Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

400th Post at


Happy 400th post!

This post, if I trust my WordPress engine to tell me the right number of published articles, we have hit 400 posts in the history of this blog.

Here’s some useless information on the history of this blog and the nature of the posts.

Posts by year:

  • 2010: 82
  • 2011: 226
  • 2012: 92 (as of today)

I really got into the blog in 2011, and the post count was way up for rotation reviews of both major and minor leagues.  A new job curtailed my time immensely this year, though I had a good bit of time the last couple of months to post pretty regularly.

Milestone Posts

Other Random Blog milestones

  • 17th post: 8/9/10 “2011 Rotation Competition” First post where I started the formatting theme of bolding a proper name the first time it appears in a post.  I started this to highlight those players who I was specifically talking about.
  • 55th post: 10/20/10: “Contract Value for FA Starting Pitchers: The Cliff Lee Lesson to-be” First post where I started incorporating pictures into the blog posts.  I got the idea from Mark Zuckerman‘s blog, where he always uses a single picture at the top of each blog post.  I generally use to find the images and then attempt to give proper photo credit.  Coincidentally, at some point in the past I did a ton of research on the use of photos on the internet and had a discussion on the subject (in the comments section of this May 2011 post).
  • 221st post:  8/25/11, “My Answers to Boswell’s Chat Questions 8/22/11 edition.”  This was the earliest post that I regularly started using “tags” for player names.  I started doing this after turning on the “tag cloud” along the right hand side.  The tags also serve as a nice searching method for a particular player.  (I’ve since gone through some effort to “tag” the posts prior to this one but am not entirely caught up to the history of the blog).
  • 243rd post: 9/25/11, “New Theme!”  I changed the look and feel of the blog from an out-of-the-box WordPress theme to a custom theme.  I was doing this primarily to figure out a way to get the blog slogan (the Earl Weaver quote at the top) to be more visible.

Count of posts by category: (note that these will add up to greater than 400 since some posts get multiple categories):

Category # of Posts
30 for 30 7
Baseball in General 117
Chat/Mailbag responses 37
College/CWS 1
Draft 16
Majors Pitching 142
Minor League Pitching 65
Minor League Rotation Reviews 17
Nats in General 154
Nats Rotation Reviews 28
Non-Baseball 16
Uncategorized 0
Weekly News 22

Top 10 player names mentioned (since I started typing them in as Tags; this is definitely weighted more towards the the past season than earlier, as catching up hundreds of posts with updated tags is not an effort worth finishing frankly)

  1. Stephen Strasburg: 73 mentions
  2. Ross Detwiler: 63
  3. Mike Rizzo: 58
  4. Jordan Zimmermann: 56
  5. John Lannan: 55
  6. Chien-Ming Wang: 49
  7. Bryce Harper: 48
  8. Gio Gonzalez: 44
  9. Jayson Werth: 42
  10. Brad Peacock; 38

Peacock gets a ton of mentions, since his call-up in 2011 and his subsequent excellent starts merited a ton of thought as to his future with the organization.  As we now know, he was traded away and struggled in 2012.  So far, it looks like we traded high.

#1 item I wish I still had time to do:

  • The rotational reviews, especially in the minor leagues.  I maintained these for the first half of 2011, but a vacation in July of 2011 left me a couple weeks behind and I just never could catch up.  I didn’t even attempt to try these for 2012.  Its unfortunate; the whole reason I started this blog was to study and be up on the minor league pitching, especially the starters.  I feel, and still feel, that developing quality starting pitching is the most important aspect of the farm system, and that a successful pre-arbitration pitcher is the most valuable commodity in the sport.  Wins on the free agent market are really expensive (if you get a win per $1M of FA dollars spent, you’re doing pretty well, as we saw with the $11M we gave Edwin Jackson for his 10 wins this year).

Other things I’d love to do a better job of doing:

  • The “Tom Boswell chat” responses.  I love doing those and seeing if I agree with Boswell’s take.  Same with the Bill Ladson mailbag posts, but I don’t recall him doing one of these in quite a while.
  • Reviews of pitching performances; this requires the time to sit down each night and watch the games … I love baseball, but I just cannot commit that kind of time.  I see that Ladson just released one, so I’ll get on that straight-away.

#1 item I wish I could incorporate: I’d love to do interviews of pitching coaches and pitchers at the various levels to talk about pitching strategy, mechanics and whatnot.  I briefly pursued getting a Nats press pass but got the impression that the team is less inclined to hand out press passes to blogs such as mine (which provide a heavy amount of opinion and commentary) versus blogs like Federal Baseball and DC Pro Sports Report (which act more like beat reporters and focus on doing pre-game and post-game reports).  Fair enough.

#1 technical issue I would like to change: I honestly have no idea how many people read this blog; I host the blog myself and have struggled to get the WordPress engine to work properly.  Thus it is out of date and a lot of plug-ins that would allow for simple things like counters and tracking are unavailable to me.  If anyone has a good WordPress hosting solution i’d be all ears.

I do know that I get nearly 100% of the traffic to the site via clicks from Mark Zuckerman’s blog, where i’m listed in his blog-roll and readers get to see when I have new content.  I’d like to get represented on the other major media outlet blogs at the Washington Post and Washington Times.  That would really help my readership too.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Todd Boss

October 23rd, 2012 at 1:36 pm

2 Responses to '400th Post at'

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  1. Am, I going to be invited to the party?
    I’ll bring champagne.

    Mark L

    23 Oct 12 at 6:07 pm

  2. Congrats on 400! :)

    John C.

    23 Oct 12 at 6:55 pm

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