Your full service blog

Greetings from downtown Houston, where I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful day down here. Usually it’s muggy and rainy during my past visits. Today, it’s sunny and not humid at all. I once remember a couple of years ago the city getting five inches of rain in one day and I got flat tire when I couldn’t see the curb through a flooded street at 11 am. But that’s a story for another day.

Sorry for not blogging or tweeting lately but I was fortunate to get a few days off.

My question of the day is for you: What do you want this blog to be?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and about the kind of direction this blog needs to go. Now that MLB.com has brought back notebooks in the form of the “Reds Beat” on the regular site, I don’t use this forum as much as before to bring you short-item news pregame or color from the clubhouse. I’ve also noticed less engagement from the readers, short of some loyal commenters (namely maxblue and spmancuso, thanks). Part of this is likely due to our site re-design, which removed this blog — and Jamie Ramsey’s Better of Red blog — from the home page headlines. I’m told they’re trying to remedy that.

Do you like just seeing Reds lineups and short news bits that tease what I’ll be writing later? Do you like the postgame extra stuff I try to do when there’s too much to fit into the stories? I’d love to see more people politely exchanging views and ideas and try to respond when I can. If there are elements you don’t see that you’d like to see here, let me know. I can’t promise to provide everything you want but I will do my best. 

Even though newspaper coverage is declining, there seems to be more ways for readers to get Reds news than ever before. I appreciate it greatly you reading my stories, blogs and tweets as one way to become informed about your favorite team. Please let me know how I can do it better.

Follow me on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

12 Comments

Mark,

I love the Reds, but am out of radio coverage and don’t have cable and am in a blackout zone for mlb.tv. The only way I can keep up to date real-time with the games is via reds.com’s gamecast, which is fine.

To read and or see some descriptions of quirky plays would be great. Sometimes it’s weird trying to picture how something happened in a game just by reading an update on the gamecast.

Also, I’d love to see maybe some behind the scenes looks at situations going on in the clubhouse.

I think it’s John Fayman who answers questions via tweet during the games for those of us who would like clarification on something that happened or a move Dusty makes we think is weird. It would be cool to interact with us via Twitter in a similar way. Maybe you could take questions from us via Twitter before you do a post-game interview with the starting pitcher.

Lastly, giving away tickets for trivia question winners or something similar would be cool too.

Good luck and go Reds!

Mark,

I check this blog everyday, if not five times a day. It’s my go to link. When I read the blog I look for the lineups, maybe little comments from Dusty, short tidbits on why someone isn’t in the lineup, whether it be rest, sore back, family emergency, things like that. I also like to hear why maybe someone didn’t pitch out of the bullpen, cuz they needed rest or didn’t have good numbers against that team, things I can’t get from the box score or listening to the announcers. Those are the things I look for. I just look for things that make me feel like I’m there and know what the team and organization is thinking, as dumb as it sounds. But anyway, hope that helps. Thanks again for the insight.

Curt

Mark,

I’m a Reds junkie. I read a bunch of the blogs and “mainstream” coverage (Fay, CTR). You post the lineup, they post the lineup. You provide Baker’s pre-game quotes, so do they.

What I’d value more are your own takes, based on your experience being around the individuals. Your own insights and opinions.

I know that’s kind of dicey for you – if you report something like “Jay Bruce is always the first one to arrive every day and he’s always encouraging other players to work out and make extra effort” that might be violating the private relationship they expect from you, jeopardizing your access.

This would especially be the case if you reported something implicitly negative about them: “I get the sense that the pitchers would much rather throw to Hanigan than to Hernandez.” Or: “There is a noticeable difference in the way Bryan Price works with the pitchers compared to Dick Pole.” etc.

Those would be the most interesting things from my perspective. I don’t expect you’ll be able to do that, but hey, you asked. Either way, I’ll keep reading. Thanks for the work you do.

Mark,

I like checking the blog for lineups and my big thing is quotes. I watch most games so AP style recaps are pointless to me. I like hearing from Dusty, key players, etc.

Also, I would like to see more consistently on the updates. John Fay, Jamie Ramsey and C. Trent seem to post at least a few times a day and I feel like I can count on them to keep fans updated. They also seem to have a more personal connection with the readers. I prefer blogs over all the noise of the Reds.com frontpage so I just usually check theirs (because it’s updated).

Just my opinion…Thanks, Jarrod.

Mark, I’d have to echo both previous posts. Your blog (and Jamie’s) are both checked numerous times a day from work, home and even my cell phone, though I rarely leave a comment. I love any and all insights into the team, clubhouse, game, etc beyond what we as fans are not normally privy to from just watching or even attending a game or reading your always wonderful articles. Pictures are always great. I think you and Jamie have done a fantastic job with your bloga thus far, yet I do miss the Game Notes that we were able to find from the old “Reds Internal Affairs” blog from Misudek last season. Also intriguing is just what your life and the team’s is like on the road…such as your description of Houston and the flat tire incident. Clubhouse color, lineups and tidbits are always great. I think we are all so eager to hear everything, no one would turn down hearing absolutely ANYTHING that is on your mind to share! :)
Thanks for your excellent work, Mark!

also, have to add…from following so many Reds related folks on twitter and such, hearing about the media peoples debate over who would be their pick to have your back in a bench clearing brawl was hilarious. Just little stuff like that has been great fun to read. I love your articles and they give great info, so whatever you can do above and beyond the articles, or to add to them, would be great.
Thanks again!

I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. And while you already do a fairly good job at this, engaging with the reader is important for a fan like me. If you actual respond to us (via twitter, blog, etc) it makes me want to post more and respond to your blog more. You know what I’m saying? These days it’s very easy to do that so there’s really no reason not to. Not saying you don’t, but responding/discussing with us as much as possible helps. At least for me it does. When I’m reading someone’s blog, if I know they aren’t likely to respond to me then I generally won’t leave comments. Reporting the game is easy. It’s discussion that makes things really fun. You probably don’t see it because you’re the media, but for fans like us there’s nothing better than to talk with the people we look up to.

Mark,

Personally I strongly dislike the red’s home site. It’s busy and makes you scroll through headlines when it would be much easier just to read from a list. Also it blasts you will the highlights sound every time you reload the page (worst site feature of all time).

I honestly go to this site more often then the reds homepage. I guess what I would like from this site is links to your articles and daily line up cards with blurbs about current events that do not need full articles. Much like what you have been doing just with links to your articles added. Keep up the good work and thanks.

A O

Thanks everyone for the feedback. It’s helpful and I will see if I can incorporate some of the suggestions. @redjacob — no can do on giving away tickets. I don’t have that kind of juice.

And yes, triman, indygirl is correct — You can pause the video and then disable it and you won’t get blasted anymore.

AO or triman679…just a helpful tip. If you are on the Reds homepage, where the video plays on the right, just under the menu bar there are words that say “disable autoplay”. If you click on those words, you will not have the highlight audio or video automatically start each time you come to the Reds homepage. Unfortunately, this does not mean that ALL the mlb team sites have been disabled, only the Reds site. So if you were to visit a different teams home page, you’d have to click the disable autoplay again for each team. But if you do it once on the Reds, it should last for good…or at least until they do a home page format change. lol Just offering some help. :)

I like the blog pretty much the way it is. I don’t need a list of stats or game recaps, just interviews or comments on roster changes, etc. I wouldn’t mind more coverage on whoever the reds are playing too, like if you have an interview with the opposing coach or something. I have heard you on the radio a few times as well with Marty, hopefully you will be on more. I live on the west coast, thank god for XM radio, it is really great for following the games on radio. I don’t mind a positive slant on things when the Reds are losing, I need something to keep me happy.

Hi Mark —

I agree with a lot of other comments here. I follow you, Fay, CTR, and Jamie via RSS and Twitter, so line-ups and scores are covered pretty well. I certainly don’t mind them being here, but they aren’t my priority. I enjoy the stories about things that happen on the field, in the pressbox, during batting practice, etc. I guess I’m looking for the people stories – whether they’re players, coaches, broadcasters, or journalists.

Thanks for everything you do. I realize this blog is a job on top of another job and it can’t always be easy. I love your blog and will continue to read it in whatever form it takes.

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