Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spring Training Countdown Epilogue & Table Of Contents

As Matt conveyed in both his Bobby Murcer piece yesterday and Oddibe McDowell post this morning, our Spring Training Countdown has reached it's conclusion and it's time for baseball, however informal it may be when camp begins. If you we were reading this blog a year ago, you might remember our first crack at the Countdown. Matt wasn't yet on board but we had other contributors like Joe (who came up with the idea for it), Boston Bren (who is responsible for the layout of the blog), and Cliff (who helps out with behind the scenes stuff here) all chipping in. The idea was to infuse the doldrums of the offseason with some history.

This year we left a few behind (Roger Clemens, Jorge Posada) but brought forward a lot of those posts and made significant additions and edits. With Matt now in the fold, he was able to draw on his vast reservoir of Yankee knowledge and add depth to many of the pieces, even those that have my byline on them.

I originally thought that resurrecting the Countdown would be a time saver. We could pull the posts forward, make some minor changes and have some easy content. But it turns out that every time I got to editing one of them, it would seem woefully incomplete or clumsily arranged. It ended up being a lot more work than I had anticipated, but the end result is 34 pretty interesting pieces, most of which we can build upon when next year rolls around.

Hopefully you the reader got something out of them too. Maybe some knowledge about Joe DiMaggio's time with the San Francisco Seals or some background on a player you didn't know much about like Gil McDougald or Spud Chandler. Perhaps some sympathy for Dave Righetti being thrust into the closer's role or a newfound respect for Roy White's career. Something interesting about the outlook for Mark Teixeira or Robinson Cano's upcoming season. Or were just reminded of some fond memories of Phil Rizzuto, Bobby Murcer or Thurman Munson.

I know I learned a lot by putting together the ones I did, and even more by reading Matt's work. Hopefully when next year rolls around, though, we'll look at this series with fresh eyes, dust off these pieces and make them more complete. Perhaps we'll decide that we need to pay homage to Moose Skowron, Jimmy Key, Bobby Richardson and Vic Raschi. Maybe we'll start with #32, Elston Howard.


  1. A year later and still doing a great job... keep it up!!! I remember loving the countdown last year, and it was even better this year if that's possible. I have to say though, the best part of the countdown is that when it's over it means it's BASEBALL SEASON :)

  2. If there is one alteration I'd suggest for any such rundown/countdown in the future, it would be to substitute a great Yankee in Posada at #20 for a great big douchebag in Youkilis. I realize the blog's title and genesis but, after all, Fack Youk.

    That said, great job on the bios, Jay. I only commented sparingly, but read all of them.

  3. Jason - Thanks a lot. Glad you enjoyed them.

    I would have done one on Posada - I did last year - but I was really busy that day and didn't have time to work him in. He's an interesting case heading into this season. Like Jeter, he's getting up there in age at a young man's position and we've gotta hope against thee odds that he can remain productive. I won't miss him next time around.