Hughes: I blog for the fans

Hank speaks out in support of Cash-money
Meet the new guys: Bobby Meacham

As we creep into our second year at RAB, I often think about why we blog. As many of you know, we’re rather prolific, for better or worse, and it’s no small investment of time to go along with the day jobs the three of us have. So why do it?

For me, at least, the answer’s fairly simple: I love baseball; I love talking about baseball; and I love writing and sharing my thoughts about baseball. This is our version — a hopefully high-brow version — of sports radio. We can write and talk about baseball, and we’re all Yankee fans.

But what about the players who are also bloggers? What’s their motivation?

In today’s Times, Tyler Kepner posted that very same question to Phil Hughes. Hughes’ new site — The Phil Hughes Weblog — is a site very much in tune with this generation of bloggers. Hughes is about three years younger than the youngest of us, and for him, much like millions of people writing on WordPress.com, Blogger, Tumblr or elsewhere, keeping a blog just seemed like the best way to get himself out there.

His answers to Kepner’s questions are very revealing. “The fans are very important to me,” Hughes said to Kepner. “Without them, I wouldn’t have a job, basically. I try to give back as much as I can. It’s almost a no-brainer.”

The rest of the piece — a profile on the blog — is both illuminated and amusing. Kepner on Derek Jeter‘s reaction:

Jeter smiled when asked if he had thought about maintaining a true blog. “That’s too much for me to worry about,” said Jeter, who was in sixth grade when Hughes was born. Maybe, he mused, there was a generation gap.

And Kepner on Brian Cashman‘s reaction and Hughes’ intentions:

General Manager Brian Cashman said he had concerns about players maintaining Web sites that could embarrass the team. Cashman added that he would rather not have players breaking news; Curt Schilling of the Red Sox has done that on his blog, 38pitches.com.

But for now, Cashman has no reason to worry. Hughes says he has no plans to detail each start, the way Schilling does, and the only news he broke was his change in uniform number (to 34 from 65), which he revealed this month.

“Fans get enough baseball information from you guys; that’s your job,” Hughes said, referring to the news media. “I don’t try to do any of that. I want them to feel they have a connection with me. That’s kind of the main idea.

“To me, baseball players always seemed so larger than life. I guess one of the points I’m trying to make is that it’s not really that way. You can idolize players, but you realize they’re just guys. That’s kind of what I want to get across. I’m not any better than anybody else. I just happen to have this ability that not many other people have.”

Basically, then, Hughes is doing what any other 20-something with an Internet connection is doing these days: He’s blogging about his life.

For the fans, then, Hughes’ blog makes him more human and more accessible. More than just a young phenom pitcher on the Yankees, he’s Phil Hughes, a real person who got excited, as we all did, when David Tyree pulled down that pass from Eli Manning a few weeks ago.

With Spring Training upon us, who knows what the future holds for Hughes’ blog? Baseball players find themselves rather busy, spending 81 of 162 games on the road. But now we know why Hughes blogs. Just like the rest of us, he wants to share.

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Hank speaks out in support of Cash-money
Meet the new guys: Bobby Meacham
  • dan

    Just curious guys, about how much money does it cost to maintain this blog (or your past non-free blogs, if you don’t want to share)?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      A few hundred dollars every few months for hosting costs. It’s gone up considerably as traffic’s increased.

  • http://aroundthemajors.blogspot.com/ Around the Majors

    And it’s great to see some players want to be that close with fans.

  • http://www.thebronxzoo.wordpress.com iYankees

    nice post guys. blogging is a strange phenomenon. you often wonder why you do it and invest so much time and effort into it. then, when you simply stop to think about it, even for a moment, the answer is just so apparent you wonder why you even asked yourself the question. i agree, baseball blogging is a fun and hopefully quality manner in which to be heard about one of your favorite things. also, it’s just cool to get information out to people, quickly. good stuff.

  • steve

    yea thanks guys for having this blog, along with all the other yankee blogs. if it wasn’t for these yankee blogs i’d spend alot of my day- well i, dont know what i would be doing.

    • steve (different one)

      working?

  • http://www.samiamsports.blogspot.com samiamsports

    Not only does phil blog as im sure you all know, he gives away free stuff all the time for example the game ball he used in the playoffs signed and a team autograghed ball and his practice jersey. this guy is just very cool. Im starting to see what the yanx were talking about when they said hes a down to earth guy that has dominant ability. lets just hope we did the right thing by not trading him for santana. only time will tell

  • mooks

    This has to be disturbing if you are a member of the media.

    In theory, Hughes could give interviews to his teamates, interviews that are friendly, and interviews that those players might not want to give the mainstream media, so as to avoid hardball questions.

    Also in theory, as this becomes more popular, players could start cutting out the press, and start reporting on themselves directly to the fans. The idea of treating the press as the middleman and cutting them out, is not something that appeals to reporters.

    But it does appeal to the agents of said players, who could also see money making potential from the players operating their own blogs, selling merchandise, etc which would be driven by high traffic.

    And thats not even getting to the big fear a reporter might have, that big news stories might get broken, or scoops dished out, on that players blog.

    Downside is reporters would probably react in a negative manner in regards to coverage of the team and player (whom is now becoming a competitor as much as a ssubject).

  • Lex R.

    :)

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