Thinking About Rays Blogs Changes for 2009

 

 
 

 
So here we are, less than umpteen days until the Boys of Summer officially take the field for the first game of the 2009 Major League Baseball season. So with that coming up in the not too distant future, I have to really decide on how I want to report the games action in my MLBlogs this season. There are a multitude of ways I can approach this, but the one way that I have already ruled out is a systematic play-by-play that I have done this spring. Not that I do not have the time to type it, or even jot every nuance down, but that it gets a bit boring, and we will have television and radio for almost every game this year.
 

 
This will be the first year that the Rays will be almost completely broadcast in some form of the media from start to finish. We always have the radio crew of Andy Freed and Dave Willis to fall back on when we can not get our dose of Dewayne Staats and Kevin Kennedy. And because so many of the Tampa Bay Rays games will hit the airwaves in one form or another, I am not going to try and throw every pitch, at bat and out at you like I have done this spring. The real reason I did that this spring is for the people who do not have MLB.TV  or can not attend the game because of work, finances, or just the distance to Port Charlotte, Florida.
 

 
So with one way to report the daily game results down, let’s blow another out of the water while we are at it here. I am not going to attach video or even do a box score within the blog. I know we can go to a host of a hundred sports-driven websites that will promote and entice us with their slick designs and well known journalistic minded celeb-writers. I am know more by the common folk that sit in the stands than some of the people covering the Rays, but they also do not get out there and let themselves be known. I will however still institute a daily photo blog after I get approval from the Associated Press to use their photo files for game results and photos. I am currently in the process of getting this permission so I can post game day photos without the fear of a sharkskin suited lawyer showing up at my refrigerator box with a blowtorch.

 


 
 

I  used the format of “The Good, The Band and the Ugly” last season and even incorporated a few Clint Eastwood photos from that classic movie. But that was before I saw that another Rays-based website uses ,”The Good, The Bad and The Terrible” in their daily reports on the team. I did not even know about this website, Rays Index until really about late September this past year. I do not want any misunderstanding about me using the GBU format, so that will also be bye bye in the coming season. I still have a few weeks to come up with a catchy trio of segments to forecast my opinion on the games and their outcomes. 
 

 
I remember back in March 2008 when I used to start every blog off with a couple of paragraphs about nothing in particular, just game day sights, sounds and things that made me thin a bit.  I also used a daily Trivia Question in every blog until I saw that a majority of people really did not try to answer them, even when I put the answer at the bottom of the blog. I always put in the game header from that days game tho, as a reminder that you are about to enter the recap section of my blog and to illustrate the result towards the beginning of the blog. I even know that last year I also included a “Former Rays Player of the Day” segment at the bottom of the blog.
 

 
I actually liked doing that because it made me sift through the line scores and box scores seeking information, and in most cases I found out better information on players and situations around the MLB. I am actually leaning towards doing that again this season. I mean I got to highlight Brendan Harris of the Twins, Brandon Backe of the Astros, Jesus Colume and Jorge Sosa of the Washington Nationals, and  Chad Gaudin of the Oakland A’s/ Chicago Cubs. I miss these guys on the team, and I know there are a few people within the faithful at Tropicana Field who still cheer for these guys. So there , my first decision on the 2009 RR edition of the daily games.
 

1) We will have a segment at the bottom of the page based for the best game performance by a hitter/pitcher on that given day. 

 

 

So I know have the bottom third of my blog set up just by writing it out here. I have always said I come up with better ideas as I am writing, guess I got lucky here again. But who, why, where , when and what will change in the rest of the blog?  That is a good question. You can be sure that it will have a good dose of what my ideas and opinions are of events that unfold that day/night. But will I dig deep and look beyond the surface again? or should I just sit there and just give you the facts and let it be. Well, if I get something juicy, you can be sure I will use it to a credible source and also in good taste. 



 

I will not bring up “Huffapaloosa”
again, or event the idea of the Rays hiding guys on the DL that are healthy like a few situations in 2008. Hey, I can see and hear a lot of stuff from my right field seat, and I would love to get closer to even hear a bit more of the murmurs and the scuttlebutt. But that will come in time. With trust and confidence from a few of my insiders I will get a bit more in-depth, without embarrassing the franchise or a player. I am here to praise the team not tear it down. There are plenty of opponent website out here to discredit and battle the Rays chances in 2009. I might not be the flag bearer in the Rays Revolution, but I am not a foot soldier either.


 
So with that said, I am going to open the phone lines ( just kidding). So, what would you like to see different in my blog from last year. Here is an attached link to an older style blog written on April 27th,2008 :  http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/04/sweep_caroline.html

This blog was written in the old style with the GBU-theme and also the former player aspect at the bottom of the blog. As you can see, no one commented on this blog back then.  But, I did change it through the year, and this blog written on October 30th, 2008 at least got two comments:  http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/10/game_55_signals_the_end_of_the.html
Both show a huge bit of change, with the October blog the realistic model for my ideas for 2009. 
 

 
 
If you have noticed my blogs over the past few months, they have moved from any where from 5-10 photos to a small smattering of 4 or 5 maximum. A few months ago I wrote an article about blogers being accredited by the media to cover games. I had a comment written on that site about my blog had too many picture and was a bit confusing by looping all of them into the text. I thought about it and agreed with his logic and decided to tone it down to around 4 or 5 photos a entry. I am contemplating a separate photo blog when the wire services posts more than 10 photos of the game for both the Rays fans to have access, plus sometimes a picture can be worth a total blog entry. I am also open to keeping my multi-colored paragraphs to designate good, bad and ugly moments in the game……….but that is up for discussion because it might cause eyestrain to some people.

 
 


 

So, in closing, I am about to put some fine touches on a few “older” segments of the Rays Renegade blog. But I am still not sure what to do with the meat of the blog. I might just pick a few performances and just go opinion-crazy. The jury is still out, and I will only divulge the answer in the first blog posted after the Opening Day Boston versus Tampa Bay game in Fenway Park. But until then, i am open to hearing you thoughts and ideas. This might open a Pandora’s box for me, but I am strong enough to take it.  You forget people I supported an NFL football team that could not win for a long time ( Bucs) and a MLB baseball team that has just tasted the sweet nectar of winning.  If Jack Nicholson was standing before me today I would tell him……” I can handle the truth!!!”
 
 

Photo credits:
    1) RRCollections
    2) http://www.rottentomatoes.com
    3) RRCollections
    4) RRCollections

12 Comments

I found the posts in your archives, the links in this post didn’t lead me anywhere. I see what you mean by all the pictures in the posts. Sometimes it’s good to have lots – like a big win, fan fest, or some other big event (The fashion show last year).

Personally, I’d like to hear some tidbits about what is happening in the stands around you. What is the atmosphere like? How many new fans are there this year? How is the new Raymond holding up? Maybe you could add some stuff like that it to a few posts.

As you said, we can all get the box scores, and most of us will see a few (or more) games this year. I’d love to hear about the big plays (or big errors) and how the pitchers did.
You always have good insight on how individual players are doing.

Canuck

Yeah, the beginning posts were like a ancient ruin compared to the recent ones, but that is part of the fun.

I am thinking the same you are about the stands, the small alcoves of “Louisville Bat Shops”, maybe even the Clubhouse. Places most people might know about, but have never seen or been around before this year.

I have a huge boxful of ideas floating in my skull, just have to figure out how to really get them into peint so to speak.

Thanks for the insight, it re-enforced my ideas, and gave me a few new ones to consider.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

The links worked for me – right to the Red Sox loss! Fewer photos – or perhaps smaller sized photos I think are best – I’ve started using smaller ones. Different colors – I’d have to think about that one. Maybe different color for the heading then then a consistent color throughout? I know that I have trouble reading a computer screen that has a lot of red on it. I like the more casual style of blog. I am not a huge – “numbers and stats person – I like a good story – and you really do a great job of that! I hope you get permission to use the photos. And Rays, I think you have an awesome blog!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Julia brings up a good point about the numbers and stats. I think too many just gets confusing. Maybe just sticking to the basic stats. Anyone who wants to know more indepth numbers can find them on any major sports webpage.

You’re there at the games. You hear the crowd, see all the interaction of the fans, talk to the players, and own a cowbell collection! You need to tell the stories that we can’t find anywhere else. It’s what you’re known for, and what you’re amazing at writing! Hope you can get the paperwork/permission you need for the pictures.

Canuck
http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

You could do a Rays’ HERO and a GOAT of the game. You could track each player’s hero nominations and goat nominations. A local radio host does it on each Pirates post game show. Its kind of cool.

-Erik
http://countingbaseballs.mlblogs.com/

Thank you for the last comment Julia.
Hey, I hate that song, but because it is Neil diamond, not your 7th inning stretch song.
I used three different colors last year to denote the Good-Blue, Bad-Red and Ugly-Green. You always want to improve on what you do, and I think I have because then I had two comments, and this is my second one today, with 5 more still in my inbox.
So I decided to see what people wanted to see themselves. I have a basic “human interest” background. That is the type of stories I used to have to write because we were an afternoon publication, so the morning paper usually got the hot stories unless they happened between 3 am and 9 am.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Thank you for that. I am not sure having a Cowbell collection make me a better writer, unless it is to chase people away from the computer screens at the games.

I am one of those odd facts and stats hounds a bit myself, but not to the point of scientific baseball statistical torture.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

That is a great idea.
Almost like the NHL three star system. I will have to thin hard about that one. Might change it up a bit. Find some wild terminology that might fit the team for the great and dumb plays of the night.

Thanks Erik for that idea..you get full credit on it.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenengade.mlblogs.com

Personally, I find structure limiting when I write. I just kind fly by the seat of my pants with it most of the time. Or I’ll have a certain structure for a week or so and then get bored with it. Mainly, I try to make it easy to read, give a few major stats that are relevant to what I am discussing and then, once and while, toss in something completely whacky for fun. This probaly did not help you at all…only the small people in my head know what really goes on in there. :O)
But I like the photo blog idea…I use a few photos in my posts and if I have a lot that I have taken, I make a photo album on PhotoBucket or something and add a link to the right side of the page. I have an entire Link List just for Photo Albums. REALLY wish this blog format would allow us to make photo albums here, instead of having to “outsource” it, so to speak. Ah, to dream! Well, good luck!

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

I have always noticed your great pictures. It is one of the things I expect on your blog.
“Little people in your head”, I wish I had that luxury. Mine left about 25 years ago something about combat pay when I was playing football. lol
I usually do my blog on one of my other sites that can be a bit more accessible to things at times, but is limited too.
Great ideas I will have to think about………..Thanks again.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I know I love seeing blogs with close up pics of the game. Pics that are done by fans and not pre pics you find on sites all over the internet. I have no idea how I should do my blog when the season starts.

~ King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

It is not only Spring Training for the teams, but I also have a bit of do a bit of spring cleaning on my writing and make it a bit more interesting every year.

Just not sure yet which direction I am heading, but it is not down.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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