Monday, December 5, 2011

Thanks For A Great 5 Seasons

This is my last post. DV has one more tomorrow, and that's it for new content on this website. Before that happens I wanted to say a few words to wrap things up on my end.

I first met DV in September of 2003. Oddly enough - as we would go on to author a website together for 5 years - it was in a Freshman Composition/Writing Requirement class in college. I remember talking a little bit about the 2003 ALCS, but on a very general level given that we didn't know each other that well yet (there was no trash talking that I can recall, nothing like what it would be like if a series like that occurred now). DV was authoring a different website at the time, and I remember him giving me the link and me checking it out.

The first acute conversation I remember having with DV about baseball was the day the Yankees traded for Javier Vazquez (the first time). We had class that day (it was actually our last day of class, I think), and I remember I was somewhat reserved about the signing (remember this was back when the Yankees were going to the World Series every year, and getting a lion's share of the bigtime free agents and trade candidates). DV, on the other hand, was flipping out. Capital letters. I remember him pointing out that Vazquez's 241 strikeouts were 3rd to only Kerry Wood and Mark Prior in the game that year, and that he was not happy that the Yankees closed this deal after besting the Red Sox in the ALCS. Little did I know this was the first of many DV flip outs I would witness, and that it was extremely tame in comparison to what he is capable of.

From that point forward DV and I talked baseball a lot for the next 3 years. At the athletic center crossing paths to and from basketball/track practice, around campus (anytime I picked up a package at the mailroom when DV was working was always a great time to get him riled up about whatever Red Sox related issue he was ticked off about at the time), and lots, and lots, and lots of AIM conversations.

Like any sports fanatic in college, I was having similar conversations with other people. Bandi, The Gunn, Kaplan, The Big Ticket, TimC, and on and on. In large part this site was just a continuation of those conversations, just with the ability to include everyone in them at once. And that was, without question, the best part of this project for me. This site never became widely popular, and I'm not sure we ever intended for it to be. It was a place to continue to talk Yankees/Red Sox, baseball, and sports with our buddies after college just like we did in college, with a few others joining and adding to the conversation along the way.

For that DV and I have to thank our readers. All of them, and especially the group that came to read and comment pretty much every day. A few people have made comments during DV's (excellent) Greatest Hits series about realizing how often they commented. And that's absolutely correct. There is no way DV and I would have written posts for this long if we weren't debating those posts in the comments section. I mean, a lot of the time we didn't even talk about the content of the posts. We just talked about whatever somebody felt like talking about.

And that's what made this site worthwhile to maintain for five baseball seasons. Sports is an outlet for me, a hobby, a fun diversion from the things in life that are actually serious. The Yankees are my favorite team, and baseball is my favorite outlet/hobby/diversion, and this was a place to talk about the Yankees and baseball with some really knowledgeable baseball fans.

I'm not sure exactly why DV and I decided to start this site. I remember him interning at a radio station, talking about how cool it would be to have a talk show, and that morphing into the idea of maybe having a website. I remember grabbing lunch together at the dining hall one time to discuss logistics, DV coming up with the name How Youz Doin Baseball (based on the fact that I was always using sayings like that at the time), DV wrote our first post, and away we went. Whatever the exact reasoning was, I'm glad we did it. I had a lot of fun with this, my baseball knowledge increased greatly as a result, and my overall Yankees/baseball following experience was enhanced. This was primarily because of the people that came to read and comment.

Of course, I owe a big thanks to DV as well. His energy, abilities as a writer, baseball knowledge, and passion for the Red Sox were a huge part of starting this site and maintaining it for as long as we did. He put a lot of time and effort into this, and anyone who enjoyed this site can tip there hat to him for making it happen. So thanks, DV.

The best part about all of this is that, since we all pretty much know each other, the sports conversation is not stopping. We're just not using this as the forum anymore. Thank you to everyone who read and contributed to this site for the last five years. I appreciate it, and I know DV does as well. This was a worthwhile project and a lot of fun for the last five baseball seasons. Most importantly, I look forward to discussing the 2012 season with everyone. Go Yankees.

6 comments:

The GM said...

PF,

Glad you got a chance to put this one up tonight instead of tomorrow morning, because I don't think I'm going to have Internet access tomorrow.

As far as the 2003 ALCS goes, I don't remember too much about what you said, but I do remember some punk freshman popping his mouth off on the Digest of Civil Discourse. His name was Ross Kaplan.

I do not remember the specific Javier Vazquez conversation, but it does sound like something I would say at the time. And things that were true then are still true now: The Red Sox still get their butts whupped every time they get into a close negotiation. Awful. Thankfully for me, Vazquez didn't really work out. I guess the second time, it was more debatable. Obviously, because we debated it for about a month on this blog.

You cannot say you were that less prone to flipping out than I was. It has been a long time since I've destroyed any property of tangible value over a baseball game, and you cannot say the same about yourself.

Regarding the beginning of college, I do remember coming home to Boston, and a lot of my friends were really just getting into baseball then (Eminem concerts and watching The Simpsons religiously). I found myself agreeing with the Irish kid from Jersey more than I agreed with my fellow Red Sox fans. Especially during those contentious times between the teams and, frankly, their fan bases, I found that equally weird and cool. Even though we eventually differed greatly on many issues (AJ Burnett, steroids, Pedro Martinez, Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira), the fact that we were equally frustrated by our respective teams' unwillingness to eschew shiny things (like Roger Clemens or a center fielder with a funny name!!1) and take a long-term approach toward building a roster united us. Very few of your people in New York got it, and even fewer of my people in Boston got it. But you got it and I got it, and that's part of why we pounded away at our keyboards until all hours of the night on AOL Instant Messenger between the years 2004 and 2007.

I'd say that now that we can look back at our 1,644 published posts (and 1 post yet to be published), we've put together a body of work that is rivaled by very few. But more importantly, you're right. It was a very pleasant distraction. I'm sure that we're both quite content about what we do during the day, but I'm very afraid of what life's going to be like when it's ten straight hours of business consulting instead of 2 hours consulting, 10 minutes of baseball, repeat four or five. I might have to start reading Peter Gammons's stuff again. Think about this: because of this blog, I've even started to give a crap about what St. John's basketball does. That's disgusting.

Ross Kaplan said...

I have to admit, I relished my role as that punk freshman and my continuing role as a Digest of Civil Discourse hell raiser even if it resulted in my Sophomore year roommate, Adam Roslyn, having to unplug our room phone when the angry calls got too much for him.

Before Colby I don't recall even personally knowing a Red Sox fan, but that all changed even before I arrived on campus. As former commenter Alan "O-Town" Ozarowski can tell you, I was taunting Red Sox fans on those accepted freshman message boards which was the only method of communicating with your soon to be classmates before Facebook came to be. Then as we all know the Digest became my outlet of my choice, but after the longest Yankees World Series drought of my childhood and the disastrous 2004 playoffs I could no longer pop my mouth off.

Thankfully for me I had met DV through I want to say Chris Appel, but I forget exactly how and Pat through the Bandit and How Youz Doin became my website of choice for venting my feelings about the Yankees and the rest as they say is history.

The GM said...

Tank,

I disliked you before I even knew who you are. While the Yankees were starting to become a sinking ship right around the time we got to college, you were one of those 1999-2000 era old-time trash-talking Yankee fans. Believe me, if I weighed more than a hundred and thirty pounds, I would have Rock Bottomed you as much as the rest of those guys who actually hit puberty did. I was among the mob trying to break down your door when you locked yourself in your room after the 2004 ALCS. I was dumbfounded to find out that you were actually not only a half-decent human being, but a pretty darn insightful baseball person as well. It's been a pleasure to have had you aboard for this long. Good luck in your search for a new outlet to pop off controversial remarks. Just make sure it's not Occupy Wall Street.

Anonymous said...

DV,

I totally forgot that we went to Kaplan's dorm room after the 2004 ALCS. Hilarious. He was growling in there for sure.

Thanks very much to DV and PF for running this blog. It was a lot of work. Thank you to everyone else for commenting.

For me, this blog has been just as much about the people that commented as the topics themselves. In a lot of ways, the first 5 years post college is a not always easy "Welcome to the Real World" experience. Being able to go back and debate sports like we were still sitting in a dorm room or at a dining hall table was great and was a way to keep one very small part of the college experience going. It kept us connected. Hopefully we will continue to be connected moving forward.

God bless and good luck.

Bandi

Anonymous said...

PF/DV

It wouldn't be a classic comments section if Ross didn't absolutely butcher some grammar/punctuation.

I want to echo some of the same sentiments that others have mentioned--I always felt like I was talking to my friends in a dorm room whenever I came by this space. I don't think you can put a value on that.

I'll say more tomorrow when the final post comes out.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

Bandi,

Don't know about you, but I moved out of my parents' Grafton mansion once I got my immediate $75,000 job at age 23. I mean, my employers saw that Colgate undergraduate degree and started kissing my feet. "Welcome to the Real World" was really not hard for me.

What's one more Scott Nicholson reference among friends?

Gunn, I don't know if it's going to be an email thread with a bunch of reply-alls or reply-selecteds, but I hope all the regulars stay in touch with the same contribution level throughout the 2012 season and beyond.