Now that the first complete calender year of Twins blogging at Over The Baggy is almost over, I want to take the opportunity to those out there that have made the visits -- over 35,000 stops in all in 2008. Regularly or irregularly, I know you have umpteen Twins blogs to choose from and I appreciate you taking time out of your day to peruse the writings and jottings left up here.
A special thanks goes out to the Twins Geek, John Bonnes, who was kind enough to let me pen some dribble for his GameDay magazine. Blogging is one thing, but to have words written on dead trees that feels...well, kind of archaic by technological standards, but it is easier to read in the bathroom. Jokes aside, it is a great periodical to procure when you are at the Dome and are looking for more indepth analysis of the Twins (and baseball in general) that is not offered by the publication sold inside the stadium. Having visited nearly a dozen Major League stadiums over the summer that lack such an offering, I can say that it says a lot about (1) the academic nature of the fans and (2) entrepruenurialism of our local community that provides an alternative to progandaish in-house program. I believe that Twins fans are some of the best educated in the country considering the amount of blogs dedicated to and the material offered within them.
I want to thank the Twins Blogger Extraordinaire, author of AaronGleeman.com, Aaron Gleeman, who connected me with a small smattering of blurbing for Rotoworld and also recommending me to Dave Gassko of The Hardball Times. Because of this, Gassko contacted me to write the Twins section and players comments in the forthcoming The Hardball Times Season Preview 2009 -- Which, by the way, you can pre-order the book here for a mere $19.95. Gleeman's site continues to mesmerize me by the sheer volume of work he uploads and the breadth of the topics. In a way, Gleeman has become to the Twin Cities what Bill Simmons was to Boston (except less obnoxious about his homerism and not on the ESPN payroll -- yet) providing unending and uncompromising coverage of the hometown Twins and coupling that with entertaining Link-O-Ramas that diverge from sports at times to fill the doldrums of Friday mornings.
Finally, Seth Stohs, of SethSpeaks.net, has been a great resource, allowing me a sneak preview of his Prospect Handbook 2009 in order to scribe a short review on the manuscript. In addition to frequently linking to my site, he's been kind enough to have me on his Weekly Podcasts several times only to listen to me stammer and lose my train of thought miles before the conclusion station arrives. Most recently in last night's podcast that included Twins prospects Kyle Waldrop and Jeff Manship. Stohs's new venture to podcasting has allowed him to unveil what seems to be never-ending appearances by Twins prospects, providing fans with not just information, but a forum for dialogue to the future of the organization long before they call 34 Kirby Puckett Place home (most never will now, I suppose). This sort of action would have blown my mind as a 12-year-old and yet, at times, I cannot fully believe how much the proliferation of the Internet has allowed us to connect with players that were once just a last name one day a week in the Star Tribune. What a world we live in - and Stohs is helping making it a little bit smaller for Twins fans.
There are plenty of other bloggers who I read daily myself (most of which are linked above but dozens of others that are not) and their writings continue to give me something to chew on or be entertained by day-in and day-out, they are deserving of my thanks and your patronage too. I hope to continue to provide meaningful insight and analysis to fill a small corner of the Internet in 2009. Please continue to visit in the coming year. Here's shooting for 70,000 in 2009.
Thanks again to all and have a happy and safe New Years!