DISCLAIMER: The blog you are about to read is pretty much true. Some exaggeration has been inserted for alleged humor. The DEBUTS are factual, however. I may occasionally insert my own commentary but they are not exaggerated.
So, the other day my husband asked me “Why do you waste so much time on these debuts?” He was confused and perplexed. Or perplexed and confused. And I could sort of understand his viewpoint. Let me backtrack here with a little bit of history.
Back in the paleolithic era, I had the world’s best job at the awesome and for-the-most-part defunct USA Today Baseball Weekly (I say “for the most part defunct” because most of the primary baseball stories written by amazing writers like Paul White run in the pages of the USA Today daily sports section now, while the weekly is more a football/baseball conglomerate for the avid fantasy buffs and a vehicle for the frequent “special sections”). I cannot keep count of how many times people tell me “I miss Baseball Weekly.” So do I. So do I.
Among my many responsibilities as I rose through the ranks to Senior Writer/Minor League Editor was to write the weekly Major League Debut page. When I took it over, it was really barebones — basic stats and the debut. I expanded it to include as many cool notes of interest as I could within the given limitations of page space (you remember print media, right? We had space limitations).
But over the years, that space limitation grew more and more. By the time I reached my “last stand” there, space for debuts would be slashed more and more, because we needed to make room for the classified ads (because, honestly, what mattered more to our readers? Major League Debuts or the availability of Russian mail-order brides? The financial sheets said nyet to the debuts.) So debuts that had been written, as well as those that continued to occur, would be pushed back further and further based on space. I think once they ran into December. My memory may be exaggerating that. But not by much.
I saw the writing on the wall. It was in Cyrillic. And so when I was wooed by MLB.com to come over there to the internet (where there were, or so I thought, no space limitations and no Russian mail-order bride ads) and I realized that the future of Minor League coverage at Sports Weekly was probably going to be limited even more as time went on (and hey, I understood it, even if I didn’t necessarily agree with it), I moved on after a really awesome and fabulous 14 years (okay, an awesome and fabulous 13 years and a kind of crappy one last year).
Before too long, I was able to convince the powers that be at MLB.com to let me create a similar weekly column where I could introduce our readers to the guys, from top prospects to journeymen, making their big league debuts and spotlight them on a weekly basis — so was born my MLB.com “Moving On Up” column which lasted until I left the site in March 2010.
But when I left MLB.com, somewhat to my surprise, no one picked up the reins of what I thought was a valuable and unique column.
So I simply continued to follow along with the debuts independently in my own blog, because it had become not just a habit but one I truly believe it — I can’t tell you how many guys I run across, guys who had a brief cup of coffee in the big leagues, who tell me they still have that tiny little clip or bookmark where their Major League Debut writeup was documented.
To me, it’s all part of the big picture: Every player matters to me. I don’t care if he was the first player taken in a given draft and handed a gazillion-dollar bonus or the kid who made the team out of an open tryout camp. In fact, the latter guys tend to be the ones whose debuts I enjoy even more.
So in way too many words — despite the fact that this is just MY blog, it’s not part of a huge entity such as USA Today or MLB.com, it’s just my little Diamonds in the Rough column — THIS is why I continue to devote the time and energy to this project.
If you read it — if you care — it would mean the world to me if you’d go over to my Facebook page, “Like” it and post that YES you read this column and YES you give a damn about the guys making their debuts.
And now, if you’ve read this far, the debuts of the 10 players who made it to the show this week.
Thankyouverymuch. Or, большое спасибо
I took this picture earlier tonight when I went grocery shopping. This is easily the most ominous weather I’ve seen since moving to L.A., and on the way back from Whole Foods, I saw a flash of lightning. Still, no rain. After living in Boston for three years, the consistency of this biome is staggering.