Mike Trout, Bedrock and Albert Pujols are the only three Angels who were on the roster when I made a fateful post, criticism (from the now dead Deadspin) of which the corporate pussies at Vox Media couldn’t handle. But I’ve followed this goddamn team since then like I followed them before, watching every game or listening on the radio, Mark Langston and Terry Smith, Bob Starr, Al Conin, Victor Rojas, Joe Torre (he was terrible behind the mic), Rory Markus, Dick Enberg, Mario Impemba, even mushmouth Steve Physioc, keeping track, always just a little roster shuffle in my mind’s eye away from charging toward first place and beyond.
The last you heard from me was a post that got taken down in about fifteen minutes saying I wasn’t apologizing for that previous post that was also taken down. Lotta takedowns… I had to think about what to do then… blogless… I had to think about what the most important thing in the whole equation was and that was the community. We had built one hell of a community from the first post on March 22, 2005 to my last hurrah at the end of April, 2015. So if I had decided to start a competing blog then a large chunk of the community would have come over… but then there would have been drama and division. You want drama and division, call me, I’m your man.
But not that time. The community was what mattered and, relegated to “ordinary, occasionally-commenting site member” the blog did just fine under Josh and Jessica – and of course, the community was great as always. So four and a half years later the weather started getting rough and news breaks that there is a force in the universe that is a threat to the SBN communities: SBN itself. Never too financially supportive anyway, it has found a way to pull the plug without pulling the plug and the first thing that poked my peabrain was: What about the community?!?!
Well if not for the courage of the fearless crew the community would be lost. I was invited to post here by the staff of the now to be perennially-sinking Halos Heaven in order for the community to ground itself on this heretofore uncharted desert isle… a blog that will cover the Angels as only hardcore adherents to the team can.
So the community is here. How far back do you go? Do you recall Moondoggy insisting Scioscia knows the way? How about Yetijuice updating the tally of every home run he’d ever seen hit in person? Who posts more: opiejeanne or ladybug? Don’t get me started on the unfinished Matt Welch series of posting every baseball card of every Angel (you are welcome to do that here MW). Do you recall the gold robot that would appear after a win in the postgame thread and then reappear twice then three times then four after each successive consecutive victory… and the site crashed when we won seven straight… at least on my computer! Remember the time before social media where I live-blogged stumbling into a bar where the Angels were celebrating their 2005 division title well into the night? I watched Joe Maddon nurse one double pour of whiskey all night, Adam Kennedy smoke a pack of cigarettes in less than three hours and Paul Byrd order the last quesadilla before the kitchen closed. Robb Quinlan took a photo of me and Arte. And the whole time I thought the big news was the coming debut the following afternoon of touted prospect Jeff Mathis. How about the terrible loss where we lifted the one F-Bomb rule in the postgame thread- you don’t remember the specifics of the loss but you recall the waterfuckfall’s tidal wave taking away all the anger from that loss as we united in a community bonding stronger than any glue. Hell, I got married on this blog for cryin’ out loud (wife says hello by the way, our doggie Aybar died last year, almost made it to 14).
Lots of good memories among a community and the secret to it all was light moderation and heavy commitment. At this new CTPG site the commitment is shared by many contributors but the commitment coming from the community is going to be asked of you and hopefully earned by all of us. If it is earned and we are thriving, I for one am going to push for full transition – so if you go to the old Voxed site to read it fine but by the home opener of this season the kinks here should be all worked out, so, if you commenting over there you are basically (in my opinion) a scab. You are providing content for a company that starved its content-providers and then left a community adrift… okay, opinions may vary…
But this is how it used to be online between the aol and usenet 1990s and the corporate attempt at content monetization (don’t speak your mind outside of a narrow range but somehow get a lot of clicks) prior to the social media monolith plaguing free thought and any hoped-for expansion of human consciousness. God I wish I had screenshotted the old independent blogs with their sidebars linking to a thousand and one other blogs, some good, some great, some indifferent, 2/3rds of them barely occasionally updated. It was a time when there were many independent Angels blogs – two separate Angels blogs were run by guys with the same name – Sean Smith. One Sean Smith went on to create WAR (yes, really, that WAR) and the other documented the early History of the Halosphere Here (NOTE: That link is MANDATORY READING… this is the world we are about to re-enter, so let a thousand blogs bloom… or maybe not, maybe it will just be this one, whatever). We are back to the “good old days” and yet we all know where the pitfalls lay, this isn’t the first go-round of blogging and the black hole of reddit/facebook suck everything into a homogenized puddle of bland conformist shrugs. Don’t click like here, fight for your right to party with the most passionate of online fans.
So that’s that, we are here, I am back, the others running this blog are dedicated and the Astros have lost two top pitchers and will have the weight of hell on them as we got Joe -an optimist steeped in the arcane Lachemannian traditions of this club- Maddon at the helm and more bats than anyone. Maybe Callaway solves the arms but either way, let’s give the past the slip and get this season of being fans whipped into shape.