Author Archive

A new era for MLB.com/blogs

Now that we are well into the Hot Stove season, another key player in Major League Baseball has just made a big change of scenery: Us.

We are excited to announce that MLB.com/blogs, approaching its 11th season as the leading baseball blogging community, has moved its popular PRO blogs to a terrific new blogging platform at Medium.com. Soon the overall move from WordPress.com will impact our existing fan blogs as well, so this is an update for everyone involved.

Background

First, a bit about Medium. Launched in 2012, it was developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams to provide a platform for longer-form writing. It features a full visual editor user interface, can handle multiple forms of embedded multimedia content, and uses a system of tagging, sharing, and recommendations to group and promote articles within its network.

Some of the biggest benefits of the move to Medium are:

royalrundownSame community. MLB.com/blogs dates back to the very first post by Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda with an ode to his friend and former teammate Jackie Robinson — and the community is going to be stronger than ever around that hub. We’ve included a roster of all of the PRO blogs that moved over, and just some of the examples there already include the Our Game blog from MLB Official Historian John Thorn, Tigers beat reporter Jason Beck, Dodger Insider, the official MLB.com Books Blog with a new review from Hall of Fame writer Paul Hagen, From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, Cardinals Insider, MLB.com columnist Richard Justice, Twins Pics and many, many more. There will be some new looks, led by Kansas City’s relaunch of Royal Rundown.

You’ll recognize the familiar MLB.com logo and our familiar slogan we’ve always featured for baseball blogs: “Official Affiliate / Unofficial Opinions.”

Networking. The odds of your blog surfacing to a fresh set of eyes will be higher than ever before with Medium’s expansive reach. The new platform excels at placing links to your articles on related articles within the network, where it’s likelier to find greater exposure. As a result, Medium expects to provide nearly a 40-percent traffic bump to content on the network.

A culture of reading. Other platforms are geared more to publishing than being read. Medium’s audience skews younger and is engaged and well informed. Readers come to Medium to consume meaningful, quality content. And their growing audience is “sticky,” meaning readers spend a considerable amount of time on the site, consuming a series of related articles.

The neighborhood. The new Bill Simmons venture, The Ringer, launched earlier this year on Medium, joining SI’s The Cauldron and the NBA. The Italian football club AS Roma is on board as well. We will be positioned alongside these high-profile sports entities as Medium continues its push to become a hub of sports content.

What it means to you

We invite you to move your own blog over to Medium as soon as possible and continue to be part of our new MLB.com/blogs community. Just create one using your Twitter account, the easiest way to get started. If you do, please by all means leave a comment on our hub blog at MLB.com/blogs simply listing your URL. Then we will continue to help promote your blog as we always did, surfacing PRO and fan blogs regularly. That page is promoted across MLB.com.

Only the pre-existing PRO blogs will keep their familiar “mlblogs.com” domains from this point forward. Between now and the end of 2016, any fan blogs with those domains will revert to a “wordpress.com” domain. WordPress is directly messaging bloggers who will be affected. The old addresses will continue to work for some time after the switchover there.

In addition, the four MLB themes used in recent years at WordPress (PRO, Fan, Modern and Retro) will be retired. Bloggers who stay with WordPress will need to choose new themes from them.

You’ll immediately notice some slightly different lingo when you blog at Medium. Your WordPress blog becomes a “publication” on Medium, and your blog posts now are “articles.” The visual editor ultimately is very similar to what you’re used to, but some things do operate slightly differently and you’ll notice some unique functionalities the first time you write on Medium. We’ll make sure you have a guide to writing on Medium to make your transition as seamless as possible.

Even if you aren’t planning to blog at Medium, it’s a good idea to start an account there just so you can continue to follow certain PRO blogs so that you are notified immediately when a new entry is saved. While the URL for that blog will not change, you will need to start a Medium account in order to continue receiving such notifications. To do so, visit Medium.com, click on the “Sign In / Sign Up” button in the upper right corner, and sign up using Twitter, Facebook, Google or by using your email address. After creating your Medium account, please visit that blog at the familiar URL, click “FOLLOW” and make sure to check the box next to “Receive Letters in your inbox.”

We’re excited about moving MLB.com/blogs to a new platform, and we think you’ll enjoy using Medium. If you have any questions at all about this process or Medium in general, please don’t hesitate to ask us right here.

– Mark

Introducing a major MLB award – for YOU

MLB Fans of the Year presented by Esurance

Major League Baseball has just introduced a major new award, and this one’s for you. In fact, there’s even at least one father-son duo from this MLB.com/blogs family among the 120 nominees.

See my story just posted at MLB.com introducing MLB Fans of the Year presented by Esurance.

You can start voting right now at MLB.com/awards. Take a good look at the 120 nominees — four per club. Each team will have a winner. You probably will recognize many of them, and I know many bloggers here will be familiar with Baker Boys & Baseball, one of the Angels nominees.

MLB and the 30 clubs worked tirelessly to identify the sport’s top supporters, and four nominees per club have been presented for your vote.

Winners whose clubs reach the League Championship Series or Fall Classic will receive tickets to root for their home team on a late-October night. For fans whose teams are not among the last four standing in the postseason, free tickets await for an April 2017 game of their choice.

It’s a great subject to blog about, and I hope you will feel free to leave comments right here with a link back to your blog post. Now help choose those 30 winners, because it’s all about you.

Brandon Belt thanks fans on his blog

Greetings from San Diego! Thanks to those who cast their ballots in the Esurance All-Star Game 2016 Final Vote, Brandon Belt is here for tomorrow’s 87th All-Star Game presented by MasterCard. The Giants first baseman took time to express gratitude in his MLB Pro Blog, Brandon and Brandon, to all those who voted him onto his first All-Star team. He tells the story of how he found out he was an All-Star and his family’s reaction to the news. Head over to his blog and congratulate Brandon!

Latest Leaders – March 2016

We just posted our monthly MLB.com/blogs Latest Leaders rankings so you can see the most popular posts around the Major League Baseball community of bloggers. Tip: Always leave a comment on the bottom of the Latest Leaders post with the full URL of your latest post, to drive others there. Then ask them to follow your blog (use the widget!) and keep following that formula. You’ll rise through the ranks. Spread the word…

MLB.com Blogs

latestleaders_logoThe new season brings familiar faces like the powerhouse Dodger Insider excelling at what they do best, and exciting debuts from newcomers like Gordon Edes. Your Latest Leaders hit the ground running this season, putting up big blogging numbers in March. If you’ve contemplated starting a blog of your own, there’s no better time than April to join us and take the first step to joining these bloggers. Congrats to everyone who made the list!

Here are your Latest Leaders from March 1-31:

MLB PRO
1. Dodger Insider
2. Cait Covers the Bases
3. From the Corner of Edgar & Dave
4. TribeVibe
5. Inside the White Sox
6. Friar Wire
7. Dodgers Photog Blog
8. MLB.com Fantasy 411
9. Cubs Vine Line Blog
10. Better Off Red
11. Brandon and Brandon
12. Our Game
13. The Halo Way
14. SF Giants Photos
15. Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy…

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Sox history takes a left turn

Did you know longtime sportswriter and new Red Sox Historian Gordon Edes is now part of the MLB.com/blogs community? Follow his PRO blog at gordonedes.com.

Gordon Edes

David Price (Brita Meng Outzen/Boston Red Sox)

Trades for Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett in the last 20 years have all led to World Series titles for the Red Sox, Martinez and Schilling winning in 2004, Beckett in 2007. Will the free-agent signing of David Price lead to another?

That’s one of the questions worth contemplating on a day that Price, signed to a seven-year, $217 million deal last winter, made his first start of the spring for the Red Sox Thursday afternoon against the Twins in JetBlue Park.

Dan Duquette made the deal with Montreal for Martinez. Theo Epstein acquired Schilling from Arizona, and Craig Shipley and the late Bill Lajoie did much of the work for Larry Lucchino that led to Beckett’s acquisition from the Florida Marlins.

Now it’s David Dombrowski, as Sox president of baseball operations, signing Price to the most lucrative deal in Sox history, one…

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It’s Hank!

Cait Covers the Bases is always one of the top two or three PRO Blogs in this community, and the blog’s faithful readers just got the official word: Hank the Ballpark Pup is still alive! I had my doubts as well based on the pics, but the proof is in and the controversy is over. No Uga 1 and Uga 2 thing happening here. Read Cait’s report and leave comments on the whole doggone thing — and follow brewers.mlblogs.com.

Cait Covers the Bases

The Great Pumpkin is fake. Paul is dead, Elvis lives, and man never walked on the moon. Sometimes myths and conspiracies have no end, no hard proof to end the debate.

But not today.

Through the wonders of advanced technology and modern medicine, baseball and dog lovers around the world can now rest easy. There is only one Hank, The Ballpark Pup.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine William S. Rice of Lakeside Animal Hospital, who has cared for Hank since his arrival in Milwaukee in the spring of 2014, confirmed the identity of Hank in an examination yesterday. Dr. Rice compared original and current dental records, which were a match. In addition, a microchip implanted in Hank when he moved from Arizona was scanned yesterday, and identification number matched Hank’s registration in the database.

For a second opinion, another scan was performed this morning by Dr. Nancy Weiss, Wisconsin…

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Latest Leaders – January 2016

MLB.com Blogs

latestleaders_logoThe great Yogi Berra once said: “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.” This one’s for all of our bloggers who love baseball. You’re the ones who are endlessly committed to your blogs, building large followings and keeping them coming back. And you’re the ones who made the list in our first MLB.com/blogs Latest Leaders of the new year, including a lot of new faces making your debuts. We’re counting down to pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training camps, preparing you for fantasy drafts and tracking the latest Hot Stove happenings, so if you’re considering starting a blog, there’s no better time than right now to join us. If you’ve recently taken the plunge here at MLB.com/blogs, make sure to introduce yourself and your URL here in the comments! And if you made our MLB.com/blogs Top 100 for 2015, make…

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How I voted for the Hall – and looking for your posts

MLB.com just posted the story on how its 15 eligible Hall of Fame voters filled out their ballots, and you can see mine among the list. I voted for five: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Hoffman and Mike Piazza.

The excitement of receiving a ballot that has a name like Junior Griffey’s on it is the especially fun part of being a Hall voter. That is the kind of player the Cooperstown gallery room was created for — next to Ruth, Cobb, Aaron and Mays. You know that player when his five-year countdown begins and your vote is unquestionable. That brings us to everyone else on the 2016 list, and the effort to determine whether any other candidates should share the stage with him.

Neither Bonds nor Clemens exactly sweeps the Rule No. 5 categories on voting criteria, yet they are top-four all-time by position and that trumps character shortcomings. Hoffman was the first to 600 saves in an era when hitters dominated, and Piazza’s election is just overdue.

Jeff Bagwell continues to be an agonizing decision, more agonizing each year due to statistical analysis and debate. I disagree with those who “cover the field” with 10 safety check marks each year, as the bottleneck has declined. I can see both sides to Bagwell, and being on the fence is not a Hall vote to me unless you are covering the field.

The 2016 Hall of Fame results will be announced at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday on MLB.com and MLB Network.

The Unbiased MLB Fan identified four names that would be on his ballot, while Sons of ’84 has eight — plus a ninth vote for a write-in. Darryl of 210Sports explains the rationale behind his would-be ballot, and The First 90 Feet sees a ballot so packed that some worthy names will need to wait. The Wayniac Nation views Ken Griffey, Jr. and Trevor Hoffman as no-brainers (and hopes Tim Raines will get in at last), and Baseball with Matt adds Billy Wagner to the list of deserving former stars in their first year of Hall eligibility. The Baseball Continuum looks at the recent decision by the Veterans Committee to not induct anyone, while Statis Pro 1978 Replay looks at Alan Trammell’s last hurrah and Yankeebiscuitfan argues for more closers in Cooperstown.

Who would you have chosen? Please add the URL of your own blog post about the Hall vote in the comments below so we can see everyone’s opinions. And as always, be sure to follow MLB.com/blogs to see daily surfacing of great posts around our community.

Happy New Year,

– Mark Newman

Happy Holidays from MLB.com

Happy Holidays!

It’s been another great year of baseball blogging here. Please be sure to blog your own 2015 year-end post and leave the URL here so we can show them all off. Then prepare for the 2015 MLB.com/blogs Top 100 Latest Leaders badges that we will be handing out soon. Is yours going to be on the list?

Happy Holidays from us at Major League Baseball Advanced Media.

Latest Leaders – July 2015

MLB.com Blogs

latestleaders_logoThe MLB.com/blogs Latest Leaders are back with the July edition. These are based on Unique Visits measured by Major League Baseball Advanced Media, and we may change the metrics from time to time at our discretion. (Remember that our data is unrelated to the traffic stats you see in your WordPress.com dashboard, which measures traffic differently.) And make sure to leave your URL here in the comments if you have a post you’re particularly proud of and want to share with the community.

Here are your Leaders from July 1-31:

MLB PRO
1. Just Mets
2. Dodger Insider
3. Better Off Red
4. The Halo Way
5. MLB.com Fantasy 411
6. From the Corner of Edgar & Dave
7. Dodgers Photog Blog
8. Brandon and Brandon
9. Cait Covers the Bases
10. Inside the White Sox
11. TribeVibe
12. Our Game
13. Friar Wire
14. Curly W Live
15. SF Giants…

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