Yesterday I had the good fortune of catching up with The Narrowback over many pints at the John Street Bar and Grill. He and I can still talk for hours, and that's before baseball ever makes it to the forefront. We talked about so many baseball-related topics - strategy, New York baseball past and present, roster construction, player comparisons of all shapes and sizes. If I had a tape recorder running, it would've given me a month of material for this blog - and none of it would've been about the New York Mets.
Because let's face it - this isn't working right now.
Blogs are supposed to be a labor of love. For too long now, Productive Outs and Crackerjack has been nothing more than hard labor. Even now, I struggle to find the words to express how I'm feeling and why, in my heart, I know this blog cannot survive without making some changes.
So I am going to take this blog in a new direction, in the hopes that I'll be able to capture some of the spark that got me writing again in the first place. Baseball will always be the focus of this blog, but it is time to move away from exclusively covering the Mets and expanding into all facets of the game.
The Mets are still my favorite team, and my readers are going to get more coverage of New York's National League franchise than anything else. I will also continue contributing at Mack's Mets for as long as Mack will have me - anything I write about the Mets or about the minor leagues will also be offered to his site.
But it's time to write about some other things too. The best writing, I've always thought, is something like two people sitting in a room, one sharing a story with the other. There's an intimacy in the use of simple language to convey thoughts and ideas, and the ability to do so in a clear and compelling manner is a rare and wonderful gift.
So that's what I'm going to do. This blog will be a collection of my thoughts and ideas, not only about the New York Mets but also about anything and everything concerning the great game of baseball. For example, I've been following the Pittsburgh Pirates much more closely in the last few weeks, because I've never seen a team so completely commit to a rebuilding effort.
And make no mistake - what's going on in Pittsburgh is not business as usual. Pirates GM Neal Huntington is not dumping salary for the sake of keeping down the payroll. He is ruthlessly purging the Pirates of the mediocrity they have wallowed in for 17 years - and perhaps finally setting the stage for a legitimately bright future.
There's so much more to writing about baseball than chronicling the misfortunes of the traveling circus known as the New York Mets. That's what I'm going to do. I have some ideas to share with you - I hope you'll get something out of them.