For part 2 of this 4 part prep for the 2011 baseball season I want to take the time to focus on baseball's blogging world. All of us bloggers have our kinships and most include a blog roll listing other Nats blogs, because we all share in this love of our hometown team and wish each other success. We know that if you have found our home here at Capitol Baseball, that you most certainly frequent other Nats blogs, therefore this edition will be centered on non-Nats/General MLB blogs. These are some of our favorites, enjoy!
Joe Posnanski is one of the best writers in baseball today, and the AP Sports Editors have agreed, twice making him the Sports Writer of the Year. Yes, he can be a bit wordy, but more often than not his prose is moving and passionate, something that is in dire need in the sporting world today. His love of the game is both theoretical and filled with childish wonderment. Posnanski's favorite team is the Kansas City Royals, as that is where he is based and where he still writes for the Kansas City Star (in addition to his full-time job with Sports Illustrated), so it is very interesting to hear his musings on the various debacles that Dayton Moore gets the team into. If you want to be inspired you should look up his Sports Illustrated cover story on Zack Greinke's return to baseball despite suffering from chronic depression.
Big League Stew
Yahoo! Sports has really hit the blogging jackpot with their sports coverage. Of the two sports I seriously follow (Baseball and Hockey) each of Yahoo's blogs on the subject is just a gold mine of quirky and must-read material. Continually running through the off-season and regular season, Big League Stew posts both newsworthy materials and Onion-like satirical stories. Besides, what's not to love about a blog who takes its name after a chewing gum stylized like chewing tobacco.
"The Obsessive Study of Athletics Aesthetics" might not be your cup of tea. But to Paul Lukas, Page 2 writer for espn.com, its become his life. The site has been around for several years and has turned into an amazing niche on the internet, drawing big name interviews with designers and clubhouse attendants alike. It is amazing what these people can pick up on, such as a slightly different style of lettering, or a drop shadow on one jersey but not on another. All in all, this blog is a lot of fun to read, and they post several reader submissions every day from eagle-eyed readers.
Major League Baseball has really started to improve their online presence in the last few years, and much of their improvement has come in blog form. MLB has asked several random fans and celebrities to write for their website's blogging network, and in this specific one Former-MSNBC Commentator and Pundit Keith Olbermann has taken the reins. Say what you will about his politics, but in this instance baseball has nothing to do with politics. Olbermann is a brilliant writer, and he, more than anyone, has the ability to wax poetic better than anyone short of Ken Burns about the cut of the grass and the dirt flying up from a stirrup-clad base-stealer.
Cot's Baseball Contracts
The single greatest place to go for contract information. Each team has its own section and includes information on the General Manager, Manager, in addition to each player under contract. The information included for each individual includes a detailed breakdown of their entire career, from the draft, to the minors, to the Majors. Cot's also has a complete list of arbitration eligible players, potential free agents, and team-by-team payroll breakdowns.
In addition to their fantastic statistical database of all things baseball, Fangraphs also has a core staff of analysts on board. Focusing mostly on Sabermetric analysis, these writers also have quite a vast knowledge of each team's minor league system. If you are ever in the mood to see how Nyjer Morgan's steal of second increased the Nats winning percentage, head over to see what the Fangraphs' guys have to say about it.
Once you start, you can't stop. This no-nonsense website is dedicated to preserving the best of MLB's history. Included on this bare-bones site is every single box score from every single game since 1919 and play-by-play for every game since 1950. And if that isn't impressive enough, they have a full statistical array of splits, batter-pitcher matchups, career ejection numbers, coaching records, umpire assignments, milestone dates for all players, ballpark directories cemetery locations, as well as noteworthy and quirky event listings (triple play, batting out of turn, passing runners on base, protested games, etc.). Warning: you will lose hours out of your day if you go to this site.
Click HERE to recap Part 1 of the 2011 Primer! And feel free to leave your favorite MLB-Centric sites in the Comments section!