We are here with our 553rd career post (two shy of Manny) to welcome Winter and Christmas and what is regarded in popular culture as “the most wonderful time of the year.” Opening Day probably can stake a legitimate claim for that title, but hey, we are caught up in the holiday spirit right now and we just wanted to wish the best of times with family and friends to you here in the Major League Baseball blogging community.
Want to see the flakes fall on your blog? Just go to “Settings” in your WordPress.com dashboard, and at the bottom select “Snow.” It will drop the white stuff on your blog until Jan. 4, and the best part is, you won’t have to do any shoveling like I already have done twice so far in the New York City suburbs, breaking one shovel in the process. No one ever says, “How can you not be romantic about shoveling snow?” Plus, my English Bulldog King Bingley gets a kick out of trying to chew the shovel blade each time I plunge it at the sidewalk, so it goes twice as slow. He thinks I’m playing.
I hope you found nice gifts for everyone. I have been dishing out MLB.com Shop tips since before Black Friday as the annual MLB.com Gift Guru, and once 9 p.m. ET arrives on Monday (deadline for overnight shipping), the best advice I can give you is an MLB.com Online Gift Certificate, 2014 MLB.TV Premium or our ridiculously popular At Bat app.
Safe traveling if you are among the 70-million-plus Americans expected to hit the road. We don’t have groundskeepers like Murray Cook to follow you around so watch out for yourself. I had to race to beat the Thanksgiving-week weather system that pushed north from the Gulf of Mexico, so I found myself driving the full state of Pennsylvania starting at 8 p.m. that Monday and diving into a motel at 5 in the morning. We made it into Ohio before most of that ice moved in. It was nice to drive through Cincinnati and see Great American Ball Park in offseason slumber along the highway. Our bulldog hated the trip and spent back-to-back nights at an all-night pet hospital due to upper-respiratory infection. We tend to be way too much like Chevy Chase “Vacation” movies in real life so the next couple of weeks it is time for chill mode at home in New York and somehow stick to a 12-week training program for the ASICS LA Marathon on March 9. What about you?
We’d love to see any holiday-themed posts you have, so please feel free to leave a comment here with the full URL so everyone can find their way to your blog. Once they get there, you should have the “Follow This Blog” widget prominently displayed high on your side panel, so we can all subscribe and then be notified whenever you post. That’s my top tip to everyone.
As a general housekeeping note, please be on the lookout for our annual MLB.com Blogs Top 100 rankings roughly around Jan. 6, give or take a couple of days. As usual, it will be accompanied with a handy-dandy badge like the one you see in the side panel of this blog, so anyone who makes the list can proudly show off their accomplishment. We will rank in a variety of categories as always. I will pull our Omniture page-view data from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, and once we’re back to work we’ll start compiling the lists. Be sure you enter your email to follow this blog on the right so you will see that post immediately!
Enjoy these posts below while you warm by the yuletide log…and Happy Holidays again! – Mark
Embedding MLB.com videos onto your MLB.com Blog is back to normal, and thanks for your patience.
Want to blog about Homer Bailey’s latest no-hitter? Watch the video on MLB.com and click “Embed” there and copy the embed code. Using the Text tab of your dashboard’s New Post field, paste the code as I’m doing here:
Tip: To make the video fill the entire blog column width, as you see here, change the width in the code from 400 to 550, and change the height from 224 to 318.
And while we’re on the subject, see my story on MLB.com to find out how to get a free Domino’s pizza thanks to Homer.
Ah, the number eight in baseball. It’s Cal Ripken Jr., Pops Stargell, Gary Carter, Yaz, Joe Morgan, Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. It’s the original eight franchises in each of the American and National Leagues. It’s an “8” on your scorecard, a standard fly to center. It’s (19)08, the Year of the Cubs.
It’s the eighth birthday of this MLB.com Blogs community, which just happened Thursday. Feel free to wish us all well.
It seems like forever since I sat here at the MLB.com office on April 18, 2005, and helped Tommy Lasorda get his first entry saved. That post about his friend Jackie Robinson was our first ever, millions ago.
That same night, our great friend and MLB groundskeeping guru Murray Cook started his blog. Zack Hample started a few days later and his snagging adventures continued when he celebrated our birthday by snagging two home run balls Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
This community blog debuted as “MLBlogosphere” on May 5, 2005, a day after Brooks Robinson started a blog. I explained in the launch post that you could blog here for $4.95 a month (with a 30-day free trial) or $49.95 per year. My how things have changed. You have an incredible WordPress.com dashboard and support now, obviously at no cost, and unlike back then you can go to Settings->Sharing and enable all the social media outlets so any post can be shared and get more viewers.
Some things haven’t changed. It’s still the only place you can use official MLB marks and logos, and you’re covered under our umbrella if you want to use great Getty or AP photos. We still offer the largest gateway for any baseball blogger, as this community is linked from an MLB.com mothership with billions of page views, and we have 100 or so PRO bloggers including seven active players.
More and more are realizing that an MLB.com Blog is the perfect hub for all their social media. The more social outlets you have these days, the more you need one HQ, and you can easily add your Twitter, FB and other widgets here.
Please join me in welcoming Logan Morrison as the seventh one. He started on our birthday. And feel free to help his Project LoMo.
Leading into the Matt Harvey-Stephen Strasburg pitching matchup, Mitch Williams of MLB Network blogged about Harvey and said he is revising his National League Cy Young Award prediction — and going with the Mets’ rookie. Fascinating view worth reading.
The Yankee Dinosaur just celebrated a third birthday around Opening Day.
On June 6, White Sox VP of Communications Scott Reifert will celebrate the eighth birthday of his blog, Inside the White Sox. He paved the way for other sports executives who blog or tweet today. When he started in 2005, no one was doing this. And he does it regularly, so please join him!
We still have the slogan: “MLB.com Official Affiliate, Unofficial Opinions.” You always say what’s on your mind. We will always keep looking for ways to get your blog seen, like monthly MLB.com Blogs Latest Leaders or our Meet the Bloggers video series (let me know here when you’re going to an MLB game), and I hope that relaunch of MLB.com/blogs happens this season.
New bloggers are joining you all the time. Astros Baseball jumped aboard in 2013.
Yes, that’s still me in the profile pic on this community blog. I decided to bag the familiar backwards white cap that’s been there ever since we started MLB.com Blogs all those many years ago. Hope you understand. And my thoughts are with everyone in the Boston area who has been through so much and has shown such strength. I look forward to running for Boston on Sunday.
Feel free to leave a birthday comment right here, y’all. And post about your own blog’s birthday. Happy Birthday to us all.
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 Man, MiLB.com PROSPECTive, Dugout Ponderings, The Unbiased MLB Fan, Brave Fan in Illinois and The Baseball Haven give you their takes.
Fresh posts are in at Dodgers History, The Brewer Nation, The Rays Rant, MLB Urban Youth Academy, Balls and Strikes, SF Giants Photos, My Serendipitous Life as a Baseball Wife, Minoring in Baseball, Hillsboro Hops, Ben’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…
Thanks for the comments pertaining to new ads on MLB.com Blogs. We care incredibly about all of our bloggers, about you. Since the launch back in April 2005 — between those drought-busting titles by the Red Sox and White Sox, before “social media” was a term — we have made numerous enhancements to make this fun and easy-to-use in functionality, style and exposure to grow your audiences. Most recently, we partnered with WordPress.com in an extensive migration, giving you a state-of-the-art MLB.com blog platform, whether on a computer or a mobile device.
For those who might not know the history of MLB.com/blogs, we originally launched as a premium service. That paid subscription model was eliminated after the first season. For a while, there was a standard ad on the bottom right panel, mostly forgotten since it was positioned so low. As noted Tuesday, it has now become necessary to slightly adjust the blog layout for our standard run-of-site advertising you always have seen throughout the MLB.com portal, of which these blogs always have been a part. This offsets escalating hosting costs and allows us to keep offering this free service for you, where you always have had exclusive rights to use official MLB logos and marks within your content.
As for a few who asked, there is not an opportunity to share ad revenue. As a point of comparison, many standard social platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, do not share ad revenue with users from the content they create. We understand if some bloggers would prefer an ad-free environment, but in order to continue offering MLB.com Blogs at no cost, including site ads is necessary.
We understand it can be jarring to have a sudden change on your blog, which you see as your personal space. We will try in the future to communicate any changes in advance, wherever possible. Hopefully the next additions you will see will be the option for additional MLB themes, and that is something we currently are working on. I’ll let you know when I have an update on that front…and be on the lookout because our first-ever MLB.com Blogs Midseason Leaders are on the way here. Thanks – Mark
So, speaking of Billy Butler . . .
Happy All-Star Day from Kansas City, where the fountains are blue and filled with Prince Fielder home runs. Before heading over to FanFest and then to the Plaza for the Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, I just wanted to check in with our great MLB.com Blogs community and update you on stuff.
As you’ve no doubt noticed, we at Major League Baseball Advanced Media have just integrated advertisements into all MLB.com Blogs like this one. These blogs are part of our overall MLB.com universe, so the same display ads that appear throughout the MLB sites will now be on all MLBlogs.
This is a permanent addition. I’d also like to remind you that since we launched in 2005 with Tommy Lasorda’s first post, MLB.com Blogs is the only blog platform on the Internet where you can legally use MLB marks and logos. . . .
The midpoint of the season is a great time to take stock of this preseason predictions, as MLB Network’s Mitch Williams has done in his latest post. And Mitch does so in his own inimitable style, mixing the analysis of a former pro with a healthy dose of opinion. . . .
The All-Star break gives Ben Rouse a chance to catch his breath and rest up for the stretch run of his epic 162-game odyssey. In his final post of the unofficial first half of the season, Ben provides some eye-opening stats about his adventure. . . .
Enjoy this Home Run Derby and Tuesday’s 83rd All-Star Game, which starts at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX. Then get ready for what promises to be an amazing second half of the regular season as we continue a baseball season that is shaping up as one for the ages.
Landed today in Kansas City and will be working our Major League Baseball All-Star Week here through Tuesday. Please be sure to leave comments here with any of your posts related to the Midsummer Classic, and make sure you checked out our June Latest Leaders in the previous post. It was immediately to the barbecue and keeping up with Final Vote…
Congrats to Matt Cain of the Giants for throwing the 22nd Perfect Game in Major League Baseball history. You can easily embed the MLB.com video of the masterpiece on your blog, to go with any posts about the game.
Just go here and then click Embed and paste that code into your WordPress.com dashboard text field.
The most perfect blog post of all may have just been saved by Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco. His unreal diving catch toward the warning track preserved the gem, and you’ll want to see what he says in White Shark. Blanco invites your comments there and will be answering questions in future posts, so hit him up! This is the video he embedded the morning after history happened at AT&T Park:
Fan “CHP” just commented on the White Shark’s blog entry:
“You brought me to your blog and this amazing post. This post led me, in my continuing post game Giants-haze, to not stop reading until I had finished everything you had written since becoming a Giant. You are amazingly well spoken, smart, and seem to be a pretty awesome person.”
One of our most popular PRO blogs here at MLB.com Blogs is SF Giants Photos, and props to the crew there for such thorough photo coverage of Cain’s perfecto. Take a look at their shots and leave comments and share their post.
This just in from SFDiamondGirl: “I just put up my post about the perfect game: http://sfdiamondgirl.mlblogs.com/2012/06/14/a-black-and-white-world-and-a-technicolor-baseball-game/. Incredibly happy for Matt Cain and it’s been an amazing 24 hours here in San Francisco – very exciting to put it all into words.”
Just got this comment from Russel at Wrigley Regular, which ranked 43rd in our May Latest Leaders: “Great game from Cain last night. The 5th Perfecto in the last 3 years. Is there a reason why? I have my opinion and you can read it here: http://wrigleyregular.mlblogs.com/2012/06/14/why-are-they-perfect/ “
Feel free to add comments here with your full URL if you are blogging about that game. Or just let us know what you are blogging about regarding any baseball topic.
You can also search WordPress.com for “Matt Cain” and you will come up with this list of fellow baseball bloggers like Girls are the New Boys or Your Cousin Vinnie. Make sure you use an MLB theme if you want to be tracked for the monthly Latest Leaders.
TRAFFIC TIP: Make sure you enable your viewers to share your posts in every way you want. In your WP Dashboard, go to Settings –> Sharing and then drag-and-drop all the icons like Twitter and FB and then save. That way other baseball fans can spread your blog posts everywhere. Default setting probably won’t do you much good.
Want to embed the video of Josh Hamilton’s historic four-homer night into your MLB.com Blog? Richard Justice of MLB.com just did it on his Justice4U blog and you can as well.
Go to the MLB.com video clip and click the EMBED button among the share icons. Copy the code and then paste using the HTML tab on the text-post field of your WordPress.com dashboard. It will look like this:
Then tell everyone at MLB.com Blogs what you thought of one of the best offensive performances in Major League history – 18 total bases!
Elsewhere around MLB.com Blogs:
We’re helping a Major League player start a blog in English and Spanish. Be on the lookout and comment here when you see his first post. Hint, National League West. Our huge roster of PRO bloggers is right here.
Leave Jon Miller some love on his new MLB.com Blog Booth Bloggin’ because HELLO, HE’S JON MILLER. And boy does he have some stories to share. . . . See what Mat Latos’ wife Dallas is up to on her insightful blog So I Married A Baseball Player. . . . Indians fans, make sure you are following your new official club blog TribeVibe posted by the front office.
Appreciating everyone’s comments, especially after each Latest Leaders post. Looking through the comments you can find a lot of fellow bloggers. Always include your full URL with any comment to make it easy to be found.