With just one day left in the calendar year of 2003, I've been spending some time thinking about how rewarding my first full year of writing Bronx Banter has been. It has become an unbridled passion, and yet for all the work I've put in to it, I've feel as if I've received just as much, if not more, in return. So bear with me as I acknowledge some of the people who have informed, entertained and shared their love of baseball with me in 2003.
First of course, are my contemporaries in the blogging universe. Every page that is linked to the right has been meaningful to me, but I am especially thankful for the relationships I have developed with Edward Cossette, Christian Ruzich, Jay Jaffe, Rich Lederer, Peter Schilling Jr, Tim Marchman, Jon Weisman, and Will Carroll. I also want to shout out some of the writers who have inspired me. They include: David Pinto, Lee Sinins, John Perricone, the Mighty Mike C, Aaron Gleeman, Steve Keane, Cliff Corcoran, Christopher DeRosa, John Bonnes, Travis Nelson, Repoz, Bryan Smith, Avkash Patel, Ben Jacobs, Peter White, Brian Gunn, Derek Zumsteg, Larry Manhken, "Twin Fan Dan," Seth Stohs and the fellas over at Elephants in Oakland. I'm sure I'm forgetting some names; if I am, please forgive me.
Naturally, there are some fantastic professional writers out there too. Guys like Gordon Edes, Steve Goldman, Rob Neyer, Joe Sheehan, Alan Schwarz, Tom Boswell, Pat Jordan, Roger Angell, Tom Verducci, Peter Gammons, Bruce Markusen, Bill Madden, Doug Pappas, Bob Hohler, Ken Rosenthal, John Harper, Howard Bryant, King Kaufman, Nate Silver, Buster Olney, Joel Sherman, Allen Barra, Jack Curry, Ryan Wilkens, Anthony McCarron, Jim Caple, and Tyler Kepner, just to name some of my favorites.
I don't know if the level of discourse in the other major sports can compare with what we have in baseball. Baseball Prospectus has certainly raised the level, that's for sure. And as far as resources go, Retrosheet, Baseball-Reference.com, and Baseball Primer's "Clutch Hits" have been essential, daily parts of my life.
Naturally, I can't forget the readers who keep coming back to check out Bronx Banter. Guys like Murray, Harley, Cliff, Rich, Steve, e Double, and my favorite Yankee couple in Boston (who shall remain nameless for their own protection). And they are just the tip of the iceberg.
Not only that, but I'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to show my appreciation to the New York Yankees. To George, Joe Torre, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, 'lil Sori, Jeter, Giambi and the boys. They gave us Yankee fans another wild, and rewarding season. Another trip to the Serious, after the thrilling, knock-down battle with the Red Sox in the ALCS, was almmost too good to be true. Sure, many Yankee fans expect to reach the Serious each year, and that's OK. We've been properly spoiled rotten. But I appreciate every time they make the playoffs. Everyone keeps waiting for them to fall off. Hell, I've been expecting it since the middle of the 1998 season, and yet, here they are, still winning and giving us plenty to cheer about.
They are a great team to follow as a fan, and an even better team to follow as a writer. And that's a comforting thought, because no matter what happens in 2004, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Bronx Bombers won't be dull.
For all of this, I am thankful. I've learned more about baseball in the past year than almost any year of my life. The beauty part is that I've been saying the same thing for the past seven or eight years. Here is looking forward to another great year in 2004.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's Eve.
THE DIRTY DOZEN
I was able to conduct twelve lenghty interviews this past year, and I can only hope to be able to do more of the same in 2004. In case anyone wants to go back and revisit some of them, here is a full list of the Bronx Banter Interviews: