Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I hate change, but sometimes you gotta branch out a bit and do something new. As of this morning, I am doing something new: Blogging at FanHouse (f/k/a AOL FanHouse).

This does not mean the end of ShysterBall. Far from it. Things, for the most part, are going to remain the same around here. Each weekday morning will start out with And That Happened and the day, as always, will proceed with the multiple ShysterBall posts you've come to expect. The only difference is that, on occasion, I'll be taking something I would normally post here and putting it on FanHouse instead. I'll link to the FanHouse posts here, so you're really only a click away from the normal ShysterBall experience. How many posts will I shift over to FanHouse? Man, I dunno. I'm playing this by ear, but I'm having a hard time featuring it as more than a couple a day, max. Yeah, they pay per-post, but it's not so much that I'd want to cannibalize this place for it.

So why the change? Exposure, mostly. I've made no secret of the fact that I want to write about baseball for a living someday, and the last I checked, FanHouse was still the most widely-read sports blog on the Internet. Sure, I will be but one tiny voice on what is, for the most part, a very talented roster of bloggers, but I've never been averse to riding to respectability on the coattails of others. From a personal perspective, it's a nice start for me as I make my way into the corrupt, sad, and cynical world of professional sports writing. Can't wait!

But exposure for its own sake isn't a good thing. I've said some critical things about how blogging is handled by large media companies in the past. It's easy to mess it up, and one of the ways it's most commonly messed up by even the traditional online outlets is by being (how should I put this?), too democratic. Hey, it's great that a site like FoxSports will give a blogging platform to anyone who wants one, but there's no avoiding the fact that the hundreds of voices of wildly varying quality at a place like that reflect poorly on the whole operation and in some ways even serve to dilute the product of Fox's true talents such as Dayn Perry, Ken Rosenthal, and others. Blogs shouldn't be ghettos, people -- they should complement and augment the meat and potatoes reporting of a sports site -- and as such, a modicum of QC is in order.

And that's what has drawn me to FanHouse. They first approached me in May, and since that time I've been watching them closely. Well, at least the MLB page, which is all I care about, and I can tell you that they get it right. There are some smart, funny, and insightful people writing about baseball over there, and I am honored -- if a bit intimidated -- to join them. Upshot: The fit is right for me, and I have been convinced that I really don't have to change a thing with respect to my writing voice or my editorial opinions in order to write for them. I do have to change my picture-stealing habits, though, which will take some getting used to. Stupid copyright laws.

So that's that. Like I said, I will link my FanHouse posts here -- true cross-posting is frowned upon -- and if I can ever figure it out, I will try to put my FanHouse author feed on here someplace. But don't just read me. Read Brinson and Watson, and Mullett, and Brennan and Lackey, and Fornelli and the Dugout guys and all of the others over at MLB FanHouse. They're doing good things over there, even if they have to deal with an amateur like me.


Jason said...

Not that you need it, CC, but here's wishing you nothing but the best of luck and continued success.

Blaze the trail, my friend.


Sara K said...

Good on ya, buddy. Best of luck!!

Alex said...

That's unfortunate. I find Fanhouse rather painful to read, for a variety of reasons. Here's to hoping you don't transition over there permanently.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Alex -- no worries. It's not a permanent or total thing by any stretch. More importantly, nothing I'm going to write over there will be any different than anything I would write here. In fact, my approach will be to proceed as though I am ONLY writing here but, on occasion, will be donating a post to FanHouse. If that ends up not working, I'll bail on them.

Andrew Johnson said...

And read that Andrew Johnson guy while you're at it too.

Craig, it's great to have you aboard, even if I feel a little bad stealing some of your time from the loyal ShysterBall readers ... myself included!

Craig Calcaterra said...

Sorry I didn't include you Andrew! Hell of a way to impress the editors on day 1, huh?

And don't worry, ShysterBall readers: I have a strict agreement with Andrew that he is to only get my most dreadful, auto-pilot content. I'll be keeping the good stuff here.

Repoz said...

Good luck, Craig. At least I can contact you...unlike the rest of the F-house dudes...:)

BTW...Will you be including a "(fill in the blank) sez" feature?

Craig Calcaterra said...

I had never noticed that FanHouse doesn't let you contact the author with a single click. How sad. Most of the good stuff I write anymore is because someone took the time to tell me in private just how stupid the last thing I wrote was.