I’m looking for content with which to fill out the sidebars here, and I got the idea from Alex Belth and the folks at Bronx Banter to link up some of my greatest hits, so to speak, from SNY.tv.
I realize that’s a bit self-serving, but so is this entire blog, so, you know, whatever. Anyway, I figured I’d break in down into two groups of five: The five most trafficked, and my five personal favorites.
It’ll take me a while to figure out my five favorites, especially since I’m rarely thrilled with the stuff I write and I’ll be biased against the columns that have turned out wrong. But here are the five most popular:
1) Things Steve Phillips said, May 18, 2009.
If my life’s greatest accomplishment turns out to be defending Carlos Beltran from Steve Phillips, I’ll be fine with that. For whatever reason, many of my most popular columns, it seems, are the ones written in blind rage, and this was one of those.
Probably because I was the only person with the patience to transcribe the nonsense Phillips spewed, the column got linked all over the place, including by Joe Posnanski, one of my favorite sportswriters, and by Maxim Magazine. I guess it had a broad appeal. Plus, it got me quoted in the New York Post. It was weird.
2) What’s next for Minaya, Jan. 30, 2008
My reaction to the Johan Santana trade. This one was so popular, I’m certain, because of the surge in traffic to this site and MetsBlog.com surrounding the deal.
This is funny to me for a number of reasons. I obviously can’t contain my excitement over Santana, but the column gets at a lot of the main points I always make, about the importance of not trading the farm and searching the scrap heaps for cheap talent. Mostly, it’s funny because there are copy-editing mistakes aplenty, and because it’s the first time I mention Val Pascucci — except I spell his name wrong.
3) Why I like Carlos Beltran, July 9, 2008.
More Beltran love. This one I liked. The only one here that could be a crossover candidate for the five personal favorites. (Sneak preview: It won’t be, only because it’d be weird to have it linked twice.)
4) Help from the Far East, Oct. 16, 2007
This one, a rundown of the available Japanese pitching talent, comes with a funny anecdote. Apparently it was so loaded up with falsehoods and general ignorance that it inspired Patrick Newman to start his fantastic English-language Japanese baseball site, NPB Tracker. As someone who spends so much time rallying against ignorance in the mainstream media, I humbly appreciate the irony.
In my defense, NPB Tracker obviously didn’t exist at the time, so I was attempting to do what I could with the data available to me. I caught up with Patrick for an interview a year later.
5) An egging most baffling, July 10, 2009
Another column penned quickly in anger. I remember I was on the B Train heading over the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn after work when I got a text message from my buddy Jake Rake, just saying, “Jeff Francoeur, really?” The train was back underground before I could figure out what he meant, but I obviously knew something was up. By the end of the 10-minute walk from the station to my apartment, I had the bulk of the column written in my head, and it was on the site about an hour later.
Obviously, Francoeur played a lot better than I expected. A lot. So maybe it’s egg on my face once more. And I know a lot of Mets fans are now sold on the guy. I’ll know better than to totally thrash a deal like this next time, but I’m definitely not willing to say I was wrong yet.