Note: What follows is an update on this blog and its author. If you're more interested in digging into some baseball stuff, you can click here or scroll down to read my Twins season preview.
It has become tradition on this blog that every year on Opening Day, I post an update on the current state of this site and of my life in general. I know most people don't come here to read about me, which is why I only do this once a year, but some folks are interested and really I do this for myself as much as anyone, so that I can look back in the future and recall how things have progressed.
As far as blogging and baseball writing are concerned, the past year has been very, very good to me. Starting in the middle of last season, I teamed up with three talented, passionate and motivated fellow bloggers to form TwinsCentric. Together, we have produced three publications: the Trade Deadline Primer last July, the Offseason GM Handbook last October and most recently the Maple Street Press Twins 2010 Annual this spring. These projects have each presented their own sets of challenges, but overall the work has been fulfilling, particularly since all three publications have been met with such support and enthusiasm from our readers.
Earlier this spring, the Star Tribune approached me and my TwinsCentric colleagues about starting our own blog on the newspaper's website. That blog is now fully operational, with the four of us alternating posts and hopefully infusing the more traditional brand of coverage at the Star Trib with a refreshingly different modern flavor. Having a blog on a heavily trafficked and respected site like StarTribune.com has broadened our scope and allowed us to reach out to a whole new set of Twins fans, which has been terrific.
In addition, you may notice a new emblem on the top of the right sidebar. As I revealed in earnest last fall, my blog is now partnered with ESPN.com as a part of Rob Neyer's SweetSpot Network. Through this arrangement, I will be involved in various ways with the baseball coverage on their site, which is obviously a big thrill and a huge honor. As a sports writer, you can't really ask to be affiliated with a more prominent network.
When I launched this little blog experiment back in 2005, I never would have imagined at any point that my writing would be featured on the websites for organizations like the Star Tribune and ESPN -- definitive sports sources that I grew up reading. It's basically a dream come true and I can't begin to express how flattered and grateful I am to have these opportunities.
It's going to be a busy summer for me, though. Keeping up with the blog will be harder than ever. Between working two "normal" jobs as well as my writing gig at Rotoworld, playing in a softball league, advancing my musical hobbies, contributing to John Burnson's wonderful Heater Magazine, churning away on upcoming TwinsCentric projects, actually watching the baseball games and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, my plate is going to be full to say the least. I share this not to elicit pity, but to inform the faithful readers of this blog that posting here may be more sporadic than ever this summer. While it has been customary over this blog's lifetime for me to have a new post up almost every weeknight around midnight for folks to read the next morning, I'm not sure it will be possible for me to stay true to that schedule this year. Instead, I'm going to have to post new entries whenever I have the opportunity to write them, whether that's on my lunch break from work, at 2 am on a Thursday night, or on a lazy Sunday afternoon. If you come here looking for a new post in the morning and don't find it, check back later in the afternoon. On my end, I'll try and do a better job of updating my Twitter account when I post new entries. Of course, you can also subscribe to the blog's RSS feed or follow through Google Reader.
As always, my favorite aspect of operating this blog over the past year has been interacting with fellow fans and bloggers. I've conversed a lot of great people online through this avenue, and was fortunate to meet many of you in person at the TwinsCentric Viewing Party back in early March. I hope to meet even more of you when we hold a similar event at Majors in Blaine this Saturday.
I don't think there's ever been a better time to be a Twins fan. The club is opening a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium that has drawn rave reviews from folks across the nation. The franchise player and reigning MVP has just been signed to a massive long-term deal. An outstanding slate of offseason moves by Bill Smith and Co. have positioned the Twins as legitimate World Series contenders and almost unanimous AL Central favorites. This is going to be an awesome season, and I'm pleased as pie that I'll be able to write about it on so many different forums.
But it all comes back to this blog, and to the loyal readers who have helped make it such a successful and satisfying venture. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you who have supported me, even by stopping by and leaving a comment from time to time.
Now, with all of that out of the way... let's play ball!