In the Papers

Along with Alex Belth, Larry Mahnken, Cliff Corcoran, Doug Pappas, and a few other names you might recognize, I’m featured in a newspaper article in The Journal News, a suburban New York newspaper covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties. Peter Abraham interviewed 27 New York-area bloggers via an email questionnaire, followed a few up by phone, and wrote a lengthy piece on the impact of baseball bloggers: “A Growing Sports Voice.”

Abraham paints a picture of a booming underground that still hasn’t peaked, with blogs springing up and then disappearing with regularity. I don’t know about the latter part, but I will say that an astounding increase seems to have taken place over the past winter. The writer goes on to cite a media studies expert who compares the boom to desktop publishing. That observation carries personal resonance; it’s an area where my computer savvy allowed me to overcome a lack of training and move onto bigger and better things, as I became a graphic designer without benefit of an art-school background. Viva Apple!

The article starts with Belth and his fine blog, mentioning his interviews with famous personalities such as Buck O’Neill, Roger Angell, and Ken Burns, and it then turns to yours truly:

Belth and many other bloggers were first inspired by Aaron Gleeman, Jay Jaffe and David Pinto, the Willie, Mickey and the Duke of this fledgling genre. They were among the first and are now three of the best-read bloggers.

Jaffe, 34, started “Futility Infielder” three years ago. Once primarily a Yankees blog, he has branched out to cover all baseball.

“I developed a penchant for lengthy lunchtime e-mails involving stat-based baseball arguments. My friends invited me to leave them alone and start a blog,” he said via e-mail. “The rest is history. I don’t watch very much TV, besides ballgames, or see many movies since I started doing this. I’ve always got a couple of ideas I’m working on, even if only in my head, to the point where it’s become like the music of my mind.”

Jaffe and many other bloggers rely heavily on the study of baseball statistics — known as sabermetrics — to make their impassioned points. It’s a natural mix of their love of baseball and technology.

The Mick of the genre? Wow, that’s flattering, although I’m quite sure I don’t get nearly as much traffic as Gleeman or Pinto (not that it keeps me awake at nights) or imbibe as much as Mantle. I’ll mildly dispute the second paragraph, too, as I’ve always striven to straddle the line of covering the Yanks but not being limited to them. I can even quibble with Abraham’s description of sabermetrics, preferring to rely on Bill James’ classic definiton: “the search for objective knowledge about baseball.” But hey, it’s great to be mentioned, and any publicity is good publicity so long as you spell my name right. So thanks to Pete Abraham for including me in this piece, and welcome to any of you who are visiting this page for the first time because of it.

Any of you coming to this page via your Sunday paper who would be willing to send the page on which the article resides, please drop me an email.

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