Way Too Many Words: An Introduction to my Blog

The last thing the internet needs is another blowhard spitting hot takes. And yet – here I am! Why? Why am I writing a blog in 2017?

Mostly, I’m keeping my writing skills sharp. As someone who teaches and coaches writers, it’s important for me to keep writing. Otherwise, I might end up one of those old, burnt-out professors making too much money at a prestigious university. Not that I know any of those…

I still pick up occasional freelance gigs, but those are written to meet a need. I don’t get to flex my writing chops on those assignments. I’m going to do that here instead.

I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the world, on a semi-regular basis. I’m probably going to spend time shamelessly promoting my nonprofit, Greening Lodi, but it’s for a good cause! I’m definitely going to spit some hot takes. But mostly, I’m going to write too many words, as I have throughout my journalism career. Normally, those words are butchered by an editor. But there are no editors here, so whee!

To kick off this fancy blog, we’re having a very special event. In fact, I think it deserves its own graphic. Ladies and gentlemen, I present…

I’m adventurous and spontaneous, and also rapidly approaching the start of a new semester. And even though I love teaching – my vacation is almost over! There’s just enough time for one quick roadtrip. And there’s a special guest joining me to be the Dr. Gonzo to my Hunter S. Thompson. I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate road-mate. But more on that later! First, it’s…

STORY TIME

Here’s my first hot take: There are only two kinds of baseball fans:

A) Those who casually enjoy the game, enough to own 1-2 team hats.

B) Those who Love the game, with a capital L.

You’re either an enormous baseball fan, who covets collectible bobbleheads and knows the meaning of O.P.S.; OR, you attend a couple of games a year and barely remember the names of your best players. There is no in-between.

Now, before you write me an angry email to disagree, let me issue a disclaimer: this is just my observation of a trend. There are always exceptions to every rule.

I’m sure a handful of baseball fans are in-the-middle. But for 90 percent of fans, I think you fall into one of two camps: the Casual, or the Diehard.

And the Diehards are serious, man. These include Hot Takers who cry about the “sanctity of the game!” These are the nerds who keep score at the game (Ed. Note – the author has definitely done this before). The dorks who absolutely insist the NL cannot have the Designated Hitter. And dweebs that rail against the wave, which was invented in Oakland and is totally fine and harmless – as long as the home team isn’t rallying.

All baseball writers are automatic Diehards. I was a college sportswriter, and most sportswriters compose news stories about their sports. But not baseball writers; they write poetry.

I consider myself a Diehard, because I cannot remember how many times I have cried man tears during a baseball game, both at the stadium and at home. I love baseball, because as fellow Diehard Will Leitch once wrote about the Cardinals, “Nothing else in life makes me spontaneously break into screams like sports does… It is all you could want from sports; it is all you could want out of life.” See what I mean? Poetry.

Sports matter for the same reason anything matters; because of the way they make us feel. Because of the memories we associate with the game, and our team. Because of the joy and tears we share with our fellow fans. I love being a sports fan, and I especially love baseball. I write poetry about it, too.

And us baseball poets do things like take roadtrips to see as many baseball stadiums as possible. It’s a popular trend for diehards. There’s even an excellent website (the aptly named Baseball-RoadTrip.Com) that will help you plan your whole roadtrip, including minor league stadiums. I recommend it.

The number of stadiums you visit is up the travelers (and their budgets). Some lucky (or fearless) individuals try to see all 30 stadiums in one season. I’ve heard it can be accomplished in as little as 40 days. As an adjunct instructor, I don’t have that kind of budget or time. But I’ve got enough time to see quite a few stadiums, and I’m just crazy enough to do it.

But I don’t like traveling alone, and I needed an equally nutty individual to accompany me. I am ecstatic to announce that my travel companion will be the incomparable Jordan Guinn!

Not only have Jordan and I been friends for a decade, we were also college writers on the same staff. The State Hornet was once privileged enough to have us both putting hot takes in print. In fact, we once sparred in rival opinion columns. Those were fun days.

Look at these dorks (2008)

And like me, Jordan doesn’t get to write his own opinions much these days, aside from his acerbic Twitter feed. Therefore, he’ll also be guest-blogging the roadtrip with me. I am not responsible for his content! But I’m excited to read the twisted ramblings of Mr. Sunshine; the living embodiment of Eeyore; the peerless Jordan Guinn. (I love coming up with nicknames for him)

We’re touring the Midwest, traveling approximately 1,742 miles across six states in five days. We’re getting air-dropped into Detroit on Wednesday morning and immediately hitting the road. Our first stop will be Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. We’ll see the Indians take on the Colorado Rockies.

That’s all I’m going to reveal for now – have to keep you in suspense. Is that cheesy? Oh well, start your own website then! I have to make sure this website has enough #content.

There will be more to come, from both me and Jordan “Just Guinn and Bear it.” For now, I’ll leave you with a segment from Ken Burns’ Baseball. It’s a great documentary; but if you’re a Diehard, you probably already knew that.

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