January 3, 2012

Beginning my age-29 season

I started this blog as a 19-year-old and today is my 29th birthday, which probably qualifies as more depressing than impressive. I'm not big into celebrating birthdays--as of now my exciting plans for the evening involve recording a podcast--but it does seem like a good time for a little state-of-the-blog (and state-of-the-blogger) address. And to say thanks, because despite the Twins having arguably their worst season in team history 2011 was a pretty good year for me.

Writing about a 99-loss team wasn't much fun and I certainly can't blame anyone who decided that reading about the Twins was equally bleak, yet even though late-season traffic was down compared to past years AG.com surpassed 1.2 million visitors in 2011. Back in 2002 that many people coming here would've sounded impossible and the motivation that comes with a larger audience than I ever expected is a big part of why I'm still blogging nearly a decade later.

I'm also grateful for the response to "Gleeman and The Geek" with John Bonnes. In retrospect starting a podcast in September of the worst year in team history and without any idea what we were doing wasn't the brightest decision, but the audience topped my long-term hopes in the debut episode and we're now getting 5,000 listeners per show. As a lifelong talk radio fan who's now obsessed with podcasts, having one of my own with an actual audience is fun.

Blogging about baseball as a job can often make blogging about the Twins as a hobby sort of challenging, but there's no doubt that loyal AG.com readers checking out NBCSports.com was a major factor in the encouraging progress Hardball Talk made in terms of audience and content in 2011. And as I've said many times, ultimately any success I've had in the writing and media worlds stems directly from this blog and the people who read it.

On the personal side of things I lost 125 pounds in 2011 and socialized a bit more than usual, both of which have been lifelong struggles for me. I'll probably never cease being a hermit, but I left the house a lot more and fit into my jeans a lot better at 28 than I did at 27 and progress is progress. Plus, when the overwhelming urge to stay home gets the best of me socializing on Twitter is a great alternative that makes me grateful for so many nice, interesting followers.

I'm already dreading turning 30, but all in all 2011 was a pretty good year and whether you've been reading this blog since August 1, 2002 or this is your first day here ... thank you.

35 Comments »

  1. Congrats Aaron and happy birthday! Keep at everything, your audience grows because of the tremendous quality of your work. Love the blog, podcast, Twitter account and as a reader since the beginning it’s encouraging to follow the success you’ve had. All the best in 2012!

    Comment by Chris (Winnipeg) — January 2, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  2. Happy Birthday, and congratulations on the weight loss, i’ve always enjoyed reading your blog and appreciate your honesty and hard work. Keep up the good work

    Comment by James — January 2, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

  3. mazal tov on a successful 2011

    Comment by not aaron's mother — January 2, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

  4. Happy b-day, Gleeman!

    Congrats on the whole shrinking body thing, too.

    Comment by Chris J. — January 2, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

  5. My roommate introduced me to your blog a year ago and since then I’ve been following you on Twitter as well. You produce really high quality work! Love reading your blog and Twitter. You have a lot to be proud of, keep up the good work and don’t be afraid to build some confidence in yourself! Happy birthday!

    Comment by Alex — January 3, 2012 @ 2:19 am

  6. Happy Birthday Aaron!

    I’ve been following you since your age-20 season, and you haven’t dropped off at all. Your WORW(words over replacement writer) is still off the charts, helped principally by your Friday posts.

    Good job!

    Comment by wengler — January 3, 2012 @ 3:05 am

  7. Congrats my friend. Your weight loss is impressive. Your annalysis is always spot on. If your ever in my area here in sunny south Florida, home of Spring Training, we have a guest house next door which always has a cold beer and you are welcome and we can take in Baseball under the sun and drink beer. Steve

    Comment by Steve — January 3, 2012 @ 4:40 am

  8. p.s. HAPPY BIRTHDAY

    Comment by Steve — January 3, 2012 @ 4:41 am

  9. Happy Birthday Aaron

    Whether the Twins are up or down, this site is always a daily stop for me. Have a great 2012

    Comment by John — January 3, 2012 @ 5:38 am

  10. Love the blog! Have a great birthday, a great year and many more :)

    Comment by Rose — January 3, 2012 @ 5:55 am

  11. My day is instantly brightened when I see there is new entry, and I have enjoyed your intelligence and humor immensely. Thank you for that. Thank you also for making me sound an awful lot smarter than I really am to my buddies during our baseball bull sessions.

    Happy birthday, nice job on the weight loss, and may the Twins on-field succcess match your off-field success in 2012.

    Comment by mariettamouthpiece — January 3, 2012 @ 6:47 am

  12. I’m always pimping your site as well as your accomplishments since I’ve been following you for years. Keep up the great work.

    Comment by MC — January 3, 2012 @ 7:31 am

  13. Happy Birthday Aaron. Love the blog. Thanks for maintaining the quality of the analysis and humor at such a high level.

    Comment by Sinking Liner — January 3, 2012 @ 7:39 am

  14. Happy Birthday and congrats, Aaron! Thanks for all the great work you do on both the site and the podcasts. I enjoy both.

    Comment by Joel — January 3, 2012 @ 7:41 am

  15. Happy Birthday! This is always my first stop of the day for Twins reading, and for a good reason!

    Comment by Twins Fan From Afar — January 3, 2012 @ 8:28 am

  16. My favorite Twins blog…and there are plenty of good ones.

    I wish you nothing but continued success personally and professionally.

    Comment by Peterson — January 3, 2012 @ 8:45 am

  17. Thanks for what you do. Best of luck.

    Comment by David — January 3, 2012 @ 8:57 am

  18. You suck Gleeman. Get a freakin job. i only read your site because i hate myself.

    Comment by miks — January 3, 2012 @ 9:04 am

  19. Happy birthday, man. I started reading you when you were an undergrad, and I was a grad student at the “U” back in the day. I used to work for The Daily and could never understand why they wouldn’t hire you. I still check out your blog a few times a week and have enjoyed seeing your progression as a writer over the years. Take care, and don’t worry about next year; 30 is better than 29 – I promise.

    Comment by Wickh8r — January 3, 2012 @ 9:10 am

  20. Happy Birthday Aaron!

    I have been following you since
    01-03-83 and you have always had a inquiring and investigative mind.

    Cheers to you

    Comment by HowieG — January 3, 2012 @ 9:39 am

  21. Your blog is very good and informative. I don’t always agree with the assessments but they’re on point more often than not, and even when I disagree you always have valid reasons backing up what you write which is the sign of someone who is well informed and does their homework.

    I can’t speak for others and surely the team’s awful past season and some of the questionable decisions made were partly responsible for the decline in readership–but if there are times that I check out and pay less attention to AG than others, it’s when I feel the site gets over the top negative in tone. This is more from the comments section than the blog itself most of the time, and usually only from a select few commenters (always using fake names of course) that seem to get off on finding fault with whatever Gardy or the front office does. That was what caused me to check in a little bit less than I normally would.

    With that aside, this site is consistently a well done interesting source of Twins info that provides readers with very good insights on the Twins. Thanks for the continued quality work and the information you provide all of us (free of charge even!).

    Comment by Katz — January 3, 2012 @ 10:12 am

  22. Happy Birthday!

    Comment by Jake Depue — January 3, 2012 @ 10:35 am

  23. Happy barfday, Aaron. I’ve been reading your stuff for aeons. I also just turned 29 (gasp), and just moved to Minneapolis. Let’s grab a beer!

    Comment by Dan — January 3, 2012 @ 10:52 am

  24. Happy Birthday Aaron! AG.com and Hardball Talk are the all I need to keep me up with my Twins and the Major Leagues. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to reading you all 2012 season.

    Comment by Lads — January 3, 2012 @ 11:37 am

  25. Happy Birthday to you. Reading your work actually really helped get through last year’s awful season. Keep up the great work and good luck to you in your future endeavors. I’m sure you’ll be outstanding at whatever you do.

    And by the way… 125 lbs!!!! Good god man, that is incredible. That by itself deserves it’s own congratulations. I am impressed and inspired. Good for you.

    Comment by Rob — January 3, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

  26. Happy b-day, make sure not to read Shooter today he has a lot of Morneau quotes that don’t sound real good.

    Comment by Mike — January 3, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

  27. This is the place to be. You keep my passion burnings. Long live clubhouse confidential!

    Comment by brian — January 3, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  28. Are you in the best shape of your life?

    Comment by al — January 3, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

  29. Gleeman, I enjoy your blog tremendously. Keep at it and happy birthday. And great job on the 125 lbs!!!

    Comment by Ryland — January 3, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

  30. Happy birthday…29 is like a baby….wait for 45 or so before worrying….

    Comment by mike wants wins — January 3, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

  31. Happy Birthday! Your website has been very informative and entertaining over the years. Thanks for all the free content.

    Comment by JoeK — January 3, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

  32. Happy B-day Aaron. Thanks for all the great write-ups. I check your site first for Twins info.

    Comment by festivus — January 4, 2012 @ 12:06 am

  33. Happy Birthday (only a day late), Aaron.

    Comment by Hugh — January 4, 2012 @ 8:08 am

  34. Happy Birthday, Aaron! You have been a constant part of my life for six or seven years now and my life has been much pleasanter because of it. Quite a lot of thought-provoking entertainment, and for free, too. Wish I could pay you back somehow but in the meantime I’ll just say, Thanks!

    Comment by By Jiminy — January 4, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

  35. Happy Birthday and keep up the good work.

    Comment by scot — January 7, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

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