Archive for Administrative Stuff
Today at 11:30 you’ll see something new on RAB. It’s a byline that you might find familiar, just not around these parts. In the next week or so you’ll notice a few more of these new bylines popping up. River Ave. Blues is expanding, and we’re excited to announce a pair of new writers, plus a new twist on a current one.
The first one you’ll see is Larry Koestler. Mike, Ben, and I have known Larry for a long, long time. You might have known him from Yankeeist and then The Yankee Analysts. We like his work all the way back in his Save Phil Hughes days — he even did a guest post for us a while ago. Now he’s part of the RAB team, and will bring his consistently well-researched articles to us on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays — and perhaps more if he has the itch. If you’re not doing so already, make sure to follow Larry on Twitter: @Larry_Koestler.
Next on the list is Larry’s partner in crime, TYA co-founder Moshe Mandel. We’ve followed Moshe from his days at the The Yankee U through TYA. In fact, he succeeded Ben and I on the now-defunct MVN Yankees blog, The Bronx Block. (In our day it was Off The Facade.) If you follow Moshe’s Twitter account — @MosheRAB — you might know that he’s a recent Harvard Law grad and is on his way to a fancy schmantz job in January. Because of that he’ll post a bit less frequently: Tuesdays and Sundays. He’s on vacation this week, though, so you’ll have to wait until next week for his debut.
With new contributors on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, we thought one final contributor for Thursdays made sense. Turns out the perfect candidate for the job was right under our noses. You might know Stephen Rhoads from his weekend posts. Now he’s sliding into Thursdays so we can more prominently feature his work. He actually got a head start this week, so his regular spot is already in place. You can find him on Twitter at @sprotster.
Please, folks, give a warm welcome to the new guys. Their voices will add variety to the RAB experience, expanding discussions and providing different angles on the subjects we cover every day.
Now that we have a more robust weekday staff, we decided to install some sense of order. With just Mike, Ben, and me previously on weekdays there wasn’t much need for a hierarchy. We all founded the site and we all took care of business. But with six contributors during the week we need a figurehead. It is with great pleasure that I introduce River Ave. Blues’s first Editor-In-Chief, Mike Axisa. He’s really grabbed the reigns of RAB in 2011, and now he’s the big boss.
While this announcement represents a significant change at RAB, we clearly believe that it will create a more enjoyable experience. Larry, Moshe, and Stephen all have distinct voices that will add variety to the site that we just couldn’t achieve with the three of us. It also takes a little of the load off Mike and me, though most notably Mike. That frees us up to take care of other RAB projects, which we also know you’ll enjoy. There are some exciting times ahead for all of us. We’re thankful that you’ve all come along for the ride.
Just bumping this up top as a reminder. You can still attend the event if you’re under 21, you just have to check in when you get there. They’ll give you a bracelet so they know not to serve you alcohol, but that’s better than not attending.
Last July, we got together with the crew from FanGraphs (and various Mets bloggers) for the first ever FanGraphs Live Discussion. There were a total of four panels and ours basically discussed the state of the team and what not (recap here), and the only complaint seemed to be that it ended too early. We had to be out of Florence Gould Hall by I think noon, otherwise we could have talked for hours. A great time was had by all.
FanGraphs has done a number of Live Discussions since then, and they’ll be coming back to New York this Sunday. This one will be much more informal, no panels or anything. It’ll just be a bunch of us baseball nerds talking about baseball. All the details can be found here, but here’s the nuts and bolts…
Time: 1pm ET (until whenever)
Date: Sunday, Sept. 25th
Location: Amity Hall
Ben, Joe, and I will be there, as will a few FanGraphers, Mets bloggers, etc. Best of all? It’s free! The last event was something like $10 a person, right? No worries this time though, just show up (the entire downstairs is reserved) and enjoy the happy hour prices and baseball talk (and watching, of course the game will be on). Don’t worry, we’ll post a reminder later in the week, but I just wanted to get this on your radar.
As you sip your coffee and read the Sunday paper this morning, thousands of runners, joggers and walkers will be making their way through a 5k course that will take them throughout Yankee Stadium. Participants will queue up on the 100 level and start their race by making two laps around. They’ll then run through the sub-zero level of the stadium, and exit between the bullpen and Monument Park onto the actual warning track on the field. After making two laps around the field, no doubt imagining the roars of the crowd from their diving catches in center field, participants will go through a complex route that will take them up the stadium stairs and around various concourses, back down ramps, back up the stairs, and back down ramps again. They’ll finish in the Great Hall, having run 3.1 miles and climbing over 260 stairs.
The whole point of this 5K, aside from running inside Yankee Stadium, aside from the lovely torture of stadium stair-running on an August morning, is to raise money for cancer research. The beneficiary is the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. This Foundation identifies young, promising scientists in the field of cancer research and provides financial support to allow them to pursue new and creative attempts to cure the disease. Since 1946, the Foundation has invested over $240 million in cancer research. As their website says, “Our alumni include 11 Nobel Laureates and leaders of major cancer centers across the United States. Many of our 3,300 scientists have gone on to make breakthroughs in the way we prevent, diagnose and treat many forms of cancer.” You can read more about their most notable accomplishments here. As of late this week over $590,000 had been raised for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.
It’s too late for readers to join in on the Yankee Stadium 5K, of course. As you read this, I’ll likely have completed my assault on the course and will be receiving oxygen and an IV in the back of an ambulance. It’s not too late to lend your support to the cause of cancer research. Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer. It’s a nasty, terrible disease. Thanks to the way this Foundation has been set up, 100% of any donation made to the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation goes directly to cancer research. The overhead and operating expenses are paid out of the endowment and their Broadway Tickets program. Pretty cool, huh? It’s good to know that every dollar you give goes directly to stopping cancer.
I’ve paid some of my own money to the Foundation to enter this 5K, and I’ll be out there this morning doing my best in the race. If you’re interested in supporting the Foundation, you can donate via my personal page here. Thanks for considering it, and please wish me luck. I’ll update the post with my results when I’m done.
**UPDATE** By unofficial results I finished 14th overall with a time of 21:40. The winning time was a few seconds over 19 minutes. Thanks to everyone who supported the cause!
Wednesday: The group filled up rather quickly yesterday, but they upped it from 100 to 500 spots for us. So if you missed out yesterday, there’s plenty of openings now.
Tuesday: Just a heads up for all you fantasy baseball players out there, I created an official RAB Ottoneu Pick Six group for everyone to join. What the hell is Pick Six? It’s a daily fantasy game held a FanGraphs where you get $120 a day (fake money, in case it wasn’t obvious) to buy one catcher, one corner infielder, one middle infielder, one outfielder, one starting pitcher, and one reliever, and then whoever has the most points at the end of the day wins. It’s simple. The scoring is explained here, achievements here. There are no prizes, just daily bragging rights. It takes two minutes a day and is highly addictive, you are forewarned.
All you have to do to join the group is log in with your FanGraphs user id (create one here), click join groups, then look for River Ave. Blues. The password is simply: riveraveblues. There are 100 total spots in the group (that’s the max) and one is me, so 99 are up for grabs. It’s a lot of fun and the game itself is great, so I recommend playing even if you don’t join the RAB group. (thanks to former weekend
site ruiner writer Steve H. for the idea)
Since December Mike and I have tried something new in podcasting. Instead of running the normal weekly segment, we went with a daily format. The thought was that there’s so much to talk about with the Yankees that we could easily record a 20-minute episode every day and still have plenty of leftover content. For six months we made that work. Unfortunately, the experiment ends here.
It takes time every morning to record and produce the show, and unfortunately we’ve gotten to the point where we can’t justify using that time on the podcast. We have plenty of other responsibilities, both to RAB and elsewhere, and the podcast cuts into those. It’s really a matter of prioritization, and we think that the podcast shouldn’t get the priority it has received in the last six months, given what we’ve been able to estimate from our listenership.
The podcast isn’t completely going in the toilet, though. We’re still going to produce a traditional podcast every Thursday. It will run a bit longer, but I’ll make sure to create an alternate version that will include a bookmarkable file (so that your iPod will remember where you left off). It also figures to be more organized and feature more guests.
We now send you back to your normal content. For Mike, I’m Joe, and we’ll talk to you on Thursday.
After months of spotty service and less-than-satisfactory support from our current web hosting company, we’re finally making the move to our new host. This move will require some downtime this evening, and from 1 a.m. Eastern Time onward, River Ave. Blues will likely be inaccessible. We hope to have the site back up and running by 2 a.m. We schedule the move for Saturday morning/Friday night to minimize disruptions, and we’ll be back up as soon as possible. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your patience.
Please note that we’ll be leaving this post on top of the site until the server switch is complete. Make sure to scroll down for new content.
Update (4/13/2011): Just bumping this up in case anyone missed it. I replied to every pledge email I received with a real short “great, thanks,” or something to that effect. That’s just to confirm I’ve received your email. If you emailed a pledge and did NOT get my reply this afternoon, then please resend it. I’m worried the spam filter might be catching stuff it shouldn’t. Thanks.
Original Post (4/7/2011): In each of the last three years, we’ve helped raise money for various charities backed by prominent Yankees, both current or former. Three years ago it was The Jorge Posada Foundation, two years ago it was Joe Torre’s Safe At Home Foundation, and last year it was Curtis Granderson‘s Grand Kids Foundation.
This year we’re going to help raise money for Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School, a foundation that launched a “capital campaign to build an innovative mixed-use facility in East Harlem, New York City, a community that lacks the resources needed for young people to thrive.” The new facility will house “program and office space for Harlem RBI, a permanent home for DREAM Charter School, low-income housing for East Harlem families and a public park in which the community can Play, Learn and Grow.” Mark Teixeira continues to work closely with the organization (which you can learn more about at its website), announcing yesterday that he’s donated $1M to the cause.
We’re not going to raise that much money, but every little bit helps. We’re going to base this year’s pledge drive on Tex’s RBI total, which hasn’t been below 105 since his rookie season in 2003. If you pledge $0.25 per RBI and he has a season on par with his 162-game career average (121 RBI), your pledge will be just $30.25. See? That won’t hurt your wallet much. Plus it’s a charitable donation, so it’s tax deductible. You could pledge less or more, whatever suits you best.
If you wish to pledge this year, just shoot me an email at charity (at) riveraveblues (dot) com and let me know how much you wish the pledge per RBI. I’ll then collect the pledges after the season and donate everything to Harlem RBI & DREAM. Thanks in advance, and go Yankees!
Since late February in 2007, long before Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia were Yankees, long before we knew about Manuel Banuelos or the power of Kevin Long, Joe, Mike and I began RAB as an experiment in blogging. We had been writing for various other outlets and thought we could do a better job on our own site. Since then, we’ve followed four baseball seasons, penned over 11,200 posts, received 950,000 comments and see 1.2 million of you reload the site every month.
For years, RAB has been a labor of love. We earned some money off of advertising, but it’s not enough to run the site full time. Mike has worked as an engineer and writer for MLB Trade Rumors and FanGraphs; Joe has a day job as a tech/mobile phone writer and also contributes to FanGraphs; I’m in law school and recently picked up a gig at Baseball Prospectus. Still, we’d love to focus on River Ave. Blues as a full-time venture, and so we announce today a trailblazing path in baseball blogging: The RAB paywall.
Drawing inspiration from The New York Times’ recent foray into charging for web content, we’ll be doing the same. After all, while free content is a nice benefit of the Internet, those who produce the content need to be adequately compensated for their time and energy.
So how will this work? First, the good part: Some of our articles will be free. You can still enjoy game threads and open threads as well as the numerous asides we post. Those aren’t going anywhere. But long-form pieces and recaps will fall behind the paywall. Our readers too can access a certain number of free posts per month. Here’s how it works:
- 27 free articles per month. After 27, you can buy a monthly subscription for $3.14.
- 42 free comments per year. After exceeding that total, commenters can purchase an annual unlimited account for $19.23.
Of course, we’ll also offer some bonuses as The Times is doing. Those of you who find their way to RAB via our @RABFeed Twitter account or Facebook page won’t be docked for article views. We still want to make RAB as accessible as possible while working toward drawing in enough revenue to make the site sustainable.
We know many of you might not be happy about this news, but we hope it will lead to better and more thorough coverage. With the added revenue, we’re going to upgrade our offerings, post more frequently and provide more in depth coverage. Over the next few months, you’ll see some changes to the site that aren’t quite ready for prime time, and by next April Fools Day, the paywall will be live.
With the final Grapefruit League game in the books and the team on their way back to New York, all we have left to do is countdown the 40 or so hours until the 2011 regular season gets under way. Now’s as good a time as any to remind you about all the different ways you can access our fine blogging establishment, some of which you may find easier than others.
Before we get into that, make sure you review our commenting guidelines. Emotions run high during the season, especially when a team with a $190M+ payroll has a patchwork rotation, but we have to make sure we maintain some sort of civility in the comments. Please review them, even if it’s just a fresher.
Hopefully by now you’re taking advantage of the magic that is really simple syndication, or RSS. If not, that’s cool, but I recommend signing up for something like Google Reader. This site will tell you everything you need to know about using RSS feeds, but in short, you can subscribe to the feed of your favorite sites, and instead of manually visiting each one multiple times a day, the information will be brought right to you as it’s posted, all in one convienent spot. Our main feed can be found here.
Subscribe via E-mail
If RSS feeds aren’t your cup of tea, you can get RAB sent right to your inbox. Just stick your email address in the appropriate box to the right (the one that says “Subscribe to RAB via email,” duh), and all of our content will be emailed to you as it’s posted.
Has anything changed sports coverage in recent years as much as Twitter? Any breaking news will be posted there first, in 140 characters or less. You can use a (free!) service like Tweet Deck or Echofon to easily follow your friends, favorite sportswriters, celebrities, whoever has a Twitter account.
We have two separate Twitter feeds here. Our main feed is @RiverAveBlues, where the three of us will muse on various topics, post any breaking news, engage in discussions with readers, stuff like that. It’s worth signing up just to read Ben’s knee-jerk reactions during the games. Our second feed is @RABfeed, which will automatically link to all of our posts as they go up. That’s pretty much all it’s there for, but it’s useful.
If you want, you can also follow the three of us on our personal accounts: @bkabak, @joepawl, and @mikeaxisa. I can’t promise everything we tweet about will be about the Yankees, or even baseball for that matter, but you won’t regret it.
It’s probably our least utilized social media presence, but there’s still over 2,000 people that are fans of RAB’s Facebook page. I’m not much of a Facebook person myself, but I recommend hitting our page up to connect with fellow Yankee fans.
If for any reason you want to contact us (maybe you have a question, or a link to a cool story, etc), the best way to do so is to use our little “Submit A Tip” box. You can’t miss it, it’s just to the right of the main column. If you want to tip us off to a trade rumor that we’ve missed, or something like that, please make sure you send us a link. Otherwise it’ll only take us longer to get a thread up about it.
If you want to contact us individually, then just drop us a line. Our addresses are in the far right sidebar.
Other Places To Read Us
Believe it or not, the three of us use our blogging superpowers for good elsewhere as well. I contribute to MLB Trade Rumors and RotoGraphs while Joe contributes to FanGraphs. Curious about the NYC subway system? Ben’s got you covered there at Second Ave. Sagas. He’s gained some notoriety through the site, so check it out.
So, you got all that? Good, now use this as your open thread for the night. The Twins and Braves are on MLB Network (live), plus the Nets are on as well.
Oh, and CC Sabathia will be on Letterman tonight, so that’s cool. Oops, that’s tomorrow. Talk about whatever, go nuts.
Just a heads up, I’ve started a Tourney Pick ‘Em group over at Yahoo! that everyone is free to join. Just go here and join Group ID #169695 with the password “riveraveblues.” There are no prizes (though you can win up to a million bucks through Yahoo), just bragging rights over your fellow RABers. I’ve got UConn over BYU with Notre Dame and UNC also in the Final Four. Don’t as me why, my college basketball knowledge is seriously lacking this spring.
Update: You have until 12:15pm ET today (Thursday) to sign up and submit your brackets, so get on it if you haven’t already.