Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Baseball For Thought - a Four Month Review

This week on Wild-Card Wednesdays, we take a look back at all of our previous opinion columns. Yes, all. Four months' worth, to be sure. As we get set to depart from the blogger platform, and to our new, permanent home at, here's a look back at the columnists- and columns- that have filled the pages of this site since March 2006.

Apart from our increasing readership, part of the reason we are moving in the first place is the rigidity of the blogger system- reliably creating an organized, searchable archives system is nearly impossible. So we're taking today to manually list and link to every column, including bolding those that received significant outside linking or a much larger than normal traffic spike, for example. What's great about BFT's completely opinion-column based format is that many of the pieces stay relevant long after they're written. Enjoy!

Doug Silversten, "The Big Picture", alternate Mondays
1. Straight A's for Billy Beane (June 26) - Why Billy Beane is the best GM in baseball. Maybe the best ever.
2. When Wins and Losses are Meaningless Stats (June 12)
3. Closers are Overrated. All of Them. (May 29)
4. Memo to Yankee Fans: Deal with it (May 15) - "Injuries happen. Deal with it. Every team has injuries, but only Yankee fans seem to think it is their right to replace injured stars with other superstars."
5. Pedro Is a God (May 1)
6. How I Almost Got Bobby Valentine Fired (April 17) - Doug comes clean with his involvement in the scandal at Wharton that almost got an ex-Mets skipper fired
7. Of Course It Matters (April 3) - Why Jose Reyes is overrated
8. NY Times' Murray Chass is Losing It(March 20)- Our columnist disagrees with a writer from the NY Times
9. The Longest Month (March 6) - Why March is the worst month of the baseball calendar

Alan Eliot, "The Stories We Tell", alternate Tuesdays
1. And Reyes Makes Three (June 27) - Alan discusses Jose Reyes' recent offensive outburst in light of the considerable hype he has received
2. A Primer: Steroids and HGH for Non-Medical Students (June 13) - A simple review of the science behind steroids and HGH
3. Speaking of "The Franchise"- Beltran, Reyes and Wright (Part II - Defense) (May 31)
4. Speaking of "The Franchise"- Beltran, Reyes and Wright (Part I - Offense) (May 30)
5. Mets' Season in Haiku (May 16)
6. It's All Baseball, Really (May 2) - How baseball seeps into everything we do
7. Mets Fans: Get Excited! (April 18) - "Question: What do the Mets, Tigers, Royals and Brewers have in common? Answer: Counting teams that were around in 1988, they are the only teams in major league baseball not to finish in first place at least once since that year."
8. A Mets Fan in Philly (April 4)
9. On Children, Grown Men and Baseball (March 21) - Alan discusses the inner child of every baseball fan, in light of recent allegations against Barry Bonds and other suspected steroid-users.
10. The Mighty Dinger (March 8) - Our stab at interviewing our favorite hall-of-famers for their take on the home run
11. Death of an Immortal (March 7) - On the shocking death of Kirby Puckett - "And that's how it is with baseball greats. We place them on pedestals, until they are less mortal men than legends. In our imagination, they are always hitting .406, or belting #715. We can do this, because to us, at some level, these men will always be the young baseball players that they were."

Sarah, "The Fanatic's Wife", recurring columnist for Wild-Card Wednesdays
1. No Pun Intended (June 7) - Sarah vents about bad jokes in headlines
2. An Open Letter to Carlos Delgado (May 17)
3. My New Boyfriend (April 19)
4. The Lost Weekend (April 5) - The Fanatic’s Wife offers a reality check to those men all wrapped up in fantasy
Spaghetti Arms (March 22)

Scott Silversten, "Age of Reason", every Thursday
1. Time to Revisit Black Sox Scandal? (June 29)
2. Summer Solstice Baseball Thoughts... (June 22)
3. A-Rod and the Fallacy of the "Not Clutch" Label (June 15)
4. Some Baseball Owners Can Learn from Mark Cuban (June 8)
5. Patience Should Not Be a Four-Letter Word (June 1) - Scott argues that the Yankees fans should be more patient with a player like Melky Cabrera
6. Steinbrennerization of Baseball (May 25) - "The definition of “Steinbrennerization” reads as follows: The inability of an individual to see the big picture in a sport in which failure is commonplace for even the greatest teams and players."
7. Mets Pitching in Flux (May 18)
8. A Proposal for MLB Realignment (May 11)
9. Red-hot Reds (May 4) - "And while it may be too soon to start daydreaming about a Cincinnati-Detroit World Series – it might be dubbed the “Sparky” Series after former Reds and Tigers manager Sparky Anderson – there is renewed hope in the Queen City that it could be a summer of fun after all."
10. My Baseball Wishes... (April 27) - "If there is a higher power looking down on the sports world, these are the things we will see on a baseball field this season …"
11. The Comeback Giambino (April 20) - Scott discusses Jason Giambi's startling return to dominance
12. Play Ball! The Season Starts in the Bronx (April 13) - A play-by-play of sorts for Yankees Opening Day 2006
13. Can't Take Your Eyes Off Bonds (April 6) - "This is a column about Barry Bonds. I didn’t want to write it, and you probably do not want to read it. But I did, and you will, because Barry Lamar Bonds is the most compelling athlete in sports history."
14. Brew Crew Looking Good (March 30) - Brewers fans have reason to be excited in 2006
15. Gary Sheffield: Malcontent (March 23)
16. A Growing Global Sport (March 16)
17. Roger Clemens, the Best of the Best (March 9)

Matt Sandler, "The Critical Fan", Alternate Fridays
1. Movie Review: "The Sandlot" (June 30)
2. Book Review: "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Blunders" (June 16)
3. Movie Review: "Fear Strikes Out" (June 2)
4. Book Review: "The Devil Wears Pinstripes" (May 19)
5. Movie Review: "The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings" (May 5)
6. Book Review: "Fantasyland" (April 21)
7. Movie Review: "Bang the Drum Slowly" (April 7)
8. Book Review: “The Numbers Game” (March 24)
9. Movie Review: "The Pride of the Yankees" (March 10)

Michael Carlucci, "The Yankee Diary", alternate Mondays
1. Yankee Diary #9 (July 3)
2. Yankee Diary #8 (June 19)
3. Yankee Diary #7 (June 5)
4. Yankee Diary #6 (May 22)
5. Yankee Diary #5 (May 8)
6. Yankee Diary #4 (April 24)
7. Yankee Diary #3 (April 10)
8. Yankee Diary #2 (March 27)
9. My Deal with the Devil (March 13)

Jeremy Bird, "Bird's Eye View", alternate Tuesdays
1.The Arms Race: Rookies dominating on the hill (June 20) - Jeremy profiles five first year hurlers who are making a difference
2. Not exactly the Reggie Bush-Vince Young-Matt Leinart Show (June 6) - On lessons learned from recent MLB drafts
3. The Babe's Tainted Record (May 23)
4. Losing My Innocence in St. Louis (May 9)
5. The Kansas City Royals: Baseball, Wal-Mart Style (April 25) - "Ultimately, Glass’ business model with the Royals does what it did while he ran Wal-Mart: screws over the players, other businesses, fans and taxpayers. It also loses baseball games, by the hundreds."
6. Why Fantasy Baseball is Ruining my Spring (April 11)
7. Intelligent Farming (March 28) - Jeremy goes down on the farm to explore the components of a strong baseball farm system and explains why the Angels will dominate the American League West for years to come.
8. The Politics of Baseball in the Nation's Capital (March 14) - "With the negotiations over the stadium finally over (for now at least), we are left to ask a question that has perplexed politicians, voters and baseball fans across the country: are we better off as a society spending millions in taxpayer money to subsidize a bunch of millionaires?"

Rob Hyman, "The Weekend Warrior", alternate Fridays
1. Links to the Past (June 23)
2. Rain, Rain Come Again (June 9) - "The emptiness of the stadium was almost eerie. Getting to watch Tom Glavine pitch and Barry Bonds bat in a high school sized crowd was completely surreal."
3. Where Should Your Rooting Interests Lie? (May 26) - Rob ponders the collision of gambling, fantasy and reality
4. Classy Women of Baseball (May 12)
5. Here's to the Locals (April 28)
6. The Four Questions of Baseball (April 14) - "I’m getting myself into the spirit of Passover. That being said I’d like to pose to the world Rob Hyman’s four questions of baseball."
7. March Madness, for Baseball Fans (March 31)
8. Mets Don't Know When to Fold 'Em (March 17)

"Wild-Card Wednesdays" appears Every Wednesday


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"I've had a pretty good success facing Stan (Musial) by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third base."
- Carl Erskine