And now a couple of shouts out to some friends in the blogosphere:
Jon Weisman’s Dodger Thoughts has long been one of my favorite sites, perhaps the first blog I ever read regularly. It’s been a tougher time around the old baseball toaster with Jon this year, as he’s analyzed and endured the Dodger Follies and tried to maintain some perspective as one of the most storied franchises in baseball seems to be collapsing all around him, and us. And following the sports pages on a daily basis during the winter season is offering appropriately cold comfort. So, Dodger fans, and fans of Weisman’s considered, but hardly constipated, perspective, might be better off turning their attention to the new book Jon has just released, The Best of Dodger Thoughts, a 365-page collection of the top pieces culled from the Dodger Thoughts Web site (and perhaps some choice comments left by one or two of the many intelligent participants in this blog). Since 2002, Dodger Thoughts has been the leading independent source online for information and insights on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, Jon has compiled the best from the site in print, and promises sections highlighting:
--The 2002-2005 seasons
--Key Dodger players
--Dodger atmosphere: the stadium, the fans, the broadcasters
--Coaching and managing
--The GM's Office
--Baseball and writing
--Plus, a foreword by longtime Dodger broadcaster Ross Porter
Besides providing immediate enjoyment this off-season (and that aforementioned crucial distraction from the smell of smoke and that fiddling sound you’re hearing while Ned Colletti continues the laborious search for a manager for the team), The Best of Dodger Thoughts will have long-term worth as a historical resource: a you-are-there record of an important chapter in Dodger history, as well as the first printed compendium of blog coverage of the Dodgers. For longtime readers of the Web site, as well as those who have yet to be introduced to it (those of you in the second category, get thee to my sidebar now and click), The Best of Dodger Thoughts will be well worth owning.
"The Best of Dodger Thoughts can be ordered at Lulu.com or by visiting the Dodger Thoughts Web site.
And kudos to my friend Rodger Jacobs, who runs the contentious, increasingly high-profile and eminently readable Los Angeles blog 8763 Wonderland. His terrific site has just been nominated by Gawker Media as the best Los Angeles Blog for the 2005 Urban Blog Awards (not that you’d ever know, from today’s piece on blogging in the Los Angeles Times Calendar section, that it was even out there).
Rodger tells me that in order to stay in the running and make it through to the final nomination round he needs all of you who may know his site already through this one, or who would like to discover it now (head to that sidebar over yonder) to second and third the nomination with your e-mail vote. Nominations will be accepted until midnight Eastern time Friday, December 2 (that’s today), and voting on the final nominees goes through December 26th.
To cast your vote and get 8763 Wonderland nominated for Best L.A. Blog,, just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org -- put “Urban Blogging Awards: in the header of the e-mail, and in the text the following message: “I further the nomination of 8763 Wonderland as Best L.A. Blog.”
I discovered 8763 Wonderland several months ago when Rodger left a kind note beneath one of the articles I’d posted here, and he’s become a welcome member of the SLIFR clan ever since. I wish him and his excellent site only as much luck as they need with the Urban Blogging Awards—surely, if a certain standard of excellence, and not the popular support, were the final measuring stick to win such an award, I wouldn’t even be writing about this, because awarding 8763 Wonderland would already be a done deal.