August 3, 2004

Two Years and Still Blogging

Believe it or not, two years have passed since I first started this blog. Actually, two years and two days have passed -- the Mientkiewicz deal sort of stole my thunder.

On August 1, 2002, after reading an entry by David Pinto over at Baseball Musings that suggested his readers start up blogs of their own, I decided to give it a try. My first entry was entitled "A.J. Burnett and Jeff Torborg" and featured my first of what would be many rants about A.J. Burnett's abused right arm.

I concluded the entry by saying:

Burnett has been great this year and he looks like he will be a stud for years to come. But the way he is being treated makes me think he is in line for some arm troubles.

After a couple stints on the disabled list, Burnett had Tommy John surgery in 2003.

Later that same day, I wrote an entry entitled "Player of the Month!," in which I talked about the incredible July that David Ortiz, then on the Minnesota Twins, had.

In perhaps the biggest understatement in the history of this blog, I wrote:

You'll soon find out, if you visit this blog more than a few times, that I am a huge Minnesota Twins fan.

Ortiz, of course, left the Twins after that 2002 season, hit .288/.369/.592 with the Red Sox in 2003 and is hitting .310/.377/.617 with the Red Sox so far this year. But I try not to bring that subject up, because it makes me sad.

After writing those first two entries, I remember wondering if anyone would ever actually read them. I used to constantly check the "site meter" on the blog, which was supposed to tell me every time a new visitor came by to check it out. I say it was supposed to tell me, because for it to work there apparently had to actually be new visitors. Or visitors, period.

For some reason I decided to keep writing for a while, even without an audience of any kind. So on August 2, I wrote about Jose Offerman's release from the Red Sox ("You're full of (expletive)") and commented on how awful Kansas City's lineup was for a game against the Twins ("Yuck!"). Then on August 3, which was a Saturday, I wrote about Darin Erstad's new contract ("Erstad's new deal") and also looked at what everyone was on pace for with about two months left in the season ("On pace").

I was writing 2-3 entries per day, I was posting on weekends, I had absolutely zero audience whatsoever ... I'm not even sure what I was thinking.

On Sunday, August 4, I wrote my first anti-Bud Selig entry, entitled "The Devil." On Monday I came back with an ode to Pedro Martinez ("Pedro"), and on Tuesday I made my picks for MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year ("Drumroll please ...").

It was somewhere around this time that actual people who were not in my family began reading my blog. I don't remember where the very first link from another site came from, but I suspect it was from David Pinto, who I remember e-mailing to say, basically, "Remember how you said we should start blogs? Well, I did, but now no one is reading it!"

By the time I wrote about Mike Mussina's struggles on August 7 ("Moose") and Chris Woodward's offensive explosion on August 8 ("Woody"), there were literally a dozen or more people coming to the blog each day. A dozen! I was in heaven.

I ripped into Phil Rogers for the first time on Friday, August 9 ("Somewhere there is a village missing its idiot"), and also tried to tell the world what a horrible defensive shortstop Derek Jeter was for the very first time that same day ("Send those angry e-mails to ...").

Slowly but surely, the entries kept piling up, the words kept flowing, and the audience actually began to grow. And now it's two years and 869,039 words later and I'm still doing this blogging thing.

It amazes me sometimes that I've stuck with it for this long, mostly because I've rarely stuck with anything in my life for anywhere close to two years. There's no real reason to do it every day (no one is forcing me, no one is paying me), but there's something about it that remains fun and interesting, like a mix between entertaining an audience and going to a psychiatrist.

Of course, some things have changed since those first couple weeks. For one thing, there are actual people coming here each day. Lots of them; I've even met some of them! For another thing, somewhere along the line I decided the multiple-entries-per-day thing just wasn't for me, and I also decided that I'd better take the weekends off if I wanted to retain some semblance of sanity. The blog has also moved from its original blogspot address to its current home here at

But other than that, it's the same as it was two years ago. If I see something interesting in the news, I comment on it. If I'm watching a game and something strikes me as noteworthy, I comment on it. If I think of a joke or a story that might make some people laugh, I tell it. And, of course, if something bugs the hell out of me, I rant about it.

From A.J. Burnett, Joe Morgan and Johan Santana to Luis Rivas, Joe Mauer and Barry Bonds, it's been fun. This blog, from the people I've met to the experiences it has led to, has honestly been one of the most enjoyable things in my life.

To interact with baseball fans on a personal level each day -- nothing can beat it. I've had a chance to talk to and even meet some of the guys I "grew up" reading and watching, I've had my name mentioned in all sorts of cool places, and I've had a chance to make some great friends (and even a few good enemies).

In March, I launched The Hardball Times with a bunch of great guys and that has become the place for much of my writing that used to be found here. Since then, this blog has sort of become my place for Twins talk, and rants about stuff that, for better or worse, just didn't seem right to publish anywhere else.

Through it all, you guys keep coming here to read what I have to say each day, and that makes me extremely happy. Going from watching the site meter all day while three people showed up to surpassing 650,000 total visitors sometime next week is almost unbelievable to me.

It's been a great two years and I just hope you will all keep coming back for as long as I keep blogging.

*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****

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