November 2008

What are you thankful for?

It’s the time of year when we reflect on all the things we have in our lives to be grateful for. In the spirit of the holiday, you’re invited to share permalinks to your Thanksgiving blog entries in comments below. Make sure to leave your name or the title of your blog as well.

Happy Thanksgiving from us at MLB.com and MLBlogs!

Random MRA 1:17 p.m. ET Wednesday:

Around the Sphere

BJUpton.jpgOur friend at Rays Renegade
won the blogger-ID contest in the last post, so we’re starting off this
post with a public-service announcement to go check out his MLBlog!
Does it ever just suddenly hit you sometimes that the TAMPA BAY RAYS
just made it to the World Series? That is one time when, to me, it
honestly does not matter much if you lost. Have to say it was really
cool just sitting in the Rays’ dugout during that downpour rain delay
on the Monday, before the decision finally was made to suspend Game 5
(for two full days)…and seeing BJ Upton next to me holding his hand
to his ear on the top dugout step as if to tell Phillies fans to keep
trash talking. It was amazing to see the Rays in this setting. Congrats
to them.

May everyone around the MLBlogs Network (also known as MLB.com/Blogs) have a terrific Thanksgiving holiday. You can count on a lot of post-turkey blogging in this community. Actually it probably will be busier than usual at that time. You have a blog, you’re at the family gathering, and there’s a computer with a connection and, voila, suddenly you forget where you are as others sleep and exchange repartee. This time of year always reminds me of November 2003. Red Sox brass flew out to Phoenix to dine with Curt Schilling and woo the right-hander. Late that Thanksgiving night, he got on his home computer, and posted a message on our redsox.com boards that said in the subject line: “Will be hard to believe I’m sure.” It was a rarity for a Major Leaguer to interact digitally in that way; now the author of 38pitches.com, he was a serious trailblazer in those days. Schilling was giving Red Sox fans the lowdown on his thoughts, and soon enough he went to the Sox, and the next autumn was pitching with a bloody sock and leading a team through the greatest comeback in sports history and into the promised land.

The e-book promo was here (naturally in my own story if you notice byline) and because eventually the link disappears, one day I posted it as the world’s longest MLBlogs posting. For posterity.   🙂

Luke.pngPlease welcome a couple of new MLBloggers: Braves Buzz with Luke and summerball101. Hey, Luke, thanks for moving your blog over to this ballfield — we wasted no time stealing your profile pic to help spread the buzz.

Here’s a great opportunity to ask a Major Leaguer a question and have it answered: Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey just jumps right in there wherever he is this offseason and comments in reply to your comments. How many other pro athletes do that? Hopefully young players like him will be carrying the torch for increased “fan networking” in ways like this.

Speaking of players, our belated condolences go out to MLBlogger Bengie Molina. The Giants catcher wrote a very poignant and honorable post about his father, who passed away this fall. It is nice that Bengie’s Dad got to see three sons become Major Leaguer catchers — and all three of them (also Jose and Yadier) became world champions! Amazing.

Waiting for my Hall of Fame Ballot

So I’m waiting for my annual Hall of Fame ballot to show up in the next two or three weeks, and I can tell you right now that you have five years to make a more persuasive argument for Mike Mussina than any I’ve heard so far. Never during his career did I think of him as a Hall of Famer. While I appreciate Brian Cashman’s lengthy rationalization of why Mussina belongs in Cooperstown (in a nutshell he pitched in the “toughest” division, which in itself is debatable), if you need more than a few sentences to explain why someone is deserving, sorry. Jim Kaat is having arguments made for him right now by peers; I loved him and the Twins when I was a boy; did I ever, ever think of him as a Hall of Famer? No, not ever. Rod Carew, yes. I would not check next to Mussina if he were on the ballot next month, and I am sure the argument will rage loud over that five-year waiting period, especially loud when it has East Coast volume.

WalterJohnson.jpgThe best litmus test is always to march right up to the little hamlet of Cooperstown, enter the Gallery room, and gaze upon the hallowed plaques. I love doing that, more than almost anything. In that moment, you know in your heart who is a Hall of Famer. You look at Babe just to remind yourself of why the place exists. You leave there, and you listen to arguments about why this or that player belongs, and you consider it your duty to make sure it remains the ELITE OF THE ELITE. Walter Johnson (pictured, courtesy of the Hall). Nolan Ryan. Christy Mathewson. Warren Spahn. That is the standard for pitchers who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Of course, being a blogger means you get to speak your own mind, and I look forward to seeing lots of posts about the issue. My colleague Tom Singer wrote a nice article today on our MLB.com homepage looking ahead at the possible 2014 class.

I don’t ever expect everyone to agree with me, and if it’s any consolation to Moose, most of my voting peers haven’t agreed with me the last two years on Big Mac. (Who I will vote for again next month, since I don’t believe in playing Commissioner. I respectfully ask my peers to come down off their moral mountaintops of public litigation. The first time Pete Rose ever shows up on my ballot, he gets my check mark as well. I’ll let the Commissioner decide whether a player warrants being removed from consideration, not writers.)

Be sure to check out my colleague Lisa Winston’s great MLBlog at Got MiLB? The Q&As with players are a must-see. Stop by and say hi to her.

If you want to be in the next posting of the Latest Leaders, a good piece of advice is to click on the MLBlogs of those past Leaders and leave a comment (not spam) with your full URL. The more you are part of the community, the more your blog will grow. And you might also follow the lead of the proprietor of All Baseball All The Time — look how he uses the tag search results in his Link List, similar to our unstoppable Hot Stove Blog.

Random MRA:

MORE Random MRA…scraped at 10:47 p.m. ET Tuesday

Latest Leaders Nov. 14-20 and contest

Here are the MLBlogs Network traffic leaders by page view ranking for the last week. We’ll add more links gradually. This week’s contest is on the bottom.

MLB PRO BLOGS

1. Hot Stove Blog
2. Bombers Beat
3. Inside the Dodgers
4. Shane Victorino’s Postseason Blog
5. The Baseball Collector
6. Brownie Points
7. Yankees in the AFL
8. CastroTurf
9. Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
10. Beck’s Blog
11. *touch* ’em all
12. The Max
13. Postcards from Elysian Fields
14. Newberg Report
15. Tommy Lasorda’s World
16. Major League Bastian
17. The Pulse
18. Mets in the AFL
19. Red Sox Insider Blog
20. Braves in the AFL
21. Royals in the AFL
22. Dining with ‘Dre
23. MLB.com’s Fantasy 411
24. Around the Horn in KC
25. Inside the White Sox
26. MLBlogosphere
27. Red Sox in the AFL
28. B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful
29. Phillies Insider
30. Behind the Mask

FAN MLBLOGS

Kudos to The ‘Burgh Blues on quantum leap from 30th to sixth — please post a comment below with details of how you optimized your results and that might help others. Big Pupi would be a lot higher if he’d try a Big Pupi Cam like the Shiba Imu Monster Puppy Cam. Nice offseason blogging by Darion at Braves World, who debuts here at No. 43.

1. All Baseball All The Time
2. The Rumor Mill – MLB Rumors
3. Confessions of a She-Fan
4. Red State Blue State
5. Prince of New York
6. The ‘Burgh Blues
7. The Good of the Game
8. Phillies Phollowers
9. FutureAngels.com
10. Rays Renegade
11. Rockpile Rant
12. The Green and Gold Gal
13. The BILF Report
14. Baseball, The Yankees, and Life…
15. THE BOSTON RED SOX BLOG
16. DYNASTY League Baseball
17. Cambios y Curvas
18. Hardball
19. Blogging Dodgers and Baseball
20. District Boy
21. Statistician Magician
22. We’re talkin Homer, Blue Jays and MLB
23. Angry Fan’s Baseball Fix
24. Unfinished Business
25. Yogi Brewer
26. Pittsburgh Pirates – Bucco Blog
27. Love of The Game: Through 2 Different Pairs of Eyes
28. Bruce Markusen’s Cooperstown Confidential
29. The Closer
30. Phillies Red Pinstripes
31. LA NACION MEDIAS ROJAS
32. Pick Me Up Some Mets!
33. The Happy Youngster…Brew Town’s Ballhawk
34. Big Pupi- Baseball Dog Blogger
35. Diamondhacks
36. (Transplanted) Nation – A Boston Red Sox Blog
37. Baseball Cleats & Shoes
38. Sports Propaganda
39. The Brewer Nation
40. Red Sox Hen
41. Yankees Chick
42. sittingstill
43. Braves World
44. Writing Like It’s 1980…
45. Mike Thrilla
46. Cardinal Girl
47. Mets’ Main Man
48. MLBWhiz
49. Red Sox Ramblings
50. Perfect Pitch

This week’s contest: Comment below with the 12 MLBlogs URLs depicted here with these thumbnails in the panel we used this past week on the MLBlogs.com homepage. First one to correctly comment with all 12 gets some extra link action here. How closely do YOU follow other MLBlogs? Get to know your fellow fans!

480bloggers112108.JPG

Update from us at MLBAM: floridamarlins.com is now marlins.com — in case that affects anyone out there. You cannot legally put this logo below or any MLB mark/logo on a digital page of any kind whatsoever unless it’s here within MLBlogs (ie not on myspace/facebook/ANYwhere) or one of our MLBAM-operated sites…but this is the brand-new look for your knowledge. Feel free to comment here with URL anytime you ever see such violations and they can be flagged by our Legal. We are gradually knocking them off one at a time until one day hopefully every domain is simply nickname.com.
marlins.jpg

Our new profile pic

As you may have noticed, we have a new profile image for this community blog. Thanks to Jenn of Phillies Phollowers for creating the image. Do you have a great idea for an image to represent the MLBlogosphere? Turn your vision into reality and email it to us, and yours could be next!

Random MRA

You know that feeling when the Most Recent Activity feed on the MLBlogs.com
homepage cycles so quickly that you’re there one minute and practically
gone the next? I’m going to occasionally post a Random MRA just to
freeze that moment in time for a while. Sorry if you’re not on it.
Thirteen will be and the others won’t. Hey, it’s 13 more PR
possibilities…better than nothing. They’ll be random. Latest Leaders coming soon.

Latest Leaders, Nov. 7-13

See this post and tell Chris what you think.

MLBlogs Network leaders in page views, Nov. 7-13

FAN MLBLOGS

1. All Baseball All The Time
2. The Rumor Mill – MLB Rumors
3. The Good of the Game
4. Confessions of a She-Fan
5. Prince of New York
6. Red State Blue State
7. Rays Renegade
8. We’re talkin Homer, Blue Jays and MLB
9. The Green and Gold Gal
10. Rockpile Rant
11. Pittsburgh Pirates – Bucco Blog
12. District Boy
13. FutureAngels.com
14. Baseball, The Yankees, and Life…
15. Blogging Dodgers and Baseball
16. Statistician Magician
17. The BILF Report
18. Phillies Phollowers
19. DYNASTY League Baseball from designer of Pursue the Pennant
20. Hardball
21. Love of The Game: Through 2 Different Pairs of Eyes
22. Writing Like It’s 1980…
23. Cambios y Curvas
24. THE BOSTON RED SOX BLOG
25. Unfinished Business
26. Mets’ Main Man
27. The Closer
28. Bruce Markusen’s Cooperstown Confidential
29. Yogi Brewer
30. The ‘Burgh Blues
31. Pick Me Up Some Mets!
32. Angry Fan’s Baseball Fix
33. The Happy Youngster…Brew Town’s Ballhawk
34. The Brewer Nation
35. LA NACION MEDIAS ROJAS
36. (Transplanted) Nation – A Boston Red Sox Blog
37. Sports Propaganda
38. Phillies Red Pinstripes
39. Big Pupi- Baseball Dog Blogger
40. Diamondhacks
41. Red Sox Hen
42. Baseball Cleats & Shoes
43. Let’s Go Tribe: Looking to end the 60 year curse
44. Yankees Chick
45. Baseball and Relativity
46. Cardinal Girl
47. Chicago White Sox
48. sittingstill
49. Perfect Pitch
50. Baseball Bats

MLB PRO BLOGS

1. Hot Stove Blog
2. Bombers Beat
3. Inside the Dodgers
4. Yankees in the AFL
5. Tommy Lasorda’s World
6. The Baseball Collector
7. Shane Victorino’s Postseason Blog
8. CastroTurf
9. Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
10. Brownie Points
11. Beck’s Blog
12. Postcards from Elysian Fields
13. Newberg Report
14. *touch* ’em all
15. Major League Bastian
16. Mets in the AFL
17. The Pulse
18. The Max
19. Red Sox Insider Blog
20. MLB.com’s Fantasy 411
21. Inside the White Sox
22. B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful
23. MLBlogosphere (best ever)
24. Red Sox in the AFL
25. Around the Horn in KC
26. MLB Urban Youth Academy
27. MLB.com Organizational Report
28. Phillies Insider
29. Dining with ‘Dre
30. Bally’s Blog

Announcements:

If anyone with Photoshop flair wants to design a beautiful new profile pic for this community blog, email it to me and if it’s used, we’ll give you lots of awesome publicity for your MLBlog here. If it’s not, we’ll probably still salute all those who send one. You know the size of the profile pic space, and it should feel like the overall MLBLogs community. Feel free to use any “MLBlogs” branding you see on pages here.

Remember to email me your Holiday Shopping Wish List, with your MLBlog URL, so I can include it in a next entry on The MLB.com Shopper blog. There are a few on deck. It helps if you link to the MLB.com Shop product pages from any item you’re mentioning, and if you include images of the products, even better.

Attention, Baseball Shoppers!

Hey, everyone, just invented yet another way for you to get more love for your awesome MLBlog!

Email me your Wish List from the MLB.com Shop, and put Wish List in the Subject so I can find it amid all the spam there. Anytime between now and Dec. 23rdish, more than once if you like. I am moonlighting for the seventh year in a row as the MLB.com Gift Guru, and just updated The MLB.com Shopper Blog with the first of these. It is from Aaron, better known as District Boy. As you can see there, he now has another prominent link to his own MLBlog (actually even one more here), as the Shop blog is linked in from wherever these articles will appear regularly over the next six weeks at MLB.com. Today’s story in the series is about Kids Sale. Whenever I post one of your Wish Lists on the Shop blog, I’ll always include a link back to your MLBlog. Voila, page views.

Latest Leaders Oct. 30-Nov. 6

Here are the most popular blogs by page view from the day after the World Series until now. Visit them and leave a thoughtful comment with your full URL, and voila, instant traffic.

MLB PRO BLOGS

1. Hot Stove Blog 10x runnerup, 100x top fan blog, a must RSS for ANY blogger
2. Shane Victorino’s Postseason Blog
3. Bombers Beat
4. Inside the Dodgers
5. The Max *
6. Carlos Pena’s Postseason Blog
7. Mets in the AFL
8. The Baseball Collector
9. Brownie Points
10. Down the Line with the Phillies Ballgirls
11. CastroTurf
12. *touch* ’em all
13. The Pulse
14. October Gonzo
15. Braves in the AFL
16. Yankees in the AFL
17. Beck’s Blog
18. Red Sox in the AFL
19. Phillies Insider
20. Newberg Report
21. Major League Bastian
22. Around the Horn in KC
23. Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
24. Tommy Lasorda’s World
25. Giants in the AFL
26. Red Sox Insider Blog
27. Ryan Braun’s Postseason Blog
28. Dining with ‘Dre
29. MLB.com’s Fantasy 411
30. Postcards from Elysian Fields
You’ll like: Bally’s Blog | Kala’s Island Adventure
* Created for the YES Network

FAN MLBLOGS

1. All Baseball All The Time
2. Phillies Phollowers
3. Red State Blue State
4. The Rumor Mill – MLB Rumors
5. Confessions of a She-Fan
6. Prince of New York
7. Rays Renegade
8. Angry Fan’s Baseball Fix
9. FutureAngels.com
10. Phillies Red Pinstripes
11. How ‘Bout Them Phillies?!
12. Hardball
13. The Closer
14. daisygrace **
15. THE BOSTON RED SOX BLOG
16. Blogging Dodgers and Baseball
17. Statistician Magician
18. Love of The Game: Through 2 Different Pairs of Eyes
19. MLB Nation
20. Rockpile Rant…Postseason
21. Unfinished Business
22. MLBWhiz
23. Cambios y Curvas
24. District Boy
25. jimmy
26. DYNASTY League Baseball from designer of Pursue the Pennant
27. The ‘Burgh Blues
28. Baseball, The Yankees, and Life
29. Bruce Markusen’s Cooperstown Confidential
30. Yogi Brewer
31. True men drink Oldstyle
32. Big Talk From Last Place
33. The Yankee Wire (Rumors, News, Etc.)
34. Rockpile Rant
35. Pick Me Up Some Mets!
36. Big Pupi- Baseball Dog Blogger
37. MLB in the eyes of a 13 year old
38. LA NACION MEDIAS ROJAS
39. Pittsburgh Pirates – Bucco Blog
40. Red Sox Hen
41. The Brewer Nation
42. Sports Propaganda
43. Taking Home A Piece Of The Game
44. Red Sox Ramblings
45. Braves World
46. Mike Thrilla
47. sittingstill
48. (Transplanted) Nation
49. A Boston Red Sox Blog
50. Diamondhacks
** on the strength of one paragraph that included a reference to “Mark McGraw”

Recommended Reading

Sometimes you just have to say: Go read this blog.

Please welcome him to MLBlogs!

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