Tyler Kepner has a piece on Phil Hughes’ blog today in the Times (I’m quoted in the story). Hughes started the blog last month and has been posting every couple of days, sometimes a number of times in a single day. One of the keys to good blogging is to keep things short and sweet and to update often. Hughes is off to a promising start. I’m curious to see how he maintains the site as the season rolls along. I’m sure if he keeps it up, his readership will continue to grow, no matter how he perfoms on the field.
I think the trend of athletes’ blogging is an interesting one. Fans have more access to information than ever before, yet emotionally, we often feel more detached from professional athletes than ever before too. Blogs provide an immediacy (the illusion of intimacy) that is hard to find, and certainly one that you are not likely to see in post-game interviews on TV. I believe it’s a way for jocks like Hughes to feel connected to his fans in a way that is safe, controlled.
Funny, this isn’t quite like Jim Brosnan or Jim Bouton exposing the secrets of the boys club. This is inviting us into the boys club. Sort of. It’s a PG version of the ballplayer’s life. It’s not the down and dirty stuff. Then again, Hughes wouldn’t be able to get away with exposing the secrets of the locker room, and I doubt that any active ballplayer would dare to be too candid in a blog, certainly not the way Bouton was in Ball Four. Now, when that happens, then we’ll really have something to talk about, right?
Oh, by the way, last week, EJ Fagan, over at Pending Pinstripes posted a very useful reference guide to the Yankees’ best prospects. Check it out when you can.