February 2012

Almost time to Play Ball

Just had one of those moments at spectacular Salt River Fields that you have to share with other baseball fans.

It’s almost time for the first games between Major League teams. We are ready.

We just launched the MLB.com At Bat app today, so make sure you download and read my MLB.com story to understand some of the new options and subtle changes.

Latest Leaders coming tomorrow…

Welcome to Dallas Latos – Mat’s wife

Mat LatosMatt Latos is pitching at a new Arizona camp this spring since being traded to the Reds, and meanwhile his wife Dallas has just reported to MLB.com Blogs. Be sure to join her at dallaslatos.mlblogs.com and subscribe to her blog for updates and leave comments. Based on the intro, it should be entertaining and insightful. Excerpt:

I typically go on almost as many road trips as Mat does and when I’m on the road, I try my best to enjoy the ballparks and cities I’m in as if it’s my day-job- because it kind of is. I’ll probably blog quite a bit about that. I might blog about new discoveries. I might blog about some of our experiences. I’ll totally blog when I catch a bigger fish than Mat and I might blog about getting to second base with TSA screeners- I can’t really say. I will say that I will do my best to keep you entertained and give you a look into what life is like standing behind a man who plays with balls for a living.

Welcome to Dallas! Meanwhile, all bloggers should tell us about any cool new MLB.com Blogs you have spotted lately…

Around MLB.com Blogs

Please take the time to read “My Baseball story” by Matt at The Cardinals’ Base, and share your own favorite Major League Baseball memory in the comments there and on your own MLB.com Blog. After all, that’s why we are all blogging here and ready for another great MLB season.

[updated] As of 5:22 pm ET, Plushdamentals was third overall in page views at MLB.com for Feb. 24, as people are buzzing over 16-year-old Brewers blogger Curt Hogg, who broke news. No. 1 is MLB.com Braves beat reporter Mark Bowman and No. 2 is From the Corner of Edgar & Dave.

We’ll have the next monthly MLB.com Blogs Latest Leaders up next week, so never too late to make sure you are doing all the right things to promote your own blog. Be sure to comment on as many other MLB.com Blogs as you can and always leave your full URL wherever you go. Will Plushdamentals have enough time to rise to the top of the Fan category?

Who’s going to be at Spring Training and who’s going to be blogging about it? Let us know here so we can keep an eye out for new posts and hopefully help with some promotion. I’ll be in Arizona next week with the MLB Fan Cave panel and 30 finalists so holla.

Speaking of Fan Cave, in case you missed it, our friend Erik at Counting Baseballs took the time to critique all 50 of the Fan Cave finalist videos when that voting began. He came up with his own top 10, so you can crosscheck and see whether they advanced.

Jim Kaat’s first Spring Training with the Washington Senators was in the 1950s. We’re happy to say that Kitty Kaat is going strong and this week posted a new entry about 2012 Spring Training – where he is helping the Red Sox pitching coach at Fort Myers. Please leave Jim some comments.

Check out the WordPress.com Photo Carousel to easily jazz up your pictures and create slideshows. Like this one…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Calling fans of the defending World Champs: Got a question? Leave it on Jen Langosch’s blog By Gosh, It’s Langosch, because in addition to all of her coverage on cardinals.com, she is doing a Question of the Day on her blog from Cardinals camp. Question, Jen – how do you find time to do such a great job on your MLB.com Blog?

Welcome back to Redsox Nation and Pittsburgh Peas – keep it going!

With all due respect to those other games, The World Will Be Watching THIS on March 23. And I even read all three books.

Why do you blog? Tell us.

Make sure you use the social media widgets in the WordPress.com dashboard and use Twitter and Facebook to support your latest MLB.com Blogs posts. You should create your own Facebook Page to match your blog and encourage others to Like your FB page. Those are no-brainers for promo and we make it very easy to incorporate all that here.

A good example is the author of gojays. And a nice job using polls as well.

Keep leaving comments here with your blog’s full URL so we can help people find you. Happy Spring Training.

Around MLB.com Blogs – Baseball Is Back

HAPPY SPRING TRAINING!

Welcome to SF Giants Photos, a blog launched a couple of weeks ago by Missy and Suzanna in the Giants’ Photography department. As you can see already, it will be a blast to follow.

Congrats to my colleague Britt Ghiroli on her second anniversary today as our MLB.com beat reporter covering the Orioles. She talks about it in Britt’s Bird Watch.

Welcome MLB.com columnist and MLB Network studio analyst Mitch Williams to MLB.com Blogs. Wild Things promises to have a lot of opinion from the former World Series closer, so jump right in and leave him comments.

If you love to blog, then you probably also have a Tumblr. Be sure you are following Drawn to MLB – the official Tumblr of Major League Baseball. We started it here at MLB Advanced Media around the Super Bowl and so far the response has been pretty incredible.

Check out The Brewer Nation‘s regular series, Brewers by the (Jersey) Number. Great idea…might want to do that with your team!

Mariners fans love their new front-office blog, which is now renamed as From the Corner of Edgar & Dave.

David Rhode and our friends at Pitch In For Baseball have relaunched their blog in a big way, updated with timely posts that take you inside their important organization. PIFB gets new or gently used baseball equipment to communities in need, and I encourage anyone reading this to get involved in a really great cause.

New Phillies Ballgirls, new trading cards, new post.

Thanks to our buddy Tommy Lasorda for posting all those pictures from last weekend’s big Latino Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony in the Dominican Republic, including the ones with him and Bernie Williams and Bobby V et al. In case we don’t say this enough, everyone should know that Tommy saved the first-ever MLB.com Blogs post back in April 18, 2005 — a tribute to his friend Jackie Robinson. We have all literally been following Tommy ever since.

Keith Olbermann’s Baseball Nerd is always around the top of our MLB.com Latest Leaders, but in case you are not on top of things there lately, check in and see what KO had to say about the batter who allegedly ran to third base, and also his post about Steve Carlton 40 years ago.

Fantasy draft chatter is pretty hot. Make sure you subscribe to MLB Fantasy 411 and Bloomberg Sports blogs here unless for some reason you don’t want an edge in your league.

How is your MLB.com Blog going? Please let us know in the comments and always be sure to include your full URL there so we can easily click on it and follow you over there. Help us surface cool blogs by bringing them to our attention in the comments here as well. And remember to sign up for MLB.TV so you will blog smarter than everyone else.

PDF support

Have a document that you want to share with your blog audience directly without having to copy, paste and reformat everything in it? Your MLB.com Blog supports Scribd — a free publishing service that allows you to upload a wide range of documents (including Microsoft Office docs, PDFs, and text files). You can then embed Scribd documents directly into your blog posts, keeping readers on your blog instead of having them click a link to an external file. Here’s an example.

It’s easy to get started. The full instructions (and many other helpful blogging resources) are available at WordPress.com Support.

Dealing with problem comments

A lively comments section is every blogger’s dream. But what about when unwanted comments from unwelcome guests become a problem? Fear not! MLBlogs is powered by WordPress.com, who provide bloggers with all the tools you need to make your comments a troll-free zone.

A first layer of defense comes from WordPress.com’s spam filter. Should any spam messages make it through, you can mark them as spam to remove them from your visible comments and add them to the spam filter. Additionally, every blogger has the ability via your blog dashboard to customize comment approval under Settings > Discussion. You can open things up and automatically publish all comments in real time, require all comments to be approved by you before they appear on your blog, or choose from a wide variety of customizable options in between. Should you encounter an unwelcome commenter, you can blacklist both by email address and IP address — preventing them from returning to the blog under a new account.

Make sure to mark posts as “Spam” as that helps our system learn and catch similar spam posts better in the future.

Finally, consider is closing comments for old posts; WordPress can do this automatticially after a certain number days, under Settings > Discussion.

As always, WordPress.com’s Support section is a great resource. Here’s a link to their support page on this topic for more information.

January 2012 Latest Leaders

MLB.com Blogs Latest Leaders

Will 2012 finally be the Year of the Cubs? That eternal question remains to be seen for Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Dale Sveum, Starlin Castro and everyone around Wrigleyville, but perhaps it is an omen that the top overall ranking in the year’s first monthly MLB.com Blogs Latest Leaders went to a Cubbies blog. More people followed the blog of MLB.com veteran Cubs beat reporter Carrie Muskat than any other at MLB.com. Rays Renegade was the top Fan blog (check out Rockpile Rant‘s all-sports versatility lately btw!), and the MLB.com Hot Stove Blog topped the PRO theme category as the Prince Fielder signing came and went. Here were the top blogs by page view in January:

MLB.com BEAT REPORTER
1. Muskat Ramblings – Cubs
2. Mark My Word – Reds
3. The Zo Zone – Phillies
4. Beck’s Blog – Tigers
5. Gonzo and ‘The Show’ – Angels
6. Postcards From Elysian Fields – Rangers
7. Bombers Beat – Yankees
8. Bowman’s Blog – Braves
9. Brew Beat – Brewers
10. Britt’s Bird Watch – Orioles
11. Mariners Musings – Mariners
12. Tag’s Lines – Astros
13. The Fish Pond – Marlins
14. Major League Bastian – Indians
15. Brownie Points – Red Sox
16. Change for a Nickel – Pirates
17. North of the Border – Blue Jays
18. Major Lee-ague – Athletics
19. All Nats All the Time – Nationals
20. Inside the D-backs – D-backs

FANS
1. Rays Renegade
2. The Baseball Collector
3. Red State Blue State
4. Rockpile Rant
5. Cook & Son Bats’ Blog
6. mlbblogger
7. BlueBattingHelmet
8. Royal Blues
9. nybisons
10. Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend
11. Phillies Phollowers
12. Pinstripe Birthdays
13. Yankee Yapping
14. The Happy Youngster…Brew Town’s Ballhawk
15. Counting Baseballs
16. The Baseball Haven
17. M.T.’s Blogger
18. The Rays Rant
19. The Brewer Nation
20. The Unbiased MLB Fan
21. Rockin’ Redlegs
22. Crzblue’s Dodger Blue World
23. The Pittsburgh Peas
24. Brewers Rumors
25. The Ballpark Guide
26. I’m Not A Headline Guy…
27. 2r2d
28. Observing Baseball
29. Sarge’s Phillies Phantasy Camp Diary
30. Blogging ‘Bout Baseball
31. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
32. Live, Eat, and Breathe Yankees
33. Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts
34. This is a very simple game…
35. Reds Country
36. Collection of Baseball
37. The Yankee Dinosaur
38. baseballqueen
39. You’re Killin’ Me, Smalls!
40. DYNASTY League Baseball from designer of Pursue the Pennant
41. La Pagina de Tony Menendez
42. Unfinished Business
43. Los bigleaguers
44. A’s Farm
45. Cream City Cables
46. Major League Fantasy Sports
47. Where Everyone’s a Giant
48. The Closer
49. Brewers Today
50. Fish Fry

MLB PRO
1. MLB.com Hot Stove Blog
2. Better Off Red
3. From the Corner of Edgar & Dave
4. Alyson’s Footnotes
5. John & Cait…Plus Nine
6. Baseball Nerd – Keith Olbermann
7. MLB.com Fantasy 411
8. Ben’s Biz Blog
9. Justice4U – Richard Justice
10. MLB.com Blogs Central (lol)
11. Fantasy Freddie
12. Phillies Insider
13. Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
14. Around the Horn in KC
15. Tommy Lasorda’s World
16. B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful – Jonathan Mayo
17. Comerica Park, 48201
18. Inside the White Sox
19. Newberg Report
20. Cubs Vine Line Blog
21. Chirp Chatter
22. Cleveland Indians Fantasy Camp
23. Dodgers Photog Blog – Jon Soohoo
24. Our Game – John Thorn
25. CastroTurf
26. Curly W Live
27. Down the Line with the Phillies Ballgirls
28. MURRAY COOK’S FIELD & BALLPARK BLOG
29. 2012 Mets Fantasy Camp
30. 45 Minutes From Fenway
31. Cooperstown Chatter
32. The Byrd’s Nest – Marlon Byrd
33. Inside the Dodgers
34. Delmarva Shorebirds Blog
35. MLB Urban Youth Academy
36. Colorado Rockies Fantasy Camp Blog
37. Bloomberg Sports
38. Homestand Blog by Yankees Magazine
39. The LumberBlog
40. From the Booth with Steve Stewart
41. Ozzie Speaks
42. Heard It From Hoard
43. Kaat’s Korner
44. Rattler Radio
45. Inside the Chiefs
46. ‘Riders Insider Blog
47. The Inside Pitch
48. Padres hispanos
49. Above the Plate
50. The Mitchell Report & Livin’ La Vida Leo

Reminder: Blogs only can be tracked for this list if they use an MLB theme. If you switch to a different WordPress.com theme for a day or two during that month, those page views will not be included for these purposes because they cannot be recorded by MLB.com. Look for more MLB themes in 2012 and make sure you’re in the February MLB.com Blogs Latest Leaders!

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