December 7, 2010. The Cardinals had just acquired shortstop Ryan Theriot for right handed pitcher Blake Hawksworth from the Dodgers. Calling him a “natural shortstop” the organization quickly distanced themselves from Brendan Ryan as their starting shortstop in an effort to become a better team. After having considered starting to blog for awhile, it was the push I needed.
Over the next few days I registered a blog on Blogspot, used my graphic design skills to whip up what would be Redbird Dugout’s first logo, and wrote a critique of the concept of how someone could possibly be a “natural shortstop” when every metric says they’re a terrible shortstop and that if the Cardinals really wanted to improve up the middle, they’d start Theriot at second over Schumaker and keep the defensively elite Ryan at shortstop. Then they traded him on December 12th.
Blogspot hosted the site for awhile before I converted to a self-hosted WordPress platform where I hung out for many years and the stats I’ve been able to compare with some other bloggers I would have considered far more popular than me would suggest I was one of the most widely read Cardinals’ bloggers around. That thought always blows my mind. But life always happens. You get graduate college, you get married, you get a big boy job, you have a kid, buy a house. All those things that take time away from a hobby you enjoy.
Over the last few years I’ve tested different platforms. I was here using a Medium Publication for awhile. Then over to CardsConclave for a hot minute, before going back out on my own at Substack. Now, obviously, back here at Medium.
Also over the last few years there have been so many groups of talented writers, analysts, and content creators in the Cardinals blogging sphere that are amazing at what they do. I am blessed to consider many of these excellent people my friends. It’s very humbling to see some of the stuff they do and compare it to what I have done over the last ten years. I’d start listing people out, but I’d rather not accidentally forget anyone.
But like that day in December 2010, I still have things to say that I think a few people may be interested in reading. So how do I do this? Do I set myself up to pop in and out at another site? Do I set up my own site for whenever I feel the urge? Instead of dealing with all of that, I’m just going to be me. So I’ve started back here on Medium with my baseball Twitter handle — GroundRuleDoble — back in October.
Maybe my reach won’t be as large. The stats I was getting at CardsConclave versus seeing here prove that, but that’s not really what I’m going for anyway.
My bio says “Retired-ish,” and that’s because if you’re expecting consistent blogging, you’re probably in the wrong place. If you’re interested in the occasional paragraph of brilliance surrounded by several more of questionable value on an inconsistent basis, I am here for you.
I like trade deadlines and offseasons. I like analyzing roster moves. I like the business of baseball. I like rumors about bringing a team to my home area in Raleigh, North Carolina. So if there’s something to be talked about in that regard, I’ll probably be here writing something about it. You might give five posts a year, you might get three dozen. Who knows?
To have done this for 10 years and still have a nonzero amount of people interested in reading my opinions and analysis is still amazing to me. I really do appreciate the clicks and the reads and the listens — when I actually hosted a podcast — and the related discussion on Twitter and I try to make sure that whatever I’m posting is worth your time.
Now, did anyone bring a cake?
Jon Doble has been writing about the St. Louis Cardinals since 2010. You can find him on Twitter at @GroundRuleDoble. Thank you for reading.