Around the Sphere

I could not disagree more with Anna Quindlen in this Newsweek article I just read on Hey, Anna. Let me introduce you to myspace. And facebook. And bebo. And MLBlogs! And everywhere else that young people today are "writing for their lives" — recording their daily thoughts on their own blogs, just the way Anne Frank recorded her thoughts on a paper diary. There are more young people than in any generation in the history of humankind journaling their thoughts regularly. That is a healthy thing. Only I’m not sure why Ms. Quindlen somehow failed to mention it.  She acknowledged that young people today use email. Hello. Subscribe to a tech newsletter, join a social net, observe. Black, white, Asian, Hispanic, female, male, young, mature, whatever…people are writing and have been for a while now. Just not with ink pens. What lost art? It’s a golden era!

We don’t know whether the Kansas City Royals will be this year’s
darlings. But we do know that the Royals are out front in Major League
Baseball by maintaining a daily Royals Caravan blog as part of Around the Horn in KC. Hopefully other clubs will follow their lead. Meanwhile, a new Indians MLBlogger doesn’t see the Royals winning the AL Central.

The MLBlogs Active Roster on the browse-by-team page has been updated as best I can determine. Please just let me know if I’ve missed anyone. There are a lot of old MLBlogs in there and for the most part I have left those in, because we’ve seen a lot of bloggers take long breaks and come back like a Jeff Weaver in Game 5. Speaking of Weaver, he was not around but just about everyone else from Cardinal Nation seemed to be there for the Winter Warmup last weekend and I want to thank everyone who contributed and followed along on my event blog.

It’s impossible to adequately explain just how popular David Eckstein is in St. Louis right now. I was sitting near him when a Fox Theatre crowd gave him a thunderous standing O during Tony La Russa’s "Stars to the Rescue" celebrity concert event last Saturday night, and saw how he captivated everyone throughout the Winter Warmup. I think some people want to see a contract extension soon, just guessing. I am still blown away by how he stayed signing autographs from 1 p.m. until the event ended at 5 p.m. that first day…until the last person was in line.

For those who have asked or WILL ask: There is not going to be an auto-renewal for MLBlogs. If you have an annual subscription and it’s coming up, then you would have to renew manually, so keep track of when you started. And for others who are asking, there is no word at this point on what our consumer content presence will be at Major League Baseball Advanced Media on Opening Day. There is a strong likelihood that it will be different. Whether that means a completely different environment with new signups and exporting any existing text, or something different within this current Six Apart-hosted environment, that is unknown. You will be given as much advanced notice as I can possibly muster whenever the time comes. Again, the world has changed tremendously in the nearly two years since we launched MLBlogs (see: myspace, gootube, etc.).

Say hi to San Diego Padres Mom. Padres bloggers have been the most scarce in our nearly two years of MLBlogs (with the exception of Mariners for some really weird reason). And this is a good one.

Welcome to the author of stuff about the reds. That shot of old Riverfront Stadium and the green, green artificial turf brings back memories of the first time I ever saw a Major League game in person. It was in the 1970s, as the Big Red Machine was on the cusp of a mini-dynasty.

On a personal note, my first Half Marathon is Sunday morning at Central Park. Can your friendly neighborhood blog-watcher make it 13.1 miles, or 2-plus full loops around the big backyard? I will report back Monday. Gunning for NYC Marathon in November. I have to rely on the application lottery process like many others for this year’s, because I just joined NY Road Runners in December and could not enter enough qualifiers by Jan. 1. So I’ll be guaranteed entry to the 2008 event, but to get into this one I’ll be one of at least 90,000 applicants for a field that numbered 37,000 this past November. Either way, just trying to ramp up my base and will run my first marathon somewhere the second half of this year. It just can’t be October, when I’ll be at points unknown. Anyone else run?

Since we asked: Marco Polo gives you his top active MLB double-play combos right here.

Less than one month till pitchers and catchers report…can you feel it?!


Hey there… I didn’t really know where this fit in, but I wanted to let you know about a brand new blog that is going to focus on the lovable losers from Tampa, the D-Rays (as well as delve into other baseball-related topics)…


This is another San Diego Padres Blog, that will provide in-depth analysis on the Franchise throughout the 2007 season.



Thanks for the link on the Mlblogs home page, for my pictures of Busch Stadium last year. I live in TX, but I will be going back to St.Louis in Sept. ’07, hoping to take in a ballgame and take a tour of the inside of the Ballpark. May even fit in a trip to Chicago, to see Wrigley and Comiskey. Thanks again.

“Baseball Talk With The Big Dog”

“Diane: Too much ado, having seen your comment posting the article here and on other MLBlogs like Matthew Leach’s. The article’s author has no clue what MLB.TV’s picture quality will be this season and is writing about history. the writer furthermore has no clue about upward trends of broadband penetration, sounding very old-school. People are in for some surprises, as .tv has led the way in sports leagues this decade and will push the envelope even further shortly.”

Umm, I am affected by this, as are many fans of many teams, i know. MLB actually thinks its “pushing the envelope” in having people sit in front of their 21″ computer monitors when previously they could watch games on their perfectly good larger sized LCD Tvs from the comfort of their couches? They think its progressive that people that now won’t be able to watch games because they don’t want the expense and hassle of changing to DirecTV because they have contracts with their cable providers they are happy with?

Wow, guess i’m hopelessly out of touch then, lol.

Diane, see the “History of MLBlogs” post…and thanks for asking, it went great!

Hey Mark …. how did you half-marathon go?

This is what I was referring to:

“The art of bobbleheads was recreated in 1999 when The Giants recreated their version of Barry Bonds in 8″ polyresin form.”

Again, that is incorrect. The art of bobbleheads was (and this is well-known) a result of a Willie Mays Bobblehead Night in 1999 at a Giants home game. Please see my article that was on the (and homepage at:


Diane: Too much ado, having seen your comment posting the article here and on other MLBlogs like Matthew Leach’s. The article’s author has no clue what MLB.TV’s picture quality will be this season and is writing about history. the writer furthermore has no clue about upward trends of broadband penetration, sounding very old-school. People are in for some surprises, as .tv has led the way in sports leagues this decade and will push the envelope even further shortly.

Eric: Are you responsible for both your bobble blog and Bobblequest? They were created back-to-back within 3 hours of each other, and they always show up together in Recently Updated Weblogs. 99 times out of 100, that means the same person is posting to one and then logging off/logging on and posting to the other. Only bringing it up because of the purported “rivalry” nature established between them, and still wondering why Bonds is given any credit for the “rebirth” of the bobble industry (About page) when I wrote the article recently about Willie Mays being responsible (according to the SF Giants and Alexander Global).

From the 1/19 NY Times

“Major League Baseball is close to announcing a deal that will place its Extra Innings package of out-of-market games exclusively on DirecTV, which will also become the only carrier of a long-planned 24-hour baseball channel.

Extra Innings has been available to 75 million cable households and the two satellite services, DirecTV and the Dish Network. But the new agreement will take it off cable and Dish because DirecTV has agreed to pay $700 million over seven years, according to three executives briefed on the details of the contract but not authorized to speak about them publicly.

InDemand, which has distributed Extra Innings to the cable television industry since 2002, made an estimated $70 million bid to renew its rights, more than triple what it has been paying. Part of its offer included the right to carry the new baseball channel, but not exclusively. The baseball channel is scheduled to start in 2009. M.L.B., DirecTV and InDemand officials declined to comment.

DirecTV is also the exclusive outlet for the N.F.L.’s Sunday Ticket package, for which it pays $700 million annually. Sunday Ticket has about 2 million subscribers; Extra Innings about 750,000, according to The Sports Business Journal. Extra Innings lets subscribers, for a fee, watch about 60 games a week from other local markets except their own.

The only other way that fans without DirecTV will be able to see Extra Innings will be on’s service, but they must have high-speed broadband service. About 28 million homes have high-speed service, less than half the number of cable homes in the country. The picture quality of streamed games is not as good as what is available on cable or satellite. DirecTV is available to about 15 million subscribers.

Last month, Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, who was then the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, cited DirecTV’s exclusivity with Sunday Ticket as a reason to strip the N.F.L. of an antitrust exemption to negotiate all TV contracts for its teams. Comcast, which has complained that it cannot carry Sunday Ticket, is a Philadelphia-based company.”


So if you are like me, in that you live in a residence that doesn’t allow satellite dishes …. you are SCREWED. MLB chases the big bucks again, and alienates its fan base … again. MLB.TV is nice, but its no substitute for being able to enjoy watching many games on a nice big TV. Thanks Bud!


I love the “MLBlogs from around the world” panel. Props to whoever put that together.

Thanks so much for visiting! Glad everyone seems to be enjoying the “Where in Petco?” series! When my folks teased me for taking 87 photos on the tour, I replied, “Hey, they said I could take photos of ANYTHING I wanted!”

Good luck with the marathon! I am training now for the first time in years, but am hoping to work my way torwards a half-century bike ride. My goal is the Half-century/Century in Solvang, CA. Beautiful ride, tough course. I love running, but don’t know that my bad knee will ever let me do distance.

I got your back, Zack.😀


Mark and everyone-

I just wanted to let you know that someone has been using a phony email address ( to impersonate me, so please don’t be fooled if you get one of these bogus messages. I just posted an entry about it:

-The Baseball Collector

Email our reporter, Bryan Hoch, at Or go to his Mailbag page at and submit your question that way. Thanks. – Mark

Can someone please tell me what is going on with Bernie Williams?

Thanks for the mention…and I agree with your take on the Newsweek article. Personally, I don’t have a MySpace, but I know many people who do, and write extensive blog entries. Xanga used to be another big one as well. Students probably write (or type) more words out of school compared to in the classroom.


I can feel it.


In the Cards

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