10 things I didn’t know about THT before 2012

It’s that time of the year again—the holidays. Among other things, it’s a time to look back and reflect on the year that was. That’s part of what this column is about.

It’s also the product of a bad night of insomnia from several years ago. Eons ago, I had really bad insomnia and tried to et gmyself to fall asleep by counting how many articles were written by various THT-ers. It took so long that I ended up compiling the totals of most of the staff.

1. The leading writers here at THT

And let’s not kid ourselves, the heart of this article is a series of tables showing who the main authors are for the site.

So let’s get to it. Who are the main writers in site history? Here is everyone with at least 10 articles for the site (based on production through Dec. 22):

Name	        2004	2005	2006	2007	2008	2009	2010	2011	2012	ALL
Steve Treder	33	44	51	50	51	28	23	26	23	329
Brian Borawski	1	37	53	42	31	37	40	38	37	316
Chris Jaffe	0	0	1	37	42	49	42	48	46	265
Dave Studeman	47	72	53	39	25	4	1	3	8	252
John Brattain	0	46	51	51	79	6	0	0	0	233
Aaron Gleeman	133	80	20	0	0	0	0	0	0	233
Rich Barbieri	0	0	0	45	39	41	43	40	23	231
Bruce Markusen	0	0	0	0	0	28	48	46	47	169
Ben Jacobs	104.5	31.5	11.5	7	5	0	0	0	0	159.5
Jeff Sackmann	0	0	28	50	9	19	29	0	0	135
John Barten	0	0	0	0	23	26	27	27	26	129
David Gassko	0	17	42	29	19	10	6	0	0	123
Geoff Young	0	0	2	21	18	32	37	3	0	113
Harry Pavlidis	0	0	0	0	0	32	25	12	14	83
John Beamer	0	0	0	46	20	4	1	1	1	73
Josh Kalk	0	0	0	9	45	11	0	0	0	65
John Walsh	0	2	21	19	14	6	2	0	0	64
Larry Mahnken	40.5	13.5	2.5	2	0	5	0	0	0	63.5
Matthew Carruth	0	0	0	15	22	23	1	1	0	62
C. Constancio	0	0	37	24	0	0	0	0	0	61
Jeff Moore	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	23	31	54
Rick Wilton	0	0	30	23	0	0	0	0	0	53
Sal Baxamusa	0	0	10	27	11	2	3	0	0	53
Max Marchi	0	0	0	0	0	15	16	16	1	48
Frank Jackson	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	5	42	47
Craig Burley	21	12	13	0	0	0	0	0	0	46
Brandon Isleib	0	0	0	0	21	19	4	0	0	44
Craig Brown	0	0	1	0	26	15	1	0	0	43
Dave Wade	0	0	0	0	0	0	6	21	13	40
Dan Fox	        0	28	12	0	0	0	0	0	0	40
Matthew Namee	26	3	0	2	2	2	0	2	0	37
Vince Caramela	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	24	2	36
Colin Wyers	0	0	0	0	2	32	0	0	0	34
Brad Johnson	0	0	0	0	0	0	2	12	18	32
P. F. Sullivan	0	0	0	0	0	0	7	23	2	32
Bryan Smith	29	1	0	1	0	0	0	0	0	31
Chris Lund	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	7	23	30
Evan Brunell	0	0	0	0	4	22	0	0	1	27
Brian Gunn	13	8	4	1	1	0	0	0	0	27
Steven Booth	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	14	2	26
Maury Brown	0	7	18	0	0	0	0	0	0	25
Troy Patterson	0	0	0	0	0	2	0	0	21	23
Shane T.	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	22	22
Alex Eisenberg	0	0	0	0	15	1	6	0	0	22
Sean Smith	0	0	0	6	7	8	1	0	0	22
Lucas A.	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	14	7	21
Carlos Gomez	0	0	0	21	0	0	0	0	0	21
Jason Linden	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	20	20
Kevin Lai	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	18	2	20
Dan Lependorf	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	19	19
Victor Wang	0	0	0	0	10	9	0	0	0	19
Joshua Fisher	0	0	0	0	0	1	18	0	0	19
Greg Simons	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	8	18
Kyle Boddy	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	9	9	18
Robert Dudek	15	2	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	17
Myron Logan	0	0	0	0	0	0	5	7	4	16
Bryan Tsao	0	1	13	2	0	0	0	0	0	16
Glenn DuPaul	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	15	15
Josh Weinstock	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	14	1	15
Tom M. Tango	0	0	5	0	8	1	0	0	1	15
Mike Fast	0	0	0	0	7	1	7	0	0	15
Dan Turkenkopf	0	0	0	0	0	13	1	0	0	14
Jeffrey Gross	0	0	0	0	0	0	5	5	2	12
Joe Distelhiem	0	0	0	1	3	4	1	1	1	11
Jim McLennan	0	0	0	5	2	1	1	2	0	11
Lisa Gray	0	0	0	6	2	1	1	1	0	11
Paul Nyman	0	0	0	0	11	0	0	0	0	11
Adam Guttridge	0	0	0	0	1	9	0	0	0	10
MGL	        0	0	3	2	3	2	0	0	0	10
Paapfly	        0	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	0	10

Fun fact: 2012 was the first year in site history no new writer joined the 100-article club. It doesn’t look like anyone will join next year, either. Nowadays, most writers are on an every-other-week pace. Only three of us topped 40 articles this year, with just one more over 31.

That said, while we no longer have anyone churning out 50 articles a year (let alone the 100-plus pieces a few guys used to do), there are so many writers that the site keeps up a consistent pace overall. In fact, by my count there were more articles in 2012 than in any year since 2008. Putting guys on an every-other-week pace makes it easier for them to keep on keepin’ on.

On a personal note, this was a big year as I passed up some of the most notable names in site history: founder Aaron Gleeman, current grand poo-bah Dave Studenman, and the late, great John Brattain.

2. Top fantasy writers

Okay, that’s just for main articles. What about the fantasy articles? Here are the leaders:

Name	        2007	2008	2009	2010	2011	2012	ALL
Derek Carty	149	146	67	24	11	0	397
Paul Singman	0	25	68	40	19	16	168
Derek Ambrosino	0	0	18	50	44	34	146
Jeffrey Gross	0	0	0	38	46	15	99
Matt Hagen	0	0	34	51	12	0	97
Josh Shepardson	0	0	0	24	43	16	83
Jonathan Halket	0	6	33	26	16	0	81
Nick Fleder	0	0	0	0	18	57	75
Michael Stein	0	0	0	0	24	20	44
Michael Street	0	0	27	15	0	0	42
Karl De Vries	0	0	0	0	0	39	39
Mike Silver	0	0	20	3	0	16	39
Rob McQuown	0	0	26	13	0	0	39
Brad Johnson	0	0	0	8	10	17	35
Eriq Gardner	0	0	34	0	0	0	34
PatrickDiCaprio	31	2	0	0	0	0	33
Ben Pritchett	0	0	0	1	23	8	32
Troy Patterson	0	0	22	8	0	0	30
Dave Shovein	0	0	0	0	21	8	29
Victor Wang	0	19	7	0	0	0	26
Chris Neault	0	18	5	1	0	0	24
Josh Smolow	0	0	0	7	12	3	22
Alex Zelvin	0	0	19	1	0	0	20
John Burnson	0	0	20	0	0	0	20
Marco Fujimoto	0	2	13	0	0	0	15
Michael Lerra	0	5	8	0	0	0	13
Jeremiah Oshan	0	0	0	12	0	0	12
Jonathan Sher	0	0	0	11	0	0	11
M. Himmelstein	0	0	0	0	0	10	10

We have no new main site articles topping 100 pieces this year, but all Jeff Gross has to do is polish off one more item and he’s done it with fantasy pieces.

Yeah, it’ll take a while until anyone catches Derek Carty, who pretty much was the site’s fantasy section for two years. Overall, there were about as many fantasy articles this year as last year. These days the big writers are Nick Felder, Derek Ambrosino, and Karl de Vries.

3. THT Live

There’s another aspect to THT, those Live items that appear toward the right side that are meant to be more time-sensitive. Here are the top Live writers in site history.

Name	        2004	2005	2006	2007	2008	2009	2010	2011	2012	ALL
Dave Studeman	134	52	31	42	378	128	55	29	22	871
Chris Jaffe	0	0	0	1	7	54	33	143	192	430
Bryan Tsao	0	0	7	2	136	1	0	0	0	146
Matthew Carruth	0	0	0	5	112	8	0	0	0	125
Bruce Markusen	0	0	0	0	0	9	12	30	35	86
Evan Brunell	0	0	0	0	0	64	18	0	0	82
Matthew Namee	74	3	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	77
Mike Fast	0	0	0	0	26	26	25	0	0	77
Kevin Dame	0	0	0	0	0	7	54	6	0	67
Dan Novick	0	0	0	0	0	41	21	0	0	62
Alex Pedicini	0	0	0	0	0	35	25	0	0	60
Pat Andriola	0	0	0	0	0	24	31	0	0	55
David Gassko	0	0	1	13	14	5	14	5	0	52
Greg Simons	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	33	9	42
Steve Treder	2	2	3	2	5	3	14	9	1	41
John Burnson	0	0	0	0	0	40	0	0	0	40
Brad Johnson	0	0	0	0	0	0	23	14	3	40
Mat Kovach	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	32	7	39
Nick Steiner	0	0	0	0	0	32	6	0	0	38
Jeff Sackmann	0	0	1	2	1	23	9	0	0	36
Colin Wyers	0	0	0	0	0	32	0	0	0	32
Shane T.	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	32	32
Aaron Gleeman	23	5	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	28
Max Marchi	0	0	0	0	0	2	9	16	0	27
Anna McDonald	0	0	0	0	0	0	22	4	0	26
Sal Baxamusa	0	0	0	3	21	0	0	0	0	24
Brandon Isleib	0	0	0	0	8	8	6	1	0	23
Harry Pavlidis	0	0	0	0	0	0	11	10	0	21
J. Greenhouse	0	0	0	0	0	14	7	0	0	21
Joshua Fisher	0	0	0	0	0	1	19	0	0	20
Chris Neault	0	0	0	0	17	2	0	0	0	19
Lucas A.	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	15	4	19
Craig Burley	12	4	2	0	0	0	0	0	0	18
Dave Wade	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	5	1	16
Sean Smith	0	0	0	0	0	5	10	0	0	15
Schlomo Sprung	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	14	0	14
Jeffrey Gross	0	0	0	0	0	0	9	4	1	14
Chuck Brownson	0	0	0	0	0	6	7	0	0	13
Ricky Zanker	0	0	0	0	0	0	12	0	0	12
Joe Distelheim	0	0	0	0	0	0	6	3	2	11
John Beamer	0	0	0	5	2	3	0	0	0	10
Vince Caramela	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	0	10

Wanna know how much Boss-man Studes wrote for THT Live back in the day? So much that even though I write far more than anyone else ever has for Live, it’ll stick take me two-plus years at my current pace to catch him.

Bruce Markusen should join the 100 Live club next year.

4. Anniversaries and day-versaries

The live pieces were my main thing for the year, and that is largely caused by my constant stream of historical pieces. A few years ago, I put together a list of baseball events in an Excel database. As of this moment, I have 32,417 events in it.

The historic pieces have a hook, a notable event having a big, round anniversary number I talk about at some length, then a list of other things enjoying an anniversary or “day-versary.”

I’ve tried to get about three pieces in per week, sometimes more, sometimes less. I’ve been doing it since April, 2011, and as it’s gone on, I’ve created a new goal. Whenever possible, I try to get a day that hasn’t previously had an item written up for the site. For example, in July, 2011, I did 12 items. Well, in July, 2012, I did 17 anniversary bits, 12 of which I hadn’t done before.

From April 25 to Christmas, eight months in all, there are only 66 days left undone. That’s three out of every four days covered. One advantage is that once I’ve done a day, I can partially re-use it. I still have to start the hook and day-versaries from scratch, but I can re-use the anniversaries (though I do look over it and add additional items or more detail to existing ones).

Hopefully by next year, I’ll have almost all the days done.

5. Rating games

I did something else throughout the year, rating games. Based on an article I did in late 2011 trying to rank the best postseason series ever, I used largely the same methodology to figure out what were the most exciting games of the year. Then, at the end of most months, I posted something at THT Live about the most exciting games (and teams) of the month.

It was fun, and hopefully I’ll do it again next year. That said, trying to track every game all year could be a chore at times. I had to constantly keep up with it, because a week’s worth of a backlog of games would take forever to get through. Still, it’s fun having info about what games had the most late lead changes and things like that.

6. Career highlights

There is another specialty I’ve done in THT Live: career highlight pieces. When a player retires or enters Cooperstown or dies, I can use my historic event files (and augment it with some research at Baseball-Reference.com) to come up with a list of key moments and memorable events from a player’s career.

I started doing it last year, and for a time they were my favorite thing because you could find out so many odd and notable facts about a particular player. Midway through 2012, I got sick of doing them, though. They got to feel about the same as one another, and thus the research became a grind.

I’m not ruling out doing them ever again, but for the time being this project is on the back burner.

7. Year highlights

Enough about THT Live. There were some things in my main articles I especially liked.

Looking back, maybe my favorite items on the year were a pair of articles I wrote on one-hitters. Those were fun to research. Along the same lines, I enjoyed researching and writing an article back in August on game-ending hits.

It didn’t require nearly as much research, but I liked an item I wrote back in April on Jim Tracy. Sometimes it’s nice when an article works better than you hoped it would.

8. Year lowlights

Maybe it’s faulty memory on my part, but there weren’t too many glaring errors in my columns this year, just the normal array of glitches. (Um, hurrah?)

Looking back, a few pieces bug me a bit. An article wondering if Mark Buehrle would win 300 games came out a few months after it should have. I did the research for it early in the year based on his numbers at that moment, and by the time I got around to writing it a few months later, some of the info no longer worked as well. I adjusted as best I could in the article, but it was awkward.

A book review of Ozzie’s School of Management was technically a fine column, but it’s a lousy memory. I like writing book reviews because I like reading books, but that book just plain wasn’t any good. I doubt I would’ve finished it if I wasn’t planning to review it.

A special mention needs to be made about an article from January on players who didn’t need an 11th big league season to make it into Cooperstown. I don’t know if it’s a bad article or a disappointing one or anything like that. I have no memory of that one in the slightest. It’s literally my least memorable piece of the year.

9. Long delayed projects finally no longer delayed

A few times this year I finally got around to doing things I’d intended to do for years. One of my very first articles ever for THT was a piece on the worst teams in baseball history. I asked SG from the Replacement Level Yankee Weblog to run 1,000 sims for 28 teams I’d picked, and he did that. Ever since then, I’ve always intended to ask him to do likewise for the 28 best teams ever. This year, I finally got around to asking him to do that.

Similarly, in my first year I wrote a series of articles on the best World Series games ever. Those articles looked at the best Game Ones, Game Twos, and so on through Games Seven. Currently, I’m finishing up a similar series on the best LCS games ever. Maybe some time down the road I’ll do the best LDS games.

10. Book leftovers

One last little odd’n’end to cover. I wrote one thing back in the fall that’ll probably go on the site next year. I penned an item on some of the oddities and strange moments of the 2012 season with the intent of putting it in the THT Annual book. For various reasons, it was left out, but I still have it written, so it’ll probably be an article sometime between now and Opening Day. Actually, it probably will be a two-parter as it’s too long for one piece.

But that’s getting ahead of things, which might be appropriate. Now that 2012 is almost over, it’s time to start looking toward 2013.

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Comments

  1. MikeS said...

    How come Craig Calcaterra gets no love for “And That Happened?”  I consider those quick, daily, roundups appointment reading during the season.

  2. Chris J. said...

    I’ve never been sure how to handle the Shysterball stuff because it’s this thing unto itself. 

    It’s really difficult figuring out borders for the edges of this stuff.  If you go back, the site used to have daily main articles.  I think Lee Sinnis did them for a while and then someone (studes?) picked up after him.  I never included those because they weren’t quite the same as a normal main site article, but it’s frankly always been awkward on the edges.  Daily stuff is always a bit awkward for me to handle, based on that precedent.

  3. Brian Standing said...

    I find it hard to imagine how Craig Calcaterra didn’t make the THT Live list for “..and That Happened.”  Seems writing EVERY day (or damn near) should be enough to get you in the top 10.

  4. Brad Johnson said...

    Chris,

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I wrote over 100 fantasy articles last season as part of the Daily Grind column.

  5. studes said...

    I know this article is mostly about Chris’ work, but I would like to give Shane Tourtellotte a big shoutout for his 2012 game rating articles too, particularly his postseason coverage.

    And my THT Live posts in 2008 were mostly one- or two-sentence jobs, regarding updates in the stats and batted ball reports. At least, I think that’s what they were about.

  6. Drew said...

    I know times have changed, but Derek Carty’s 2007 and 2008 have to go down as the greatest back-to-back seasons any fantasy writer has ever had.  That was back before everyone was worried about word counts and typing on 2 days rest was just the way it was done.  He was one of a kind, and I for one am thankful that I was able to read his articles when he was in his prime.

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