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Hello from a new HardballTalk contributor

Feb 28, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

Domonic Brown AP

Hey there. I’m Bill Baer and I am your new HardballTalk blog contributor. I will be writing words for your eyes to read every evening during the weekend. If you’re new to my existence, I run the Phillies blog Crashburn Alley, which has been partnered with ESPN as part of the Sweet Spot network since 2009. I also contribute content to ESPN’s Sweet Spot blog directly every weekend. Elsewhere, I’ve written a book, hosted a radio show in Philly, and contributed to Baseball Prospectus.

How about an icebreaker? My favorite baseball moment, at least that I’ve seen in person, was when I was at Citizens Bank Park for a Giants-Phillies game in 2006. I got to see Barry Bonds hit home run #713 off of Jon Lieber. I wrote extensively about that night here if you’re interested.

You might be thinking, “Bill is a Phillies fan. Great, that will balance out all of Craig’s negativity towards them.” You would be wrong. Despite being a fan, I will take every opportunity to laugh at Ryan Howard’s contract, Delmon Young’s weight and racist tendencies, and Michael Young’s inability to play defense.

It is my hope that you enjoy having my perspective added to the fantastic lineup of HardballTalk writers. Please direct your hate mail to my Twitter: @CrashburnAlley.

Note: I included a picture of Domonic Brown because he has a pretty swing.

  1. phillyphreak - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Awesome. This is awesome.

    • Old Gator - Feb 28, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      If not for the fact that this guy will work on weekends, I would swear that it’s really Craig killing two birds with one stone: (1) pretending to be a Feelies shill to redress the grievances of those multitudinous phanatics he’s been trolling mercilessly for years and (2) boning up for his Gowachin bar exam.

  2. illcomm - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    welcome. just one recommendation. if you update or correct an article, then please note that update. other bald writers update their blogs n don’t reflect that in their article whivh makes the comments section become a bit.confusing.

    • ame123 - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      illcomm is very appropriate.

      • Francisco (FC) - Feb 28, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        It certainly does NOT stand for Illustrious Communicator.

      • Old Gator - Feb 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        “ill com” = sic transit?

    • pauleee - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Almost as confusing as your grammar/punctuation/spelling.

    • dwrek5 - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      I usually go with “nice to meet you”.

  3. paperlions - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    “I will take every opportunity to laugh at Ryan Howard’s contract, Delmon Young’s weight and racist tendencies, and Michael Young’s inability to play defense.”

    Bill, you are going to fit right in around here….welcome.

    • Old Gator - Feb 28, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      Aha – it is really Craig, looking for some excuse to stay in the basement over the weekends. Craig, you better have that creeping agoraphobia treated before you need to try your first case as a Legum.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Please don’t encourage Craig’s negative behaviors. Thank you.

    • number42is1 - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      Cur68 wants to have a word with you related to your misspelling of “Behaviors”

  5. ame123 - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Craig knows how his bread is buttered. Phils fan traffic is this site’s lifeline.

  6. bennyandthemets - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Should have included a pic of Ryan Howard’s contract.

    http://tinypic.com/r/2luvw5x/6

    • El Bravo - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      wow that is beautiful. brings a tear to my eye.

      • greymares - Feb 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        kind of like the B.J. Upton contract, right.with the same amount of strikeouts 1/2 the R.B.I.

      • El Bravo - Feb 28, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        hahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahaha hahahaha ahahaha yeah right. just like it.

    • Jeremy T - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      I am so glad I’m not a Phillies fan.

      /looks at A-Rod contract

      well s***…

  7. mscxvd - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    O_O awsome!

  8. Jeremy T - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    I don’t believe I’ve read anything of yours in the past, but if this introduction is any indication of your writing style, I thoroughly approve. So, yeah, if attaining the approval of a 22-year-old New Yorker was your main motivation for taking the job, congratulations!

  9. The Dangerous Mabry - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    I can’t stand the Phillies and yet I’m a regular Crashburn Alley reader, just because Bill runs a great site over there full of reasonable analysis and a healthy dose of humor. When I saw Craig’s tweet a moment ago about a new “Phillies fan blogger” on HBT, all I could think was how awesome it would be if it was Bill Baer. Nice to have you here, Bill.

    • davidpom50 - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      As a non-Phillies fan, I’ve only rarely come across Bill’s work, but it has always impressed me. I’ll be happy to get to read it more regularly.

  10. Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    I’ve known Bill for a few years now, before we were both brought into the SSN at ESPN. His work, and the work of his team at CBA, is fantastic.

    Welcome, Bill!

    • Old Gator - Feb 28, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      How much did Craig pay you to write that? You know he’s not fooling anybody, don’t you?

  11. ryanrockzzz - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Now that you are here, you have to troll the Braves a little bit, just to keep Craig on his toes.

    Also welcome to the blog where everyone cares more about grammar, spelling, and putting an “update” in your article way more then they should.

    Maybe the sweet Dom Brown swing will still look good when he is hitting off speed pitches against big leaguers, instead of fastballs off AA camp bodies LOL.

    • Bill Baer - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Oh, word?

    • voteforno6 - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      Some of the funniest stuff that I’ve read about the Braves has been in the comments threads on Crashburn Alley. I still chuckle over one person’s description of Braves fans as “Stepford Racists.”

  12. mscxvd - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    i feel like a kid in a candy store!

  13. cur68 - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Hello Bill. Love your work. Welcome to the Nut House. Bean dip in the corner, mind the cat, grab a bean bag etc…

    Hope you’re not the sensitive sort. The Phaitphul will call you names, some will create multiple commenter handles so they can go around agreeing with themselves about how much you suck, and then they’ll get REALLY personal. You’ll know you’ve really arrived when a former commenter, now banned, named “halladaysbicepts” (sic) starts calling you a punk via twitter.

    Meanwhile, baseball will happen, and if you substantiate your work with that, we can have some fun around here. As you note you’ve got lots to work with: Delmon Young, Mike Young’s defence, Howard’s contract, Cholly’s lack of English Language ability and so on.

    Cheers.

  14. El Bravo - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Not as pretty a swing as Chipper’s was…from either side of the plate.

    – El Bravo aka Phillies Troll #42

  15. Francisco (FC) - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Bill is a Phillies fan. Great, that will balance out all of Craig’s negativity towards them.

    What negativity?

  16. thesportsguru7 - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    So hoping for a combo of Delmon Young bobblehead night, along with Jewish Heritage night!

  17. nineroutsider - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Welcome to the team. Since you shared one of your favorite baseball moments and it was Giants/Phillies related, I will share mine. Game 6 of the 2010 NLCS: The Phils took down erratic Jonathan Sanchez for the count way, way early and it looked like they would win the game and force a Game 7. Instead the Giants’ bullpen pitched 7 2/3rds innings of shutout ball and advanced to the World Series. Howard was called out on strikes to end a tense game that I felt the Giants had no business winning, but somehow did. It was a great moment because Philly fans were very arrogant before that series. The giants have had a lot of great moments since and are happy to share more with you and surely will.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 28, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      So…..your favorite baseball moment is not one of the two World Series your team has won?

      Sounds to me like Phillies fans have messed with your head pretty good :)

      • Francisco (FC) - Feb 28, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        Yep. Living rent free up there in the noggin’

  18. indaburg - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    I’ll forgive you being a Phillies Phan since you don’t seem to take your Phaithphulness too seriously. Welcome aboard.

  19. El Bravo - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Question: if you can only have one dessert for the remainder of your living days of the following two items, which do you choose? Cake or Pie?

    Warning: Your answer will immediately and forever solidfy your readers’ opinions of you.

    • Bill Baer - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Neither.

      I’m prepared to die for my beliefs.

      • El Bravo - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        Amazing. A Phils Phan with class. A man that shuns both cake and pie. And those two people are actually the same person. Seems to defy logic.

      • cur68 - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        He’s probably in the break away Ice Cream Lobby. F’n Splitter!

      • Alex K - Feb 28, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        If he is part of the Ice Cream Lobby we will gladly accept him.

      • cur68 - Feb 28, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        SPLITTER!!!!!

      • Jeremy T - Feb 28, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        Now why couldn’t Posnanski answer the same question?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        “I’m prepared to die for my beliefs.”

        You took this job, so that part was understood ;)

      • indaburg - Feb 28, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        Could be a part of the small yet significant bread pudding faction. Can’t trust those people.

        Preferred adult beverage?

      • historiophiliac - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        Please be bread pudding. Please be bread pudding. Please be bread pudding.

      • captainwisdom88 - Mar 1, 2013 at 2:14 AM

        ive read every comment on this whole thread and they are some of the funniest ive read in a while (cur ur crackin me up with the dip/cat/etc). If i was Bill id be quite excited to have such following so quickly. Truly though, phils fans are the lifeline of this site and ultimately deserve to be recognized as such (i know it aint comin anytime soon)

        Bill i like how active u are in the comments sections…its only gonna boost your popularity on this site. i wish ya the best

  20. townballblog - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    A good, warm welcome to you, BB.

    > >

  21. overfro4 - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    At least now every story about the Phillies won’t be some negative troll piece from Craig, who really has nothing better to do then just hate on the Phillies at every possible chance. He didn’t get ranked on #54 on Deadspins worst twitter accounts for nothin’ http://deadspin.com/5944981/the-deadspin-twitter-+100-the-67-worst-accounts-in-sports

    • El Bravo - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      At least now every comment from a Phillies Phan here at HBT won’t be completely insufferable, overly-defensive and whiney.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 28, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      To be fair, I ranked #54 on that list because of tweets to my girlfriend, not because of my Phillies trolling.

  22. Francisco (FC) - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    You would be wrong. Despite being a fan, I will take every opportunity to laugh at Ryan Howard’s contract, Delmon Young’s weight and racist tendencies, and Michael Young’s inability to play defense.

    Now, now. Tread lightly, that’s Craig primary food source. If you go all out what the devil will HE post about?

  23. thebadguyswon - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Welcome Bill!

    Phillies suck!!

    • Bill Baer - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

  24. hisgirlgotburrelled - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    “Despite being a fan, I will take every opportunity to laugh at Ryan Howard’s contract, Delmon Young’s weight and racist tendencies, and Michael Young’s inability to play defense”

    The law firm of Young & Young are new and not all that welcomed.

    Craig’s trolling goes to great lengths (i.e. today with backups making errors in spring training, last season a drop in phillies merchandise sales in ’12). So unless you’re one of those self-deprecating fans that go ‘yeah philly phans are obnoxious’ like they’re trying to get in with the cool crowd, then your addition is great. I’ve read crashburn alley and know that’s not the case. So, welcome!

  25. illadelphiasphinest - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Bill please write a few posts a week ripping the Braves. Craig thinks the are unflawed and perfect. It’s annoying.

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