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A Quick Post on Names, Community, and Mariano Rivera

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Clay Rapada has nothing to do with this post, but his error has me down. (Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE)
Clay Rapada has nothing to do with this post, but his error has me down. (Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE)

Good morning, pilgrims. As I said in yesterday's inaugural post, Thursday was a big day for me in terms of family demands, so I wasn't able to respond immediately to your many comments on my arrival here at SBN. Right off the bat, let me say that that won't normally be the case; this blog exists for the readers and the community (sometimes those are one and the same, sometimes not) and I'll always be around to chat.

Actually, we will be doing literal chats and live blogs from time to time, but I will also be around to jump into the comments. At times, when we have a particularly good discussion going and I think even those readers who don't normally participate in the threads might benefit from the discussion, I will take my responses to select comments (or email) and turn them into a post. Going back to the beginning of the Pinstriped Bile I've had a recurring feature, first called "To the Mats with Reader Mail," and then later, as comments became the preferred manner of interaction, "To the Mats with Reader Comments." I plan on continuing that here when it's called for.

As for comments regarding the name change, a "coup" and more, read on…

Ever have one of your magazine subscriptions discontinued? I was around when the first video game fad took place, when "Space Invaders," "Missile Command," and "Pac-Man" swept the country, and arcades sprung up in every mall. At around the same time, the Atari 2600 and other home-gaming systems came along, so there was really no time a kid was far away from a game. I even had this primitive handheld LCD game called "Microvision."

As I do with most of my enthusiasms, I went into video games whole hog. I wanted to hear all about the latest games, home and arcade. I wanted news, reviews, previews, and so on. That's pretty common now, but it wasn't then, so when one of the first magazines devoted to game coverage came out, I asked my parents for a subscription.

This was great while it lasted (with the annoyance that game distribution was seemingly random, so the cool new game that was September's centerfold wasn't necessarily going to show up in your arcade), but though video games have lasted to this day, that first wave really was a fad, and when home gaming systems improved and PCs like the Commodore 64 came along, the arcades started to stultify. When a fad declines, the canary in the coal mine is the parasitic businesses that have latched on to exploit its popularity. And so one day, I got a notice in the mail that Arcade Addicts Monthly (or whatever the title was) would soon be discontinued and my subscription would be rolled over into its sister publication, Home Plumbing Maniac.

Now, I've never been handy. Even today, Home Plumbing Maniac would be wasted on me-if my kitchen sink springs a leak, my solution is to move. Even had that not been the case, I was 12 years old. I wasn't interested in flapper-flush-valves and copper pipes. I wanted to read about Tapper and Sinistar. Home Plumbing Maniac didn't go right from the mailbox to the recycling pile-not only didn't Americans recycle then, but landfills were where you found them-but the subscription was not renewed.

That is not what is happening here. Yes, the name is changing, yes, we will have more content. It's not about getting Uncle SBN more clicks (although that never hurts, because someone has to pay for the server) so much as it is just having a more compelling web site with more stuff to talk about, which means more conversation in the community which, coming full circle, means a more compelling site. Whatever the name or the cast of characters doing the posting, it remains a blog about the Yankees.

Very quick responses to some other issues raised in the comments:

  • Why are they changing the name, anyway? Two reasons: It signifies a new beginning for the site and because it and I have been companions for a long time and I'm kind of attached to it. Having said that, I think the name is less important than what happens beneath the banner. We could call this place "Pinstriped Eggplant" or "Derek Jeter's Gift Basket" and if the content and community weren't as good as they are, it wouldn't matter. Please give us a chance to do some writing before you let the name be a deciding factor for you as to how we're doing.
  • Bible has religious connotations. The Pinstriped Bible name has been around for about 12 years. This is, in all seriousness, the first time anyone has brought up religious associations. "Bible" is used here in the sense of, as it says in the dictionary, "any book, reference work, periodical, etc., accepted as authoritative, informative, or reliable." According to my Webster's unabridged here, that usage goes back to about 1350. Heading over to Amazon, I note, among other titles, The Backyard Bird Feeder's Bible, the Java Bible, and even Nolan Ryan's Pitcher's Bible. The name was coined almost at random back at the turn of the century, it proved popular, and it stuck. It has no more meaning than that. Now, if you want to look at it as a friendly wink at how some Yankees fans are nigh-religious in their devotion to the team, I don't see the harm in that, but the intention is neither to mock nor to endorse religion.
  • Do the current writers on PSA still have a job and It feels like a coup-watch out, Brandon! Brandon is quite safe, I assure you, in an undisclosed location. None of this or this going on for Brandon. More seriously, the team is intact, long live the team. Brandon is part of that, as are the rest of the writers. I hope to add some voices. It's not my intention to subtract any.
  • Did you poke a stick at Mariano Rivera [or] the value of closers generally? The value of closers generally. Rivera himself is impeccable and unimpeachable. He hasn't always been used in a way that was consistent with getting the most value from him, but that's his managers' faults, not his. In my view he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the best character guys in the history of the game.

    Next post: Actual baseball stuff, and none too soon!