hi folks. I've been reading a blog by Joe Posnanski and I think he's fantastic. In fact, he is the only sports writer I'm reading regularly now. He wrote an article about Ziggy which is worth a read, but in some ways is the least enlightening thing I've read by him so far, simply because AN hashes things out so thoroughly. I really like the pieces he wrote about Stan Musial, both the first one and the follow-up where he debunks the story he told in the first one.
There's your link. Dump away.
I have some personal ramblings after the jump in easy-to-ignore form.
This is the part you skip. You can scroll down to the funny comments.
Okay, I've been part of AN long enough that I think I can have one self-indulgent post a year.
My name is Apricot. You may know me from such films as "Moneybutt: The Art of Winning a Sexy Game" and "Killfile VIII: Jason Filters Manhattan". Anyway, I haven't been posting much on the site recently and I wanted you all to know that it's not because I don't love you (although that Sal guy...).
I've had a lot on my plate this summer. In May, Hopey became a big sister.
That's Wyatt looking a little uncertain of his safety.
I've been thinking a little about why I haven't been on AN as much this year. Certainly there are the obvious reasons, like the sleep deficit and general loss of free time. But I realized, there were deeper reasons.
I'm just not as obsessed about baseball this year. I still follow it, don't get me wrong, and I still read AN regularly. It's not because the A's have traded/released literally all of our favorite players this year (at least until Ellis goes). I'm pretty excited to see how Beane blows up a team. He doesn't leave much rubble, does he? It's not because the A's have been mediocre... it's fun to see the new kids and I think we will kick ass in 2010.
To get at the real reason, we have to go back a little bit. In the 70s and early 80s I was a diehard baseball fan. Played Little League, got in trouble at school for writing all my assignments about baseball. I grew up in the middle of NYC with not many other Asian kids and we neighborhood kids all had our conflicts and prejudices and had my share of being called names and challenged to kung fu fights, but when you're on the baseball field, a single is a single, a catch is a catch and we could all talk the language of baseball.
I particularly loved the Expos who were historically terrible in the mid 70s when I first glommed onto them and became a near-success in the 80s until that was shot down by drugs and the baseball strike. Good old 1981. That was the Expos' year, but the strike blew it. They still beat the Phils in the playoff with my favorite player Steve Rogers outdueling Steve Carlton twice. And then they go to the brink of the World Series when the manager pulled what might be called a "reverse Grady" and put in Rogers on 2 days rest in the ninth of Game 5 and Rick Monday hit his famous homer off of him. What a comedown.
Time passed and my enthusiasm continued to wane as my team became more and more of a financial joke, and each strike made me more jaded. I moved to the East Bay in 1991 and started following the A's. I have always preferred the NL game and so my attachment to the A's was casual at first. I could never stand the Bash Brothers (sorry) but Dave Stewart rocked. I would attend games through the 90s. I left the Bay Area for a couple of years and came back in 2001, and that's when my enthusiasm was re-ignited. First, it was embarrassingly easy to get playoff tickets, which was great personally (not for the team). Second, my new partner was a baseball fan (hold on to those, gentlemen). Third, 9-11 happened and the nation became a frightening, insane place. It seems unreal now as we regain our collective sanity, but we really did lose our minds. Baseball was a great distraction from that. Then Moneyball hipped me to the idea that you could use your brain while being a baseball fan. Wow, and our hometeam was the standard bearer for that! Finally, I discovered AN.
AN was a sweet size then, around 2004, when things were getting off the ground. I don't mean AN was better. But you could literally recognize almost everyone who posted, and you could welcome those you didn't recognize. And as that community grew, I felt like I could contribute something to its environment. Nico and I could go on idiotic pun-offs. Sal and I could get rather technical and sabernerdy. I could validate fans who loved the game AND thought the players were hot, with absurdities like Moneybutt. I could post cartoons to general support. It felt nice to help the site grow and help create some critical mass to legitimate all these aspects of the site.
And now AN is sprawling and thriving and has a lot of great people in it who have taken each of those threads in a wonderful direction. And our nation is slowly regaining its sanity (just in time to be broke), so I don't need as much escapism. And I've got my hands full. Which all adds up to: I still love you guys, just not as visibly.
The Link Dump is now open...