Feb
21

It’s a celebration!

By

You know, today marks the one-year anniversary of River Ave. Blues. Well, technically it was yesterday. But we’ll just pretend that February 29th already happened and call it even, okay?

Back then, on February 20, 2007, this wasn’t quite the place to be. It was Ben, Mike, me, and a dozen or so readers from our previous endeavors. And I’ll admit, it was a little frustrating at first, seeing that no one was reading. We had all been fairly visible just a few days earlier. But we traded it all in for this.

So, as the venture capitalist who was promised the world but isn’t seeing a quick return on his heavy investment, I started to sweat a little. Yes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all those other clichés about patience and hard work. But I’d been patient, and I’d worked hard. I started doing this in mid-2005, thrilled that I got 30 people a day to read me. Mike entered the game first thing in 2006, and I’m sure he had the same rush. Ben’s been doing this longer than both of us.

Slowly, the audience started building. We were getting six, seven comments on posts. People were engaging each other with well thought-out ideas. I started to get that excited feeling again. We were talking, and not only were people listening, they were interacting. Hell, I can’t tell you how many times I took an idea from the comments and developed it into a full post. And because of this interaction and give and take, we continued to grow.

I don’t want to launch into some braggardly rundown of our traffic numbers — they’re freely available at the bottom of the right sidebar, if you’re so inclined — but suffice it to say that we have more readers that I could ever have fathomed. Some participate, some just read. (Some click our ads, which is always appreciated). But whatever it is that the readers are doing, they’re blowing my mind. Why?

Because you don’t have to read this.

This isn’t the old guard, where your choice is just among the writers in the daily papers. You can choose from dozens of outlets for your news and insights. Just check out all of the Yanks blogs listed at striketwo.net. And that’s not even all of them. I’ll go out on a limb and say you can get a reasonable level of coverage from at least 10 different Yankees blogs. Yet, for some reason, you come back here. And I can’t begin to tell you how cool a feeling that is.

Honestly, I wouldn’t want to do it the other way. Throughout college, I thought I wanted to be a sports journalist. What better profession could there be, I thought. You get to watch and write about sports.

Ah, to be young and naive again. Little did I realize at the time what being a beat reporter meant. Why would I want to hang around a bunch of people who clearly didn’t want me there? It was around the time I started asking that question that I started to think that there could be another way.

Of course, I had missed the boat by a few years. Things had been moving another way. Baseball blogs were a trend long before I jumped into the game. I’m just glad I realized the potential of this platform, and didn’t try to shun it as so many in the mainstream media have.

So we are here today to celebrate a year of working with you guys to create this community that I think is the best Yankees-related one on the web. We are here to celebrate open discourse and the exchange of ideas. Yes, we take stands on certain issues, but we’re always open to an debate — just as long as you’ve got your argument straight. Anyone who’s gotten into it in the comments can tell you, it can be a hell of a lot of fun.

We’re here today to celebrate many things. But most of all, we are here to celebrate our independence.

  • Marcos

    Keep doing what your doing

    • Mark

      Thanks to a comment by Peter Gammons in his blog about you, I got wind of your sight a few weeks ago. I now look forward to your posts every morning. Keep up the great work!

  • dan

    This blog is simply amazing. I’ve been reading here since that fateful day last winter, as well as during the days of OTF, Pinstripes Pending, and the final days of IGWT. I, too was frustrated when the old host went down every other week. I rarely commented on anything you guys wrote before RAB started, but I was there lurking for much of it.

    You guys do a fantastic job writing and policing the comments fairly when necessary. When arguing with my dad about the Yankees I sometimes feel guilty for stealing ideas and such from here, and I probably do that more than I even realize.

    I can’t think of anything really inspirational or Hollywood-like to say, so I’ll just finish by saying that I hope RAB continues on for as long as possible.

  • mike

    congratulations. i’m so glad i ran across your site. it is now part of my daily reading
    ( several times a day) keep up the great stuff you guys do

  • gil

    I just started reading this blog during the end of the last season. Simply amazing. The writing is always a great read and intellectual. You guys post everyday which i is great, theres almost always something to read everyday. Simply amazing.

  • Brian

    I started reading you guys maybe six months ago, and I had no idea until now that the blog had been running such a short time. The quality, the what-we’ll-allow-and-what-we-won’t is, to me, just perfect. Thanks.

  • Pique

    This is definitely THE best Yankee fan blog out there. Love that you guys are on top of everything Yankee-related, and how you’ve managed to build up a nice community here.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, boys. We definitely appreciate it, and will continue to support you!

  • Pique

    By the way, I have noticed a trend with some fan blogs closing up shop because the authors are “burnt out”. Hope that doesn’t happen with you guys.. :-)

  • david

    i dont always comment on the posts, (as you said, some just read), but i cant put into words how much i appreciate this site. I too, visit multiple times a day, usually receiving my baseball news here before ESPN.com. I think that truly shows how on the ball you are.

    thanks, and keep on truckin’

  • Rich

    Congrats, and thank you for your work product.

  • http://aroundthemajors.blogspot.com/ Aroundthemajors

    Congrats guys, as a Yankee fan and baseball fan this is a great site that I check multiple times throughout the day, keep up the great work.

    http://aroundthemajors.blogspot.com/

  • maximumpotential

    as others have said, us Yankee fans can’t thank you enough

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

    congrats. you guys do a great job. recently, i believe it was ben who linked to my own blog and i was like, “hell yeah, RAB finally linked me lol.” see that, you guys have made your mark in the blogging circuit.

  • Doc

    Congratulations, gentlemen–keep up the good work. Between this blog and Peter Abraham’s blog, I can finally read without having the urge to spit at my monitor and rip my hair out.

  • RichYF

    Mike: So guys, my gf doesn’t read this site, so I’ll ask your opinion. (Enter long paragraph about marriage)
    Comments: “Go for it!” “Marriage is the devil”

    That was probably one of the most classic posts I’ve been a part of. I wonder what my comment was now that I think about it…

  • http://www.generationthird.com -ck

    I’ve been reading RAB since early summer. I’m not one to leave comments, but I do enjoy what you guys write. Inspired by you, PeteAbe, BronxBanter, and COH, I’ve decided to start my own Yankees blog (click on my name) this year.

    After blogging for about a week, I’ve only seen my page views go up one day, then since only average less than 10. To say the less, it’s be frustrating.

    But, after reading your post above, I feel a bit better about what I’m doing and I will continue to blog about my favorite team.

    Hats off to you guys…

  • Jeff

    Congratulations.

    I started reading after Mike guest wrote on MLBtraderumors and never looked back.

    It seems like I seldom hold the same opinion but I do enjoy the blog and the well thought out arguments.

  • DanElmaleh

    I’ve all but stopped checking The Post, Newsday, The News, The Record, ESPN and all my other sports sources thanks to you guys and MLB Trade Rumors. What else do I need? Besides some HGH.

    Seriously, I have a crazy schedule and you guys do something that really helps: simplify it. When I want my Yankees news, thoughts and opinions… I come here. Best of all I am not subjected to George “Queen” (that was a great one you guys came up with) and all the rest — who have irked me for years.

    For years I thought: I could write better than this damn columnist; half of America could. On your site, I don’t feel that way. I feel like I am reading something evolved and usually as intellectual as baseball gets. And I like the way you use stats — even the “new” stats to back things up. It makes for a better read.

    All the best!

    Melky for MVP in ’08 (just trying to start something in the comments here)!

    • TurnTwo

      agreed. i’ve all but stopped reading most of the mainstream media outlets, because i find more credible and reliable news regarding the yankees here and on PeteAbe’s site.

      keep up the great work, it’s very much appreciated.

  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees EJ

    Blogger to blogger: You guys set the trend for how and what is covered on the internet. Everyone is chasing you, and you guys have no one to chase. That’s saying something. I’m serious about this – one day in a few years, when sports blogging takes over sports print journalism as the primary medium, RAB is going to be one of those keystones that everyone points to.

    I think that you guys are up almost up to the level of making an official endorsement for the 2008 Presidential election :)

    • http://yankeesfuture.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

      amen. endorse hillary, if that’s what you want to do :)

  • MD

    a great job…very engaging….even for an old timer like me (Hank Bauer was my first right fielder)……keep it going………love to follow the kids…..

  • http://www.duelingpinstripes.wordpress.com jboogz

    Congrats on the one year. I just found htis site about two weeks ago, but its put into the Daily folder of my favorites at gets 5-6 run throughs a day to get me through work. Keep up the fantastic job.

  • Bo

    I must say this is one of the best Yank blogs out there. Good stories. Links to all the right things. Good prospect stuff. And a lack of morons on the comment board. Good all the way around.

  • Al the Man

    Congrats guys…keep up the good work

  • Chris

    Between RAB and PeteAbe’s blog, by far the 2 best yankee blogs around. And MLBTR for the offseason. Cant beat it!

  • NJYankee41

    Congrats! I always read and rarely comment, but I must say that I’m very happy that you guys put so much into this blog to make it a Yankee fan’s hub. What I like the best is thats there’s no agenda. Just objective Yankee coverage. Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.yanksblog.com Patrick

    Congrats on one year. :)

  • Jeremy

    Your readership is still growing. I just found your blog yesterday. Please keep up the good work.

  • mg

    Congrats. It’s been a heckuva year my friends. You deserve all the success you’ve had.

  • Marsha

    Congrats to River Ave. Blues. One year and going strong. One of my two favorite blogs, the other being secondavenuesagas.com!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Two sites only a mother could love.

      ;)

  • Jeff B

    I began reading this a couple times a day after the end of the season. I love your work and recommend it to every Yankee fan I meet. Keep up the great work!

  • Motown Yankee Fan

    RAB is a great blog. Thanks so much for putting it together. You guys and a few other excellent blogs make it possible to pretty much ignore the mainstream sports media. I’ve been clicking here since the beginning and I really appreciate you talking me off the ledge we all got on at the start of last season.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    I know we thanked y’all in the post, but I gotta do it again. Seriously, these comments make doing this worth it. If I wasn’t po’, I’d buy all of you a beer.

    • dan

      We should be the ones buying beer for the three of you.

  • Mrs. Peterson-Kekich

    I stumbled upon this a few months ago, started reading because of the “Save the Big Three” campaign (exactly how I felt) and have stayed for the great writing. Bravo!

  • http://www.yanksblog.com James Varghese

    Been here since the start (and before for each of your ind. blogs). You guys are great – keep doing what you’re doing…and if you’re ever in Philly, I owe you guys a beer.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      You were one of my 13 readers back in the day!

  • Cam

    I guess I got into the blog thing a little late as well, not discovering Pete Abe’s until the first couple of months of last year. For weeks, his was the only Yankee blog I read. Then one day, I looked over to the right and scanned the list of other Yanks blogs he liked. I just happened to pick yours because I liked the name the best. Fast forward by almost a year, and if I have time to check two websites, and two only, it’s Lohud and this one. Thanks for all the hard work, and can’t wait to follow you guys through the whole season!

  • Luke S.

    Congratulations! Who knows what form sports journalism will be taking in the days and years to come?

    I visit this blog more than daily; it is on my short list, because you guys do a tremendous job. Keep it up!

  • http://keephughes.blogspot.com/ Larry

    Congrats to Ben, Mike and Joe. Between our love of Phil Hughes (for the record, I did beat you guys to the punch with Save Phil Hughes, but you took it to the next level with Saving the Big Three) and the fact that not a day goes by that I don’t send at least one of your posts around to my Yankee people with a preamble about how the River Ave. Blues guys once again summarized exactly how I feel about a Yankee-related issue, I can’t help but feel like we occasionally share the same brain.

    Stop me if this sounds weird, but despite never having met any of you, I feel like you guys would be a blast to watch a game with. Perhaps you guys can organize a River Ave. Blues day at the Stadium or at a bar for those of us who’d like to hang out and catch a game with you.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      Larry, I can confidently say that such plans are in the works.

      • mg

        Yep. It’s gonna happen. Date is set. Firming up tix.

  • http://btcoletti.com BTC

    baseball is my addiction
    the yankees are my drug of choice
    and rab is one of my faithful suppliers…

    thank you

  • http://scottproctorsarm.blogspot.com Andrew

    I wish I got as many hits/comments as you guys.

    Congratulations on one year!

  • rbizzler

    Congrats fellas! I have been reading since the IGWT days as I was living as an ex-pat in Vancouver, BC and needed a little taste of home to keep me grounded. RAB has become the best (non-beat writer) Yankees blog on the interwebs (sorry, Bronx Banter), and has enhanced my enjoyment of following the most storied (and hated – I live outside of the tri-state area) franchise in professional sports.

    Keep us posted on the details of the RAB stadium/bar outing…

  • Barry

    Congratulations, I read because I won’t tear down Yankee Stadium either.

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

    I too know exactly how it feels. I have started a blog a few months back and whenever i see the ammount of traffic that I get.(Suprisingly allot) I too swell with pride that people actually take their time and read what i have to say. So I know the feeling and Im happy for you.
    I would like to tell you that R.A.B. is a part of of my hourly schedule. whether its on my computer in work or on my cell phone on the subway. I dont know what it is. but you guys are awesome.
    Keep up whatever your doing.

    All the best
    Sam I Am

  • Joey

    I ran into you guys awhile ago (months), back then I read Neyer’s and Olney’s blogs on ESPN. In one of Rob’s chats once he mentioned his love for Shysterball (which is 1 of my 3 “daily stops” along with RAB and Pete’s LoHud blog).

    I read Shyster for awhile and wanted more blogging on my Yankees (like many of you it’s beyond obsession and love at this point). So I e-mailed him and asked about any Yank related blog and he responded within minutes (really cool guy by the way). He recommended you guys, and I have been here ever since.

    Of course I read other Yanks blogs besides you guys and LoHud, but those are all second tier, your opinions and takes on everything are by far the best and you have no idea how much I appreciate your entries every day. Keep it up, you guys are the best!

  • http://www.globestompers.com Julie

    Congrats guys! I met Ben at a blogger´s summit about a year ago and I´ve been a loyal RAB reader ever since. Because of you guys, I went from being just a casual fan to someone who knows exactly why Phil Hughes should be on the team instead of Santana. For this, thank you. Keep up the good work!

  • Count Zero

    Happy Anniversary!

    I don’t think I hooked up here for my fix until July, so I was late to the dance. And I still read a few others, including my original haunting grounds at Banter. But your blog is definitely tops among all Yankee blogs IMO. You stay on top of breaking news, you offer super insight on players and management, and you have great prospect coverage.

    While some Yankee blogs do one or two things well — no one else does everything as well as you do. Keep up the good work.

  • Pingback: Breaking Balls » Spring Sparring

  • Pingback: River Ave. Blues | Hughes: I blog for the fans

  • Pingback: River Avenue Blues, A New York Yankees Blog :: River Avenue Blues