As the season winds down, along with this blog, I thought I’d take time to thank some of you — the good, the really good, the bad and the truly awful — who have helped make this blog what it is. I’m talking about the readers who write in with their comments and have helped shape the community we have. Some of you write in with intelligence and wit. Others can be bombastic and downright crude.
Oh well, it takes all shapes and sizes to form a community.
Some of you, I agree with. Others, not so much. Some of you love me, some…well, wait, my police guard outside needs another cup of coffee.
OK, I’m back.
Anyhow, in the spirit of us all being part of the same group of Mariners followers, let me take the time to thank all of you who participated in making this a record year for this blog. My goal for page views coming into the season was 1 million per month and we shattered that on a few occasions. But it’s not all about page views. We strive to bring you quality and continuity that goes beyond mere game action. To give you thought-provoking topics to fuel your discussion.
And there was, obviously, ample fuel.
So, thanks to all of you. It occurred to me that I should try to single out a few regulars for their contributions. In doing so, I’ll put a photo or picture next to your names to show what I envision when I read your names. Or maybe dedicate a song to them. I don’t really know how old any of you are, or what you look like. Sort of like the radio folks you listen to. You get a picture in your head and it sticks.
DONOVAN — A regular since the blog’s inception, I’ve come to view him as the voice of reason in an often chaotic blog wilderness. His posts are always thoughtful, rarely confrontational and tend to make you rethink your positions. And he comes at it as both a traditionalist and a guy unafraid of studying more modern stats. Also got to meet him once, so I know what he looks like. The photo is how I pictured him before that.
ADAM — Our resident sabermetric guy, giving us much “street cred” with the numbers crowd. He infuritates me at times, too, but often, once your blood pressure settles down, you tend to realize he has a point. He isn’t always right. But he’s usually not wrong. The difference is, with Adam, when he argues, he keeps his composure. Rarely resorts to street-level insults. And helps keep the debates on this site rational. Must have a lot of patience. And to him, I dedicate this song.
FACEPLANT — The sabermetric “muscle” behind Adam. Not afraid to mix it up in the dark alleys with baseball traditionalists or folks who insult the more stats-inclined fans. These tough guy inclinations fly in the face of the typical view of sabermetric types being passive, quiet, and wimp-like. His take-no-crap attitude sometimes results in his posts getting pulled, but they were usually spurred on by somebody who had it coming.
MERRILL — Where would the middle of the night be without our Bangkok-based contributor. whose lengthy musings can often go on and on but are rarely boring? Another regular who’s been with us since the beginning and is not afraid to mix it up — or admit that he is wrong on occasion. I picture him sitting at a cluttered desk, drink in hand, trying to get through the day’s work and keep up with his blog conversations at the same time. Often like me at 2 a.m.
GONZO BLOGGER — Not around as much as before, but a longtime contributor based in the North Cascades. His views on writing come from an era where putting pen to paper was an art form. And any fan of Hunter S. Thompson can’t be bad. They still have a pressbox security alert out for him, lest he try to sneak in as he successfully did last year. But you have to admire the spirit.
SAVANNAH IS BACK — Not sure where Savannah was before, but he is back. Biggest contribution this year might have been the invention of a new word — sabercats. Prolific poster who keeps everyone on their toes, with their dukes up. Some of his writings make me laugh out loud, not always in a good way. But he has the passion to keep up the good fight. What more could you ask for? Wait, you don’t have to answer.
PEDRO CALDERON — Other than his bizarre Yuniesky Betancourt fetish, does manage to post some convincing arguments in favor of the traditionalist and scouting side of baseball. Not always, though. His confrontational and at times, insulting style does tend to bring out the worst in people. But hey, Faceplant wouldn’t be the same without him. Like Godzilla needed Megalon. If he didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him. Runs his own blog, isn’t shy about seeking promotion for it here, and well, is just a part of what we do every day. Here’s a song dedication just for him…and Yuni, too.
CBUCKX2 — Gets the prize for one of the hardest names to pronouce — seriously, throw some vowels in there. Otherwise, it looks like a new video game system. But over 4,000 posts can’t be bad. Likes to argue, obviously, with that many posts, but manages to keep it within the realm of decency.
GUTI’S MAN CRUSH — We need more Canadians on this blog. Why? Because we just do. Anyone who appreciates the quality of Franklin Gutierrez must have something going for him and I tend to find his contributions level-headed and worthy of reading. Plus, he’s from Vancouver, B.C., a.k.a Canada. Also not afraid to mix it up, which is good, too, if you’re going to hail from hockey country.
T$ — I always feel a sense of optimism and happiness wash over me whenever this guy posts from Indiana. Sounds like the kind who would sit outside in a driving rainstorm for six hours with no poncho just to have a shot at tickets for a night Felix Hernandez pitches (actually, plenty of good seats available for those). Or, the type who would be thrilled if I posted a 50-word blog on the grass stains on Franklin Gutierrez after a sliding catch.
CHRIS FROM BOTHELL — If I’m too warm and fuzzy after reading T$, I just click on the writings of Bothell’s own to have a cynicism shower. I do appreciate his contributions, usually. Knows the difference between Megatron and Megalon, too. Though some of his lectures about journalism and integrity tend to get under my skin. But when that happens, I just move on to this guy down below.
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN — My glasses tint a shade of rose whenever I start to read his contributions. Can talk me into believing the Mariners can make the playoffs even if they’re 50 games out with 50 to play. But there is some good to be found from an eternal optimist, even if what he’s peddling can smell a bit ripe at times. The very nature of blogs is pessimistic. So, this poster helps counter that.
ZU — Pretty sure this is an abbreviated name for Ziasudra, one of our previous posters prior to our registration process. But a very frequent contributor, even on days when no one else is paying attention on our game threads. We need those people to keep this blog going.
FRANKIE ON A LEDGE IN NY — Where else would a Mariners fan living in Yankees country be? There was many a night, especially early on in the season, when Frankie would be the only guy on the game threads and helping to carry them until others arrived as reinforcements. If there was a nervous ninth inning, you could bet on one poster to get us up over the 100 or 200-mark for comments almost singlehandedly. Don’t blame him for pulling back a bit of late, his mind could only handle so much.
MIKE8 — Like Adam and Faceplant, another sabermetric contributor who appreciates the use of logic in any argument. And who is not beyond a little numerical calculating of his own when something has to be proved or disproved. Nice work.
NELSON — The exact opposite of Mike8. Logic and hard work have zero in common with Nelson, a.k.a. Nelly, NellyBelly, MarinerFan4Life and a hundred other aliases now banned on this blog and no doubt many others. Sort of like former poster Cubby, in that you can spot him a mile away when an innocuous blog post by me about a sprained finger suddenly has 300 comments attached to it. Holds the distinction of being the first and only member ever kicked off my Facebook account. Nearly pulled the triple-double by getting banned from Geoff Baker Live! when his BigNuts handle kept asking five questions per minute (in bold when they were ignored). He is memorable, so I’ll give him that. I’ll also give him away free to whoever wants him. Here’s a song dedication I feel is not only perfect, but badly needed.
HOWARD BEALE — Had to put him here for the picture alone. Often comes off as being “mad as hell and not going to take this anymore” just like his movie namesake from Network. But lately, him and I are starting to reach a truce. Sort of like North and South Korea. At least we’re not shooting anymore. I know there’s a Mariners fan deep down inside someplace who gets more out of this than mere ragging on me.
TBONEMAN — I’d swear he was planted by a competitor if I didn’t know better. Very crusty as his name implies and far too preoccupied with one Seattle Times blogger in particular. But can be an active, constructive participant when he gets his mind off one main obsession. For that, a song dedication, one that truly comes from the heart.
MR. X — Oh, where to begin? I worry sometimes that folks will think we picked him out of central casting to help unite the blogosphere against a common enemy. Used to actually contribute some readable stuff, but now it’s mostly xenophobic, anti-Ichiro pap. Ichiro criticism isn’t necessarily a bad thing as a concept, since no player is perfect. But it becomes bad when it’s reduced to the stereotypical charicature of what the rantings of a crazed lunatic might sound like. Hence the photo. And here’s a song dedication as well…X, X, baby…
To the rest of you, past, present and banned, thanks for making this the most talked about — if not always praised — community in the Mariners blogosphere. I couldn’t include everyone in here, but I know you’re out there Big Ebu, Joe Sommelier, hitdeep, backspin, gsquared, Kyle, Keith, Mikester, Salty, snowsk8, The Crappy Totals, John S., C.J. Mickelsen, WinnieNicklaus, Mightylangerhannahans, Scrapiron, posterformerlyknownasbill, z_bo, weebs, and all else…thank you again.