From 1-1,000, the MLBlogs Journey Has Been Superb





Those 5 numerals just seem so daunting and huge finally up there in print for me to gaze upon. Never in my wildest daydreams or nightmares did I ever think I would be celebrating a number like this online, much less writing about the sport that takes my breath away even today. So I hope you do not mind today, but I am going to get caught up in the flow and totally just bask in a unfathomed achievement to me.
Here I am posting my 1,000th baseball blog post today here upon I know it is a bit anti-climatic, but it really does seem like yesterday that I popped up my first post. I was a bit apprehensive back on September 7, 2007 when I decided to submit my first blog.

I had been out of the journalism game since my early twenties, but I missed it every day. I started this blog as a daily distraction while trying to find a second career after leaving the ” job of my lifetime”. I prodded and poked and edited that first post like a painter meticulously fiddles with his artwork. It was not a great piece, but it was mine…all mine.

My then fiancée had read some of my short story material I had posted to an old Myspace account and had somehow convinced me to again plant the sportswriter seed that had flourished when I was a Sports Correspondent for a local newspaper. I knew that day when I had to walk away from that green IBM display screen and leave my expanding sports clip file behind it was a huge career mistake.


438.JPGNow was my chance to see if the talent was real. If I could find the passion again to resurrect the glimmer of that career I left slip away so long ago. Baseball had always consumed my life from mid-February to late October, but the floodgates were thrown wide open as my mind expanded around the concept of the entire spectrum of MLB, not just my hometown Tampa Bay Rays.

Along this journey I have often revised, re-set or even tried to re-energized my blog from its first reincarnation to a more fan-based perspective with a slice or two of inside information and photos that you will see nowhere else. With it I also rediscovered a lost passion for photography. 

All you have to do is click on my dirt post, “D No Longer Stands For Devil Rays” to see that my first post corresponds pretty close chronologically with the time period that the Rays changed their MLB identity with an explosion of new uniforms, team colors and a complete logo redesign. It was a total coincidence that both the Rays and myself were re-defining our mojo at the same time.

Since that first day back in 2007, I have seen almost a half a million web page hits,( currently at 488,250 ) plus over 6,152 comments. The consistent feedback and comments made by the community, and the Internet have inspired changes and a wider spectrum of subject matter over the years. Who remembers the 3-post blog expose` on Maple Bats?

My 1,000th blog post is not the only thing I am celebrating today. recently I received an e-mail from Mark Newman, who is our “professor” here at informing me that I hit the top spot of the blogging site’s Fan segment. I am thrilled to reach the top spot, and I know so many of you will also have the experience of claiming this same spot at some point in your blog’s existence.

039.JPGSo on this day of (now) multiple celebrations, I have decided to give back to some within I am going to throw a few pearls of wisdom I collected over the past few years that I hope will help more of our aspiring writers to achieve greater results, and increased page views.
I hope MLB doesn’t put out a “hit” on me for giving up some secrets.

More than a few people have asked me how I achieve my high rankings every month, or if there is a trick to it all. The honest answer is: I am just another in a long line of writers on There are so many different points-of-view, a varied wide range of opinions and even blog styles on But that is also one of the keys to getting noticed in a sea of blogs.

Use Your Imagination….Be Creative

I think the first suggestion is to be creative in your writing and your overall thinking as you comment and explore the MLBlogosphere. With that in mind, your name is the first indication to people of who you are. I decided on Rays Renegade because I have always been the guy in life who bucks some of the antiquated traditions and questions things.

Explore Your Surroundings

One of the most important things to do is to get yourself known by your MLB blog name by your peers both on MLBlogs and beyond. The “Recent Activity” box on the homepage is a great tool that can be an instrumental ally in getting your blog both noticed and for you to interact with other writers.

The “Recent Activity”  box actually serves a duo purpose for me.  First, I get chance to see who is writing or commenting, plus I can get a chance to read their latest post just by clicking on their name.

The simple action of networking, getting to know your fellow MLBloggers on a consistent level should help create a bond that will have them hopefully following your writing. This familiarity or bond should breeds an increase in your exposure on, which in turn should dramatically increases your page views.

Know Your Fellow Bloggers

I made a resolution in late January to visit each and every blog listed in the Top 50 Fan blogs in the “Latest Leader List” during that calendar month. I am currently past the number 35 spot and working my way down to number 50. I do not have to do this, but it is a personal commitment I made to get to know some of the budding writers on this site.  I actually seek out those new blogs and try and see the new talent that is on the horizon and show them people read their posts. I enjoy reading the new blogs and posting a comment.  

No matter who you are, there is an internal ego that wants people to give you feedback on your writing. By getting yourself out there exploring other blogs, you get new post ideas, refresh your own streams of imagination plus provide feedback to your peers who want to produce a well received blog post.

Encourage. not Deflate

There have been more than a few young blogger’s who because of school or other activities felt they were neglected their writing duties and wanted to cease posting. This is a site for all of us to express, project and explore the great far reaching corners of fandom that surround the great game of baseball. If you are writing to gain some acceptance, or win some monthly popularity contest, you better transfer your work elsewhere.

Writing should be about the passion. That passion doesn’t stamp a time clock or has a definite schedule. Life happens, and if you are young, that outside MLBlogs life take priority. Write when the spirit moves you. Write when you have a great event to tell us. Write because you want to, not because you have posted only once this week.

I write for the pure joy of writing. If that passion ever falters, I may fade to black and write a “-30-” on my last post. Journalism students know that simple writing symbol represents “the end” to your story.

Positive Ions Rule the World

Another thing I find tremendously helpful is staying positive. I am a glass half full kind of guy. Sure I have written a few negative or even disparaging posts in my time, but I keep my head in the positive cloud. I leave the insults and injury mentality to others. If I wanted negativity, I would write a police blotter.

Everyone can write. It just takes a passion. a commitment and even a little luck to stay with it long enough for people to look forward or seek out your posts. Do your writing at your own pace. You do not have to write every day like I do during the season, or 3-4 times a week in the off season. Stay within your guidelines of time management that enables you to write something consistent and great.

Your writing should flow out of you like a fine Dr Pepper into a glass of ice. Most of all, have fun. We all have the joy of baseball within us or we would not be writing here. Keep that joy close and within your grasp and everything you write will shine from a focused light.

l_1e25076a3ec649ae81ed2355881750ce.jpgI am so proud to write on this site. I have turned down offers of writing elsewhere and even dissolved my own website to write exclusively here. I could entertain and possibly get some financial rewards from other websites, but I enjoy the community and want to see it grow even larger in the near future.

The site has let me rediscover a love I pushed away years ago. It has granted me the chance to again write about something I am soooo passionate about. But most of all, it has let me get to know each and every one of you in some way through your comments or posts. I can not put a price tag on that….ever.


I couldn’t agree more. I appreciate you leaving a comment on Prose and Ivy this week. It’s cool to know people are visiting your site and enjoying your point of view. You may not agree with everything other fans write on their blogs, but that’s just it. It’s THEIR blog. Everyone on here started an MLBlog because they love the game and wanted to have a place to share it with others who share that passion. The MLBlogs community including the folks who run the show (Mark and his team), as well as the group of bloggers involved is an amazing environment to enjoy and discuss baseball. Congratulations on your 1000th post, look forward to reading the ones to come.

Prose and Ivy

Thank you for that.
Got to say, that video still has me chuckling a bit…Sean Connery (lol).
That is so true. Recently there was some strife over a issue that did not merit such a firestorm. It went outside the lines almost to fanatical, but got erasered into the line in time to save their credibility.
If I am 50th or 3rd, I will still write the same, about the same type of subjects and promote my blog. If we made money out of this….I can see the bruhaha, but we do it for the love, not the jingle in our pockets.

Rays Renegade

What I have been pchireang for a year. And CG is correct — Hellickson should have started the ALDS last year (over Shields, who didn’t have it at all and we all knew it). And there is no doubt that over the last year, the Rays had soured on Jennings for some reason (maybe legitimate, maybe not, but I’ve never seen it explained) and the whole winter I heard Jennings being diminished as a top propsect all over the media landscape. I never understood it. He started 2 games last September. Look, this hot start is just as meaningful as the 2 spot starts last September. He needs a chance to prove himself one way or another. But he solves the two biggest holes the team has had for 2+ years — RH hitting, leadoff man. Every at bat given to Kapler, Baldelli, Ruggiano, Damon and Fuld at Jennings expense in the last 2 seasons was, I believe a terrible waste. Of course, I can’t prove a negative. But this is the same organization who sent Carlos Pena, Casey Kotchman and Evan Longoria down to Durham when they had won roster spots in spring training, only to have injuries and ineffective play ultimately bail them out. They make lots of mistakes on the offensive side of the ball in evaluation — I think much of it comes from the GM side, not the playing field side of management, because contracts seem to be more important in who plays than the merits of the play itself. That has been pretty frustrating. Just glad to see a real lead-off man at the top of the roster.

Congrats on 1000! I appreciate the effort you put into your blog and the way you comment on so many other blogs. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made the rounds of other blogs and have found your thoughts posted there.

Congratulations on your 1,000th post, Rays Renegade, and thank you for all you do for the blogging community! I remember you were the first blogger to “find me” and comment on my blog without me commenting on their blog first. I was so excited and grateful for the encouragement. You are an excellent ambassador for the MLBlogs community and a great blogger in your own right. I look forward to reading your next 1,000 posts and beyond. :)

Props to you RR on the big 1000, that’s impressive. I enjoy reading your blog because I feel like I learn something everytime I visit. I appreciate that you always have a kind supportive word or relevant story to tell when you visit my blog. I knew you would some day take top honors as you do everything right. I hope you have a great season and #2 is not so bad when I get to look up to you brotha…”D”

Congrats on the 1000th blog post sir. I really enjoyed your tips for the new guys around here like me. I’m kind of have the same experience, I do have my Bachelors in Journalism, although I’m currently in my twenties, I didn’t pursue working at a newspaper. However, I do have a passion for writing, but my passion is baseball, like yours. I intend to use your tips from this post. I never really have anything to say about Rays baseball, but I do read your blog often. Here’s to another 1000 posts.

You are the proof that I actually go out there and comment on the new blogs. I feel it is just the right thing to do. When your blog is new no one knows you, so if someone comes by, comments, it not only can make your day, but give you the confidence to keep on going.
There are a lot of great blogs on here both new and old. Exploring a bit will show you a whole different baseball World.

Rays Renegade

Double~R…You’re one of a kind. We’re all fortunate to meet your acquaintance through this blog. I absolutely DO remember your postings on Maple Bats. It was a special piece of work. I’m very much looking forward to reading your next 1,000 posts. Enjoy your rightful place at the top of the hill and congratulations. You are by far, the Rays’ ultimate Ambassador.
Your fan, Mike

I probably spend about an hour or so a day checking out the “new blood”.
Like I mentioned before, sometimes you have a responsibility to check out others so that the growth of MLBlogs just springs up like a Spring weed.
It is my pleasure to read, comment and even return to blogs as often as possible. There are no bad blogs.

Rays Renegade

Thank you for that.
I think this year the top spot is going to be a bit more…flexible. I honestly think there are at least 6 blogs that could go back and forth all year long taking the spot for a month. Heck, there could be a new comer that gets to the top…And that is fine.
As long as we all have fun, get to know our blogging neighbors, then it doesn’t matter where I end up each month.
Word to your Mother! (I love Vanilla Ice)

Rays Renegade

Wow, that’s a lot of posts! Congrats on hitting the top spot, too. Some good tips for all of us as well. The younger (student) crowd aren’t the only ones who run into time commitment issues – some of us with our own kids sometimes run out of time in the day as well! :-) Or run out of things to say.
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Absolutely fantastic. You are a true gentleman and scholar!


First off, you do not have to call me sir, I was a NCO (lol).
Seriously, we are all on the same level, but I do commend the politness.
If you got something from the post…then great. If you didn’t…read it again. Baseball is a timeless sports…seriously. If you bog down the blog side of it with extra rules or procedures you ruin the flow.
Have fun, write,and all willbe well in the zen World of baseball….
Or something like that…I forget.

Rays Renegade

I knew someone would remember that series. Still want to do a fourth blog on the updates and procedures that might be in place in the MLB for 2011 with maple bats. I know the league is frowning upon shaving down the handles or barrels, but not sure if there is a punishment or fine…Hmmm?

Rays Renegade

Welcome to the 1,000 club! Also, very impressed that you’re still rockin’ the Jason Grilli pic. Nice! Oh, wait… I think you meant for us to pay attention to the words in the background… not Grilli ;-)

I actually look at the comments as my pay for a good job. Some days I am panhandling on the street corner, others days ( like today) I feel like that rich dude on the Monopoly Board Game.
Do not believe that for a second, I feel rich every day no matter what. And I agree, some parents also have time mangement issues that interfer with their “art”/blog. Paint when you can….I will stroll by and admire the artwork.

Rays Renegade

This post describes a lot of the reasons why I started my blog. I was writing for another site about baseball and getting burned out. The passion wasn’t there. I left that site and a few months later started my current blog. There’s no money involved. It’s about my favorite team and sport and there’s no deadlines or pressure. Plus, I really enjoy reading other MLBlogs. There are some very talented and passionate writers that I really appreciate. Thank you so much for your contributions. I truly enjoy reading Rays Renegade!


Not sure about the gentleman part, but I think I would look pretty stellar in a mortarboard cap and Rays robe…..I even have a photo somewhere of what the robe would look like….

Rays Renegade

Not sure about the gentleman part, but I think I would look pretty stellar in a mortarboard cap and Rays robe…..I even have a photo somewhere of what the robe would look like….

Rays Renegade

I did guess the team Grilli was heading to in 2010…But I could not predict the knee injury.
I do follow him on Twitter and Facebook…maybe I can do a PSA for him or for “Happy every day”.
Short responses today…my blackberry is melting.

Rays Renegade

I started my own website a few years ago and the only one to make $$$ was Go Daddy on the monthlys.
People start blogs for a variety of reasons, some want the World to know a talent, a event or even showcase a special love.
Mine was all three combined in a nine inning symphony that symbolizes my love for this game.

Rays Renegade

Hey RR!

Just wanted to say congrats! 1,000 is quite an achievement as I just looked and saw I’m a little over 200. You’re right, its much more fun to bounce around and make comments on others blogs. I wish I did it more. Keep up the great work and have a great time at ST! I’ll shoot you an email when I’m in Clearwater. I’ve been there before but want to try and hit some of the great local spots. I hear as a Phillies fan I need to go to Lenny’s for breakfast and to a place called Beach Comber that Harry Kalas used to frequent every summer.

Congrats buddy!


I do not promise that jumping aorund the MLBlogosphere will promote acceptance, but it is a awesome way to meet people without flying to their cities.
That is one of the things that is great about this site. I have only met a hand ful of the bloggers, but it was a special moment.
If you go to Lenny’s you have to have the Firehouse Omelette…comeplete with little fireman’s helmet. Beachcombers is a place may parents took me as a kid. Kind of a lost iconc of the 60;s on Mandalay Ave on the north side of Clearwater Beach. I remember the steaks and Ceasar salad was amazing….I didn’t always eat from the kid’s menu.

Rays Renegade

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