Archive for the ‘ Dailies ’ Category

The Prince of New York’s 2008 Baseball Guide

BookcoverMLBlogger Paul Lebowitz has a new book out, "The Prince of New York’s 2008 Baseball Guide." Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Thanks to Michael at Some Ballyard for plugging it. I went to Amazon and ordered one for the MLB office here. As Michael noted, "The book is a small price to pay to encourage a fine independent sportswriter and allow him to ply his trade."

Elsewhere around the Sphere:

FANS ON THE FIELD is the latest at this moment to be excerpted/featured at the bottom of the new homepage. Reminder to feel free to leave a comment here with a roughly 15-to-20-word excerpt from within your MLBlog to be considered for that daily change. . . . Welcome to our newest player blogger, Opening Day starter Joe Blanton of the A’s. Gotta give props to my colleague Mychael Urban, our A’s beat writer, for coming up with the suggestion of "Big Joe’s Bluegrass Blog." Blanton loved it and we look forward to his posts; he won’t be happy that Kentucky just got booted from the first round of the Big Dance for the first time since the Pleistocene. . . . Another good new Yankee blog here.

It’s Our Season Now


It’s time to give a Say-Hey to brand-new Sphere rookies like The Baseball Diet, Fenway Franks, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, Who’s your tiger?, 90 Feet to Home, Reds Field Level, Perfect Pitch and for anyone who ever wondered what it’s like to live out a dream, Joe Fuller Red Sox Fantasy 08. Also to Nat-King, who’s reppin’ Washington as they get ready for a gorgeous new ballpark.

In honor of our friend Bill over at Phightin’ Phils Phorum, whose profile pic features the Citizens Bank Park dugout phones, we thought we would post a dugout phone shot from our own digital pic…and many other summertime fixtures just to help set the tone here. That includes a shot I took of Willie Mays above the night before the Dream Induction last July in Cooperstown. Baseball. It’s our season now, so let’s clean out the Canon Powershot.

To start out, remind yourself of the sweetest swing. Not once in this person’s career has it resulted in anything short of 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. No Major League career ever has compared so far. I took this during the 2006 NLCS at Shea…

This will be the last year that anyone ever will call from these phones in the Yankee Stadium home dugout:


This unquestionably gets transplanted in the new Yankee Stadium for 2009 — and it will even be the 60th anniversary of the date that Joltin’ Joe said it. Yankees traditionally slap this overhead as they walk the tunnel from clubhouse to dugout.


Yeah, right:


Oops, where did this come from. There’s a new Joe. This one’s gone Hollywood.




I took this video at Big Cat Country inside Comerica during the 2006 World Series.

What’s on tap across the street from Fenway. In 2007, believe it or not, I made my first-ever pilgrimage to the legendary park. I wound up spending most of my October there, standing next to Papelbon and Youk as they did their strut on the infield following Game 7 vs. Cleveland.


The best food known to man…


And even better here (picture from my fat pre-running days)…


Check out this video. My favorite one from my own camera. Jeremy Bonderman rescues everyone around him during a Tiger BP session:

Two friends and "geniuses" whose teams’ 2007 seasons did not end the way they had hoped — another lesson that what we expect rarely will happen:


Terrific Tom is just a great memory around Shea Stadium. After 2008, Shea Stadium itself will be nothing more than a memory to Mets fans. Think back to the Summer of ’69, and what it was like on this field. Maybe Shea will go out in style now that they have another pretty dominating pitcher in the fold and the guy who I think is the best player in the National League (David Wright).


Cub fans can’t wait to get into the gates for their 100th anniversary season…


Bless every usher, from the youngest at any ballpark to all of those senior citizens who wipe the rain off your seat at the Friendly Confines and help you find your way.


This, to me, is baseball. It is the consistent knock of a bat on a baseball, spraying them around a place like Chase Field (below) to keep a swing honed over more than half a year. It is players and coaches hanging around the cage, exchanging banter for 162-plus. It is the nucleus of the game — BP, and attempted execution follows it every time.


Valentine’s Day is almost here. Pitchers and catchers and ballpark dogs and BP and rickety Fenway seats and Pujols’ swing and Comerica fun and Wrigley optimism and New York nostalgia and the game we embrace every year again at this time. True love.

UPDATE 2/6: Take a look at the fourth comment on the MLBlog of David Mickey Evans, director of "The Sandlot" and the recent major motion picture "The Final Season." It’s Kent Stock, who was portrayed in "The Final Season." That’s pretty cool.

Using the ‘Ignore’ option

Thanks to the initial round of feedback about our brand-new Chat. As you can see from the previous post’s comments, obviously the most-discussed early issue has been moderation. Starting with tonight’s games (9/13), you’ll all be able to get back into chat. If somebody is sending inappropriate messages, use the Ignore option and you won’t see any more messages from that person in the room. Thank you for your patience as we made this update. Remember that not everyone will ever see eye to eye as to what constitutes good or bad behavior. Think of it as being at the ballpark with 40,000 or 50,000 others. We at MLB Advanced Media will not be moderating these rooms, as noted at the bottom of the Lobby page, so you can feel free to just use Ignore if someone seems like they are out of hand. There is a max of 25 people per room, and if 24 people hit Ignore, that person will eventually notice that no one is responding. Keep the feedback coming and enjoy Chat!

Spheroid: Daily musings from 35th & Shields

MLBlogger: Michael | Where: Daily musings from 35th & Shields
Template: White Sox | About page | First post in The Show

Why did you sign up for an MLBlog?

I love to talk baseball — with friends, family, even random strangers. Here, I have an opportunity to write about the daily happenings around the league, with my team (the White Sox), how the season is shaping up, or just about any topic in general. I have something to say, and if people want to find me, now they know where they should go.

What is your favorite team and why?

I’ve been a White Sox fan since I knew what baseball was. It just goes with the territory — my entire family consists of White Sox fans, and it’s just been ingrained into me. If I had to choose a second, though, it would be the Boston Red Sox. I spent a year in Maine and really got to like the entire region, especially the sports in the area. When I got to go to Fenway last year to see the Red Sox and the White Sox play, it was like a dream come true.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Having also done regular newspaper columns, I know how difficult it can sometimes be to write on command. With a blog, I can write as little or as often as I want — and my columns can be as short or as long as I need. With a newspaper column you only get so many inches, and sometimes it’s a stretch to fill it all — and sometimes you have to condense a large part of your work into a short bit. On my blog, I’m unedited — whatever I say, goes.

Favorite blogs, including at least one in the MLBlogosphere:

Strangely enough, I don’t read too many outside blogs. However, I have to say that Bill Simmons’ recently created Basketball Blog is always entertaining. Here on MLBlogs, I’ve enjoyed reading the West Coast College Student Looking for East Coast Baseball Knowledge blog — Coral really likes her Angels, and always has something interesting to say. I don’t think she resents my White Sox fandom too much, either, despite the events of ’05.

My most memorable MLB moment:

Last September, I took my first baseball road trip. I started on the north side of Chicago at Wrigley Field, and saw games in Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and finished up at U.S. Cellular Field on the south side of Chicago. We also got to see a day of tennis at the U.S. Open, which was happening during the days we were in NYC. It was amazing. This year we’re doing it again, but for a longer time — in addition to the parks we hit last year, we’re also catching games in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and St. Louis. I can’t wait.

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

Well, being a professional musician when I’m not talking baseball, I’d probably be practicing. I work a lot, and when I’m not performing, I’m teaching, so it doesn’t leave me a lot of time during the day. But somehow I seem to still get everything done.

Last MLB item you bought:

Opening Day tickets to see the White Sox and Indians!

Who is your favorite MLB player?

For this, I have two answers. If you’re talking current, active players, I’m going to go with Paul Konerko. He has been the face of the White Sox for quite a few years now. I’d say a lot of people equate him with the "south side" mentality — a guy who worked his way up through the ranks to become a leader but at the same time does not allow himself to become complacent. He had a rough year in 2004, but followed that up with solid campaigns in 2005 and 2006, and that’s the hallmark of a great player — coming back and playing hard even though things may not have been going your way. I think the whole lineup of the White Sox exemplifies that — Thome, Dye, Konerko, A.J., everyone — they work hard and don’t take any B.S.

As far as all-time players go, I’ve got to say Ted Williams. I’ve got plenty of favorite White Sox players, and plenty of favorite all-time players, but for some reason Teddy stands out to me. Here’s a man who not only was one of the best hitters of all time, but a truly honorable man to boot. He accepted his compulsory military service even though he knew that it would take him away in the prime of his career, and served his country honorably in a time of war. He was a stand-up man, and in a day and age when that type of person is hard to find, he is a great role model for those who follow him.

Happiness is…

Enjoying Opening Day with my Dad, who I will be taking to the park with me again this year. It’s become a tradition, and even though it wasn’t technically Opening Day for us last year (we went to the third game of the season because of our collective schedules), we’ll continue the tradition again this year.

That’s why I’m hot: Want to be a Spheroid like Michael and get all Mims about your own MLBlog? Just email us your answers to these Nine Questions and put "SPHEROID" in the subject line, and we encourage you to include any links and images you’d like to see included. Then we’ll show why your blog is hot.

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 "Under the Lights" radio show that is still archived with others on the 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 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.

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.

‘Twas the week before…

Greetings, fellow MLBloggers! Only days remaining for those holiday shoppers out there, and the Shop is the place to find what you need. But you knew the Gift Guru was going to say that! I still want one of those Fatheads for my wall at my new place. And unless I missed it, someone still can be the first to blog about ordering the first Matsuzaka jersey.

If you need to contact me, please leave a comment here and let me know if you have emailed to I can’t keep up with that account because Yahoo! doesn’t care about spam that much, and no way to find your email otherwise if you send me anything.

I ran the Hot Chocolate 10-Miler Saturday at Central Park (2:07.07), and my pace was 12:42 so basically identical to my pace (12:41) of the Joe Kleinerman 10K there one week earlier — which got my NYC Marathon training program started. Having the same pace and adding four extra miles is a good thing, I guess. It’s starting to feel easier and morning runs becoming the norm. What an awesome feeling, life is better than ever. I also wanted to say that I think I am perhaps the only BBWAA voter who got TWO Hall of Fame ballots. Because of my move on Dec. 1, the Hall of Fame ballot was sent to my old address but I also requested one sent to my new one just in case there were any forwarding issues. So I just got my second ballot last week after mailing my first one. Obviously I can’t send back two ballots but I now have a pristine souvenir version, kind of like an unused ticket. I’m not sayin’ eBay, I’m just sayin’.  đŸ™‚

Our friend Daron Sutton over at The Dog Ate Daron’s Homework had some nice comments about Jeff Bagwell, speaking of the Hall of Fame. Our friend Derek over at OK Blue Jays gives the perfect example of an offseason blog, and why this technology just makes being a fan better. He can instantly post an alert to what a baseball writer like Buster Olney just reported, and in the process give his take. These are things we all take for granted now, but just remember how it used to be in the old days, when you could only really talk about it the next morning at work or to friends somewhere. And by the way, what did you think of TIME magazine declaring YOU as its Person of the Year for 2006? It’s because of things like this. It’s because of myspace and gootube and facebook and everywhere that people on Earth can communicate and share in this way. We have big intentions at MLB of keeping up with that insatiable citizen journalist.

Welcome to a lot more MLBlogs Rookies like Baseball Chick, Laying Out and a My Weblog that is to be named later. . . . For those of you who have enjoyed Brooks Robinson’s MLBlog in the past year and a half here, did you know that you can win a signed jersey from him?

If you have news on your MLBlog that you want others to know about, then be sure to leave a comment here regularly along with your URL. It’s another way to help drive eyeballs to your blog. Remember that MLBlogs is linked from everywhere at MLB Advanced Media, so and 30 clubs sites (2 billion+ uniques per year) form the gateway toward your blog. Keep those posts coming through the holidays and have fun!

Spheroid: The Rumor Mill

Rumor is a pipe/Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures. — Shakespeare, in Henry IV, Part 2, Act 1

Mortua—sed non sepulta! Mortua—sed non sepulta! (Dead—but not buried! Dead—but not buried!) —  Elizabeth I, 1599, upon learning of rumors that she had died. Repeated often until her death four years later.

I am astonished to observe how willing men are to lumber their minds with such rubbish, — to permit idle rumors and incidents of the most insignificant kind to intrude on ground which should be sacred to thought. Shall the mind be a public arena, where the affairs of the street and the gossip of the tea-table chiefly are discussed?
— Henry David Thoreau, 1863

Rumor doth double, like the voice and echo/The numbers of the feared. — Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Act 2

The nature of rumor is known to all. — Tertullian, Roman church father (c. 150-230)

The mind that’s conscious of its rectitude/Laughs at the lies of rumor. — Ovid, Roman poet (43 BC-AD 18)

Having said all that, baseball fans love rumors. For better or for worse, they make the Hot Stove go around. There will be rumors left and right, around the clock, between now and Spring Training, and even they don’t end. The Rumor Mill is the newest purveyor of juicy rumors at MLBlogs, a convenient repository for right or wrong, hits and misses. Although there is no real identity attached to that blog, there is a Spheroid, and we thank that MLBlogger for replying to these questions:

Why do you blog?

I love sports. Specifically baseball, but really I just love sports in general. I also enjoy writing, so blogging seems to be a pretty natural extension of those two hobbies. Plus, I’m always digging around the Net for the latest rumor anyway, so why not post what I find?

What was your favorite post?

Probably whichever one I wrote last. My blog doesn’t really lend itself to amazing posts, I just try to present the information that I find and make it entertaining to read.

Strangest blogging experience?

I’ve had a couple of controversial sports blogs before joining up here at MLBlogs. My football blog ended getting me interviewed when Mike Martz did indeed get fired, and my blog brought in an amazing amount of hate mail from both Cubs fans and Cardinals fans alike. I try to keep it pretty low key here.

Favorite blogs, including at least one in the MLBlogosphere:

I enjoy reading the blogs of people in the game like John Rodriquez or Mike Shannon. I also make sure to never miss Hot Stove and Beyond, Party like its 1982, and The Old English D.

Which Spheroid did you copy these questions from?

Red Sox Teen Nation.

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

Probably talking my Dad’s ear off. We talk baseball quite a bit but I always end up talking more than he does. So now instead of running up the phone bill, I just blog and make sure he reads it.

Where is the Blogosphere going?

I think it’s become the newest form of media. The quickest way to get news out there is for bloggers to pick it up and run with it. I think quality writers now have a better chance of making a name for themselves and developing "fans", if you will. I think secretly, every MLBlogger (is that we are called?) secretly wants to be a sportswriter and who knows, maybe some will.

Favorite team and why:

The World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. I grew up just outside of St. Louis and was raised a Cardinals fan. Scott Terry handed me a ball at my first game (I was too young to remember but have been told the story a hundred times) and I’ve been hooked ever since.

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

I recently got married. Its been amazing and has led to some hilarious fights that I write about at (Yes, I know I have too many blogs. And yes, I’m seeking treatment.)

Happiness is:

The Cardinals finally winning a World Series title in my lifetime (hey, I’m a young-un). I was at Game 4 of the 2004 World Series and, while it was awesome to see history being made and the Red Sox fans finally getting to celebrate, it feels a lot better to be on this side of it. GO CARDS!

Want to get some easy airtime for your MLBlog? Point more people your way by emailing us with your responses to these or any questions from previous Spheroids. Now go get your rumor fix

Spheroid: Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf

When you think about it, a Major League Baseball season is like a good book. It opens with an inviting scene from Spring Training or Opening Day. It grips you throughout and all but catches on fire from burning through the pages until you finally come to the final chapter and some team like the St. Louis Cardinals is discovered in the mysterious thinning pages. But books themselves are a rich part of the baseball lore, and new ones to behold next spring are being cranked out by publishers as we speak. Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf explores that side of the game, and we thank him for answering the Nine Questions as today’s featured Spheroid

1. What are the best reasons that other baseball fans should visit your MLBlog?

Baseball has always enjoyed a rich literary tradition. More words have been written about the national pastime than all other sports combined. I wanted to share my interest with others wishing to learn more about the game. I’ve written about baseball books for more than a dozen years now. My reviews, interviews, and features have appeared in such publications as Baseball America, New York Sportscene, January Magazine, Mental Floss, Irish America, E Magazine, Elysian Fields Quarterly, and Nine, among others.

Tedwilliams2. Favorite team and why:

The first game I ever attended was a Mets-Pirates contest in 1966. Ever since then — love ’em or hate ’em — it’s been the Mets. Having familial roots in Montreal, I also have a soft spot for the Expos.

3. If your MLBlog were any baseball player past or present, who would he be and why?

Ted Williams had a legendary knowledge of the history of game. I humbly respond in his honor and memory.

4. How did you first hear about MLBlogs and why did you join The Show?

I’ve enjoyed the site for years, and I’ve had a blog on another site for a few months. Once I discovered MLBlogs, I figured it would be a perfect marriage.

5. Favorite blogs of any kind, including at least one in the MLBlogosphere?

I enjoy media-related topics, so I like,, and The Huffington Report is amusing, hosting an eclectic group of writers. As for MLBlogs — with all due respect, I don’t read those pertaining to individual teams or players. I’m more of a generalist, even though I’ve been a Mets fan since their early days and an Expos fans since their birth. I like sites like ATM: He Said, She Said, Curt Smith’s Voice of the Game, and Baseball in the Classroom, a blog from the Hall of Fame.

6. What is something not on your About page that MLBloggers should know about you?

I worked for 20 years in a job I hated until I became a writer for a weekly newspaper closer to home. Talk about paying your dues.

7. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Keeps me out of bars.

8. Your most memorable Major League moment(s):

The time I took my father to his first ballgame. He was a hard-working guy from the "old country" and didn’t much care about sports, but he was happy to share that time with me.

9. Happiness is…

Elusive for some, easy for others . . . and all relative.

Want to be a featured Spheroid like Ron and lead more people to your MLBlog? Just email us your own responses to those Nine Questions.

Spheroid: Cappiello’s Yankee Corner


With the Atlanta Braves’ MLB-record streak of division titles coming to an end in 2006, it’s looking like the Yankees are on their way toward celebrating what would be the Majors’ longest such streak at nine consecutive years at the top of the American League East. That’s fine with one of our newest MLBloggers over at Cappiello’s Yankee Corner, and our thanks to Matt for taking the time to step up as the latest Spheroid. Nine Questions with today’s featured blogger:

1. What are the best reasons that other baseball fans should visit your MLBlog?

Level-headed critiques with a good beat that you can dance to.

2. Favorite team and why:

Yanks. I eschewed a Met upbringing. The likes of Piniella, Randolph and Gossage were more alluring to me than Stearns, Staub and Falcone. Though I was transfixed by John Pacella’s hat falling off after every pitch.

3. If your MLBlog were any baseball player past or present, who would he be and why?

Colorful, a dose of curveballs, and unshaven: Bert Blyleven, but without the salty language.

4. How did you first hear about MLBlogs and why did you join The Show?

I learned of MLBlogs by perusing the site. I live in LA, which is not a fervent baseball town, so no one listens to me when I start ranting about the right fielder missing the cutoff man. I started the blog so my friends in NY can check it to answer the daily baseball question, "What would Matt do?" Plus, I thought this would yield more results when my name is typed into Google.

5. Favorite blogs of any kind, including at least one in the MLBlogosphere?

I’m new, but Mile High Yankees stands out. Jacob is even-tempered and doesn’t complain as much as I do. Tommy Lasorda should also be visited because…he’s Tommy Lasorda. Of non-MLBlogs,’s Pinstriped Blog puts most blogs to shame with excellent analysis and Kafka references.

6. What is something not on your About page that MLBloggers should know about you?

I fly across the country for World Series games, but not for family Christenings. People in my family are not blog-savvy, so I feel comfortable saying that.

7. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Being fast and loose with Sal Fasano references.

8. Your most memorable Major League moment(s):

If I was still 8 I would say a Dave Kingman game-winning homer that prompted fans to litter the field at Shea with giveaway Donniebaseball
seat cushions. But my actual answer is: Mattingly’s ALDS homer in ’95…which prompted fans to litter the field with things much harder than seat cushions.

9. Happiness is…

A number three hitter dropping down a successful bunt, then pointing to the stands and thanking me for the idea.

Please stop by Matt’s MLBlog at Cappiello’s Yankee Corner to leave comments, and feel free to email us with your own responses to those Nine Questions if you’d like some extra eyeballs for your own MLBlog!

See all Spheroids >

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