ESPN.com Expands SweetSpot Blog Network for the 2010 MLB Season
ESPN.com has launched its popular SweetSpot Blog Network — a collection of local-market blogs that will grow to represent a specific, local voice for each of the 30 professional teams in MLB — for the 2010 MLB season with 19 affiliated sites. This marks an increase from eight in 2009, with more to be added as the baseball season progresses.
The SweetSpot Blog Network, which first debuted in October 2009 during the playoffs, is anchored and hosted by ESPN.com’s SweetSpot blog (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/sweetspot), written by ESPN.com senior writer and blogger Rob Neyer. Prior to joining ESPN, Neyer worked with Bill James and STATS, Inc., and has written or co-written six books about baseball. He has been with ESPN.com since 1996.
Each blog will maintain editorial independence and continue to own and operate as its own site. Each blog will contribute a unique localized voice that will speak to baseball fans for each team.
The launch of the SweetSpot Blog Network coincides with the start of the 2010 regular season. The blogs include:
- Astros: Austin Swafford’s Astros 290 Blog is his most recent venture into blogging, after having a Texas Rangers blog with Most Valuable Network and a self-run college football blog. He is a student at the University of Texas, where he has been a writer for the sports section at the Daily Texan. Swafford has a long history with the Astros, going back to the days of his childhood when he cheered Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell through the rough years.
- Cardinals: Matt Philip (a.k.a. Pip) has been blogging since 2004 at Fungoes, which focuses on “Cardinals’ news from a Sabermetric point of view.” Pip is a member of the Bob Broeg (St. Louis) Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research, the United Cardinal Bloggers and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. He believes Keith Hernandez was the greatest-fielding first baseman of all-time and that the second-best was his mustache.
- Braves: Peter Hjort is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and a life-long Braves fan. He opened Capitol Avenue Club in April of 2009 in an attempt to examine nearly everything the Atlanta Braves’ front office deals with and more, including baseball economics, sabermetrics, prospects, common sense, and bad tastes.
- Cubs: Joe Aiello has been writing about the Cubs on View From The Bleachers since October 2003 when he had his heart ripped from his chest by Steve Bartman and the epic collapse. Born and raised in Chicago, he now makes his home in North Carolina, but regularly makes a trip to Washington to see the Cubs play. His primary interest with blogging is in bringing a full organizational view of the team to help fans understand why the front office makes the decisions they do.
- Dodgers: A native of Los Angeles, Jon Weisman has been writing about the Dodgers at Dodger Thoughts since 2002 and thinking deeply about them since the 1970s. He is the author of 100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, published in 2009. Weisman began covering sports professionally in 1985, complemented by adventures in writing for and about the screen. Any downtime he can muster will be happily spent with his wife and three young children.
- Giants: Chris Quick has been blogging about the Giants since 2006 at the stats-centric Bay City Ball. He believes in two absolute truths in life: (1) Will Clark had the sweetest swing of any player ever and (2) The Dodgers are evil. Currently living on the East Coast, he blames the Giants and their time zone difference for many bleary-eyed mornings peppered with heartbreak.
- Indians: Steve Buffum grew up a Cleveland fan in Akron, Ohio and writes the B-List Indians Blog. Steve has also written pieces for TheClevelandFan.com, The Orange and Brown Report (theOBR.com), and the weekly alternative paper Cleveland Scene. In his spare time, he writes fiction and loses his hair.
- Mets: A Mets fan since birth, Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach — he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result the blog often includes mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.
- Nationals: Harper Gordek is a Yankees fan living in North Carolina so it’s only natural that he writes about the Nationals at Nationals Baseball. He started blogging about the franchise during the last summer of the Expos to prove a point but found that he actually enjoyed it and has been unable to stop since. He uses his outsider view to give a fair breakdown on the state of the Nationals while trying to make sure that bad decisions and bad analysis are always challenged.
- Orioles: Dave McNeill started writing about the Baltimore Orioles before the 2008 season. He named his blog Weaver’s Tantrum in honor of the legendary Oriole manager. Also because anger was the emotion he felt most frequently when writing about the Orioles. Today, Dave is looking forward to enjoying the current crop of young players in Baltimore.
- Padres: Geoff Young has covered the Padres at Ducksnorts since September 1997 and written three books about them. Like many people in San Diego, he is originally from somewhere else; unlike most of them, he actually cheers for the home team.
- Phillies: Crashburn Alley’s Bill Baer lives just outside of Philadelphia. He started the Phillies-themed blog in August 2007 in the hopes of bringing a fresh, statistically-oriented perspective to Phillies baseball analysis.
- Rangers: Joey Matschulat has written about the Rangers at Baseball Time in Arlington since February 2007, and contributed to the last two installments of John Burnson’s “Graphical Player” book series. Aside from his passion for baseball, he also enjoys jazz/hip-hop music and possesses great interest in severe weather.
- Royals: Royals Authority is a collaborative effort between Craig Brown, Clark Fosler and Nick Scott, three life-long Royals fans based in the Midwest. Online since 2005, they cover all aspects of The Process that is the Kansas City Royals – from the front office and the big club all the way down to the minor leagues and the draft and everything in between.
- Red Sox: Evan Brunell is a lifelong Red Sox fan who was born and raised in Massachusetts. Brunell started Fire Brand of the American League December 31, 2003 and is currently author emeritus. He has worked for NBC Sports’ Rotoworld.com, the Red Sox Foundation and the Quincy Patriot Ledger. His greatest moment involving the Red Sox is being in attendance for ‘The Steal.’
- Tigers: Mike McClary launched The Daily Fungo in March 2006 — at the outset of a remarkable Tigers season. The native Detroiter writes about the current-day Tigers through the lens of history, personal experiences and gut instinct. The Daily Fungo features game recaps, profiles of past Tigers players as well as podcast interviews of those who cover the team every day.
- Twins: Nick Nelson has covered the Minnesota Twins at Nick’s Twins Blog for the past five seasons. He resides in Minneapolis, where he majored in Journalism at the University of Minnesota.
- White Sox: Jim Margalus has written about the White Sox at Sox Machine since December 2005, and publishes the “White Sox Outsider” series of annual reference books. He’s a third generation South Sider who works as an online producer for a newspaper in upstate New York.
- Yankees: Jason Rosenberg started It’s About The Money in December 2007, not long after A-Rod opted out of his $252 million contact. The blog represents his efforts to present the most unbiased view of the Yankees possible. Jason was raised a Yankees fan and currently resides in Westchester County, NY.