Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 30, 2004
BLOG: Who Am I? Why Am I Here?
Long-time readers may want to skip this, but I figure I get enough new readers (especially with the Big Link from our old friend Bill Simmons) to make it worthwhile posting something I can perma-link in FAQ format to introduce myself to new readers.
Who Are You?
I live in Queens with my wife and
I don't use my own name on this site, in an effort to keep a tiny bit of separation between the blog and my professional identity, but my identity is not a secret and can be found with a quick Google search.
UPDATE 2/15/06: You can read more here in my interview with the National Journal's Blogometer. I'm presently a Contributing Editor at RedState and a very occasional contributor at No End But Victory, and was previously a contributor at The Command Post (which is now defunct). I've also been published in the Weekly Standard Online, the Hardball Times, and the Baseball Think Factory, in addition to academic and professional publications in connection with my law practice.
Who Writes This Blog?
Mostly, I do. Besides me there are two other anonymous bloggers who write from time to time under the pseudonyms "The Mad Hibernian" and "Kiner's Korner" (the latter's been away from blogging for quite some time). I've also run a series of emailed columns from "Andy Tollhaus," a pseudonymous Army officer currently serving in Iraq (you can find his columns in the Patriot Games category).
UPDATE 2/15/06: My co-bloggers "The Mad Hibernian" and "Kiner's Korner" have since quit the site. "Andy Tollhaus" has returned safely from Iraq and actually got some press under his own name from blogging here, as discussed here. Robert Tagorda writes intermittently here about the Dodgers, but can otherwise be found contributing to Outside the Beltway.
Why Did You Write About ____ Instead of ____?
First of all, I try to avoid writing about things if I have nothing interesting to say about them, which sometimes means that big events in sports, politics, the war or other topics go unmentioned here. That's OK; just check the blogroll for plenty of other commentary. Second, yes, I know I have some readers who come only for the baseball and hate my politics; that's why I try to clearly label and categorize all my posts, and you can click the "Click Here For Baseball-Only Content" link at the top of the main page to skip over the non-baseball stuff (although the baseball category does load a bit slowly). In fact, I also have readers who come here just for the politics/war commentary. And sometimes, I write about just whatever comes to mind. Also, with a time-consuming job and a family, sometimes I just run out of time to give full attention to things I'd like to write about, and that's when you're more likely to see just a bunch of links, if anything.
How and When Did You Start Blogging?
My writing days go back to Holy Cross, where I wrote a mostly political weekly op-ed column under the "Angry Young Man" byline for The Crusader. Bill Simmons was the lead sports columnist for the paper in those days. In May of 2000, as his Boston Sports Guy website on Digital City was starting to take off, Bill asked me if I'd like to do a semi-regular column for his site. I quickly wound up doing a weekly gig, which went on until he closed the site down a year later to make The Leap to ESPN.com. After that, Art Martone, the sports editor of the Providence Journal, offered me space online to continue the column, and I wrote for Art from July 2001 until February 2003. But I was getting caught up in the blogosphere, including the flexibility to cover non-baseball topics and write short daily items instead of longer weekly ones, and in August 2002, I started a blog on Blogspot. I was fortunate to get linked by Andrew Sullivan after I'd been blogging about two weeks, and that put me on the map. In the spring of 2003, I decided to leave ProJo (which was by then behind a registration wall) and Blogspot and start a Movable Type blog to combine all my work in one place; this site opened April 14, 2003, and I've been at it ever since.
Why "Baseball Crank"?
In the 19th century, baseball fans were called "cranks". Plus, it sounded suitably crotchety. I banged out my first column for Bill's site in one night and had to come up with a name, and that stuck. I've owned the www.baseballcrank.com domain name for over five years now.