Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You're Not Going To Believe This, But...

Last night Rob Neyer wrote a blog post that didn't involve a 200+ word blockquote. I swear to the Baseball Gods:

Last year, Kyle Farnsworth gave up 15 home runs in 60 innings. In his career, Farnsworth has allowed a .441 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters.

Jim Thome is a left-handed hitter with 541 career home runs.

Over the past three seasons, Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field has been the most homer-prone ballpark in the American League, both generally and for left-handed hitters specifically.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and two White Sox on base, the Royals held a 2-1 lead. Thome was coming up. If there's a single pitcher in the majors who shouldn't be facing Thome in that situation, it just might be Farnsworth.

Yet, face him he did. Threw Thome a fastball down the middle, he did. Gave up a long, three-run, (eventually) game-losing home run, he also did.

And Royals manager Trey Hillman? He sat on his hands and watched it happen. That's what he did.
There's no blockquote at all!!! I got so excited, I think just cut and pasted his whole post...

I kid because I like Rob Neyer and sincerely hope that we see much more of this from him during this season. I would love for ESPN to set him up with MLB Extra Innings a couple of nights a week and just let him make observations like the one above.

It seems as though he has a very defined idea of what blogging is (short lead-in, long blockquote, then his reaction to the piece), and rarely (up until now, never?) steps outside of that format aside from his Monday Mendozas, Tuesday Taters, Wednesday Wangdoodles and so forth. I'd love to hear more of his original thoughts, not just his reactions to what other people say.


  1. The basis of blogging is being derivative. What separates basic blogging is original content. That's the hard part.

    I agree, I'd like to see more of that from Neyer.

  2. I don't think blogging has to be derivative. A lot of it is going to be reactionary, but there is a lot of original stuff being produced on blogs.

    I think you have to link for citation purposes in almost every post, but blogging is just a platform. There are no real limitations aside from the medium itself. Free yourself from the blockquote, Jason!

  3. I thought pretty much the same thing when I read that too, Jay. It's pretty rare for Rob to just put down his own thoughts without quoting anybody, and I'd definitely welcome more of it.

    I don't really hold that style against him, though. I suspect that he writes like that mainly because the topics that he chooses to write about only occur to him after he read someone's take. So, as any good blogger does, he does his best to provide the context for what triggered his thought. And, as a writer with some serious clout/readership, it's actually rather generous of him (or it's his "responsibility", take your pick) to show his readers who he got his ideas from. I know that when he's linked to me the handful of times that he's done so, it's always led to a good day traffic-wise. I've only been linked to in the Wangdoodle/Filberts/Mendozas posts, though; I can only imagine that the standalone posts help your readership even more.

    Now, do I wish he would quote a little less, so that people have more reason to browse over? Absolutely. And do I think that Rob, as smart as he is, can probably come up with topics on his own without scouring the interwebs for articles to quote? Of course, and I certainly hope he does so. He's always a good read, after all, and his original thoughts can really start a discussion.

    I guess I can't begrudge him his current style, but I would really love to see more of this. (I do know how time-consuming original content can be, though, so maybe it's a conscious decision to allow himself time to blog more...)

  4. I've never been linked in a full post either, lar, but I do have sources who tell me that his link dumps drive a lot more traffic.

    That said, you might be right that it's better for your site, because he takes time to react to what you are saying and spotlights your post. I guess it would come down to hard traffic numbers vs. the more intangible aspect of brand building. I think we can agree that a link from Neyer in any capacity is nothing to complain about.

    I agree with you point about original content being harder to create and therefore more time consuming. When you have the kind of readeship he does, aggregation is a win/win sitatuion for everyone involved.

  5. Neyer, in my opinion, is the best mainstream baseball writer in all of the land. He knows how to write, knows the history of the game like the back of his hand and is able to break things down statistically.

    Which is exactly why I love Kellerman. Max knows his history (every sport), can appeal to any type of listener, and breaks things down statistically in addition to coming up with innovative strategies.