogs.com on all of those incredible MLB national TV ad spots that started running at the All-Star Game? This community sure has come a long way in three years, folks.

Here are the highs of being a Blue Jays Fan

I am just guessing that Pinstriped Ponderings is not voting for McCain. I may be wrong. What do you think? “America’s most disgraced commander-in-chief” — blog author’s words. Hmmm, there have been some doozies. Jeff at Red State Blue State probably oughta weigh in on that MLBlog. One thing I definitely agree with is the comment about Jeff Samardzija. Watched him on the hill for the Cubs yesterday and this is Mark Prior II as far as Cub hysteria.

Welcome to Phillies #1, who is unfazed by a recent meltdown. Welcome to our own MLB.com Organizational Report, which — similar to Trade Talk — is maintained by 30 writers. … If you are a fan out West and you think East Coast Bias is a real thing, then why not start your own MLBlog? This person did. Sometimes I think I spend way too much of my personal time trying to debunk “East Coast Bias” mythology with reasoned replies. I can speak from personal experience on this one. I will write 15 consecutive articles for MLB.com that are teeming with references to Angels and A’s and other West Coast clubs, and if I write a 16th that fails to mention them (ie my Final Vote coverage last month, when there again were no nominees from the AL West), I get nastygrams saying I have East Coast Bias. Trust me, if you want to look like there is an L on your forehead, email MLB.com with a complaint that we have East Coast Bias. No other media entity sends 30 traveling beat writers out into the world with insane amounts of 24/7/365 coverage for all 30 clubs, regardless of W-L standings. But welcome anyway to West Coast Bias. … More MLBlogs traffic-stat fun in the next 24-48 hours!

Remember to leave lots of comments here and on other MLBlogs like OG’s WITH your URL so people can find you. Have fun!

…and here are the lows of being a Blue Jays Fan.

Latest Leaders

Here is the ranking of the top MLBloggers age group 7 months or younger:

1. Baby Paul.

Here are the top FAN MLBlogs over the last 7 days by page views (not PRO template):

1. FutureAngels.com
2. The Rumor Mill – MLB Rumors | Spheroid
3. Ranger Trade Talk
4. Red State Blue State
5. The Hot Corner
6. Pick Me Up Some Mets! | Spheroid
7. Phillies Phollowers | Spheroid
8. The Baseball Collector – Chris Los
9. The Brewer Nation | Spheroid
10. Blogging Dodgers and Baseball
11. Who’s in Right Field? My Brewers Blog
12. Yogi Brewer
13. Prince of New York
14. The Boston Red Sox Blog
15. Yankees Chick | Spheroid
16. Bleeding Pinstripes
17. Baseball Cleats & Shoes
18. I Was Born in October of 1986
19. Dean’s Baseball Blog
20. Major League Ballhawk
21. Flair For The Dramatic
22. Hook, Line Drive & Sinker
23. Rock Pile Rant…Colorado Rockies
24. Angry Fan’s Baseball Fix | Spheroid
25. Phillies Red Pinstripes

Updated 2:19 p.m. ET on 7/23: The MLBlogs Creativity Award for the week goes to Dodger lyrics.

Keep it going, baseball bloggers! And be sure to leave comments with your URL on Trade Talk (51 percent of the entire community’s traffic this past week) and October Gonzo (MLB’s official 2008 postseason national TV campaign). I’m just sayin. Be where baseball fans are.

Meanwhile, the top 10 overall MLBlogs this past week by page view:

1. Trade Talk
2. Inside the Dodgers
3. The Pulse
4. Bombers Beat
5. The Baseball Collector
6. Beck’s Blog
7. CastroTurf
8. Inside the White Sox
9. Obviously You’re Not a Golfer
10. *touch* ’em all

Everyone please leave Baby Paul a comment and report back here if you did…let’s see if we can make Baby Paul a happening like the e*trade baby.

Around the Sphere: I missed it when CJ Wilson (20th overall) posted four days ago, and that is always worth making sure people see. He’s still my favorite professional athlete blogger because this guy is on his laptop filing from wherever at any hour and no one edits. … Welcome to Patti O’Shea Talks Baseball. Nice to have another author here, will add you to the side panel on this community blog in the Authors Link List. … 2 Legit DeWitt said “these blog layouts are trippy” and we just wanted to introduce her trippy MLBlog. Capital keys optional. … What happens when a Giants and a Dodgers fan both maintain one MLBlog? See for yourself. … If you are a Yankee fan living in New Mexico, what are you gonna do? Crank up an MLBlog. If you are a Yankee fan living in Alabama, what are you gonna do? Crank up an MLBlog. … Welcome to Mike Greenspire and welcome to District Boy. And a big welcome to all new MLBloggers.

Jerome

It was sad to hear of the passing of a baseball writing legend and a fellow Lifetime Honorary member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, Jerome Holtzman. “The Dean” was a good guy and helpful to me when I was cutting my teeth as a baseball writer. I grew up reading his articles in the Chicago Trib, and because I spent 1992-99 in various roles at The Sporting News in St. Louis, it was a pleasure to see his weekly columns in the archives from when it was “The Bible of Baseball.” While it is true that Jerome invented the save statistic, as the commissioner noted, it also should be noted that it was basically invented in the pages of The Sporting News with Jerome doing the writing. That’s when the publication was influential and such articles published by the Spink family frequently led to change in baseball. As it said in the obit that first came from the White Sox front office: “His byline appeared in more than one thousand consecutive weekly issues of The Sporting News, quite possibly an ironman record.” On a personal note, Jerome was a great guy with a great sense of humor, and he always had patience and tolerance for a young baseball beat writer just getting established. Today here at MLBlogs we have thousands and thousands of people who consider themselves baseball writers. It is good to pause and tip your hat to one who truly paved the way for many others, one who was more interested in the welfare of the sport above any team, one who made the press box and world a better place.

Discovering a discovery site

Tonight I got a tweet from @TechCrunch on Twitter extolling the virtues of LOUD3R, one of the newest discovery sites after Digg, Reddit, Techmeme and the like. It has a network of 30 topic-specific semantic search engines, and tonight I played around with one of them, PITCH3R. You can click a subdirectory there and find specific topics such as “All-Star Game” — and looking through there, Alyssa’s latest post just a few hours ago had ascended in the top 10. If you click the headline, you’ll see the lede and be prompted to go to the actual page for the full article. It will be interesting to see how many MLBlogs are “discovered” there. Their server was down when I went there a little after midnight ET but eventually I got in, and you have to register and after that, you are able to “Submit A Story” and “Submit A Source” from their main nav. Can’t hurt if you’re all about getting traffic to your blog. I like the mix of results so far, a really diverse blend of sources and voices. Worth tinkering around with, seems pretty cool if you’re a fellow Magellan out discovering. For each site, LOUD3R gathers and publishes content (including photos and videos) from blogs, news and editorial sites. Each site has a source list and a semantic glossary of terms that teach the engine how to identify the best content. The content is ranked with a point system, pushing the highest ranked to the top. The engine also learns from user behavior, community feedback and human editors. What ways do you discover information for your blogs?

Around the Sphere

Here’s to a great second half. Welcome to all the new MLBloggers who just joined us. Remember to go to Trade Talk
for the definitive blog about all things related to Major League
Baseball’s July 31 trading deadline. It is maintained by 30 MLB.com
traveling beat reporters who are in the clubhouses and on the phones,
and they post fast and often. And by the way, so much for that Joe Blanton player blog as an Oakland pitcher. That’s the thing with player blogs. It’s great to see them start, and it’s fun to follow along and comment with them, and it seems like a thousand reasons why they usually disappear after a while.

Thanks for everyone’s great All-Star Game posts. It was a Midsummer Classic like none ever before, and it was nice to be in 2008 with the capability for all fans to start a free MLBlog and post their own observations of what happened. We listed at least 19 of them with the panel on MLBlogs.com. One new blog with the simple title of Mom was like so many others in that the theme was “best All-Star Game ever.” What do you think? I got home at sunrise after working at Yankee Stadium, and will never forget walking out of there toward the subway, looking up at the sandstone facade of the old park and then at the new park hulking over it nearby, and it hit me then that this could be the last big event I see there. It will be up to the Yankees and whether they can extend their postseason streak. I am old enough to remember back-to-back years that provided great entertainment. It was 1970 in Cincinnati when Pete Rose barrelled over Ray Fosse, and even better, the next year at Tiger Stadium when Reggie and Hank and so many others went yard. For sheer All-Star entertainment, this is the best one since then. I think that when you factor in the nervousness you got hanging onto EVERY PITCH of this All-Star Game — that seem feeling you normally have at the end of October when each pitch could mean you have no more baseball for the year — that it is just fine to call this the best All-Star Game ever. Plus you had that incredible Hall of Fame Celebration. And besides, it’s your MLBlog, you have the luxury in 2008 of being Grantland Rice.

This is a good time to introduce you to Twins Confidential, a great example of another club blog that is providing unique behind-the-scenes access in an unfiltered, club-to-fan-to-club way. Check out that blog’s view of how things went for Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Joe Nathan, and leave them comments. Alyssa Milano, who hosted our MLB.com All-Star bash Sunday night/Monday morning along with Joba Chamberlain, just posted her unique view on how the week went. And here’s a traffic/self-marketing tip for you. See that new October Gonzo blog? If I was just starting an MLBlog, I would leave a comment there with my URL as one way for people to find me. You have already seen the first commercials — that is this year’s Dane Cook and everyone is going to find their way from everywhere to that blog.

October Gonzo

The fairytale story has begun

All-Star Concert at Central Park: Bon Jovi

http://i159.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid159.photobucket.com/albums/t124/manmlb/Bon%20Jovi/MVI_7044.flv

http://i159.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid159.photobucket.com/albums/t124/manmlb/Bon%20Jovi/MVI_7050.flv

That rocked. Maybe my favorite new thing about the All-Star Game.

Nothing like filling up Central Park and then showing TWIB and Yankee Stadium highlights and nonstop baseball for 2 or 3 hours…and then MLB’s Tim Brosnan introducing Bon Jovi to the stage. What a concert and what a show of baseball force. Here are some more pics:

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