January 1, 2003
This lil old website reached a bit of a milestone yesterday, when it surpassed 20,000 total visitors!
It is a pretty huge accomplishment for me because when I created this blog back in August I wasn't sure whether or not anyone other than my immediate family would visit it on a daily basis.
Thanks to some plugs on other websites and word of mouth I now have a pretty good sized audience and a consistent amount of daily visitors.
About two months ago, I said my goal at the time was to get the monthly visitor amount to over 5,000.
And guess what? December was the biggest month yet and the site got almost 7,500 visits!
So now my new goal is to get 10,000 in a month, so get to work!
The amount of traffic and the daily emails from people all over the world have made this website one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my young life and I thank you all for that.
I hope you continue to enjoy my writing and continue to stop by on a daily basis.
And feel free to tell you friends - the more the merrier!
As always, I encourage anyone and everyone to send me emails on whatever you want to chat about.
I love talking about baseball, whether it is on this site or in a private email, and I always make a point to respond to every single one I get.
Also, before I get to some actual baseball content (yes, there is some coming) I wanted to explain the "Paypal donations" button that now resides on the left side of this page.
Some of you may have seen that and wondered what the heck it was there for, so...
Basically, that is me asking for a free money!
Believe it or not, I occasionally get emails from people wanting to buy me a small gift or give me a small amount of money and I heard about this Paypal donations thing and figured I would put it on the site.
I am currently a college student living off of dorm food and Easy Mac & Cheese, so I don't really have very much disposable income to give to my favorite independent websites.
But, apparently some people do have more than $5 or $10 bucks to spare every month and, amazingly, a couple of them are interested in giving some of it to me!
Anyway, my theory on why I would even be willing to accept any money for this site is that a lot of people visit it on a daily basis and enjoy it, so if they were interested in giving me $3 or $5 - which is basically the cost of one magazine - I would gladly accept. Plus, some other small sites that I personally enjoy have ways for their readers to donate stuff to them, so...
I do this for free and the reader response I get is more than enough payment for me, but I would certainly be extraordinarily greatful to anyone that wanted to donate a few dollars to help a poor Minnesota college student eat...sorry, I broke into my Sally Struthers "For just 10 cents a day you can save a child" routine for a minute there.
Anyway, if you feel like giving me a couple of bucks, thank you and if you don't, I can't say that I blame you or that you should feel any obligation to do so.
Okay, enough about me asking for handouts and boasting about website traffic!
You came here for baseball...
Thanks to everyone that sent me advice on my Diamond-Mind keeper league team dilemma that I wrote about on Monday.
I am still working through all the possible scenarios and crunching all of the numbers, but as soon as I figure out what I'm going to do, I will let everyone know.
The #1 message I got was something like: "Aaron, you are a moron for bidding that much on Adam Dunn last year."
This is probably true, but I thought Dunn was going to be a superstar in 2002 and he almost was.
He hit .300/.452/.544 prior to the All-Star break, which is pretty much what I was hoping for when I bid $50 on him.
But then he hit .190/.339/.353 in the second half, which is probably why he isn't worth $58 for me to keep next year.
At the All-Star break I was looking like a genius and at the end of the year I was looking like...well, not so much of a genius, I guess.
Anyway, thanks for all the advice and feel free to keep it coming, I need all I can get.
In real baseball news...
At third base his defense wouldn't be as important or valuable and his offense would become even worse compared to the rest of the league's players at his position.
Signing Bill Mueller might not sound like a big deal, but it could be.
First of all, Bill Mueller is a pretty good player - both offensively and defensively.
For his career Mueller is a .286/.370/.399 hitter and that is about the level of production I would expect from him in 2003.
The average "Equivalent Average" for MLB third basemen last year was .264.
Mueller's EqA was .270 last year and .298 in 2001.
For his career it is .276.
Add in his very good defense at third base and Mueller is a significantly above average third baseman.
With the Sox being run by the Theo Epstein "stathead" regime, I think there is absolutely no chance that Shea Hillenbrand will play for the Red Sox next season.
Hillenbrand could probably fetch quite a bit in trade and I don't think his value to the Red Sox is as high as it is to other teams, so it is very likely he will be traded.
If they could some how work Hillenbrand and a minor leaguer or two into Bartolo Colon, that would be a pretty great move for the Sox - signing Mueller to play 3B and flipping their 3B from last year into a quality starting pitcher.
Plus, I think I would rather have Mueller than Hillenbrand anyway.
For all the talk Shea got for his 2002 performance, which included a trip to the All-Star game, he wasn't really all that great.
He hit .293/.330/.459, which works out to a .277 EqA.
Mueller didn't even have a good year and his EqA was .270.
And I think Mueller's defense probably makes up for a little of the difference in their hitting.
Hillenbrand is younger, so he is a better bet to have another 7-8 good seasons than Mueller, but for the next couple of seasons I would take Mueller and would feel pretty confident I had made the right choice.
Part of Boston's problem last season was that they didn't have enough "average" players.
They had stars like Pedro and Lowe and Manny and Nomar, but they also had completely useless guys like Tony Clark and Jose Offerman.
They added a lot of quality bats this off-season and I think they will make the playoffs next year.
If I was a Red Sox fan I would feel pretty excited about the way the front office is working right now, although I am not sure how excited Red Sox fans really get.
*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****