Final Stray Thoughts For 2010

What started as a soul crushing way of putting up a lazy blog post on a Friday afternoon quickly turned into one of the more discussion inspiring features at Getting Blanked, and now, as much as I may pretend to bemoan it, writing out the week’s Stray Thoughts has become one of my favourite duties associated with the blog.

From week to week, we’ve visited a wide array of subjects, ranging from the landscape photographs in the 1991 Topps baseball card set to why putting WAR in terms of a dollar amount might be faulty.  It’s been a slice, and not to get all schmaltzy, but I hope that the opinions I’ve been offering up in here have been just as informing to you as yours have been to me in the comments section.

Okay, wipe the tears away from your over-sentimental eyes, it’s time for the final stray thoughts of 2010.

1.   In putting together a list of the top ten moments of 2010, I was pleasantly surprised over all the great camera phone videos on YouTube from fans who were lucky enough to be in the stands when something special happened during the season.  I’m not even being sarcastic.

But how much better would those videos be if MLB allowed its content to be embedded onto websites?  If it’s the ad revenue from page views or the branding opportunity that the league is scared of losing, place an ad at the beginning of the video and have an MLB logo on it.  If they want videos to act as a gateway to the rest of their site, make it so that once the video has finished additional video options are presented to the viewer with links straight to the site.

Perhaps I’m missing something, but I can’t understand the drawback, especially considering the increasing availability and quality of the fan shot videos.

2.   If you don’t watch The League on FX you probably don’t have a sense of humour and I don’t respect you in the least.  Early in the sitcom’s second season they had a funny little side gag about the sporting world’s inherent racism.  For instance, black players are always athletic, white players are always scrappy, Hispanic players are always fiery, and Jewish players are always crafty.

Fortunately, awareness over these stupid stereotypes has grown immensely in recent years, except when it comes to Latin American coaches.

Why is it that whenever a Latin American is hired as a hitting coach, bench coach or even as a manager, his impact on the Hispanic players on the team is the first thing that’s mentioned?  It’s as though the Latin American coach or manager would have nothing to offer any player outside of one with his ethnic background.  It’s stupidly ridiculous.

Imagine for one second if the same limitations were so casually inferred over Blue Jays hitting coach Dwayne Murphy as they are for Luis Rivera.  People would absolutely lose it.

3.  Apologies to any friends who may belong to it, but when I first learned that the Baseball Blogger’s Alliance exists, I wondered what would happen if any of its members revealed the sacred secrets of blogging.

4.  I vehemently disagree with Jeff Pearlman’s assertion that Jeff Bagwell doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame because the writer personally suspects, despite no hard evidence, that Bagwell used performance enhancing drugs.  But I don’t put Pearlman among the many morons who use the issue of steroids in baseball to get up on their soap box and fulfill all of their holier-than-thou ambitions.

Pearlman raised an excellent point as a guest on the old Drunk Jays Fans podcast, pointing out the case of Sal Fasano, who at the time was trying to play in enough MLB games to land a permanent pension that would help pay for the costs associated with looking after his son who had a heart condition.  Fasano never used performance enhancers and likely lost out on time in The Show because of it, and missing out on that time likely cost him his pension.

Pearlman goes into more depth on Fasano’s situation here.  While I tend to think that individual players shouldn’t be punished for their steroid use, especially when baseball was doing nothing to stop it, it’s not nearly as cut and dry as some writers and bloggers would lead you to believe.

5.  This New Yorker article on the “decline effect” is probably the most interesting thing I’ve read in a very long time.  It’s my inner nerd, but I love the idea of disproving commonly held beliefs, which means I love the idea of disproving the disproving of commonly held beliefs even more.

6.  Rumours are swirling around the office about a potential fantasy baseball keeper league that would include rosters of 40 players and unlimited length to contracts.  In my current fantasy keeper league, we got rid of tracking AVG and RBIs in favour of OBP and total bases.  For pitching categories we also keep track of holds and WHIP.  Has anyone else made attempts at a more sabermetric friendly fantasy game?  What were the results?

7.  Speaking of my workplace, when did people stop going to work on New Year’s Eve?  There are so few employees at the office today that I didn’t even feel the need for a radiation scrub down after using the restroom.

8.  Today in self-serving promotion:  Getting Blanked has its very own Facebook page.  If you “like” it, new posts will begin appearing in your feed that’s normally reserved for learning that your aunt just got a twelfth kitten.

9.  Speaking of the blog, I’m kind of blown away by the number of readers Getting Blanked has been drawing and just as importantly, the general intelligence of the comments section.  Stopping short of saying something intensely regrettable like, “You guys rock!” I do want you to know that I really appreciate your involvement in Getting Blanked (see what I did there?).  The reaction to the blog has been so good that we’re going to have the opportunity to try some very exciting things in 2011 beyond the normal blog platform.  Stay tuned.

10.  Finally, I tend to roll my eyes at those type of “The More You Know” messages that idiots like to hold as absolutes with no wiggle room.  All situations are different and trying to generalize rules to fit every circumstance is futile.  Having said that, please don’t be a [Getting Blanked]ing idiot and drink and drive tonight.

I’m not saying this to be altruistic.  I really don’t care if you want to ruin your life with a bad decision.  I don’t really even care if you ruin a completely innocent person’s life.  What I do care about is you taking away a regular page view from my blog.  If you’re reading this, you’re more than likely a baseball fan, and you more than likely plan on visiting this site in the future.

As such, I’d like to keep you visiting this site and I’d like to keep as many baseball fans out there as possible so that we can keep building an audience.  There’s no reason to drive anywhere tonight, and there’s even less of a reason to hop in the car with someone who’s already had a couple.  This website will never ask for a subscription fee or money in general, so if you enjoy the content on here, consider whatever the cost of a taxi is tonight to be your payment for it.

Have a fantastic time.  And thanks once again for building up our little corner of the internet.