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Thanks, HBT readers

Dec 9, 2011, 8:36 AM EDT

Winter Meetings Dallas

I’m back in my fortified compound on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio.  For the first time in a week I’m operating on a respectable night’s sleep. The Winter Meetings are fantastic, but they have to end sometime. Baseball writers aren’t exactly rock stars when it comes to this sort of thing, so if the meetings didn’t end everyone would simply die.

But we survived.  Frankly, I’m not sure how Gleeman, Pouliot, Silva and Short did. They posted about eleventeen hundred things since Monday while I was being a relative slacker. Can’t wait for the disability claims for the carpal tunnel (note: don’t tell those guys we’re going to deny the claims because of some waiver they didn’t know they signed).

And I’ll be damned if you guys didn’t read all of those posts. The last four days were, by far, the biggest four days in the history of HBT in terms of site traffic. You like us, you really like us, and we’re as grateful as we can be that you come back here to get your baseball fix.

Thanks, HBT readers.  You’re the best.

  1. wlschneider09 - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    Did you bring us an armadillo?

    Doesn’t hurt to ask….

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:47 AM

      Are you asking for a plush toy or a REAL armadillo?

      • cur68 - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:56 AM

        I prefer real tatu with no protective gear, and damn the leprosy.

      • kiwicricket - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:44 AM

        I prefer the real Russian ‘Tatu’ with no protective gear, and dam the chlamydia.

      • wlschneider09 - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:47 AM

        I’d prefer real, but I’ll take what I can get. By the way, it would be nice to have a armadillo cameo in the next episode of Craig’s lair. Love that stuff.

      • kiwicricket - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM


  2. drmonkeyarmy - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    You know what happened to the last writer who referred to his home as a fortified compound and liked to swill whiskey right?

    • frankvzappa - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:52 AM

      Of course…I take a computer break for a couple days and all of a sudden I end up missing Fear and Loathing at HardBallTalk…

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:59 AM

        HBT has been falling into decadent hedonism for quite some time….not sure how you missed it.

  3. skeleteeth - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    You would think with Comcast being involved now they would pony up some more bandwidth for you guys though. And maybe a better developer.

  4. - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    I bet the traffic was just us regulars hitting refresh in hopes of some juicy FA news. That or news about a baseball writer falling in the swimming pool.

    • cur68 - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:59 AM

      Who was that any ways? Please let it be Olney….

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:31 AM

        Heard this: Water coming into my ears at an excelerated speed.

  5. kiwicricket - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Was it awkward submitting the bar bill in as your expenses Craig?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      It’s gonna be scary, that I can tell you. There are only so many receipts issued at 1:30AM that you can pass off as “breakfast”

  6. Jonny 5 - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Keep with the hot stove updates at a fast clip…… And they will come….

    Seriously this stuff is like, like, like…. Put it this way, Hot Stove updates are to baseball nuts as Crack is to Tyrone Biggums.

  7. sdelmonte - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    And yet…

    It’s all just prep for the games. This was exciting and thrilling and all (and certainly a welcome change if you follow other sports as well and found those offseasons painful). But my interest this week is tiny compared to what I’ll be feeling in just three months.

    Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    • kiwicricket - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:41 AM

      I thought you were a Met’s fan Mr Delmonte?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:47 AM

        Think cards, but could be wrong. They should set up a little icon by people’s names so we it’s easier to remember who roots for whom.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        I’m pretty sure Mr. Delmonte is indeed a Mets fan. There’s always hope in future..

      • kiwicricket - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        Apologies if I’m wrong. I like the idea.

      • sdelmonte - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        I am always optimistic at this time of year. There will be time for despair later. And even a meaningless regular season game in August between the Mets and some other team playing out the string has its delights. (RA Dickey is on the mound!)

        But beyond that, I love baseball in all its permutations. Just the thought of spring training warms the heart in a way that winter meetings cannot.

      • kiwicricket - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        Fantastic reply.

  8. El Bravo - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    You’re welcome, HBT. Thanks for providing so many posts and updates. I hardly ever pay attention at home, but this week, I checked in routinely until I passed out with a joint in my hand each night. True story.

  9. aceshigh11 - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    Welcome back, Kotter, er, Craiger.

  10. diehardcubbiefan4life - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    No Craig. I want to thank YOU, as well as Gleeman, Pouliot, Silva and Short. Your guys blog is a part of my daily routine, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate having Hardballtalk to read everyday. You guys are awsome.

    • jtorrey13 - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      I agree. I love getting all the major (and some minor) from HBT as I open my day and try to figure out what has happened in the baseball world. (Though I still wish that yesterday had not happened. Combined with the last episode of “Community” for a while, I expected someone was going to come by and snatch the Firestone Union Jack IPA from me as well.) Great coverage. Now excuse me while I crawl back in my bottle.

  11. diehardcubbiefan4life - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    No Craig. I want to thank YOU, as well as Gleeman, Pouliot, Silva and Short. Your guys blog is a part of my daily routine, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate having Hardballtalk to read everyday. You guys are awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. goawaydog - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    I have to admit to being a Winter Meetings junkie for years now. But this year was especially entertaining. I learned new words such as “insaner-er”, found that there are more opportunities for the word douchbag (douchbaggerie being a favorite twist) than I ever could have imagined, during all the Albert Pujosl deluge actually looked back fondly on the deluge of Phillies posts during the playoffs. Was reinforced with the fact that Brian Sabean won’t do anything to help my Giants offense until Zito comes off the books at least, and was glad to see the overwhelming enthusiasm for the best sport there is. Thanks HBT, and thanks to the posters you are a twisted lot of information / idiocy / passion and humor. Let the games begin! Go Giants.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      Did somebody mention Phillies?

      • Old Gator - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:40 PM

        Nope. But they will.

  13. Old Gator - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Just stopped in to add a little wrapup to the Feesh saga: (1) The Feesh’s top offer to Pujols was indeed just a bit over $200 million, not even remotely the absurd $275mm some idiot reported that they offered to him – this confirmed by Feesh brass to Clark Spencer yesterday; (2) with exquisite sanity, more idiot rumors to the contrary, the Feesh are not players for Prince Pachycetus and are quite happy with Gaby Sanchez, their existing young, cheap all-star fine defensive first baseman.

    • APBA Guy - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:08 PM

      Perhaps the Feesh brass are covering their tracks at this point. The stories of their pursuit of both Pujols and CJ are too numerous to discount based on a self-serving claim from what, let’s face it, is a management that deserves no benefit of the doubt.

      That said, they still need another starting pitcher. Who’s the main target?

      • Old Gator - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        I’m betting they’re still active players for Gio and would not be shocked if they went after Garza or even James Shields. Larry Beinfest said yesterday that there are still deals being negotiated that were opened up both before and during the weenter meetings.

        They also really need a third baseman who can actually play third base. While the sports press is busy constructing the move to third as the Hanster’s rite of manhood, the probability is that he would be a lousy third baseman for reasons I have argued hereabouts far too often to want to repeat. Packaging Tweeter and maybe Volstad or even Nolasco in a deal for that elusive additional starter would let the Feesh move Bonifacio to left and Hanley to center (or Hanley to left), where he’d do a lot less damage than he will at the corner. Then they can go get themselves a real third baseman. I don’t think they need to go whole hog on this – a crusher isn’t needed. Ryan Zimmerman would do just fine if they can’t land Aramis Ramirez.

      • Old Gator - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        Coda: we’re also starting to hear noise about Javy Vasquez coming back for one last caper. I kinda doubt it but we’ll see.

  14. bluesoxbaseball - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    This is my go-to-first blog. Thanks for the good coverage.

  15. deathmonkey41 - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    The five you spent all that time at the Winter Meetings and you didn’t produce a single story about A-Rod or Jeter. You all suck at giving the public what it’s hungering for!

    • yankeesfanlen - Dec 9, 2011 at 7:19 PM

      Craig is leaving ARod alone, per instructions from the Home Office

  16. foreverchipper10 - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    You’re welcome.

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