Ten Years Burnin’ Down The Road

I wish I had more time for a proper retrospective, but I can’t let today go by without noting that it was ten years ago today that I began blogging, with my first (then-weekly) column on Bill Simmons’ Boston Sports Guy website. I stand by my argument in that column that baseball should change the rules to require relief pitchers to face at least three batters.
Long-time readers know the story: I was sending around long baseball emails to college friends, and one of my college roommates, Jay Murphy, suggested I should be writing on the web for Simmons; Bill and I had written for The Crusader, our college newspaper, at the same time. Jay got me back in touch with Bill, who immediately agreed to run a weekly column, which I banged out in one sitting Thursday night, and it ran Friday, May 5, 2000 (he had a couple other friends writing guest slots, including a guy who wrote about pro wrestling). The rest is history; I had no idea of what lay ahead – the Subway Series, Bill leaving to join ESPN and ultimately national stardom, my column moving to the Providence Journal, 9/11, starting my political blogging on Blogspot in August 2002, getting my first big link (from Andrew Sullivan, of all people) a few weeks later, joining The Command Post and redesigning this blog in its present (Movable Type) form in the spring of 2003, getting a then-coveted spot on Instapundit’s blogroll, winning the Best Sports Blog vote in the Weblog Awards in 2004, running my own guest-blogger from Iraq during the run-up to the Red Sox winning the World Series, joining RedState as a diarist in the summer of 2004 and being promoted to a Contributor during the Harriet Miers fight in 2005 and ultimately becoming a Director at RS and a contributing columnist at the New Ledger, having my work run on CBSNews.com and the Hardball Times and referenced on CNN and ESPN.com and in the pages of Sports Illustrated, interviewing Mark Sanford, joining Twitter, etc. It’s been a wild ride, and while the volume and shape of my output has waxed and waned at various times, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, I’m thankful to all my readers and all the people who have published my stuff in many different outlets, and hope the next decade is as interesting as the first one.
Newer readers can sample my best stuff from the sidebar. It’s hard to pick one favorite, especially among serieses of baseball and political columns that were designed to hang together as a coherent whole, but if pressed, I might pick my column on the 2008 farm bill, which I’m told was handed out around Capitol Hill; I had an enormous amount of fun writing that from the primary source in a white heat on a Friday morning, just plowing through the bill and finding one outrageous thing after another.

20 thoughts on “Ten Years Burnin’ Down The Road”

  1. I remember months back when my brother approached me after church one day & started up a discussion on politics (believe it or not, he’s to the right of me) and out of the blue he asked “have you ever heard of a site called “Baseball Crank”? You should read it, it’s very good and right up your alley”. I laughed & told him that he may have missed a few entries because it wasn’t very long before that when I happily filled in for you while you were on vacation (man, do I ever regret that A-Rod post now that he’s an official cheater).
    You should know you’re pretty good when two Georgia boys are talking about your posts while standing in a Baptist church after a sermon.
    And, not to blow too much smoke you way, but you, Andy Levy & Adam Baldwin are definitely the best things going on twitter.

  2. Many, many thanks, Crank, for all the wonderful analysis. I always check your site every morning, and am always disappointed when there’s nothing new, you public utility you!
    And a small thanks for (what I take to be) contributory evidence that I WASN’T addled, duped or otherwise soft in the head to having ever believed that Andrew Sullivan was worth reading. Reading three paragraphs of his at random today, you’d never know that he once valued the truth of things; but I seem to remember he did.
    Isn’t it the idea for a chrysalis to turn into a butterfly, not the other way around?

  3. If I may suggest another classic:
    The Integrity Gap: Sarah Palin.
    The whole series was an essential antidote to the MSM’s mythologizing of Barack Obama, but the section on Palin was absolutely amazing. It’s remarkable that newspapers who claim to be so devoted to transparency and ethics in government refused to judge the candidates on the merits of their ethical records in 2008, preferring instead to believe in unicorns.
    A Republican with the shady dealings of Barack Obama would have been trashed by the press.

  4. I’ve got to admit, I was disappointed in your Farm Bill post, not nearly enough red meat nuttery.
    But, soccer dad came to the rescue, the love note to Princess Sarah is truuly a classic. Well done Crank, here’s hoping for 10 more years of, as Bill Simmons would say, Unintentional Comedy.

  5. Wow; reading this Magrooder fellow’s occasional bleats I find myself thinking: having your own personal tormentor, now THAT’S success. I guess you made it, Crank.
    What a nitwit. Probably taught Francoeur about controling the strike zone.

  6. Wow; reading this Magrooder fellow’s occasional bleats I find myself thinking: having your own personal tormentor, now THAT’S success. I guess you made it, Crank.
    What a nitwit. Probably taught Francoeur about controling the strike zone.

  7. Congrats Crank! Nice blog. It keeps me interested.
    The one non-baseball post I’d like to see you do is an in depth on whether the Health Care mandate is constitutional or not. Love to see you dig deep into that.

  8. Congratulations, Crank.
    Always interesting to read about the support of an ideology during the exact timeframe the supported ideology proves to be an abject failure.
    It’s like being a fly on the wall in the captains quarters of the Titanic as they plan to sink the iceberg.

  9. Happy Anniversary, Crank! Long time reader, first time commenter. Love the ‘blog and love the price even better! All the best and God bless you and your family.

  10. Crank,
    Congratulations on ten years. In the highlights, you left out a link in a Michael Barone article. Most impressive in my book.
    By the way, Magrooder and Berto, you are both jerks.

  11. Magrooder: It’s got nothing to do with your politics. I’m not very conservative; I read Crank’s blog for the baseball and because he is a friend. You’re a jerk for posting an off-topic, ad hominem insult comment to a post about a personal milestone for Crank. Of course, you’re perfectly within your rights to do so. It’s a public forum and you have the same right to free speech as every other American. But it makes you a jerk.

  12. Happy 10th Anniversary! Wishing you a Mets World Series sometime in the next 10 . . . 20 . . .

  13. wd,
    My taking honor from your comment had nothing to do with politics either, it derived from my view of you based on the tenor and nature of your comments.
    Off topic? I read the farm bill post to which Crank referred and felt that it conveyed less of the “red meat” rhetoric that often characterize his posts. Then, I referred to a post referenced by one of the loyal followers that I felt had more of the flavor I think of from Crank.

  14. Glad to say I’ve been reading you since day 1… don’t always agree, but always learn.
    Now PLEASE MOVE THE DARN LEFT MENU to the RIGHT SIDE… it makes your site unreadable on the blackberry 🙂

  15. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!
    Thumbs up, and keep it going!
    Christian, iwspo.net

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