Around the Sphere

There’s no offseason in baseball. We say that a lot, but just look at the reported Alfonso Soriano news and we are reminded just how things have changed. There is no waiting for the next morning to talk over a water cooler about Hot Stove news or rumors. Everyone can be a columnist and post immediate reactions and perspectives. Even while the Cowboys were handing the Colts their first loss of the season, many people right here at MLBlogs were jumping into the fray, giving their take on the Cubs’ reported agreement with Soriano on an eight-year, club-record deal.

For instance, Rita at Hot Stove and Beyond was first in the MLBlogosphere to jump in with what it means from an Astros standpoint, triggering an immediate exchange of comments. Kellia blogged about the remaining question over the Cubs’ pitching. There was not just one but two quick reactions by MLBloggers who follow the Nationals club Soriano reportedly leaves behind. Beth the Yankees Chick was thankful that her Bombers are not the ones doling out the major bucks (so far). And the Recent Updated Weblogs just keep churning, as Crawly weighed in gleefully as the most active Cubs blogger around these parts. This reported development would mean a lot of dominoes will fall and fortunately this is an era when everyone can say what it means to them.

For the relatively new in the crowd, MLBlogs were launched in April of 2005 with Tommy Lasorda’s first post about his friend Jackie Robinson. It has been a real pleasure to watch this community grow, and to see how different people stake out their spaces around the overall consumer-content world in different ways. Many have come and gone, many have stayed around, and many maintain multiple spaces, either using an MLBlog to help generate traffic to their other pages or simply blogging within different groups. We made it clear at the outset that MLBlogs is an "official affiliate" of with such benefits as using club marks and logos, appearing on MLB Radio (see drop-down menu under "Multimedia") and having a community linked from and the 30 club sites we operate — but with "unofficial opinions" so you’re free to blog pretty much whatever you want, with Terms of Use from MLB Advanced Media and our partner Six Apart, as well as a profanity filter — all just to keep it an enjoyable community for everyone. Only two MLBlogs have had to be ushered out of the ballpark in those 19 months, and everyone understands that they are basically their own moderators, including moderation of their commenters. It has been a good crowd, and the Soriano news and subsequent blogging is a great example of why it works so well. Where else can you see a fan’s blog about Soriano one moment, then a blog by an beat writer like Jason Beck, and then a fan’s blog right on top of that on the fast-scrolling RUW list? Everyone can write about baseball, and it allows a wide, wide range of perspectives.

Having said all that, don’t be surprised to see some changes between now and the start of next season in the way MLB Advanced Media facilitates the capability of fan content. Nineteen months is an eternity in the growth of Web 2.0, with change happening fast. For example, in maintaining an ALDS, NLCS and World Series blog for, I wanted to experience what more and more people have by uploading video I took around the ballparks . . . and I could see that uploading it to GooTube and then having to post that generated code on a Typepad app is not the ideal. Friends and neighborhood groups are a lot more important than they were 19 months ago, before "myspace" was a household word. Many things are being discussed right now, and your thoughts/wishes via email or comment here are always welcomed. In the meantime, keep growing your own audiences, and we’ll keep looking for ways to make the overall experience cooler than ever.

That’s the goal. What happened Sunday in the hours after the reported news about Soriano was just a perfect demonstration of how technology is enabling fans to be more empowered than ever.

On a separate note, I love the Idea of the Week in the Twins Ballpark Update — the blog of Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter. Especially that idea.

Recently Updated Photo Albums:



Thank you for the warm welcome to MLBlogs and thank you for mentioning me in this article.

Hey, Mark-

Long time no comment. I’ve been obsessed with overhauling my own site, so it’s nice to see that you’re okay with people using MLBlogs to get/redirect traffic. I’m getting far more hits on MLBlogs than on my own site, and that’s how it should be. My site is pretty stagnant. The blog is often changing. I just want my own site to serve as an extra source of info—a lily pad, if you will—for those who stumble upon the blog.

Anyway, hope your “off”season is going well. I’ll check in again soon…

-The Baseball Collector

I told you OSU would win!

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