In the spring of 2009, I had an idea. (When you have as few as I do, you keep track of them.) I used to have a better grasp of most every team in baseball, but more and more my specialization into the Cardinals, whether on message boards or blogging, had meant I knew the ins and outs of the Redbird roster but I had less of an idea about what other teams were doing. From afar, a team like Arizona or New York might look like they were struggling, but were they really?
I always enjoyed the rare moments when a blogger or a website contacted me for my opinions on the Cardinals, so what better way to find out about the rest of baseball than to contact bloggers of other teams and pose them a series of questions? The first year, I contacted just one blogger for each team, but that expanded as the years went on. Many of the questions stayed the same, but some changed every year. (And there was the year I had 10 questions–talk about a huge blog post!) The series did so well that it continued and also spawned what we now know as the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.
So now, for the sixth straight year, I’ve sent out the emails and prepped the posts for Playing Pepper. This year, I’ve contacted 239 bloggers covering the other 29 teams. (Of course, not all will respond, but you have to cast a wide net to make sure you get enough fish.) We’ll run one a day in alphabetical order based on the following schedule. I encourage you to check out the different blogs represented and, if applicable, give them a follow on Twitter.
This year also gets a bit of a twist as the next generation comes into play. I enlisted my nine-year-old son–who does occasionally use the number 71–to ask a question and we settled on a standard query that would apply to all. You’ll find that one at the end of the set.
I’ve also enjoyed having a series being “brought to you by” someone, even if I’ve not been compensated to actually use such terminology. I’ve not done that with the Playing Pepper series in the past–it’s been limited to the Exit Interviews of the past two years–but this year, the UCB Annual will serve the turn. Purpose, Perseverance and Power Arms is just waiting for you to download it over at the Amazon store!
Of course, we’ll still have the regular coverage of the Cardinals here as well. These posts will typically run in the afternoon, giving you something to do after lunch. Odds are there will be plenty of posts floating around the Conclave as spring training warms up and perhaps thaws a few of my fellow bloggers out of their hibernation as well!
So stretch out your arms, grab your mitts, and head out to the field. It’s just about time to play some pepper!
Monday, February 17: Arizona Diamondbacks
Tuesday, February 18: Atlanta Braves
Wednesday, February 19: Baltimore Orioles
Thursday, February 20: Boston Red Sox
Friday, February 21: Chicago Cubs
Monday, February 24: Chicago White Sox
Tuesday, February 25: Cincinnati Reds
Wednesday, February 26: Cleveland Indians
Thursday, February 27: Colorado Rockies
Friday, February 28: Detroit Tigers
Monday, March 3: Houston Astros
Tuesday, March 4: Kansas City Royals
Wednesday, March 5: Los Angeles Angels
Thursday, March 6: Los Angeles Dodgers
Friday, March 7: Miami Marlins
Monday, March 10: Milwaukee Brewers
Tuesday, March 11: Minnesota Twins
Wednesday, March 12: New York Mets
Thursday, March 13: New York Yankees
Friday, March 14: Oakland Athletics
Monday, March 17: Philadelphia Phillies
Tuesday, March 18: Pittsburgh Pirates
Wednesday, March 19: San Diego Padres
Thursday, March 20: San Francisco Giants
Friday, March 21: Seattle Mariners
Monday, March 24: Tampa Bay Rays
Tuesday, March 25: Texas Rangers
Wednesday, March 26: Toronto Blue Jays
Thursday, March 27: Washington Nationals
Friday, March 28: Wrapup/Index