|Look at me, as I contemplate existence. I am so deep.|
As I'm writing this, the Mariners and A's are playing one another in the first real baseball game of 2012, at the Tokyo Dome, in Japan. Actually, this game is already over. In all its wisdom, MLB decided not to air the game live on national television, so I am watching a taped replay. Already though, I digress.
What I was going to say is that baseball is a big reason I'm starting this thing. Really, it's a combination of baseball, the stress of work, my friends and I all being pulled further in the various directions of adulthood, Twitter, and the fact that I am something of the jealous type.
I am in the distinct minority of middle-class Americans, in that I do not have a Facebook account. It's not that I'm too cool for it or anything, I simply have enough ways to waste time on the internet without adding what seems to be the biggest time-suck on the planet. Last summer though, for reasons I already cannot remember, I got on Twitter. Like 99% of the people on there, I'm largely interested in coming across as clever. When you only have 10 followers, and half of them are spambots (but such good-looking ones, and all of them looking for someone to spend their Saturday night with!), it feels pretty silly to tweet much at all.
When I was in college, most of my friends were sports nuts like me, and we all had seemingly endless time to watch sports, talk about them, argue about them, and so on. It's been ten years since college though (good god, how did that happen?!), and the rest of life has gotten in the way of most of that. Idiots that they are (just kidding guys!), most of my friends have let baseball drift, when football should have been the obvious casualty. For me, baseball is still far and away the best game going. I followed some writers I liked on Twitter, and found more writers through their recommendations.
I started replying to some tweets, and one day the delightful Jonah Keri replied right back. I'm sort of embarrassed by what a thrill that was for me. Okay, I'm really embarrassed by it. Anyway, some other writers were good enough to reply back too (thanks especially to Keri, Craig Calcaterra, Larry Granillo, and Jason Wojciechowski). Twitter became a way to feel sort of like I was pals with people, really smart people, who still care as much as I do about baseball. I felt like I was part of a baseball community, which was just what I'd hoped for.
After a while though, I started to envy how much more a part of that community than I the people I follow were. I pledged a little money to help get a baseball book off the ground, and playfully asked the founders how much money I would have to pledge to be able to contribute to it. I was (mostly) joking, but damned if my desire to be a part of it wasn't entirely serious. For the most part, the baseball blogosphere is a meritocracy, as it should be. So if I want to be a bigger part of the community, I've got to earn it. I'm not gonna be shortstop for the Indians, so if I want in, I need to write.
I don't know exactly what this thing will become. As I've said, baseball is my main interest for it, and the single biggest reason I'm starting it. So, I expect it'll be a lot of baseball. The Indians are my team, but I'm not setting out to create a team-centered blog. I love statistics, though the work done by guys at places like Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs is within my understanding but beyond my capabilities. I dearly love playing around with the play-index at Baseball-Reference, so I'm sure there will be random trivialities I've discovered there. I expect there will be some non-baseball stuff. I watch a lot of movies, I'm training for a marathon, I'm a Star Wars geek, and I imagine all of those interests will bleed into here from time. We'll see.
In college, I loved my writing classes, I don't know why I've mostly stopped writing in the years since then. Whatever the reasons, they're not any different than the reasons most people gradually stop writing. I've tried a few times over the years to get back into it more. One of my friends is a great writer, and has been good enough to try to wrangle me into things from time-to-time, but it's never taken. Maybe this won't take either. Maybe it'll fizzle out after a few weeks.
But maybe it won't.