Purgatory Online

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I'm not exactly sure what the reason is behind my (more than usually) elongated blogging funk, but I know this blog ain't dead yet. Truth be told, I've always thought that my proper focus should be on what happens on the field, rather than what happens off the field, so talking about games I can't watch sort of bores me. That should all change come opening day.

Speaking of which, due to various circumstances, I'm thinking of not subscribing to the "Extra Innings" package this year, but rather to the streaming broadcasts through MLB.com. I'll be clear on this - it's not my first choice. The only advantage to mlb.com that I can see is that I should be able to access the games even when I'm not at home. However, the games I miss during the year because I'm away from home are generally games I'd miss even if I had Web access to them, so I suspect that realistically I'd only catch five or so more games. And the downside seems pretty big - blurry video, dropped connections, watching at my computer desk rather than on the couch, etc. But on the other other hand, I suppose it is about half the cost...anyway, if anyone still reads this blog, and has any experience with MLB.com's video, drop me a line at purgatoryonline@yahoo.com, willya?

All that said, let me make note of a couple of changes in the lives of some of my fellow Angels bloggers. Josh has folded the tent on Acerbic Alchemist and shacked up (metaphorically, as far as I know) with Richard at The Pearly Gates. I believe this makes TPG the first collaborative Angels blog.

Halofan, meanwhile, has ported himself to the SportsBlogs conglomerate, a maneuver that's garnered him a snazzy new site and, apparently, the ReverendPersona plugin. I'm nonplussed about this one. To be honest, I'm not really on board with the whole sports blog conglomeration idea; generally when I'm approached by one my first reaction is to say "but what will you do when I decide to take two weeks off?" Beyond mere slothfulness on my part, though, I think that what I value most about this blog - and most of the ones I read - is the sense that it's an individual effort. Sure, the formatting is crap, and the content grows at the speed of Dutch Elm Disease - but that's what I like about it. It's mine. I don't have to promote anybody; I can call Athletics Nation a sack of mewling crybabies if I want to and nobody cares (or, indeed, knows).

Don't get me wrong - I think Halo Heaven is going to be a must-read. It's just weird to see the guy who was pretty much the exemplar of that iconoclastic spirit join in any enterprise that involves working with fans of the Oakland Green Weenies.

In honor of these changes, I commit to posterity my brief history of Angels blogdom:

Pre-history: Before the dawn of the Angels blogs, there was (and, I think, still is) an online journal of an Angels fan dating back into the 90's. I only saw it once and didn't save the hyperlink, so if anyone has it, let me know and I'll update. While not a blog, precisely, as it contained no links and didn't read as if it were written for the public, it was pretty well updated, mostly with game recaps.

May, 2002 - October, 2002: Purgatory Online, the beta version. Originally conceived as a general purpose blog that would talk a lot, but not exclusively, about baseball, I published a mixed-bag of stuff that I eventually wiped out when I decided to focus on the Angels.

October 10, 2002: First "real" Purgatory Online entry is posted.

July 10, 2003: The late, lamented The Monkey's Paw publishes its first entry.

September 8, 2003: The late, lamented The Monkey's Paw publishes its last entry.

October 16, 2003: Halofan begins publishing at the Anaheim Angels Blog.

February 3, 2004: Rob's 6-4-2, doing double duty as an Angels/Dodgers blog, debuts.

February 15, 2004: Richard jumps into the mix with The Pearly Gates, a blend of five parts Angels blogging to one part right-leaning politics.

March 15, 2004: Chronicles of the Lads becomes the third Angels blog to start up in the space of 40 days. Chronicles will eventually find a niche as "the one who does actual statistical research."

March 25, 2004: Yet another new Angels blog, League of Angels, arrives on the scene. Technically, I suppose this was the first collaborative Angels blog, but the ratio of Jeff to Joe has been something like 9:1, so decide for yourself. Until Halofan's decampment, League of Angels was the sole Angels blog to be affiliated with a bloglomerate, in their case the Most Valuable Network.

June 7, 2004: Watching Jeff DaVanon becomes the first Angels blog to single out a particular player for worship. Inexplicably, that player is Jeff DaVanon, a servicable but unspectacular reserve outfielder.

September 11, 2004: Dawn of The Acerbic Alchemist.

December 29, 2004: The Halo Herald is born.

March 1, 2005: Stephen Smith, whose invaluable Future Angels site has been keeping track of Angels prospects for years, adds a blog.

March 17, 2005: The Acerbic Alchemist joins The Pearly Gates.

March 22, 2005: Halofan enfrocked, ensconces self in SportsBlogs.

And that's it, as far as I know. If I'm missing something, email me.

What strikes me most about this, really, is the fact that there have been a total of eleven Angels bloggers (counting League of Angels as one), and ten are still going at it. That's a pretty remarkable rate, I think - though it would be interesting to see how things worked out in a parallel universe where the Halos were stinky in 2004. Back when I started, I remember there being about 40 Mariners blogs...now, not so much.

Anyway, if - for some Godforsaken reason - you haven't been reading the other nine, start. They all work harder than me.