When I joined the 140-plus strong Baseball Bloggers Alliance last summer (I proudly wear number 32), I had no idea what I was getting into. Suffice it to say, it's been a fun ride thus far.
A couple of weeks ago, curator and founder Daniel Shoptaw (check out his site HERE) sent me some questions and, essentially, turned the tables on me with his own "Talkin' Baseball".
DANIEL: How and why did you get into blogging?
HOVG: Ever met the guy who sits there at the bar and instead of drinking or playing darts…he’s talking wise about, no, not the game on the screen, but, rather, the history of baseball? That’s me. I’m a self-confessed “contrarian” and, good or bad, was encouraged by far too many people to write things they can read since, you know, their alcohol-impaired minds couldn’t remember my thoughts on Albert Belle and the Hall of Fame or the time I saw Rickey Henderson walking into a hotel with a woman on each arm.
DANIEL: Do you have any blogging projects planned for the off-season?
HOVG: Since The Hall is, more or less, nicheless…I’ve compiled a master list of things (interviews, topics, etc.) I’d like to explore over at the site. Hopefully, it’ll entertain everyone else as much as it entertains me. Now, if I can stop time to complete them…I’ll be in good shape.
DANIEL: What’s been your most enjoyable experience as a blogger (particularly well-received post, a high-profile link, a connection you wouldn’t have had otherwise, etc.)?
HOVG: Sitting down with Fergie Jenkins and talking to him about mustaches, his stint with the Harlem Globetrottes and steroids was a good time…he’ a good good guy and I think I touched on subjects he doesn’t get asked about. Having Lee Smith stop what he was doing (he was signing autographs at a Menards grand opening) to read what wrote about him was cool. And appearing on 720 WGN to talk Mustache May and baseball with latenight radio host Nick Digilio. The list could go on and on.
DANIEL: How did you find out about the BBA and what attracted you to the group?
HOVG: I honestly don’t remember if I found the BBA or if it found me. I love the group because it is a good way to make friends with some good guys (James Yasko, Larry Granillo, etc.) who share a similar passion…and it beats going back to stripping.
DANIEL: What do you want to see out of the BBA in the coming year?
HOVG: Is having six of us carrying Murray Chass’ casket out of a big church to much to ask? Seriously, I’m hoping that we can all work together to drive traffic to one another’s sites and become a true blogging network.
DANIEL: Where did Twitter Tuesday come from?
HOVG: A guy at work and I use to email entertaining tweets to each other and one day at lunch I asked him “if I compiled a bunch of baseball tweets…do you think people would read them.” His answer was “yes” and suffice it to say, people do. It’s a different way to get people to the site and, so far, I haven’t really seen anything else like it among baseball bloggers. ESPN, coincidentally, also had a “Twitter Tuesday” feature during their daily NFL show…but I think we all know who was first. Haha.
DANIEL: Is it easier or harder, do you think, to write a general baseball blog rather than a team-centric one?
HOVG: I have no idea. All I know is that I fell into a coma for a year, it would be easier writing about Chipper Jones and his Hall of Fame chances than it would be to catch up on how the Nationals did.
DANIEL: Is there a team you follow more than the rest?
HOVG: I’m a Red Sox fan, through and through. There are players that I have relationships with (Jon Adkins of the Reds and CJ Wilson of the Rangers)and therefore I track their teams, but I’m a Boston guy when it comes to my fandom. Is that even a word?
DANIEL: Do you ever post just to stir the pot, as it were?
HOVG: I’ve been accused of pot stirring and I’ll leave it at that. No, in all seriousness, I think we all do to some extent. I mean, if we ALL thought Bert Blyleven was a Hall of Famer…he’d have made it in 13 years ago with 100% of the vote. Thankfully…we all don’t share a mind like the chimps over at Baseball Think Factory. And yes, I did just call that site a bunch of “chimps”. Pot stirrer…me?!? Never.
DANIEL: Who would be your Top 5 Hall of Very Good players?
HOVG: I’m not sure exactly what you mean, but in no order…Albert Belle, Dick Allen, Ron Guidry, Harold Baines and Billy Martin. I’m sure there are others, but those five, plus Lee Smith, are the ones that people question my sanity about the most.
You can check out the BBA at their site and thanks to the growing power of the internet...you can hear them too. Odds are I'll be showing up at some point.
And yes...the mustache above was part of last year's Mustache May celebration. Start planning your 'stache today!