June 11, 2009

Baseball Fans Forums

I've come to the conclusion that you can tell a lot about a team's fan base from the home they keep on the internet.

I recently was thinking of ways to make my links of the page more unique, as most every baseball blog on the internet links to other baseball blogs, and the big baseball sites (Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Primer, etc.).

I came up with finding each team's message boards, ignoring the MLB.com message boards, as they're a terrible place to talk about baseball (poorly moderated, and pretty immature). The results were interesting (not added yet).

There were many fan sites that were about as active as you'd expect.

The Yankees have a terrific, fast moving board, as do the Mets, which is what you'd expect from the two teams in the largest market in the US.

But some of the best fan boards belonged to small market teams.

The Reds have the best fan board on the internet, and I'm not just saying that because of personal bias. The Royals have a great board despite being long suffering, and the Oriole's fans have a nice place to call their own. Heck, even the Brewers and Tigers have nice message boards, giving credence to the idea that long suffering fans might be the most loyal.

But then there were results that were surprising.

I couldn't find a decent Dodgers messageboard anywhere. Same with the Angels, despite them being World Champions. The Red Sox, despite having some of the most ravenous fans in baseball, don't get much message board traffic.

Expansion teams from the last ten years fared pretty poorly. The Rockies, D-Backs, and Devil Rays don't have great boards (with the D-Rays having no board at all that I could find, apart from the MLB board). The Marlins have a nice community though, perhaps as a result of an early world series win in the franchise history?

Interesting stuff, and alot of great places to visit if you're browsing the net with nothing to do. If you know of any superior fan specific message boards to the ones I've linked, then make a list yourself.

Oh, and I've got to say the Oakland A's message board made me a little sick. You find the same griping and moaning there as on every other team site. Don't they know how lucky they are? ;)

November 08, 2004

Call it Unhappy Valley

Penn State coach Joe Paterno, 78, appreciates the sentiments of people who are upset over the struggles of his football program

By John Mullin Tribune staff reporter

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Maybe the people at Penn State, Joe Paterno among them, knew this was coming. So they said he was innocent before the crescendo of cries that he was guilty.

This year's Penn State media guide, a 350-page report on the football team that also serves as the program's recruiting booklet, starts its history of coach Joe Paterno by playing defense.

"In the era of video cell phones," it reads, "Joe Paterno is every bit as relevant as he was when Harry Truman occupied the Oval Office, the Dodgers were in Brooklyn and Paul Bryant was a coaching novice at the University of Kentucky."

That seems a curious way to begin a testimonial that doubles as a 12-page biography of Paterno. It reads like a defense brief for what Penn State anticipated would be a time of assault on the Paterno legend.

Actually, Paterno might be as relevant now as he was in the Truman era. But he wasn't a head coach then, as many are suggesting he shouldn't be now.

Paterno is in his 39th season as head coach and 55th on Penn State's staff. Rip Engle brought him in as a 23-year-old assistant in 1950, and Paterno assumed the top job in 1966 when Engle retired. He turns 78 in December and, in a statement of endearing optimism, received a four-year contract extension after a 3-9 record in 2003.

Now, despite the 324 victories, the high graduation rates and other accomplishments, calls are growing louder with each defeat, most recently the Nittany Lions' 14-7 loss Saturday against Northwestern. Penn State dropped to 2-7, 0-6 in the Big Ten.

"I appreciate the sentiments of people who are upset," Paterno said. "They have a right to be."

Paterno has made the situation acute by involving son Jay, with the title of quarterbacks coach, in running the offense along with Galen Hall, 63, a veteran of several top national programs. Some insiders will not be surprised if this is Hall's first and only year in suddenly Unhappy Valley.

"Hall has run national-championship offenses," Mike Gross wrote in the Sunday News of Lancaster, Pa., "and the party line is that Jay Pa is in over his head."

Worse, the players "are powerless," David Jones wrote in the Sunday Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa. "And they are infected by a disease emitted from the top."

The Penn State football program is reeling, although not all believe that should be the end of Paterno, particularly around town.

"We always abandon our heroes when they fall," said Nancy Brassington, an art teacher at Penn State from Bellefonte, Pa., and a supporter of Paterno. "I think it's simply mean to make him quit after all he's done."

Part of Paterno's difficulties, said Northwestern coach Randy Walker, stem from changes in the landscape of college football. Walker cites greater parity among schools, which means greater difficulty in standing above the pack.

"You give them a touchdown every game and they'd be undefeated," said Walker, a staunch Paterno supporter.

But Paterno critics suggest that giving Penn State touchdowns is in fact the only way the Nittany Lions' offense will score any.

Talent has been there, even recently. Penn State had a school-record four first-round selections in the 2003 draft: Bears defensive end Michael Haynes, St. Louis defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy, Arizona wide receiver Bryant Johnson and Kansas City running back Larry Johnson.

The 2002 team that produced that group, however, went a modest 9-4 with a loss to Auburn in the Capital One Bowl. It was the only team of Paterno's last five to post a winning record.

Perhaps more tellingly, the NFL has found few Nittany Lions of even second-round quality in the other three of the last four drafts. Penn State had one player drafted in the third round this year and no one higher than the fourth in 2002, when only two players were selected.

Paterno has drawn sharp criticism the last two weeks for using his distinguished history as a shield.

"He's `been coaching for 55 years,' he has said twice; don't question him," wrote Heather Dinich of the Centre Daily Times in State College. "Actually, it's all the more reason to."

Copyright © 2004, The Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/

November 05, 2004

Mesa to Re-sign?

Not only are the Pirates close to re-signing Jose Mesa, the Trib speculates they could pay him at least $2 million. What a colossal waste of money. I don't want Mesa on the team at all - his strikeout rate is dropping and he puts a million guys on base. I'll put the over/under on Mesa's 2005 ERA at five and a half. But even if he put up the same results he did in 2004, $2 million for seventy okay relief innings is a terrible waste.

The Pirates don't even have an organizational need for relievers or "closers"! Mike Gonzalez is a stud closer waiting to happen, and the Pirates are up to their ears in pretty good options for the other bullpen spots.

I'll say this again: mediocrities like Mesa don't bring anything to the... uh... Table that the Pirates can't get from a rookie. Spreading millions around to a bunch of guys like Mesa is unlikely to help the team in the short term, and it keeps young players from developing in the long term.


October 28, 2004

Pirates and the Internet Baseball Awards

Congratulations, Jason Bay, for winning the Rookie of the Year award selected by baseball fans with some internet savvy.

Ty Wigginton got a vote for NL MVP. So did Kendall. Jack Wilson got a number of votes. Oliver Perez finished eleventh in the Cy Young voting.

The only crime is Lloyd McClendon finishing in last place in the Manager of the Year voting. Larry Bowa, Art Howe, and Clint Hurdle got more votes. For doing what?

http://honestwagner.blogspot.com/ 2004_10_24_honestwagner_archive.html