“90 percent of life is just showing up.”
I’m happy to have you along for Bronx Banter’s seventh Opening Day. Whether you’ve been with us for a while or this is your first spring here, welcome.
A lot has changed since I started this blog in November of 2002. At that time, baseball blogging was a small world and it wasn’t long before I felt comfortable carving out my own little niche. Now, there are literally hundreds of blogs devoted to baseball. I wish I could keep up with half of them. Some people blog as a hobby while others have more professional aspirations.
I’ve made a ton of friends since ’02–with journalists, authors, editors, and readers–and am pleased when I see how far some of us Internet-based writers have come. Emma Span is writing a book; Josh Wilker just signed a deal to write one, and Greg Prince just released a book of his own. So has Jon Weisman, the tour de force behind Dodger Thoughts, the great team blog that was recently picked-up by the L.A. Times. Jay Jaffe and the BP crew are appearing at ESPN; Cliff Corcoran and Tim Marchman are featured at SI.com. Phil Bencomo just launched a terrific-looking new site, and Nate Silver practically runs the world. Steve Lombardi is at SNY now, and so are we, while River Ave Blues was wisely scooped-up by the good people over at YES. It has been a time of change and I’m proud to be a small part of it, honored to know so many talented people–and I haven’t even mention half of them.
This is Cliff’s fifth Opening Day with me and his continued excellence and dedication helps make the Banter flow. He provides rock-solid analysis and sharp, passionate observation. Diane Firstman joined us this off-season and she is nothing short of a pro; her daily posts are insightful, informative and funny. Bruce Markusen has been a key contributor for years, lending a historical perspective to all things Yankee and otherwise, as well as his deft take on the current state of the team. And Will Weiss keeps a keen eye on the media and how the coverage of the Yankees has evolved. Emma Span is our wild card, an irrepressible wit and avid fan, and now that her book is almost complete we hope to see more of her round these parts.
Altogether, I think we provide just the kind of banter I had in mind when I started the site. I have never aspired to being the end-all-be-all voice, just a thoughtful one in a chorus of lively talk. I’m no expert. I am a fan, and I try to capture the experience of what it is like being a Yankee fan living in New York City. It’s own experience, no better or worse than anyone else’s, but authentically mine. I’ve been blogging and writing for six-and-a-half years now, and feel as if I am just getting started, just learning how to do it. I have a small clue about writing. I certainly have an appreciation of how hard it is to do.
I love people–and I’m still as curious as I was when I begun the site. I also love good writing, great storytelling, and the game of baseball. So did Todd Drew, a Bronx Banter contributor who passed away in January. Todd wanted to be a good writer in the worst way. His spirit, his engagement in life, in people, in writing, and in the Yankees, is our spirit. Todd is very much alive, and will be very much with us as we sit back and get ready for the man behind the plate to yell, “Play Ball!”
Yup, Opening Day…Todd would be geeked, no doubt about that.