"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Seventh Heaven

“90 percent of life is just showing up.”  

Woody Allen

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.

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1 PJ   ~  Apr 6, 2009 12:00 pm

“90 percent of life is just showing up.”

Woody Allen

"The other half is physical."

Yogi Berra

Thanks for being so welcoming and professional, Alex. You and the rest of your talented staff are precisely why I'm here! And thank you for reminding us all of Todd...

2 rbj   ~  Apr 6, 2009 1:18 pm

So any word on if the game is going to get played? Looks like nasty weather on the eastern seaboard.

3 unmoderated   ~  Apr 6, 2009 1:20 pm

i think this is my fifth year here... not really sure. i don't post a lot, so it's hard to keep track of myself.

taking off from work early to catch the game. glad to have you all here -

season prediction:
103-59, CC goes 22-6, Wang goes 20-4
Tex hits .280/.379/.598 with 41 HRs
Cano wins batting title @.341
Kay never utters "past a diving Jeter"

a boy can dream

4 PJ   ~  Apr 6, 2009 1:45 pm

[2] The latest Baltimore forecast said they will get it in as it is supposed to clear up to just some cloud cover in the late afternoon and into the evening. 39 degrees tonight with 25 MPH winds! Hoo Boy! Fingers are crossed! Warm packs are at the ready...

They already PPD the Rays at Boston until tomorrow.

5 Will Weiss   ~  Apr 6, 2009 1:54 pm

[0] You've got a great team, Alex, and a great community. Thanks for claiming me off Free Agency two years ago.

6 rbj   ~  Apr 6, 2009 2:18 pm

[4] Thanks.

Peter's update has it that rain stopped at 1:55 pm.

There was a dusting of snow on the ground here in Toledo this morning. Not what you want to see for Opening Day.

[0] Alex, thanks for the writings, the expanded line up and a place to banter with fellow Yankee fans.

7 tommyl   ~  Apr 6, 2009 2:26 pm

[4] [6] Once again I love the MLB schedulers. Hey, we have a bunch of teams that play in warm weather climates, so lets send them out on the road the first week of April to places like Boston and Cleveland! I'm sure the weather will be great for sure those times of year. They never learn, idiots.

8 thelarmis   ~  Apr 6, 2009 2:36 pm

beautiful Alex, as always. i think i've been with you since '03, can't remember. i found you back when you were with the All Baseball site. i didn't post the first coupla years here at BB, but followed religiously.

man, i miss Todd. i think about him quite a lot. Today is for him!

looking forward to having Emma back 'round these parts, in due time.


9 SteveAmerica   ~  Apr 6, 2009 2:48 pm

Good to be with you all again. Think I've been following the banter since 2002 or 3. Long time.

Hopefully we can put the silly sideshows on the backburner where they belong and enjoy the games. I have a good feeling about this team. I think they're gonna surprise the skeptics, particularly Mr. Jeter.

10 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 6, 2009 2:57 pm

Glad to be part of the Banter team. Here's to a great season.

BTW, Extra Innings is having a free preview this week, so check it out.

11 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 6, 2009 3:04 pm

Oh ... and by the way ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILL!

12 Will Weiss   ~  Apr 6, 2009 3:05 pm

[12] Thanks Diane.

13 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 6, 2009 3:09 pm

Yeah, Heppy Boifday Will.

And damn skippy, this day, and THIS ENTIRE SEASON is for Todd!

14 rbj   ~  Apr 6, 2009 3:36 pm

Agggh, from Peter

"UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: Hmm, now they’re putting the tarp back down. That can’t be good. i give up trying to predict what will happen. But I will keep you posted.

UPDATE, 3:14 p.m.: Now I know why they put the taro down. It’s raining."

15 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Apr 6, 2009 3:44 pm

Watching YES, looks like we'll have baseball. New post up with an O's preview.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver