10 things I didn’t know about THT before 2013

It’s that time of the year again, the end of the year. For me, that means it’s time to look back on the year that was here at THT. And yeah, it’s the week between holidays when readership is likely down anyway, so let’s not dump the most research-intensive thing ever up here.

1. THT’s top writers

This is an annual article that first grew out of a bout of insomnia I had years ago, when I tried to help myself get to sleep by counting how many articles various people had written. Later on, I realized I had a column in the results, and I’ve updated it every year.

So let’s get to it. Who are the most prolific writers at THT ever? Below lists everyone who has written at least 10 articles ever for THT (through Dec. 28):

Name	       2004	2005	2006	2007	2008	2009	2010	2011	2012	2013	ALL
Steve Treder	33	44	51	50	51	28	23	26	24.25	16	346.25
Brian Borawski	1	37	53	42	31	37	40	38	38	20.2	337.2
Chris Jaffe	0	0	1	37	42	49	42	48	47	47	313
Dave Studeman	47	72	53	39	25	4	1	3	8	6	258
Rich Barbieri	0	0	0	45	39	41	43	40	23	22	253
John Brattain	0	46	51	51	79	6	0	0	1	0	234
Aaron Gleeman	133	80	20	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	233
Bruce Markusen	0	0	0	0	0	28	48	46	48	49	219
Ben Jacobs	104.5	31.5	11.5	7	5	0	0	0	0	0	159.5
John Barten	0	0	0	0	23	26	27	27	26	29	158
Jeff Sackmann	0	0	28	50	9	19	29	0	0	0	135
David Gassko	0	17	42	29	19	10	6	0	0	1	124
Geoff Young	0	0	2	21	18	32	37	3	0	0	113
Jeff Moore	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	23	32	50	105
Frank Jackson	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	5	43	44	92
Harry Pavlidis	0	0	0	0	0	32	25	12	14	0	83
John Beamer	0	0	0	46	20	4	1	1	1	2	75
S.Tourtellotte	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	22	46	68
Josh Kalk	0	0	0	9	45	11	0	0	0	0	65
John Walsh	0	2	21	19	14	6	2	0	0	0	64
Larry Mahnken	40.5	13.5	2.5	2	0	5	0	0	0	0	63.5
Matthew Carruth	0	0	0	15	22	23	1	1	0	0	62
C. Constancio	0	0	37	24	0	0	0	0	0	0	61
Jason Linden	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	20.25	38.25	58.5
Sal Baxamusa	0	0	10	27	11	2	3	0	0	0	53
Rick Wilton	0	0	30	23	0	0	0	0	0	0	53
Max Marchi	0	0	0	0	0	15	16	16	1	0	48
Greg Simons	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	8.25	29.25	47.5
Craig Burley	21	12	13	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	46
Brad Johnson	0	0	0	0	0	0	2	12	19	12.3	45.3
Dave Wade	0	0	0	0	0	0	6	21	13.25	4	44.25
Brandon Isleib	0	0	0	0	21	19	4	0	0	0	44
Craig Brown	0	0	1	0	26	15	1	0	0	0	43
Dan Fox     	0	28	12	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	40
Matthew Namee	26	3	0	2	2	2	0	2	0	0	37
Vince Caramela	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	24	2	1	37
Colin Wyers	0	0	0	0	2	32	0	0	0	0	34
P.F.Sullivan	0	0	0	0	0	0	7	23	2	1	33
Chris Lund	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	7	23	1	31
Bryan Smith	29	1	0	1	0	0	0	0	0	0	31
Dan Lependorf	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	19.25	11	30.25
Kyle Boddy	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	9	9	10	28
Evan Brunell	0	0	0	0	4	22	0	0	1	0	27
Brian Gunn	13	8	4	1	1	0	0	0	0	0	27
Steven Booth	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	14	2	0	26
Maury Brown	0	7	18	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	25
Troy Patterson	0	0	0	0	0	2	0	0	21	0	23
Alex Eisenberg	0	0	0	0	15	1	6	0	0	0	22
Sean Smith	0	0	0	6	7	8	1	0	0	0	22
Glenn DuPaul	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	16	6	22
L. Aposoleris	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	14	7	0	21
Carlos Gomez	0	0	0	21	0	0	0	0	0	0	21
Kevin Lai	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	18	2	0	20
Azure Texan	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	1	19	20
Chad Dotson	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	20	20
Victor Wang	0	0	0	0	10	9	0	0	0	0	19
Joshua Fisher	0	0	0	0	0	1	18	0	0	0	19
James Gentile	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	18	18
Robert Dudek	15	2	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	17
Myron Logan	0	0	0	0	0	0	5	7	4	0	16
Bryan Tsao	0	1	13	2	0	0	0	0	0	0	16
Tom M. Tango	0	0	5	0	8	1	0	0	1	0	15
Mike Fast	0	0	0	0	7	1	7	0	0	0	15
Josh Weinstock	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	14	1	0	15
Doug Wachter	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	5.25	9	14.25
Dan Turkenkopf	0	0	0	0	0	13	1	0	0	0	14
Jeffrey Gross	0	0	0	0	0	0	5	5	2	2	14
Joe Distelhiem	0	0	0	1	3	4	1	1	1	1	12
Nick Felder	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	7	5	12
Matt Fillippi	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	4	5.25	2	11.25
Paul Nyman	0	0	0	0	11	0	0	0	0	0	11
Jim McLennan	0	0	0	5	2	1	1	2	0	0	11
Lisa Gray	0	0	0	6	2	1	1	1	0	0	11
Don Malcolm	0	0	0	0	3	2	0	1	1	3	10
MGL	        0	0	3	2	3	2	0	0	0	0	10
Adam Guttridge	0	0	0	0	1	9	0	0	0	0	10
Paapfly      	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	0	0	10

Five of us wrote 40 or more articles, something that last happened at THT in 2007. The champion for 2013 was Jeff Moore. He became the first person here to write 50 main site articles since Steve Treder and the late, great John Brattain did it back in 2007.

2. THT’s top fantasy writers

However, the list above just looks at main site articles. THT has other departments. Until recently, we had a fantasy section. A few months ago it was consolidated with Fangraphs (which now owns THT), and it went over there, so the list below apparently would be a final list.

Name	       2007	2008	2009	2010	2011	2012	2013	ALL
Derek Carty	149	146	67	24	11	0	0	397
Brad Johnson	0	0	0	8	10	125	132	275
Paul Singman	0	25	68	40	19	16	0	168
Derek Ambrosino	0	0	18	50	44	34	16	162
Jeffrey Gross	0	0	0	38	46	15	4	103
Matt Hagen	0	0	34	51	12	0	0	97
Karl De Vries	0	0	0	0	0	39	45	84
Josh Shepardson	0	0	0	24	43	16	0	83
Nick Fleder	0	0	0	0	18	57	7	82
Jonathan Halket	0	6	33	26	16	0	0	81
Michael Stein	0	0	0	0	24	20	19	63
Michael Street	0	0	27	15	0	0	0	42
Jack Weiland	0	0	0	0	0	0	40	40
Mike Silver	0	0	20	3	0	16	0	39
Rob McQuown	0	0	26	13	0	0	0	39
Eriq Gardner	0	0	34	0	0	0	0	34
Pat DiCaprio	31	2	0	0	0	0	0	33
Ben Pritchett	0	0	0	1	23	8	0	32
Troy Patterson	0	0	22	8	0	0	0	30
Dave Shovein	0	0	0	0	21	8	0	29
Victor Wang	0	19	7	0	0	0	0	26
Chris Neault	0	18	5	1	0	0	0	24
Josh Smolow	0	0	0	7	12	3	0	22
Alex Zelvin	0	0	19	1	0	0	0	20
John Burnson	0	0	20	0	0	0	0	20
S. Strandberg	0	0	0	0	0	0	19	19
Scott Spratt	0	0	0	0	0	0	19	19
Marco Fujimoto	0	2	13	0	0	0	0	15
Michael Lerra	0	5	8	0	0	0	0	13
Jeremiah Oshan	0	0	0	12	0	0	0	12
Jonathan Sher	0	0	0	11	0	0	0	11
M. Himmelstein	0	0	0	0	0	10	0	10

Brad Johnson sure went out with a productive bang, didn’t he?

(Note: both in fantasy and the main site lists, there are errors. When I started doing this list I didn’t always include people who would write niche pieces five days a week. If anyone wants to go back and count those pieces up and correct me, feel free).

3. THT Live

There is just one more section of THT to look at, THT Live, where we post typically smaller, immediate-reaction stuff to baseball goings-on (though it can include some longer-form pieces the size of main site articles.) Here are the top THT Live writers ever:

Name	        2004	2005	2006	2007	2008	2009	2010	2011	2012	2013	ALL
Dave Studeman	134	52	31	42	378	128	55	29	22	18	889
Chris Jaffe	0	0	0	1	7	54	33	143	196	150	584
Bryan Tsao	0	0	7	2	136	1	0	0	0	0	146
Matthew Carruth	0	0	0	5	112	8	0	0	0	0	125
Bruce Markusen	0	0	0	0	0	9	12	30	37	23	111
Evan Brunell	0	0	0	0	0	64	18	0	0	0	82
Matthew Namee	74	3	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	77
Mike Fast	0	0	0	0	26	26	25	0	0	0	77
Pat Andriola	0	0	0	0	0	24	31	0	0	13	68
Kevin Dame	0	0	0	0	0	7	54	6	0	0	67
Dan Novick	0	0	0	0	0	41	21	0	0	0	62
Alex Pedicini	0	0	0	0	0	35	25	0	0	0	60
David Gassko	0	0	1	13	14	5	14	5	0	0	52
Greg Simons	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	33	9	4	46
S.Tourtellotte	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	32	12	44
Brad Johnson	0	0	0	0	0	0	23	14	3	1	41
Steve Treder	2	2	3	2	5	3	14	9	1	0	41
John Burnson	0	0	0	0	0	40	0	0	0	0	40
Mat Kovach	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	32	7	0	39
Nick Steiner	0	0	0	0	0	32	6	0	0	0	38
Jeff Sackmann	0	0	1	2	1	23	9	0	0	0	36
Colin Wyers	0	0	0	0	0	32	0	0	0	0	32
Aaron Gleeman	23	5	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	28
Max Marchi	0	0	0	0	0	2	9	16	0	0	27
Anna McDonald	0	0	0	0	0	0	22	4	0	0	26
Sal Baxamusa	0	0	0	3	21	0	0	0	0	0	24
Brandon Isleib	0	0	0	0	8	8	6	1	0	0	23
Harry Pavlidis	0	0	0	0	0	0	11	10	0	0	21
J.Greenhouse	0	0	0	0	0	14	7	0	0	0	21
Joshua Fisher	0	0	0	0	0	1	19	0	0	0	20
Chris Neault	0	0	0	0	17	2	0	0	0	0	19
L.Apostoleris	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	15	4	0	19
Craig Burley	12	4	2	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	18
Dave Wade	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	5	1	1	17
Jeffrey Gross	0	0	0	0	0	0	9	4	1	2	16
Sean Smith	0	0	0	0	0	5	10	0	0	0	15
Joe Distelheim	0	0	0	0	0	0	6	3	2	3	14
Schlomo Sprung	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	14	0	0	14
Chuck Brownson	0	0	0	0	0	6	7	0	0	0	13
Matt Filippi	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	3	3	6	12
Kyle Boddy	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	2	5	5	12
Ricky Zanker	0	0	0	0	0	0	12	0	0	0	12
John Beamer	0	0	0	5	2	3	0	0	0	0	10
Vince Caramela	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	10	0	0	10

(Oh, I left out Craig Calcaterra’s “And That Happened” pieces because it’s also posted for real money at NBC’s Hardball Talk blog. Besides, his old shysterball stuff here at THT doesn’t fit into any of these categories, either, so I left him out.)

With THT Live, Boss-man Studes has the lead safely tucked away. I’ve come on strong in recent years, but I doubt I’ll catch him.

4. The end of my THT Live stuff

My big surge in THT Live came largely from one type of piece, articles noting the historical anniversary or “day-versary” of some baseball event. I started doing them in April of 2011 and kept it up for over two years, but I stopped this fall. I just plain got burnt out on them.

It used to be, I’d do a full write-up of a particular event having a nice round-number anniversary, and then I’d list a host of other events also having an anniversary (or day-versary) that day. The last one of those went up in early September. Well, then I shifted to just recounting a particular event having its anniversary, ignoring the full list. That lasted until November, and I stopped again. Yeah, that’s burn out.

5. My lowlights

Each year you look back, and there are some moments you’re proud of … and some moments that could’ve gone better. There were no howlingly bad disasters this year for me (thankfully). But there are things I wish had gone better.

I began the year by predicting that Craig Biggio would get elected into Cooperstown by the BBWAA. Yeah, that one didn’t happen. But at least the methodology made sense there; it’s just that my guess was off.

In October, I had another article that featured a glitch. After the World Series had Game Three end on a walk-off obstruction call, I decided to write an article on the oddest endings to World Series games ever. As I wrote the column on Sunday afternoon, I thought, “Maybe I should throw in a line at the end about, `Now watch, something weird will happen at the end of tonight’s Game Four that’ll make this list out-of-date by its non-inclusion.’” But I figured, nah, don’t bother adding that. What are the odds Game Four will also have an odd ending?

And then, of course, Game Four had that walk-off pick-off. I should’ve stuck to my instincts there. At least it was a good article

My weakest column overall this year was one back in February on upcoming manager milestones in 2013. Problem: there weren’t enough notable milestones coming up to fill out a full column. Yeah, that’s a problem.

I had other times where some columns weren’t great. They weren’t duds, but they weren’t anything memorable. I had a stretch of columns like that in the dog days of summer. But at least there were no total disasters.

6. My highlights

On the other hand, there were some pieces I really thought went well. I had a few articles in April about the most extreme pitcher vs. opposing team splits in history. Those were fun and went well. In September, I had a series of articles on the best and worst reliever seasons in history that went as well as I could’ve hoped. It’s always nice to remind people about Mark Eichhorn.

I also did some research that I’m proud of about the varying production teams got from the ends of their benches in 2013.

7. My favorite article

My favorite article of the year came early. After Earl Weaver died, I wrote an article about him. It was going to be one of those “10 things I didn’t know about” pieces I do (like this one), but I couldn’t narrow it down to just 10, so it became “11 things.” The article made its points, backed it up with evidence, went over his full career, and as an added bonus, it came out pretty quickly for me.

It wasn’t without some mistakes. (I confused Al Bumbry with Ken Singleton at one point. Oops.) But in general, that’s the piece I look back on the fondest.

8. December to-do list clean-up

I had a mission when December rolled around: clean out some items that have been on my to-do list for years. I’ve had some ideas for historical pieces that have been on my mind since I started writing here at THT, but I always put them off. Since they are historical pieces, they can always be pushed back time and again, and that’s what I’ve done.

In December, I figured I’d finally take care of the ones I was most interested in writing, and so I did. That’s how I ended up spending the last several weeks writing about Hal Newhouser, Red Ruffing, and the near-dynasty of the 1918-21 Indians. I’m glad I finally got those cleared away.

9. Our nation’s unending fascination with Kyle Lohse

My most popular piece of the year—by far—was rather unexpected. Back in May, I wrote a brief blurb at THT Live titled, “Kyle Lohse goes for pitching history tonight,” and, oh my golly, you’d have thought I’d just scooped everyone with news on a Beatles reunion tour.

The blurb’s point was simple: Lohse was starting against the Twins, and if he notched a win, he would become the 13th man to beat all 30 franchises in his career. Lohse didn’t get the win, but that piece sure was a winner with those of you out there in reader-land.

10. Looking forward: the future

I noted earlier that I suffered from burn out in my THT Live postings. I’m also suffering a little burn out in general. I don’t intend to pull out entirely, but I also don’t intend to write 40-plus articles a year again. From March 14, 2007 to now, I’ve posted a new article up here at THT each Monday nine times out of 10. It has gotten a bit wearying.

I remember when Steve Treder told THT that he was going to stop the weekly pace. That was stunning news. He’d been doing it so long that I figured he would keep on keepin’ on. Yeah, but after a few hundred more articles of my own, I understand why someone would want to do that.

I really don’t know what I’ll do from here. I felt like this once before in early 2010, and ended up just taking a month off. But it is starting to feel more like a rut.

Actually, I do know what the immediate future holds. Next week, I’ll have a piece up trying to predict the annual Cooperstown vote. Like I said, I don’t intend to stop altogether. But I expect to find a less wearying pace.

References & Resources
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Comments

  1. Max Patkin said...

    Looking ahead to 2014,  if your main site articles are HR’s, I’d be penciling you in for 44 and if THT Live were RBI’s I’d think 165 are easily possible. 

    But, what do I know, except I enjoy the writing & commentary by you and others here on THT, don’t be too hard on yourself, rest up a little then attack it again, have a Happy New Year, and I’m just the Clown Prince of Baseball ( now there’s an idea for historical article)  Max

  2. Largebill said...

    Some may call Steve Treder a compiler and dismiss his Hall of Fame chances, but I think he is worthy. Sure he doesn’t have a Gleeman peak, but there is something to be said about consistency and he lasted a lot longer than Gleeman.

  3. Chris J. said...

    Brian – I leave Craig off.  His shysterball thing was it’s own thing on the side.  He still does “And that happened” on THT Live, but it’s old shysterball & is also up everyday at NBC spors.

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