Latest Leaders – March 2016

We just posted our monthly MLB.com/blogs Latest Leaders rankings so you can see the most popular posts around the Major League Baseball community of bloggers. Tip: Always leave a comment on the bottom of the Latest Leaders post with the full URL of your latest post, to drive others there. Then ask them to follow your blog (use the widget!) and keep following that formula. You’ll rise through the ranks. Spread the word…

MLB.com Blogs

latestleaders_logoThe new season brings familiar faces like the powerhouse Dodger Insider excelling at what they do best, and exciting debuts from newcomers like Gordon Edes. Your Latest Leaders hit the ground running this season, putting up big blogging numbers in March. If you’ve contemplated starting a blog of your own, there’s no better time than April to join us and take the first step to joining these bloggers. Congrats to everyone who made the list!

Here are your Latest Leaders from March 1-31:

MLB PRO
1. Dodger Insider
2. Cait Covers the Bases
3. From the Corner of Edgar & Dave
4. TribeVibe
5. Inside the White Sox
6. Friar Wire
7. Dodgers Photog Blog
8. MLB.com Fantasy 411
9. Cubs Vine Line Blog
10. Better Off Red
11. Brandon and Brandon
12. Our Game
13. The Halo Way
14. SF Giants Photos
15. Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy…

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Sox history takes a left turn

Did you know longtime sportswriter and new Red Sox Historian Gordon Edes is now part of the MLB.com/blogs community? Follow his PRO blog at gordonedes.com.

Gordon Edes

David Price (Brita Meng Outzen/Boston Red Sox)

Trades for Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett in the last 20 years have all led to World Series titles for the Red Sox, Martinez and Schilling winning in 2004, Beckett in 2007. Will the free-agent signing of David Price lead to another?

That’s one of the questions worth contemplating on a day that Price, signed to a seven-year, $217 million deal last winter, made his first start of the spring for the Red Sox Thursday afternoon against the Twins in JetBlue Park.

Dan Duquette made the deal with Montreal for Martinez. Theo Epstein acquired Schilling from Arizona, and Craig Shipley and the late Bill Lajoie did much of the work for Larry Lucchino that led to Beckett’s acquisition from the Florida Marlins.

Now it’s David Dombrowski, as Sox president of baseball operations, signing Price to the most lucrative deal in Sox history, one…

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It’s Hank!

Cait Covers the Bases is always one of the top two or three PRO Blogs in this community, and the blog’s faithful readers just got the official word: Hank the Ballpark Pup is still alive! I had my doubts as well based on the pics, but the proof is in and the controversy is over. No Uga 1 and Uga 2 thing happening here. Read Cait’s report and leave comments on the whole doggone thing — and follow brewers.mlblogs.com.

Cait Covers the Bases

The Great Pumpkin is fake. Paul is dead, Elvis lives, and man never walked on the moon. Sometimes myths and conspiracies have no end, no hard proof to end the debate.

But not today.

Through the wonders of advanced technology and modern medicine, baseball and dog lovers around the world can now rest easy. There is only one Hank, The Ballpark Pup.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine William S. Rice of Lakeside Animal Hospital, who has cared for Hank since his arrival in Milwaukee in the spring of 2014, confirmed the identity of Hank in an examination yesterday. Dr. Rice compared original and current dental records, which were a match. In addition, a microchip implanted in Hank when he moved from Arizona was scanned yesterday, and identification number matched Hank’s registration in the database.

For a second opinion, another scan was performed this morning by Dr. Nancy Weiss, Wisconsin…

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Latest Leaders – January 2016

MLB.com Blogs

latestleaders_logoThe great Yogi Berra once said: “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.” This one’s for all of our bloggers who love baseball. You’re the ones who are endlessly committed to your blogs, building large followings and keeping them coming back. And you’re the ones who made the list in our first MLB.com/blogs Latest Leaders of the new year, including a lot of new faces making your debuts. We’re counting down to pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training camps, preparing you for fantasy drafts and tracking the latest Hot Stove happenings, so if you’re considering starting a blog, there’s no better time than right now to join us. If you’ve recently taken the plunge here at MLB.com/blogs, make sure to introduce yourself and your URL here in the comments! And if you made our MLB.com/blogs Top 100 for 2015, make…

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Top 100 MLB.com/bloggers: Get your badge!

2015MLBcomBlogsTop100Congratulations again to all our Top 100 MLB.com/blogs for 2015. If your blog made the list you’ve earned a Top 100 badge to proudly display in your sidebar. Here’s how to make it happen:

1. Log in to your blog’s dashboard.

2. Go to Appearance > Widgets.

3. Grab the Image widget from the list of available widgets in the left side (they’re in alphabetical order), and drag it over to the top of your active widgets on the right side.

widgets

4. Enter ONLY the following information in the Image widget.
Image URL: https://mlbcomblogs.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/2015mlbcomblogstop100.png
Alternate text: 2015 Top 100 MLB.com/blogs
Width: 300 Height: 50
Link URL: http://mlbcomblogs.mlblogs.com/2016/01/11/2015-mlb-comblogs-top-100/

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 1.50.12 PM

5. Hit Save and you’re all set. The badge should display at the top of your blog’s sidebar, just as it does in this blog.

How I voted for the Hall – and looking for your posts

MLB.com just posted the story on how its 15 eligible Hall of Fame voters filled out their ballots, and you can see mine among the list. I voted for five: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Hoffman and Mike Piazza.

The excitement of receiving a ballot that has a name like Junior Griffey’s on it is the especially fun part of being a Hall voter. That is the kind of player the Cooperstown gallery room was created for — next to Ruth, Cobb, Aaron and Mays. You know that player when his five-year countdown begins and your vote is unquestionable. That brings us to everyone else on the 2016 list, and the effort to determine whether any other candidates should share the stage with him.

Neither Bonds nor Clemens exactly sweeps the Rule No. 5 categories on voting criteria, yet they are top-four all-time by position and that trumps character shortcomings. Hoffman was the first to 600 saves in an era when hitters dominated, and Piazza’s election is just overdue.

Jeff Bagwell continues to be an agonizing decision, more agonizing each year due to statistical analysis and debate. I disagree with those who “cover the field” with 10 safety check marks each year, as the bottleneck has declined. I can see both sides to Bagwell, and being on the fence is not a Hall vote to me unless you are covering the field.

The 2016 Hall of Fame results will be announced at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday on MLB.com and MLB Network.

The Unbiased MLB Fan identified four names that would be on his ballot, while Sons of ’84 has eight — plus a ninth vote for a write-in. Darryl of 210Sports explains the rationale behind his would-be ballot, and The First 90 Feet sees a ballot so packed that some worthy names will need to wait. The Wayniac Nation views Ken Griffey, Jr. and Trevor Hoffman as no-brainers (and hopes Tim Raines will get in at last), and Baseball with Matt adds Billy Wagner to the list of deserving former stars in their first year of Hall eligibility. The Baseball Continuum looks at the recent decision by the Veterans Committee to not induct anyone, while Statis Pro 1978 Replay looks at Alan Trammell’s last hurrah and Yankeebiscuitfan argues for more closers in Cooperstown.

Who would you have chosen? Please add the URL of your own blog post about the Hall vote in the comments below so we can see everyone’s opinions. And as always, be sure to follow MLB.com/blogs to see daily surfacing of great posts around our community.

Happy New Year,

– Mark Newman

Happy Holidays from MLB.com

Happy Holidays!

It’s been another great year of baseball blogging here. Please be sure to blog your own 2015 year-end post and leave the URL here so we can show them all off. Then prepare for the 2015 MLB.com/blogs Top 100 Latest Leaders badges that we will be handing out soon. Is yours going to be on the list?

Happy Holidays from us at Major League Baseball Advanced Media.

Carlos Martinez speaks to fans

MLB.com Blogs

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On the heels of the news that his 2015 season has come to an abrupt end because of a shoulder issue, Cardinals second-year phenom Carlos Martinez took the opportunity to send a message to fans through his The Wave of Perseverance MLB Pro Blog. In the post, Martinez says he’ll be in the dugout cheering on his teammates as they look to bring the franchise a 12th World Series championship. He also talks about his charitable initiative that is looking to get gloves to underprivileged kids in his hometown in the Dominican Republic.

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Latest Leaders – July 2015

MLB.com Blogs

latestleaders_logoThe MLB.com/blogs Latest Leaders are back with the July edition. These are based on Unique Visits measured by Major League Baseball Advanced Media, and we may change the metrics from time to time at our discretion. (Remember that our data is unrelated to the traffic stats you see in your WordPress.com dashboard, which measures traffic differently.) And make sure to leave your URL here in the comments if you have a post you’re particularly proud of and want to share with the community.

Here are your Leaders from July 1-31:

MLB PRO
1. Just Mets
2. Dodger Insider
3. Better Off Red
4. The Halo Way
5. MLB.com Fantasy 411
6. From the Corner of Edgar & Dave
7. Dodgers Photog Blog
8. Brandon and Brandon
9. Cait Covers the Bases
10. Inside the White Sox
11. TribeVibe
12. Our Game
13. Friar Wire
14. Curly W Live
15. SF Giants…

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How Jon SooHoo got the best action shot of 2015

Jon SooHoo captures The Catch and says, "Everything happens for a reason." Click photo for high-rez version.

Jon SooHoo captures The Catch and says, “Everything happens for a reason.” Click photo for high-rez version.

Jon SooHoo is in his 30th year as a photographer covering the Dodgers, and he just celebrated the anniversary with one of the greatest shots of his career. SooHoo, whose LA Photog Blog has been one of the most popular spaces at MLB.com/blogs over the past five years, captured the widely seen photo Tuesday at Wrigley Field of Cub fan Keith Hartley interfering with Adrian Gonzalez and catching a baseball while holding his baby. The umps got it right, the fan got the ball, baby Isaac got fed, and SooHoo got the remarkable shot. I traded emails with SooHoo today for a first-hand account of the photo, plus some of the follow-up photos he took at the bottom of this Q&A. Take a look:

What was your reaction when you knew you were getting this photo?

Most of the time I carry a body with long lens and a body with a short zoom lens and because the photo wells are so close to the fans and the field, you never know what you can get if you bring the extra body with a smaller zoom. This play I had the camera up to begin with and once I could see the ball in flight and knew it wasn’t close to hitting me, I started to focus on Adrian as he came closer and then it happened.

Can you describe your proximity with regard to the photogs’ well and the fan?

I was in the first base photo well and I had the far right position in the well. The ironic part is that there were two empty seats between me and Mr. Hartley who just so happened to leave their seats after we hit three outs earlier. Everything happens for a reason when the Godforce is involved.

Did Adrian see the pic, and any reaction from him?

I didn’t ask him as we were all trying to make the first bus.

Jon SooHoo

Dodgers photographer Jon SooHoo

Did you have any interaction with Hartley after the play?

I did. I showed him the picture and he was pretty geeked about it. It was quite overwhelming.

What was he (and the baby) like after this happened?

He was pumped, posing for pictures and TV interviews.

Obviously you had to return to other subjects on the field, but just wondering what happened after you got the shot.

This is only my second day being able to transmit my images live, from my camera to my ipad out through my email to the Dodger Social Media guy Matt Mesa, who put the image up.

Where does this rank among the best baseball photos you have ever taken…from your own point of view? When you look at it closer, you even have Adrian seemingly looking at you, and you can see how closely the first-base umpire and crew chief Jerry Meals is following it, before he initially ruled it a foul ball.

It ranks way up there due to all of the factors coming into play: (1) Going live from camera to iPad to email the night before; (2) The right camera equipment at the right time; (3) the two fans between us leaving their seats; (4) the catch; and (5) the house wireless signal strong enough to get the picture out.

Here were subsequent photos captured by SooHoo after the catch:

JonSooHoo2

JonSooHoo3

JonSooHoo4
Here’s the MLB.com video of the play:

And here’s a closer look at SooHoo’s proximity and aim:

catchangle

Memo to fans, don’t interfere with balls in play.

– Mark Newman / MLB.com

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