January 2013

Looking out the window

Just looking out the window and waiting for Spring Training. You?

Everyone is buzzing about the Brothers Upton in Atlanta, an acquisition reported by Mark Bowman. What did you think of the Atlanta-Arizona trade? The Cutoff ManMiLB.com PROSPECTiveDugout PonderingsThe Unbiased MLB FanBrave Fan in Illinois and The Baseball Haven give you their takes.

Fresh posts are in at Dodgers HistoryThe Brewer NationThe Rays RantMLB Urban Youth AcademyBalls and StrikesSF Giants Photos, My Serendipitous Life as a Baseball Wife, Minoring in BaseballHillsboro HopsBen’s Biz Blog and The AustralianBaseballDigest.

Blogger Terry Nelson says on Balls and Strikes that he is “not a winter person.” I agree with you, Terry. For full disclosure, this blogger is wearing warm Cardinals pajamas under his work clothes as this will probably be the coldest night of the year in New York City and I am headed over to Joe Torre’s Safe at Home event tonight at Chelsea Piers, to fire questions at guys like Brian Cashman, Gerry Cooney (!), Hideki Matsui, Tony La Russa, Goose Gossage, Jorge Posada, Tom Coughlin and more. I believe this is the last in a long string of offseason dinners I cover for MLB.com during that wait between World Series clincher and pitchers and catchers reporting.

The most recent dinner story I wrote was the most-shared MLB.com story on Facebook: Yogi Berra’s tribute night at the Baseball Assistance Team’s 24th annual Go to Bat for B.A.T. Fundraiser Dinner. We have since posted the clip of Yogi’s 65-word love letter to his lifelong sport, so I encourage you to embed it on your own blog and share it widely.

Hopefully you already know that you can show MLB.com videos. It’s a great addition to your blog. Just click the gray Embed button on just about any of our videos. (Game footage video has a time delay for embed availability during the season.) Please leave comments here whenever you include MLB.com video embeds within your posts, as I would like to highlight that capability within our community here.

We just introduced mlbpipeline.com — the go-to place for all prospect tracking and Draft analysis year-round, whether you’re looking for your organization’s pipeline talent or prospecting for your Fantasy roster. MLB.com senior writer Jonathan Mayo is our longtime prospect and Draft expert at MLB.com, and in addition to anchoring that, he is posting regularly at B3 – Big, Bald and Beautiful.

Game times for this season were announced today. Where Everyone’s a Giant posted about it, good topic for you to blog about. My MLB.com colleague Jesse Sanchez recently posted a great entry about late author Richard Ben Cramer and how he influenced him. Remember to post your Top 100 banner if you made our 2012 list like Wrigley Regular.

Welcome back to one of our earliest MLB.com Blogs fan posters, Joe Boesch. His latest post on Dugout Diary is a Pete Rose autographed card, check it out. Jamie Ramsey is blogging the Reds Caravan. The MLB.com Fantasy 411 crew is getting spring fever. We found short and sweet words from just-started Let’s Play Ball! Gotta like how Broke Mets is rockin’ the pitchers and catchers countdown clock in its side panel. Leave comments here to let you know you’ve posted something new and don’t forget to include your full URL. We’ll be surfacing MLB.com Blogs in a new way this season, just one thing we have to look forward to looking out the window…

Mark Newman:

My longtime friend and former San Jose Mercury News and (later) MLB.com colleague Jim Street has a new book out looking back at life from the press box. My colleague and MLB.com blogger TR Sullivan just reviewed it for MLB.com and for our official MLB.com Books Blog. First, I want to make sure you see the review, so reblogging it here. Second, I want to make sure you know about our books blog. We launched it not just for MLB.com reviews, but also for YOUR reviews. If you want to review any baseball book on your MLB.com Blog, please just leave a comment here with the Permalink, and we may excerpt the top of the post on our books blog and reviewer name with link to the full review, as we did with this one. Happy reading and reviewing!

Originally posted on Baseball Books:

jimsteetbookby T.R. Sullivan/MLB.com

Ichiro Suzuki is a great hitter, but he is also the man behind an iron façade. Few know much about him other than the fact he has been a hit machine in his 12 years in the Major Leagues.

Former MLB.com beat reporter and long-time baseball writer Jim Street offers readers insights into the personality of Suzuki — and other players, coaches, managers and executives — in his entertaining and recently published memoir, “Life From the Press Box.” Read the full MLB.com article

Buy Life from the Press Box

View original

Most recent MLB.com Blogs postings

When I am in a bad mood, I look for new and updated MLB.com Blogs. I am in a bad mood. Here are latest updates around here:
Wed, 09 Jan 2013 22:15:08 +0000

Cubs Vine Line Blog
http://vineline.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 22:15:08 +0000

Sr.Hit Digital Baseball Press
http://srhit.wordpress.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 21:56:51 +0000

baseballramblings
http://baseballramblings.wordpress.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 21:47:38 +0000

Beisbol 007
http://mlblogspiratasblog.wordpress.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 21:35:55 +0000

The AustralianBaseballDigest
http://thebaseballdigest.wordpress.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 21:14:37 +0000

therallyguy
http://therallyguy.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 21:12:46 +0000

Phillies Red Pinstripes
http://philliesredpinstripes.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 21:09:05 +0000

Beck’s Blog
http://beck.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 20:52:39 +0000

Inside the Chiefs
http://syracusechiefs.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 20:42:56 +0000

Muskat Ramblings
http://muskat.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 20:25:54 +0000

The Baseball Collector
http://zackhample.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 19:39:21 +0000

The Baseball Haven
http://thebaseballhaven.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 19:33:12 +0000

Rivals But Friends
http://rivalsbutfriends.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 19:26:00 +0000

Lipogram! Scorecard!
http://lipogramscorecard.wordpress.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 19:23:53 +0000

The G-Blog
http://gwinnettbravesblog.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 18:57:12 +0000

baseballscattershots
http://baseballscattershots.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 18:53:06 +0000

Baseblogfever
http://metblogfever.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 18:38:57 +0000

The Black N Orange Page
http://theblacknorangepage.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 18:37:04 +0000

SF Giants Photos
http://sfgiantsphotos.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 18:00:59 +0000

Ben’s Biz Blog
http://bensbiz.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 17:43:19 +0000

Hume’s Jays Bullpen
http://jaysbullpen.mlblogs.com/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 17:09:35 +0000

Advice for my fellow Hall of Fame voters

Updated 3:52 p.m. ET on Shutout Day, Jan. 9, 2012:

I am disappointed in many of my fellow Hall of Fame voters right now. That includes a lot of people I consider good friends. Not even Craig Biggio, with more than 3,000 hits and a career all spent with the same team, one of the best guys in baseball (isn’t this now about best guys vs. bad guys?), will be inducted next summer? Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner said it best: “…to penalize players exonerated in legal proceedings — and others never even implicated — is simply unfair.  The Hall of Fame is supposed to be for the best players to have ever played the game.  Several such players were denied access to the Hall today.”

I voted for Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza and Lee Smith. This is my 24th year in the Baseball Writers Association of America, going back to my first year (1990) on the San Francisco Giants beat for the San Jose Mercury News, and as a Lifetime Honorary member I take the annual responsibility very seriously as a privilege.

In 2007, I was in Cooperstown covering the historic Cal Ripken Jr.-Tony Gwynn induction weekend for MLB.com, and there were record crowds. At that time, Bonds needed one more home run to tie Hank Aaron for the all-time lead with 755. Among the record crowds at the Hall that weekend, 100 percent of the many patrons I interviewed told me there was no place there for Bonds. He would tie the record that next week and then finish that final Major League season with 762, official and unasterisked.

In the course of agonizing over my ballot last month, that particular juxtaposition of anti-Bonds sentiment and the subsequent crowning of a new home run king was the thing I thought about the most.

I watch the games, I talk to players and club personnel, I talk to fans, I am a fan, I grew up playing the game, I made my own scorecards as a boy to score Evansville Triplets Triple-A games on the radio that night, I am the nephew of a former Major League player and manager (Johnny Goryl), I am the father of boys who played baseball (one All-Stater at the alma mater of Ryan Howard and David Freese), I believe pitch-and-catch is as good as it gets in life, I am in my 12th year with Major League Baseball Advanced Media, and I love and breathe baseball as the greatest game. I share your passion.

I go to Cooperstown routinely and I feel the hallowed greatness of the plaques that surround me in the Gallery. It always reaffirms my belief and commitment that it is for the elite of the elite. Plaques of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Stan Musial, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Willie Mays, Cy Young, Joe DiMaggio are what I see. I get chills down my spine and I see goosebumps on my arms.

As a voter, there is a temptation to see your role as a voter as representing a constituency, like a Senator or Congress member, but that is not the reality when I open the ballot envelope at home and pore over choices. For me, it is about body of work and not work of body. I can know the former but not the latter. I will never know who exactly may have used steroids, and a BBWAA voter should not vote based on perception of a suspected user’s body language, cranial measurement, innuendo, allegations and so forth. The character clause, included in a long list of expected voting criteria that we receive, seems inapplicable there to me.

Since Mark McGwire first appeared on the ballot and was eligible for that same classic, one-team-only, All-American Class of 2007 (could you imagine?), I have believed that it is the Commissioner’s right to exclude a person from our ballot consideration, as was the case with Pete Rose. It is only his right. I do not believe voters should attempt to play that role. Body of work, not work of body. So for the last time, hopefully, I have explained why I vote the way I do — just as I explained it one day this year to a former postseason star who once shared a clubhouse with many big names on this ballot. He told me in strong terms: Do not vote for them.

Why Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza and Smith? I believe 3,000 hits is still very much a Hall benchmark, so Biggio is in for me. I was shocked not to see his name read. Are you serious? The Hall would be incomplete without Bonds and Clemens, as the former is the greatest player in history and left field was “my house” in his prime, and the latter knows no superiors among history’s right-handers other than Walter Johnson and Nolan Ryan. Piazza hit more home runs than any catcher, a 62nd-round draft pick Disney story. Once we started electing the Goose Gossages and Bruce Sutters of the world, I knew that Smith belonged as well, a relief legend.

I stopped there, at half of the maximum 10 boxes you are allowed to check. I’m not much of a vote-for-everyone guy. Five is a lot. Rather than checking Big Mac’s box as I had each previous time, I considered the overall ballot and in my view felt those were the candidates who truly were worthy of the Gallery room. If I’m not voting for McGwire, then I am not voting for Sammy Sosa. Based on their home run numbers, perhaps one day they will be added. Perhaps Rafael Palmeiro as well.

I have much respect for other voters and for fans who have made impassioned cases for others, such as Jeff Bagwell, Jack Morris, Tim Raines, Dale Murphy, Alan Trammell and others. Those candidates should feel fortunate that they had such ardent supporters who make such strong cases for them. My five is not an indication that I am right and others are wrong, it is merely how I ultimately had to put my pen to the check boxes on the hardest ballot the BBWAA ever saw. Next December I will look at the ballot with fresh eyes. The voting electorate is the right one now and for the future, and it is an honor taken seriously.

I was expecting Biggio’s name to be read alone. A shutout for this ballot is frankly embarrassing, and it is just disappointing to see so many of my peers make the wrong judgment, to see themselves in a job that is simply not theirs on LinkedIn. Maybe it feels empowering. More likely, it feels hard for them to concede that they took the wrong position in previous years and can’t bear the admission that they must change. Again, these are many of my good friends. May they see the light.

What do you think of the Hall of Fame choice for 2013? Make sure to leave your blog post URLs in the comments here – always a great way to grow your blog’s traffic in this community.

Thanks for all the comments that have followed the posting here Friday of the 2012 Top 100 MLB.com Blogs! Keep it up, reblog if you made the list, and please be sure to click through all of the blogs that made it, as we have a constant flow of great posts in this community. Welcome the new Rays Radio PRO blog if you haven’t yet. And special thanks to blogger Alicia Barnhart for posting a cool wrapup of her tour here at MLB Advanced Media’s HQ on Friday.

TIP OF THE DAY: Want to embed a tweet within your MLB.com Blog post? Go here.

- Mark

Top 100 MLB.com Blogs

595x416_MLB_Blogs_Top100

Baseball fans aren’t going to forget 2012 any time soon. We saw the debuts of phenomenal young talent, we marveled at historic feats and we held on through truly memorable Postseason moments. Bloggers were there every step of the way, and now is the time to honor those who made the annual Top 100 MLB.com Blogs list. Once again the Hot Stove/Trade Buzz two-headed monster finished as the overall most-visited MLB.com Blog, powered by the only network of 30 traveling beat reporters, with Better Off Red finishing off a very impressive season in second place in the PRO category. The Baseball Collector has bragging rights again among Fan blogs, with the reborn and resurgent Rays Renegade right behind. Carrie Muskat held off Jason Beck to grab top honors among the MLB.com Beat Writers.

Congratulations to everyone who made the Top 100! If you’re on the list, make sure you add your Top 100 MLB.com Blogs badge to your sidebar, with the link to this post. Here are the Latest Leaders ranked by page views from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2012:

MLB PRO
1. Hot Stove
2. Better Off Red
3. SF Giants Photos
4. MLB.com Fantasy 411
5. From the Corner of Edgar & Dave
6. John & Cait…Plus Nine
7. Baseball Nerd
8. Alyson’s Footnotes
9. Curly W Live
10. Ben’s Biz Blog
11. Dodgers Photog Blog
12. Brandon and Brandon
13. MLB.com Blogs Central (lol)
14. So I Married A Baseball Player…
15. Phillies Insider
16. Around the Horn in KC
17. 45 Miles From Fenway
18. The USA Baseball 17U Blog
19. The Dash Board
20. MURRAY COOK’S FIELD & BALLPARK BLOG
21. Ben Rouse’s Brewers Mission 162
22. B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful
23. Cubs Vine Line Blog
24. TribeVibe
25. Inside the White Sox
26. Our Game
27. The USA Baseball 15U National Team Blog
28. Comerica Park, 48201
29. Tommy Lasorda’s World
30. CastroTurf
31. The USA Baseball 14U Blog
32. Rattler Radio
33. The Byrd’s Nest
34. Cooperstown Chatter
35. Newberg Report
36. White Shark
37. MLB Urban Youth Academy – Compton, CA
38. Justice4U
39. Down the Line with the Phillies Ballgirls
40. Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
41. Above the Plate
42. Bloomberg Sports
43. Inside the Jackson Generals
44. ‘Cats Corner
45. Clubhouse Confidential
46. From the Booth with Steve Stewart
47. The Sprouting News
48. ‘Riders Insider Blog
49. Desde el Desierto
50. Fantasy Freddie
51. It’s All Relative
52. Kaat’s Korner
53. The Futurists
54. Far East Division
55. The G-Blog
56. Reed Between the Lines
57. SFGiantScoop
58. Homestand Blog by Yankees Magazine
59. Wild Things
60. My Serendipitous Life as a Baseball Wife
61. Salem Sox Talk
62. On the Mike with Mike Safford (Voice of the Boise Hawks)
63. Express Tracks
64. Chirp Chatter
65. Rollin’ with Rick
66. Inside the Chiefs
67. Yard Work
68. Roof Report
69. Brian Anderson’s House of Blogs
70. Kara’s Hot Corner
71. The Inside Pitch
72. Padres hispanos
73. Unlocking the Keys
74. The Cutoff Man
75. From the Nest
76. The Mitchell Report & Livin’ La Vida Leo
77. Inside the Clubhouse with Mike Antonellis
78. Bird Droppings
79. Ozzie Speaks
80. MiLB.com’s PROSPECTive Blog
81. Welcome to Third and King
82. ‘Topes Tattler
83. Docking With the Ports
84. Padre Knows Best
85. MiLB Snap Shots
86. A Twinternal Perspective
87. Fenway the Dog
88. Knight Fever
89. Extra Innings with the KCrew
90. BTF Today
91. Indians Off the Field
92. Baseball Books
93. Colorado Springs Sky Sox Official Team Blog
94. Diamond Dollar$
95. A’s Ticket Services
96. FISH TALES
97. Red Sox DestiNATIONs
98. Athletics in Japan: Opening Series 2012
99. Bees Wax
100. Delmarva Shorebirds Blog

FANS
1. The Baseball Collector
2. Rays Renegade
3. Red State Blue State
4. The AustralianBaseballDigest
5. Cook & Sons’ Baseball Adventures
6. Counting Baseballs
7. Beisbol 007
8. The Brewer Nation
9. A’s Farm
10. Rockpile Rant
11. mlbblogger
12. Pinstripe Birthdays
13. The Ballpark Guide
14. Phillies Phollowers
15. Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend
16. The Baseball Haven
17. The Unbiased MLB Fan
18. BlueBattingHelmet
19. Born on Third
20. Observing Baseball
21. You’re Killin’ Me, Smalls!
22. Crzblue’s Dodger Blue World
23. nybisons
24. La Pagina de Tony Menendez
25. Three Up, Three Down
26. The Pittsburgh Peas
27. Brewers Rumors
28. Blogging ‘Bout Baseball
29. Unfinished Business
30. Rockin’ Redlegs
31. The Rays Rant
32. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
33. Minoring In Baseball
34. I’m Not A Headline Guy…
35. Collection of Baseball
36. This is a very simple game…
37. Heard It From Hoard
38. Cream City Cables
39. Plushdamentals
40. Royal Blues
41. The Yankee Dinosaur
42. gojays
43. Fish Fry
44. Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts
45. baseballqueen
46. TheCutoffMan
47. DYNASTY League Baseball from designer of Pursue the Pennant
48. 9 Inning Know It All
49. Live, Eat, and Breathe Yankees
50. Bleacher Boy
51. More Splash Hits
52. If You Write It, They Will Come
53. The Optimist Tiger
54. swingingbuntz
55. Bjarkman’s Latino and Cuban League Baseball History Page
56. Rox Addict
57. All Things Pirates: Breaking down the Buccos
58. Phillies Red Pinstripes
59. westsideculture
60. Reds Country
61. Los bigleaguers
62. Where Everyone’s a Giant
63. Ballparks on a Budget
64. eltubeyero22
65. Wrigley Regular
66. On The Way Home
67. 7000 Coliseum Way
68. Sarge’s Phillies Phantasy Camp Diary
69. Battling Bucs
70. HYDE’S INSIDE PITCH
71. The Phanatic Addict
72. 2r2d
73. BrokeMets
74. One Strike Away…Twice!
75. Brewers Today
76. steel city ballhawk
77. Great Scot!
78. Hoppers Fan
79. Devils In Pinstripes
80. The Fenway Faithful
81. A Misplaced Astros Fan
82. Bottom of the Ninth
83. Punky G. (G stands for Giants!)
84. Cambios y Curvas
85. 1992 And Counting
86. 2131 and Beyond
87. The Phillies Girl Tells All
88. Dyna Mets
89. Perfect Pitch
90. LEAVes of Dodger Blue
91. The ‘Stros Bros
92. Major League Fantasy Sports
93. Throwin’ Heat
94. The Angels’ Ace
95. Teddy’s Ballgame
96. Datacasting in Norfolk
97. FixMLB.org
98. Holy KK! It’s the Phillies!
99. Major League Ballhawk
100. Grab Some Bench!

MLB.COM BEAT WRITERS
1. Muskat Ramblings
2. Beck’s Blog
3. The Zo Zone
4. Mark My Word
5. Bowman’s Blog
6. By Gosh, It’s Langosch
7. Bombers Beat
8. Postcards From Elysian Fields
9. Britt’s Bird Watch
10. Gonzo and ‘The Show’
11. Brownie Points
12. Brew Beat
13. Mariners Musings
14. North of the Border
15. Major League Bastian
16. Change for a Nickel
17. Tag’s Lines
18. The Fish Pond
19. Haft-Baked Ideas
20. Mets Cetera

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.

Top 100 MLBloggers: Get your badge!

MLB.com Blogs Top 100 Blogs 2012 Latest Leaders

Congratulations again to all our Top 100 MLB.com Blogs for 2012. 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 middle of the window (they’re in alphabetical order), and drag it over to the top of your active widgets in the Sidebar section on the right side.

4. Enter ONLY the following information in the Image widget.
Image URL: http://mlblogsmlblogs.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/300x50_mlblogs_top100.png
Alternate text: Top 100 MLB.com Blogs
Width: 300 Height: 50
Link URL: http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com/2013/01/04/2012-top-100-mlb-com-blogs/

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 1.57.47 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.

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