Saturday, March 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary to us!

Yep,that is correct.
We celebrate our one year anniversary today of our first post and it was not exactly a thrilling entry.
Far from our best work,but looking back at the last year,I see some pretty good work,some less than inspiring posts and some that one can see that the blog's style has changed from.
I like to think that if you are a fan of the teams covered here,you get game coverage that you can get other places,but we offer lots of good opinions that differs from other spots on the net.
Not always right,mind you,but different and hopefully interesting.
I try to put lots of stuff in Bullpen notes that catch my eye and vary from day to day and hopefully that is fairly good reading as well.
When I think about the past year,we have seen a lot of things come and go.
After spending the first few months of rambling about Captain Dave Littlefield's maneuverings,we saw one final headscratching deal (Matt Morris) and finally his dismissal.
A few shots at Will Smith and Hagerstown Suns saw some visitors (not all happy),but (and I have no proof of this) some of our ideas have been quietly implemented by the Suns,so someone there is reading occasionally.
Plenty of autographs were gotten at various parks and we talked about who signed,who did not,who was a great guy (Adrian Cardenas) and who was not so good (John Patterson).
Both Ohio State and the Cleveland Browns surpassed expectations in the last year and we covered the Cleveland Cavaliers first run to the NBA Finals.
Some personal stuff happened as well, as the first baseball scouting trip was taken.
My family lost a good friend in John Moser in July and our beloved pet Chancellor.
On one night at the Muni, a fellow visited Hagerstown for the first time and after an evening of baseball talk,I made a pretty good friend,thanks Luke.
We were able to get to know Erik Arnesen during the last year as well and his interview here brought many kind words from readers.
So I would like to thank a few of you for the past year.
Thanks to the lovely Cherie for the suggestion of starting something of my thoughts.
Although the format was different than the original suggestion,this was all her idea.
Thanks to Ryan,as many of the best opinions were first discussed with him and bounced off in debate before they ever get to the typed page.
Thanks to Battlin Bob for being a great friend and sending me many of the links that you see in Bullpen Notes and for being one of our biggest boosters to others.
And a final thanks to all of you that read what I have to say.
Readership is rising every week,but without the mailing list and the few feedburner guys (whoever you are),word does not carry as easily.
Thanks again and feel free to offer any comments on the last year!

A pair of interesting stats on the blog

The most visited posts were
1:The season ending awards
2:Why the Suns do not shine in Hagerstown
3:Baseball Trip-Day 3-Lynchburg

The most visited images
1:New Jersey Devils Logo-Go figure
2:me with Adrian Cardenas
3:Jonathan Towes on his debut night

The New Jersey Devils actually scored some goals,but twice allowed the visiting Philadelphia Flyers to rally and would go to the dreaded shootout.
But all three Devils would whip Martin Biron to allow the Devils to gain two precious points and a 5-4 win that broke the losing streak.
The Flyers struck first on a Vinny Prospal goal (Prospal is another one of those guys that I have always wanted as a Devil) and I was thinking "not again".
But Johnny Oduya was credited with a power play goal (5)to tie the game that I thought Zach Parise should have credited with,but they all count the same.
Oduya then beat (6) Biron with a shot from the circle that gave the Devils a 2-1 lead at the end of one.
The Captain Jamie Langenbrunner then took advantage (13)of a wide open net off a Philly miscue to increase the lead to 3-1 before the Flyers trimmed the lead to 3-2 on a goal by former Devil Jim Dowd.
The Flyers then tied the game,but Brian Gionta's goal with 5 minutes (22) looked to be the winner before the Flyers tied the game with a minute to go,setting up the shootout heroics.
A needed win and nice to see the goals coming in again,although not as excited about the defense.
The Devils return to action on Tuesday in Long Island against the Islanders.

Devils Pitchforks
Gold-Jamie Langenbrunner-Goal and shootout winner
Silver-Johnny Oduya-2 goals and good point work on the power play
Bronze-Zach Parise-Seemed to be all over the ice.

The Xavier Musketeers battle UCLA in Phoenix for the chance to go to the Final Four for the first time ever in school history.
Going to be a tough task,but the Muskies are more than capable of winning this game over UCLA.
The key matchup to me is Stanley Burrell being able to lock down Darren Collison.
If that can be done,this game swings to Xavier in my opinion.

Speaking of UCLA,whoever thought of the idea of replacing the blue C with a yellow one needs to be fired.
The Bruins have such iconic and classy uniforms and now they are ruined.
I am not sure who has the UCLA uniform contract,but that has Nike written all over it.

Memphis reached the elite eight last night.
Here is hoping for a title run (if Xavier cannot) as an old time Memphis fan from the Keith Lee,William Bedford days and as a John Calipari fan as well.

Sean Burnett is hot about his demotion and I do not blame him.
I would prefer Burnett to either Francelis Osoria or Phil Dumitrait,but I understand why the Pirates made the move even though I disagree with it.
I appreciate the candor offered by Burnett,but I hope that the Pirates do not hold it against him.

Looks like Kent State will be looking for a new basketball coach as Jim Christian appears headed to TCU.
Perhaps former Kent coach Gary Waters might be interested in a return to KSU after a successful return to the area at Cleveland State?

And finally sorry to hear of the passing of long time Tigers coach Billy Consolo at the age of 73.
Consolo was a Tiger assistant for Sparky Anderson for many years after being one of the unsuccessful high priced "bonus babys" of the 1950's.

Photo Credits
Flintstones-Happy Anniversary
Langenbrunner-Bill Kostroun-AP Photo


Mike said...

Congrats on 1 year, looking forward to many more!! keep up the good work.. Mike(Bob),hey, my name is Bob too..LOL

Ryan Heimberger said...

Congrats on a great year.
Still waiting on the Dick Stuart "Forgotten Superstar" feature.