May 20, 2004
The Beauty of the Internet
In addition to being a great source of baseball writing and porn, the other amazing thing about the internet is the little web communities
For instance, over the 22 months or so that this blog has been up and running, I've developed a great group of loyal readers and e-mailers. It's really quite wonderful. There are enough of you coming here (and The Hardball Times) to read what I have to say every day that I know I need to a) be on top of my game as often as possible and b) be prepared to get tons of e-mails when I'm not.
I also get plenty of feedback when I write something good (it does happen, contrary to what you may have heard), but it's the times when I'm off my game and someone tells me about it that I remember.
Beyond the daily readership and the e-mails keeping me on task, the other awesome thing about having this blog and the community that comes with it is that you guys are always looking out for me.
Over the last 22 months, I've been mentioned at any number of awesome places, from ESPN.com and Yahoo!'s Site of the Day to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Chicago Tribune. Now, I am on the internet, reading stuff, more than most would think humanly possible. In fact, I am going to admit right now that I am actually addicted to my computer.
Still, despite my spending approximately 23.5 hours per day surfing the web, IMing and e-mailing (this is barely an exaggeration, as anyone who has me on their buddy list can attest to), I am but one man, whereas you are an entire group of people. So, when my name pops up somewhere, I get e-mails about it almost immediately.
One of my favorite "community moments" was when I got mentioned in a Jayson Stark column on ESPN.com. I read Jayson Stark regularly (though not every column), but I hadn't read that one. I might have stumbled it on my own, but I never got a chance to. About 30 seconds after the column went live on ESPN.com, I got bombarded with e-mails telling me about it.
And when I say bombarded, I mean it. The first wave, the ones that come immediately after something shows up in "print," are the ones that say, "Aaron, you have to check out Stark's column ... you got mentioned!"
Then I head over there and I read it, obviously. And then the second wave comes a few hours later, when the e-mails say, "Not sure if you saw this yet, but you got mentioned in a Jayson Stark column."
Then the stragglers come in, maybe 10 hours later, and say, "You probably know this already, but you got mentioned in a Jayson Stark column."
The last batch usually comes maybe 2-3 days later. I would call these people the last line of defense. They are there just in case the entire world forgot to read Jayson Stark that week, so they say, "Aaron, you got mentioned in a Jayson Stark column three days ago. Congrats."
It's really a beautiful thing, because I get the feeling that there are a number of you who are honestly happy and excited to see my name in lights. And it goes beyond "big time" mentions like ESPN.com. It extends to all the hundreds of blogs and minor websites out there. Having you guys around to keep track of those for me is even better, because while I read Jayson Stark, odds are that I am not familiar with the New York Mets blog that gets 20 readers per day and has been bashing me for a week straight.
All of which (you knew there was a point to this, didn't you?) brings me to yesterday afternoon. I played a little more 1-on-1 baseball with my uncle around lunchtime (I lost by one run, yet again) and returned home to find a bunch of e-mails like this one, from D.L.:
Thought you might be interested in # 47.
Don't ask me why I was on this site, I think it's pretty obvious.
Or this one, from Kevin:
I came across this chick's blog and I was reading it when I saw you name. Pretty funny. Check it out.
And so I clicked on one of those links and found myself at a little blog called ...
Stripper by Night -- "Meanderings by me about my job, my other job, my poker hobby, my love life (or lack thereof), and other fascinating thoughts."
I looked around for a bit and saw that the blog has been up and running for just one week and there were only five total entries. Then I scrolled down to an entry from Monday entitled "Just tuning in? Here are 50 facts you now know about me."
Here are a few of them:
1. My name shall remian a mystery. However, you can call me Taylor, as it's the name I use at the club.
2. I live in Minnetonka, MN.
4. 132 pounds
5. brunette (currently with blonde highlights)
Remember that first e-mailer who said, "Don't ask me why I was on this site, I think it's pretty obvious"?
After reading 1-5 on this list I figued out why. There is almost an unspoken rule among guys on the internet that there are some sites that a guy normally wouldn't go to, except for that fact that either a) it has pictures of good looking women on it or b) it is written by a woman who is good looking.
It is the internet equivalent of going to a Hugh Grant movie with a girl. If you run into your buddy at the movie theater and he sees which movie you're going to, you just say to him, "Don't ask me why I'm here, I think it's pretty obvious."
I read on:
11. I've been moonlighting as a dancer at a gentleman's club for a year and a half now. I started to earn extra money to buy a house, and have kept it up.
12. "Dancer" is not really the truth. I strip. I do not remove my thong.
13. 34B. Small, but perky.
For those of you planning to e-mail to complain that this should be "a family website," let me remind you that families have women in them too.
So okay, we've got a "dancer" living in Minnesota and, in trying to figue out how to relate this to baseball, it sounds like she's got good "tools."
Moving on, I see the following combination that puts Joe Louis to shame:
15. I enjoy internet poker immensely. I love ESPN's poker shows. I play at Canterbury a couple times a week.
16. I am a huge flirt. HUGE.
19. I rarely wear low-cut tops, except when I play live poker. Anything for an edge.
24. Love the Milwaukee Brewers. My dad is a partial season ticket holder.
25. Have grown fond of the Minesota Timberwolves.
37. Love blackjack. Rarely win.
38. If it was called "23", I'd never lose.
46. I watch Seinfeld 4 times a day.
To be honest, the cynic in me was saying "this is not an actual person" about half way through that. There are some other "interesting" ones too, but they probably cross the line for a "family website" that even I'm not prepared to cross (which is perfectly fine, in my opinion, just not for this blog).
- Lives in Minnesota
- Good tools
- Loves poker
- Seinfeld too
- Brewers fan (we'll cut her some slack on this one, since it's baseball at least)
- Becoming a T-Wolves fan.
After reading this, I think I probably had the same feeling some scout had many years ago, when he first saw Willie Mays. So overwhelmed that you're not even sure which thing to focus on. You call the GM and you just blurt out, "POWER! SPEED! ARM! OHMIGODOHMYGOD!"
And then I came to the kicker, the thing that made me go from "this isn't an actual human being" to "this better be an actual human being":
47. Aaron Gleeman is the best baseball writer out there. And, he likes poker and Seinfeld. I should ask him out.
I guess this would be like if Willie Mays told the scout, "Did I mention I also pitch?" Actually, it's more like if he said that and then added, "Oh, and I have a twin brother who plays too."
(Stop by and tell "Taylor" I said hello.)
San Diego (Eaton) +140 over Philadelphia (Millwood)
Milwaukee (Sheets) -130 over Pittsburgh (Fogg)
Colorado (Young) +140 over New York (Ginter)
Houston (Pettitte) -150 over Cincinnati (Van Poppel)
New York (Brown) -155 over Texas (Benoit)
Chicago (Buehrle) -115 over Minnesota (Silva)
Total to date: -$430
W/L record: 53-65 (2-3 yesterday for -120. So much for my big comeback.)
*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****