Thursday, May 29, 2008

Five Years Ago Today...

What were you doing five years ago today? May 29th, 2003. Well, comedian Bob Hope turned 100 years old. OK, not a lot happened five years ago today. How did the Twins do the night before though, May 28th??


How do I know/remember that? Well, it was five years ago today that had its inaugural posting. It wasn't much, but still kind of cool. I like to think that the quality of the blog has progressed significantly since then. Hopefully you agree.


As I have stated before, I started this site because of the Twins Geek and Aaron Gleeman. I had played, coached, really seen baseball from about every angle there was. I am a naturally analytical person, so having my own blog was a pretty natural thing for me. I am a baseball dork, and I fully admit it. My goal in starting the blog was to create something that I would want to read. If others happened to want to read it too, that would be great! I thought it would be something to make me look smarter than a typical former jock. I thought maybe my family and a couple of friends would read it. Well, I don't know how much of my family reads the site, but since its lowly beginnings, and days of 15-20 readers, the site has grown in readership. A link from the Twins Geek or from Aaron brought people to my site. Fortunately, some of them came back. Then there was an article in the Star Tribune when the Twins began their playoff run in 2003, and a few more showed up. Eventually there were 100 readers a day. Then a couple hundred. Then I wrote some articles that got links from others and a few more showed up. Then there was the mention in the 2007 Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview Issue. I was getting about 1,000 hits a day by that time and thinking that was pretty good. And then this past offseason, with all of the talk and rumors regarding Johan Santana, I was getting upwards of 6,000 hits per day. I have settled in pretty consistently between 4,000 and 5,000 hits each day, sometimes more, sometimes less.


I can't remember when I added comments to the site, but since that time, there has been regular interaction with many readers. I really appreciate the fact that, for the most part, the comments section here has not gone the direction of the Star-Tribune blog comments. I think that is a good thing. Really, the best part about having a site like this is the interaction with readers. I've said before that I don't want or expect everyone to just read whatever I write and buy it as truth. Just like I hope you don't listen to Dick & Bert, or John and The Dazzleman (or especially Jack Morris) and believe everything they say as gospel. I like debate and discussion, and the readers of this site have done a great job of that. So, I do want to thank all of you for making a regular stop during your day. And, I certainly want to encourage you to use the comments section and leave your thoughts, and you can always e-mail me as well.


I do want to take a moment to thank The Twins Geek and Aaron Gleeman. They were around back then and they are still around and doing a great job. The Twins have a lot of great blogs, so I hate to even try to mention them all. But I have to mention Stick & Ball Guy whose site is excellent and who I have learned a lot from. I also want to highlight Nick & Nick's Twins Blog, Josh Taylor's Twins Talk and Josh's Thoughts, three great Twins blogs that I regular every day, and who have been doing this for a long time. I would be crazy if I didn't use a sentence or two to thank Roger Dehring who writes minor league updates at Twinkie Town and who is a frequent contributor to this site as well. Of course, as much as the Comments in the Strib's blogs upset me, I have to thank Joe Christensen, LaVelle E. Neal and Howard Sinker for their support. Likewise, Phil Miller is relatively new to Minnesota and the Pioneer Press, but he does a very nice job and is just a great guy.


I have been very fortunate to post a lot of Q&As on the site, but I need to highlight a couple of the Twins players and minor leaguers that have gone above and beyond what any blogger could hope for. First and foremost, Pat Neshek has been terrific. Ever since he e-mailed me because I posted some wrong information about him, he has done several Q&As, including some interactive Q&As. Geez, we were even lucky enough to get a Q&A with Pat's wife, Stephanee. Kevin Slowey has done the same thing and has also participated the past three years in the SethSpeaks NFL "Expert" Picks panel. So has Jeff Manship who has already done several Q&As. Kyle Waldrop is a multiple Q&A guy who not only has participated in the NFL picks the last couple of years, but he even won it two years ago!


Blogging is not that easy, no matter what people tell you. Yes, anyone can have a blog, it's not that expensive. But it truly is a lot of work if you want to do a good job. But it is incredibly rewarding. Doing so for this long has presented me with a lot of opportunities that I never would have had otherwise. Hanging out at the WCCO booth and the State Fair with Ron Coomer was fun. Doing radio shows is a lot of fun for me. I have been able to develop relationships with bloggers, writers, players, administrators and fans that I never would have otherwise.


So basically what I am saying is thank you to everyone! To all of you who have directly assisted with this site, to those of you who read and comment. That's to the other bloggers, the players, and everyone. As always, I do want to encourage your input. I want to know what people want to read, so please feel free to send me your thoughts.


I don't know how long I'll do this. I don't know if I'll be able to keep posting something daily. I do know that I enjoy it like crazy. I love following minor leaguers up to the big leagues. I love watching the rookies making their debuts. I love watching young players develop. And I love seeing my favorite team be successful and moving in the right direction. In general, I love baseball. I have a passion for baseball. I believe everyone needs a hobby and something that they can be passionate about. This is it for me, so I really hope to stick around for awhile. Will I make it to ten years? Wow, I guess we shall see... Hopefully you'll keep stopping by the site to find out!!


With that, I do want to encourage you to check out my Archives Page. I link to it on the top left part of this page as well as at the bottom. It's always there. But if you can give me one gift today, it would be to peruse the Archives page and see what has been done over the last five years. Here are a few I enjoyed:


Thank you again to everyone! I will be back tomorrow with two days worth of game updates. What a comeback for the Twins last night with the three run, two out, two strike game-tying homer by Craig Monroe and the game-winner by Justin Morneau an inning later. If I could say one thing, it is that I am so sick of seeing the Delmon Young play from the night before. He made a mistake, move on!! I'll also be back with Part II of the Top 50 Twins Prospects list.


Have a great day!




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