As One Era Ends, Another Begins

My day this past Sunday started out the same as pretty much every Sunday has for the past couple of years, get up early, make a pot of coffee, run to the grocery store and the post office and then back home. Usually my wife and daughter are still sleeping, so I turn on the laptop while I’m putting the groceries away and check email and the day’s MiLB.TV schedule.

I noticed almost right away an email from a friend who I get something from once every couple of weeks or so, so I bypassed it and went on checking other stuff and went back, and was pretty surprised at what I read from him.

After five years of blood, sweat, money and time, he was shutting down a website he had built from scratch into one of the more respected blogs in a market where there are more websites than cigarette butts on the sidewalk.

I’m talking about Mike Silva and NY Baseball Digest.

There’s one big, important point here that everyone needs to understand…Mike isn’t media. Whatever he knows is self-taught, through either the school of hard knocks or from not being afraid to knock on someone’s door. Mike excelled at something that stops most people before they get off the ground.

Even the most formally trained journalist has to pay his dues; respect from professional players, coaches, and front office personnel isn’t given just because you have a website or write for the Post. Not only did Mike gain that respect, he kept it by being true to his word and maintaining a trait which seems to be lost amongst today’s “media”, integrity.

We first met in late 2006 when both were writing for a startup site called Dugout Central, which was founded and operated by former Yankees third baseman Mike Pagliarulo. Mike left shortly thereafter to start his own site, and through the subsequent years we had stayed in touch, either through my writing contributions to his site or as a guest on NYBD’s sister radio show. As a transplanted native of the Tri-State area living in the Southwest and a fan of the local teams, it was a mutual win for both of us as I kept up with the happenings of what was going on in the world of New York sports, outside of what ESPN’s spin city provided.

Mike, by birth I guess, is a Mets’ fan, and while his site touched on the Yankees and the other sports teams in New York and even the local talk show scene, it was the trust that he built with the Mets’ organization that led Mike to being respected enough to receive credentials and invitations to events which left some big-name “mainstream” media outlets outside on the sidewalk.

Finding a start-up site which has reached this level of respect in such a short period of time is like finding quality acting on “Jersey Shore”. Major League Baseball doesn’t arbitrarily hand out media credentials, I can tell you from my own personal experiences that your first born child and being written into your will isn’t good enough, it’s a sometimes never ending process for the vast majority.

This isn’t the end, however, as Mike is moving on to a new venture called Instream Sports, where he will be a featured writer and will maintain the radio  show. The launch for his writing career will be effective June first, while you can still listen t his weekly Sunday radio shows on blogtalk radio.

For those who know Mike, he will be posting occassional updates on leading up to the launch, and will be making a formal announcement once his start date is officlal.

So, on behalf of those who care, and even some who don’t, thanks to Mike for five solid years of NY Baseball Digest, and good luck with the new opportunity.

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