July 31, 2003
365 days later
Exactly one year ago today, I was reading one of my favorite websites, David Pinto's Baseball Musings, when I read the following:
"Zachary D Manprin has started a blog on the Oakland Athletics. This is the fourth or fifth blog that a reader has started. It's lots of fun, a great way to vent your feeling about baseball, or any subject of interest. Give it a try."
I was home from school for the Summer, without a job, and I definitely needed a a place "vent" about baseball. The whole blog thing sound like a fun idea, so figured what the heck and I did as David suggested and gave it a try.
Well, it's now a year later. The Summer ended, I went back to school and miraculously completed my sophomore year, and now I'm back at home, without a job again. And I'm still writing about baseball.
To be honest, I never even thought about this whole blog thing being anything more than a hobby for the rest of last Summer. It's now a year later, I've written literally several hundred entries and over 140,000 visitors have stopped by to read them. It's quite amazing to me, not only that that many of you have taken an interest in what I have to say, but that I was able to stick with something for an entire year!
As I do at the beginning of every month, here is the month-by-month visitor count for Aaron's Baseball Blog:
Month Visitors Per Day
August 2,800 90
September 3,200 107
October 4,200 135
November 4,400 147
December 6,600 213
January 7,800 252
February 10,100 361
March 11,500 371
April 14,900 497
May 20,550 663
June 25,950 865
July 30,200 974
TOTAL 142,200 390
I do think it is getting to the point that expecting each month's totals to continue to rise is wishful thinking, but I've been saying that for a while now, so who knows?
I really want to thank everyone who has stopped here over the last year. I've enjoyed doing this more than anything I've ever done. Waking up each morning to check all the emails I have gotten from people always starts my day off right and checking the visitor totals for that day before I go to bed always gives it a nice ending too.
I also want to thank all my fellow bloggers and other writers out there who have given me words on encouragement and plugs on their sites and, in a few cases, have become my friends. A special thanks to David Pinto, who unknowingly inspired me to do this on a Thursday afternoon last August.
It's been a really fun year for me and I hope you have all enjoyed it as well. If you promise to keep stopping by everyday, I'll promise to keep writing. And if you enjoy this site, don't be afraid to tell some people about it. Whether that means telling a few guys at your office or a couple buddies in one of your fantasy leagues or giving me a plug on your website - every little bit helps.
To celebrate the blog's one year anniversary, I thought it would be fun to take a look at back at the millions of words I typed into this blog over the past 365 days and pull out some of the more interesting ones. From the brilliant predictions and the funny lines to the horrible predictions and the lame attempts at humor, from the insightful to the unintelligible and the sublime to the ridicluous...
Aaron's Baseball Blog, August 1, 2002 - August 1, 2003: The Year in Quotes
"I just finished watching Marlins' ace A.J. Burnett improve to 11-7 by shutting out the St. Louis Cardinals. Burnett has been one of baseball's top pitchers throughout the season and he was awesome tonight, but the way his manager, Jeff Torborg, is using him has me worried about his future."
[My first ever entry. I didn't know it at the time, but not only would I spend the next year writing entries about baseball on this blog, a very large portion of them would be devoted to A.J. Burnett and his injuries.]
"The Red Sox (finally) released Jose Offerman. Unlike everyone else who pays attention to major league baseball, this apparently came as a huge shock to Jose."
[The first entry in which I openly mock someone, something that has become a staple of Aaron's Baseball Blog.]
"There are some stupid people in this world. There are some really stupid people in this world. There are some people that I would go so far as to call complete morons. When those people say something idiotic, you can live with it because, well, they are morons, they have an excuse.
Then there is Phil Rogers."
[The first of many entries devoted entirely to bashing the hell out of Phil Rogers. A year later, it still hasn't gotten old.]
"Barry Bonds just deposited career home run #600 over the fence in straight away center, at Pac Bell.
I don't really have much to add at this moment. I just wanted to say that I was watching while it happened, and it was pretty freaking cool. It strikes me that I may have just watched the 600th career home run by the greatest ballplayer I will ever see play. And I am only 20 years old.
There is nothing quite like baseball when it is right. Congrats Barry."
[And thus begins the worshipping of Superman on this blog.]
"I have seen the future and it's name is Mark Prior.
I saw a 4-time Cy Young Award winner pitch today. This 5-time league ERA champion only went 6 innings. But the Cubs' all-time leader in strikeouts and wins did manage to strikeout 12 Astros in those 6 innings. However, this 4-time 20 game winner didn't even get the victory. Yeah, that's right, I saw Mark Prior pitch today.
[And thus begins the worshipping of Mark Prior on this blog.]
"I suspect that many of you are not very familiar with [Johan] Santana, but with the way he has pitched this season, that might change very quickly."
[Just like that, the FREE JOHAN SANTANA! campaign was off and running.]
"I just read that the Marlins are considering letting A.J. Burnett pitch again this season, "to test his elbow." This strikes me as something that is incredibly dumb, although that would certainly not be anything new for the Marlins. Apparently they want him to throw a few innings in a game in September to see whether or not he needs surgery. Whether or not he needs surgery?!?! So there is a chance he already needs surgery and a) they don't know it and b) they want him to pitch again. Absolutely incredible..."
[Example #1,245,042 of 5,430,056 of me calling into question the way the Marlins are handling A.J. Burnett.]
"If ESPN's #1 analyst, Joe Morgan, didn't write his (often idiotic) opinions each week on ESPN.com, I would probably like him as an announcer more than I do."
[Ah, the first anti-Joe Morgan entry. Don't worry Joe, it gets much worse in a few months.]
"Francisco Rodriguez can throw it a little bit."
[Uttered immediately after Rodriguez made his post-season debut. I believe that statement officially qualifies for Understatement of the Year.]
"After going approximately 19 years and 9 months without any mention in a major metropolitan newspaper, Yours Truly has now been mentioned twice in one week! I already talked about my mention on StarTribune.com (Minneapolis' newspaper) last week. And today I found out that this site is mentioned in a Chicago Tribune article too."
[My head officially begins to swell.]
I live in a dorm at the University of Minnesota. My floor has a student "Community Advisor" that lives on the floor and sort of runs things. Here is the exact, word-for-word bulletin/note that he posted inside of the men's bathroom yesterday (I stole one of the many copies of this bulletin, so as to accurately reproduce it for my audience):
REQUESTS FROM YOUR COMMUNITY ADVISOR
Please respect this floor as I respect you and your room
1) Flush the toilet when you are done using it! The floor would appreciate not looking at others feces before they use the toilet.
2) Do not leave trash in the hallway or bathroom. There are multiple disposal areas on the floor designated for garbage and the hallway and drinking fountain are not on the list.
3) Do not dispose of food in the sinks or drinking fountain Dump unfinished food in the garbage or flush it down the toilet.
If you gentlemen do not abide by these three requests I will begin documenting and directing attention toward things that I am sure you would like to keep to yourselves.
One person can ruin it for the entire floor.
Thank you to everyone that has respected these already, please continue to make this is a pleasant environment to live in.
If there are questions please come talk to me.
Yep, that's dorm life for ya. Feces in unflushed toilets. Trash in the hallways. Old food in the drinking fountains. Threats of revealing things that "you would like to keep to yourselves." (read: sex, drugs and rock & roll). And a Community Advisor that suggests flushing unfinished food "down the toilet."
[Your first real glimpse into the glamorous life of a blogger. I have some other "interesting" dorm stories to tell, but I'll spare you.]
Kansas City waived shortstop Neifi Perez. This transaction brought to mind a bit I remember hearing George Carlin do. He basically said:
'Do you realize that somewhere in the world is the worst doctor? There is a guy who is a doctor, but he is the worst doctor. And somewhere, someone has an appointment to see him!'
Neifi Perez was baseball's version of the worst doctor in the world this year. For the past season and a half, the Royals have not only had an appointment to see him, they traded Jermaine Dye and about $5 million bucks for the appointment!
[My ode to Neifi remains one of my favorite entries. Amazingly, he hasn't been completely horrendous this season.]
"The Red Sox named Theo Epstein General Manager yesterday. Congrats to Theo. From everything I have heard about him, he sounds like an incredibly smart guy with a great baseball mind and I think he will do an excellent job in Boston.
As many of you probably heard, he is 28 years old, making him the youngest GM in the history of MLB. As many of you also probably heard, I am 19 years old and my biggest dream in life is to be the GM of a Major League Baseball team. For that reason, I am so incredibly jealous of Theo Epstein right now that I don't know how to contain myself. If you ever feel like hiring someone even younger than you, please PLEASE PLEASE let me know."
[I'd say the Theo Epstein Era in Boston is off to a pretty good start. Oh, and that offer still hands Mr. Epstein, sir.]
First things first, before I get to the baseball stuff, I must deal with the most important news of the weekend. Yes, that's right...Heidi Klum is now a free agent. The future Mrs. Gleeman divorced husband Ric Pipino and is now "on the market." Heidi, I am sure you are an avid reader of Aaron's Baseball Blog, so please send me an email, let's talk...
[The first of many entries devoted to the lovely Ms. Klum, who, surprisingly, has yet to contact me.]
"Yesterday was my first day of classes for second semester. A few of the highlights...
I took my usual glance around the [class]room. This is always a fun experience, particularly in a small class like this (about 20 people). I continued my glance, but was quickly interrupted when an older man, probably around 50, stood up and hurriedly told the teacher that he needed to go to the bathroom. As he was leaving the room, I noticed a rather large spot of moisture on the crotch of his grey sweatpants. I just assumed that a grown man of 50 (or so) wouldn't pee on himself and then ask to use the restroom while in a non-fiction writing class, so I waited for him to return to the room, hoping for some sort of clues or an explanation.
He returned, with the large, damp spot still intact and later told everyone that he was taking some medication that was a diuretic. I immediately felt bad for the man, because he had in fact peed his pants in the middle of a college class. However, I obviously didn't feel that bad for him, seeing as though I have now reported it to my entire, massive audience."
[Another thrilling look into my everyday life. Amazingly, the guy continued to "pee his pants" in class for the next several meetings and then mysteriously dropped the class around the 3rd week, never to be seen again.]
The Pudge Meister.
The King of Pudge-ville.
Sorry, I just felt like doing that for some strange reason. The Florida Marlins inked Ivan Rodriguez to a 1 year year contract yesterday, for $10 million dollars."
[This is the first official sign of me going insane. The process is still ongoing, as far as I known.]
"For I am Gleeman, LORD OF THE IDIOTS!
I am an idiot.
I like to live in a cool environment. Now, by "cool" I don't mean good or nice or whatever else you want to use the slang term to represent. By cool, I mean literally cool. When I am not at the dorm, I keep the temperature in the house at 67 degrees and sit comfortably while my mother and dog shiver under layers of blankets. When I am at the dorm, like right now, I keep the window in my room open, despite the fact that it was 0 (yes, ZERO) degrees outside yesterday. I don't know what to tell you, I can only sleep when I am cold.
So anyway, back to why I am an idiot. I wake up yesterday morning and hop out of bed. I was all set to walk across the room to hit the snooze button on my alarm when I think to myself, "Hmm...it's kind cold...maybe I'll close the window before I go back to sleep." So I mosey on over to the window, with what I like to call my "sleep face" in full effect (eyes swollen shut, hair completely out of sorts, mouth all stinky and gross, etc). I go to close the window and I get about 75% of the way through the job when I realize I just dropped the window on my finger.
I am an idiot.
I finish closing the window and then look down at my finger. It is all bloody and the nail is already purple. Not a good thing to be looking at first thing in the morning, especially when you have to squint to see because your eyes are still swollen shut. It is about this time that it starts hurting. A lot.
Anyway, there is no punchline to this story and definitely no moral. I just wanted to inform everyone that I am, in fact, an idiot."
[Another look into the always fascinating life of one Aaron Gleeman. For those of you wondering, my finger is completely healed and I remain a gigantic idiot.]
Letter number one comes to us from Heidi K.:
'Aaron you sexy thing, I am so sorry to hear about you dropping a window on your finger. It is too bad I don't live in Minnesota or I would come over to your dorm room and kiss it and make it better.'"
[An example of me utilizing an injury to advance my effort to stalk Heidi Klum, who, again, has yet to respond to any of my numerous advances.]
"In my book, the only acceptable reason for a girl making me go outside, in the Minnesota winter, at 10 pm and walk a half hour to her dorm is...well, I don't want to finish that sentence, because I am pretty sure my mom reads this blog every day."
[That quote, taken just slightly out of context, is another exciting look into my life as a college student. It is also the first official "Aaron's Baseball Blog Life Lesson," so I hope you kids out there were paying attention. You might want to write that down and keep it in your wallet or something.]
I was in my non-fiction writing class. We were talking about books we've read recently and I said that I had read "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy," by Jane Leavy. So, as I'm leaving class I walk by this girl and she reaches out and grabs me by the shoulder.
Girl: Hey, Aaron right?
Girl: Guess what?
Girl: One of my nicknames is "Koufax!"
Me (having completely forgotten that I had talked about reading the Sandy Koufax book 15 minutes earlier): Koufax?
Me (amazingly remembering the girl's name is Sandee): Oh, yeah...cause you're Sandee, right?
Girl: Yep, people call me that all the time!
Me: [awkward pause] Well, that's cool...um...see ya.
Girl: Oh...ok...bye...have a good day...
Damn, I am soooooo smooth. I don't mind making a fool of myself by saying dumb things as much as I do not being able to think of even a single thing that could possibly keep a conversation alive!
So I leave class with my confidence quite shaken and I hop on the bus that will take me back to my dorm. I sit down next to this cute little blonde and, amazingly, start up a decent conversation. I shocked the hell out of myself, but I figured I'd try to keep chatting as long as possible.
So we are talking, about the campus bus system (she doesn't like it), about her classes (she's an English major) and some other stuff. She's laughing (and not at me!) and I'm "on top of my game." We're approaching 10 minutes of conversation when we finally get to my stop. Feeling confident, I manage to come up with a non-embarrassing goodbye and get up to leave...
BOOM, I smack my head on the metal bar hanging over the seat near the ceiling of the bus! I doubt she even noticed, but I did. Now, the first thing that says about me is that I am tall - which is good, I guess. In addition to that, it was almost like the bus felt the need to remind me that I'm just not that smooth with the ladies. Sort of like saying: "Hey Gleeman, where do you get the nerve successfully talking to an attractive female on me?!"
I would like to appologize to the bus and say that I am pretty sure it won't happen again."
"'Here Comes the Sun'
Little darling, it's been a long, long lonely winter
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say, it's alright
Little darling, the smiles are returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since they've been there
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say, it's alright
Little darling, mmmmmm, I see the ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
There goes the sun
Here comes the sun
And I say, it's alright
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
And I say, it's alright
OPENING DAY IS HERE! ("It seems like years since it's been here")"
[The best day of the year. I finally had actual baseball to write about again.]
"Last week I asked everyone to vote on their favorite nickname for Luis Rivas. The result of the vote was almost completely in favor of one nickname, which also happens to be the one I like the best, which means it is now his official nickname! From now on (or at least until Luis or a member of his family hunts me down and murders me), Luis Rivas is (drumroll please)...
[And just like that, a nickname was born. Also, I am still alive, which likely means no members of Luis' immediate family are readers of this blog.]
"Anyway, A.J. Burnett went back on the disabled list over the weekend and is likely facing major elbow surgery and is probably out for the season - at least."
[The well-documented saga continues.]
"I am gonna keep this short and sweet. I have 2 finals today and a third class in which a "Final Paper" is due. As you can probably guess, I am wayyyyyyyy stressed out and about ready to concede failure on at least one of the finals.
So, if you've got something you pray to or a lucky something you rub, I'd appreciate you praying to it and rubbing it for me. Trust me when I say this: I need all the help I can get."
[More on (and moron) the life of a college student. Also, thanks to everyone who prayed and rubbed, because it worked!]
"'The Miami Herald is reporting in Sunday editions that Marlins manager Jeff Torborg has been fired.'
Well, my job here is done."
[The saga continues some more.]
"Very late Thursday night/early Friday morning (like around 12:30 am), I suddenly got bombarded with emails. They were flying into my mailbox left and right and I was also getting "instant messaged" by just about everyone on my 'buddy list.' The basic topic of all of them was: 'Holy s---! You got mentioned in a Jayson Stark article on ESPN.com!'
Holy s---! indeed."
[It is at this point that my head officially was given it's own area code.]
"At what point is it okay to call Joe Morgan an idiot? I mean, it is obvious from listening to Joe that he is a fairly smart guy. He speaks well, he has quite a lot of intelligent thoughts and he generally comes off as a person of above-average intelligence. But c'mon Joe!
Not only does Joe have his facts wrong about Billy Beane and Moneyball, he is now making a big deal about the situation, based on his incorrect facts. It is to the point that Joe bashes the A's/Billy Beane/Moneyball at every possible opportunity he gets, whether it is on ESPN, ESPN.com, ESPN Radio, wherever. It is almost an obsession. And I think it is all based on Joe being incredibly offended by Billy Beane writing a book that Billy Beane didn't even write!
It really is quite incredible. I mean, Joe is doing a chat and someone asks him an innocent question about what he would do to improve the A's struggling offense "if he was Billy Beane." And Joe immediately takes that opportunity to bash Beane for writing Moneyball.
When I first started paying attention to baseball heavily in the early 90s, I thought Joe Morgan was awesome. He did national games and I thought he was really a great announcer. At this point, I think Joe is slowly becoming an angry old man, who seems to have latched onto the idea that any new baseball knowledge is bad baseball knowledge and the fact that the GM of a baseball team that uses some of that new knowledge would write a book and show himself as the genius behind the franchise really offends Joe Morgan. Never mind the fact that a person named Michael Lewis - an author with several best-selling books - actually wrote Moneyball and Billy Beane had absolutely nothing to do with the content that was in the book or the manner in which he was portrayed.
Someone needs to tell Joe that the subject of a book doesn't always write the book and they need to do it pretty fast, because Joe Morgan is starting to really look like an ass."
[See Joe, I told you it got much worse.]
"Joe is a smart guy, so I don't know what the heck is going on with him lately. He has been saying weird stuff for years now, but lately it is getting very weird. First he goes off on weekly rants about Billy Beane and Moneyball, ripping Oakland's GM for writing a book he didn't write. Now he makes a statement in an article and then, about 24 hours later, denies he made any such statement and actually scolds people for "putting words in his mouth." Nevermind the fact that he has been putting words - no, make that an entire book - in the mouth of Billy Beane."
[In one of the more interesting developments of the Summer, Joe Morgan officially went insane. Fortunately, I was there to cover every minute of it.]
"Freedom finally rang for Twins fans Saturday night.
Joe Mays gave up 5 runs in 3 innings against the Cleveland Indians, raising his season ERA to 6.57. After the game, the Twins announced that Mays was no longer a member of the starting rotation and he would instead be pitching out of the bullpen.
Beyond the freedom of Twins fans to not have to watch Joe Mays pitch every fifth day, the more important liberation that took place over the weekend is that of Johan Santana. Santana, aka "The Official Pitcher of Aaron's Baseball Blog," will take over Mays' spot in the rotation, starting with Friday's game against the Angels."
[Mission accomplished! The Johan Santana Liberation Movement was successful.]
"Let me put it to you this way: In their primes (which, in my opinion, was about 2 years ago), Christina Aguilera could maybe have competed with Britney Spears in the looks department on her best day and Britney's worst day. Maybe."
[I take time out of my busy schedule to answer one of the most important questions in the history of mankind.]
And there you have it, an entire year's worth of writing. From A.J. Burnett, Johan Santana, Bobby Kielty and Barry Bonds, to Heidi Klum, Joe Morgan and Britney Spears. It was a lot of fun and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.
Here's hoping the next 12 months are just as fun!
If you missed any of this week's previous entries, here they are:
Monday: Lima Time!
Tuesday: Eating Innings 101
Wednesday: From Rags to Riches: The story of Theo and his bullpen
Thursday: Another worn out welcome
Arizona (Schilling) -140 over Chicago (Cruz)
Tampa Bay (Kennedy) +200 over Kansas City (Lima)
Chicago (Colon) +110 over Seattle (Garcia)
Total to date: + 925
W/L record: 191-194 (3-5 yesterday, although I broke even thanks to a +340 against Pedro.)
*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****