Talkin Sox with Dan

Where baseball fans gather for commonsensical, opinionated Red Sox banter.

One Year Down

Photo via amazon.com

One year ago today, I wrote an article on this site about Daniel Bard and what to expect as he transitions from reliever to starter. It was the first post on a blog that I started as an outlet to express my opinions and thoughts about a team that means a great deal to me. Roughly six and a half years ago, I was a freshman in college who was determined to become a sports writer, earning a living by combining two things that I truly enjoy — sports and writing. It seemed like a natural fit. For me, it would have been counterintuitive to do anything else.

But who knew that the Boston Globe doesn’t just take any kid who graduated from a small Catholic school on Salisbury Street in Worcester, and slide him into Bob Ryan’s desk?

An internship, a collection of bylines from the Telegram & Gazette, a year as the Sports Editor of Assumption College’s excellent student newspaper, and a solid GPA only got me so far. Needless to say, it wasn’t to the chair behind Ryan’s desk. What it did get me was a job. A good one. One that I’m thankful to have. But one that is not in the field that I studied. More importantly, it is a position where I certainly do not get paid to discusss the successes and failures of the Red Sox’ offseason.

And that is okay. I made a very real decision about two years ago when I turned down a full-time reporter position at a truly great small newspaper in my area. So this is not a sob story about the kid who did everything right and still just couldn’t a get job. Nope. Instead, it is about a person who made a choice to take a different path. Ultimately, that path led that person to start a Red Sox blog that lacks a cool, baseball related name (Damn it. I seriously wish I made a better name. Talkin’ Sox with Dan? I mean, really?) because he simply didn’t want to put in his time covering community events or townhall meetings, making a small wage.

There is no doubt that that is what it would’ve taken–gaining experience at small publications, applying to some of the bigger outlets and hoping for the best. So I guess I wasn’t all in. I guess I didn’t have the drive to be the famous sports scribe that I swore I once possessed. One thing I do know for sure is that I love sports, especially baseball, and I enjoy writing about it. I could never imagine not writing about the game that so many of us grew up playing, following, and watching.

It really is the best.

———

I didn’t create this space for you, the reader. If I did, I would be in a great deal of trouble. There are a plethora of quality sources that you can go for your Red Sox news and analysis. This blog does not break any news. It is not the first to analyze a trade or acqusition. I never played professionaly or even made a romantic bid to play profesionally. I maxed out at the high school varsity level and was not particularly good at that. I’m not a huge stat guy who can perfectly dissect the different forms of WAR’s that are out there. If Red Sox blogs were to be assigned positions on the diamond, mine would be the super-utility man.

I created this out of pure necessity. It was an entirely selfish endeavor. But I do have a few acknowledgements.

Thank you to my family members who read my blog. You don’t really have a choice, and I know that.

Thank you to my friends who don’t have a real interest in baseball or the Red Sox but click on the site or follow me on Twitter because you’re just a good friend. It means a lot.

Thank you to my buddies who share the same love for the game of baseball that I do. The time you take to write in the comments section of my blog or just simply enjoy reading my pieces is greatly appreciated. You are the lifeblood of this space.

MLB Trade Rumors is an awesome site that I use daily. If it wasn’t for their “Baseball Blogs Weigh In” section each Friday, it would be accurate to say that I would have exponentially less views than I do on here. A big thanks to them.

Rob Bradford wouldn’t know me from a stranger on the street, but he took a few moments to shoot the breeze at Christmas at Fenway earlier this month. He was in the middle of doing an on-site radio show for WEEI. He’s also been kind enough to re-tweet arecent piece of mine that I wrote on Daniel Bard. It’s a couple of nice gestures that he certainly did not have to do. Thank you.

A similar act of kindness from Steve Buckley occurred earlier this summer. I wrote an article after the great Johnny Pesky’s passing in August. From afar, Pesky always struck me as someone incredibly similar to my Great Uncle Frank — full of kindness with a bottomless well of stories from the past. My Uncle Frank passed away in 2011, and I couldn’t help but think that somehow he and Pesky bumped into each other somewhere in heaven and shared a few stories about baseball, family, or their time in the military. I sent Buck my piece, and he was nice enough to share it with his followers. It was a very thoughtful gesture.

Brian MacPherson took time out of his evening, covering a game in Pawtucket this past summer to meet with me and talk about the Red Sox. A handshake a brief exchange doesn’t seem like much, but for some one as busy as Brian, it was very cool of him to do.

Finally, the individuals who have literally no connection to myself beyond my blog, a big thank you for reading and following on Twitter. It means a great deal.

As always, go Sox.

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6 thoughts on “One Year Down

  1. neil fitzgibbons on said:

    Few are they who achieve all their dreams: marry their highschool sweetheart, meet with continual success, have the perfect friends and family and die in their sleep surrounded by them.

    Many are we who struggle through life, working through faith to keep the roof over our heads and the family together. The brilliant dreams of youth we carry with us, the occasional bright flash appears to be shared with friends and family or held in our own quiet, smiling satisfaction.

    You the Bard are not just the rhymster or reporter.
    We, the friends/family/audience rely not upon mere news: the daily bread and fodder of the intellect.

    As we move through life there is that delight in the rare and wonderful that You can bring to us through your unique interpretation: the small story within the large, the insight that connects us in our humanity, the laughter and of course, the tear. Show and share with us the unique within the ordinary, the heartbeat within heartbeats. We will be here through our “winter of discontent”, hanging, as icicles, upon your words to melt us.

    • Neil, as always, thanks for reading and leaving such a thoughtful response. It is very much appreciated. And I hope things are well with you.

  2. Dan, I enjoy your writing and usually agree with your views. I, too, love to write about our favorite subject although I do not have your professional training. Reading your story, I realized why I do it. I do it for myself. It is a place that we can indulge our passion, our frustrations, and occasionally our delight about our Sox. It is an added bonus when a reader comments … that there are any readers at all is a bonus! I also had a brief moment this year talking with Steve Buckley and realized what a kind man he is as he remembered a poem that I had sent him two years earlier. So, we will celebrate those moments and make a living doing something else to keep food on the table and pay the bills. Isn’t it wonderful to care about something so much! Happy new year … keep those posts coming!

    • Colleen, thank you for the comment. I appreciate it. That’s great that you had the opportunity to talk with Buck. He is one of my favorites to listen to and read.

  3. Great read!

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