Beerleaguer is among 64 blogs vying for top billing in the bracket-style tournament you read about earlier. That’s a boatload, and bear in mind that for every active blog there are a dozen dead ones. In addition, the Phield doesn’t include news sites, message boards, facebook pages and Twitter feeds fighting for your attention. More is less to this observer. More makes it harder for good work to stand out (example of good work here). At this stage, it’s inexplicable that major hubs like ESPN, Comcast, FoxSports (which is an advertising affiliate of this space) and other entities are duking it out to absorb guys like us. The time for that was four years ago. Online success can be extremely fleeting, but above that, the technology changes so rapidly. Personally, if I’d put my chips on a blog today, it would be the hilarious thefightins.com, but if you asked me the same question a year from now, it would be some other site. There’s always someone ready to do it better and faster, and if I’m being honest, Beerleaguer is closer to the end than the beginning, at least in its current state. In addition, Twitter has become an industry equalizer. It’s monopolized the market for spontaneous conversation, which used to be the primary page driver for sites like this one. Twitter has also transformed the way we receive news. It's instant, which means it trumps Google for breaking news and real-time search. Truthfully, if it isn’t linked on Twitter, I won’t see it, since my lifestyle has forced me to rely on a smart phone. It also means that 140 character bursts will do, and often a headline or short burst is good enough to skip the hassle of clicking into the hub. No clicks mean no eyeballs. No eyeballs mean no revenue. In other words, I have no idea which way the wheel is spinning, and neither does anyone else.
But I digress. This rant started when I set out to write about Ryan Howard’s batting stance, then discovered that no fewer than 10 writers had done the same. I’ve posted a photo, and that will have to do. (He looks like a totally different player, doesn't he?)
Links: Speaking of hubs, I’ve been getting into MLB Fanhouse lately. It’s solid work for a fairly new startup and can be a good source of unique information, including the articles penned by ex-scout Frankie Piliere (Ed Price is also a worthy national guy). Earlier this winter, Piliere rated Kyle Drabek (14) ahead of Domonic Brown (19) among all prospects, and rated the Phillies’ organization a humbling 17th overall. Follow this link to read his recent piece about low-level right-hander Juan Sosa. On a related note, Jim Salisbury has made CSNPhilly worth a frequent visit since signing on in November. I suppose he was producing the same quality work at the Inky, but CSN has leveraged it better. Read Sully’s piece on electric-arm prospect Jarred Cosart here.
Game chat: J.A. Happ and the Phiilies are in Disney World to take on the Braves in a game that will air on ESPN. The Phillies lead all National League teams in ERA (3.38) and fewest hits allowed (150), according to new Inquirer beat scribe Matt Gelb. He also notes that Danys Baez, David Herndon and Chad Durbin have not allowed runs. Baez and Herndon are scheduled to pitch today.