Wednesday, April 20, 2005


My parents got married twice. Not in an Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton-sort-of-way, mind you, but for more mundane reasons (if marrying someone can in fact be called mundane). They got married in Germany and got married at City Hall for real on a Friday and again for show in a church the next day. (I'm told it was a lovely ceremony, but, as you can probably guess, I wasn't there at the time.)

My parents always considered that second day, that of their church ceremony, the date of their anniversary.

And so it is that I come to my own anniversary. This blog started a year ago yesterday, with a post that was little more than "First." But I consider today my true anniversary, for it was a year ago today that I wrote my first real post, in which I outlined a few ground rules for this fine blog:

1. Focus on long-term issues. While I reserve the right to express my frustration with the latest lost lead or express happiness about the latest 2-game power surge, I don't want to praise or criticize without some long-term basis for that. So, to begin with, I'm not going to use any statistics until the D-Backs have played at least 20 games.
2. Statistics / quantitative analysis / sabermetrics -- like many baseball blogs, I'll be using this to analyze the team. You can't use sabermetrics to make every decision -- there are other, perfectly reasonable prisms through which to view decisions on and off the field -- but statistics are the only source I expect to use regularly.
3. Baseball is a game. I know, it's completely obvious, except when it's ignored. For most of us it is a diversion, not the main source of our interest. I work, eat, sleep, and spend time with my family. Beyond that, baseball is just one diversion of mine.
4. It's not just baseball. Like the blog description says, I'm not going to limit myself to just D-Backs baseball. Music, movies, TV, and other media will make occasional appearances here in the blog. If I get really creative, I'll figure out how to link the baseball and non-baseball diversions, but first I've got to post on a regular basis.
I would like to think that I've held true to those ground rules. I've tried hard not to fall to short-term thinking, including panicking or exulting at every minor change in the team's status. Though I haven't used a lot of stats thus far this year, it's because the season is young -- give me time, and I'll get back into that.

Writing this blog, however, has been more difficult than I expected. I have even more admiration for bloggers who are able to craft wittily told and detailed descriptions of games or statistical trends -- my adherence to ground rule #3 (loosely translated as "I have a life") has restricted me in spending the time I might otherwise spending writing and rewriting text or researching random statistical questions that intrigue me. Please note, I'm not suggesting that the bloggers I admire don't have a life, just that I haven't been able to squeeze more blogging time into my life than I do currently. (It's up to you to decide whether that's a good or a bad thing.) I also so totally understand now how easy it is for daily writers to get into a rut -- it doesn't excuse the repetitive nature of many newspaper columnists, but it certainly makes it more understandable. It probably also explains why rule #4 (loosely translated as "Don't make me write about baseball all the time") is a good one for me.

I do want to thank my fellow bloggers and those of you who stop by on a regular basis, though I'm amazed at how much the baseball blogging landscape has changed since I compared D-Backs bloggers to the Scooby-Doo gang. For those of you who are relatively new to this blog, I encourage you to check out some of the old stuff linked in the above post. In addition, I also think these were nice reads (or, at least, I had fun writing them):
-- my goodbye to Mia Hamm
-- that brief period in which we'd hired Wally Backman
-- Randy Johnson and the DC City Council
-- Running a half-marathon
-- Previewing the 2005 squad using limericks

In any case, thanks again for reading and commenting. If you ever need to get in touch with me, don't forget my e-mail address up there in the right-hand corner.

Is it really only a year? Seems like you've been around forever. ;-) Congrats on the anniversary!
Yes, congratulations on the anniversary, but I have a question -- is this to intimate that posting will be less frequent in the future?
Rob, rumors of my retirement have been greatly exaggerated... I'm not planning on cutting back, but anniversaries are good times to reflect on the past year and how things might work better in the future.

Gosh, that's not any more clear than I guess my post was.

I don't plan to change how often I post. (There, that's better.)
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