Own Horn Tooting, 2012 Edition: The Year in Me

cover_9350105At the end of the year, one’s thoughts inevitably turn to the unstoppable march of time. And by “one,” I mean me. As 2012 draws to a close, I initially had a sense of failure (my default setting, really). Another year come and gone, and what had I done with it?

So, I took inventory of what I wrote this year, and it turns out I did a lot more than I remembered. I have little memory of writing some of these pieces, so I can now look back at them as if they were composed by someone else. For other posts, I was sure I’d written them much longer ago than this year, but timestamps don’t lie.

In short, I wrote a poop-ton of words in 2012, in a lot of different places. Not all of it was gold, of course. When you write in this kind of volume, it’s impossible to avoid mediocrity. Looking back on it in total, though, I was pleased with my batting average, and the fact that my output was a roughly even mixture of serious analysis, personal reminiscences, and goofy nonsense.

The only thing I found disappointing, really, was the fact that my online writing tailed off precipitously in the last few months of this year. But the main reason for this is because I took that time to finish my novel (for real this time). So even when I wasn’t writing for immediate public consumption, I was still writing. Before the year ends, the novel will be finally, totally complete, which is another star I can put on 2012’s ledger.

Below the jump, I’ve gathered together what I consider the best of the online writing I did in 2012, broken down by location (Around the Interwebs, at Amazin’ Avenue, and here at Scratchbomb). This is more for me than anyone else, a reminder that I shouldn’t be so morose and remember that this year I made some things I can be proud of, on top of writing a WHOLE DAMN NOVEL (*drops mic*).

I will rest on these laurels for only a minute or two, because I’m already hard at work on some great things for 2013. This includes ramped-up work on Yells For Ourselves, my scholarly fantasia about the 1999/2000 Mets. I’m also toiling away on another super awesome project I’m crazy excited about, which will be announced shortly after the new year (tease).

Everyone who read my stuff in 2012, thank you. Everyone else, there’s still room on the bandwagon.



 “El Capitan”, Soundtrack Series, January 18
Back in January, I was fortunate enough to be invited to perform as part of the Soundtrack Series, a great storytelling show where you pick a song and weave a tale around it. My saga concerned high school hubris, comeuppance, and John Philip Sousa, and you can hear it in its entirety at this link.

The Looney Tunes 50th Anniversary Special, Splitsider, February 1
A look back at a bizarre one-off prime time special about Bugs Bunny and pals, and one of the greatest things Bill Murray has ever done.

Report: What City Was Built on Rock and Roll?, Low Times, February 7
The results of my decade-long quest to answer the question posed by Starship’s smash hit.

Billboard’s Review of Mitch Miller’s Prog Record, Low Times, February 13
The Sing Along with Mitch impresario tries his hand at prog rock, with mixed results.

Kids, The Classical, February 17
Farewell, Gary Carter.

The Secret Record Reviews of J. Edgar Hoover, Low Times, February 21
Wherein I blow the lid off of the feared FBI director’s love of 60s garage rock.

John Rocker Is the Worst at Everything, Including Baseball, Vice, June 5
The ex-Braves closer wrote a brand new book. Turns out he’s still a horrible human being.

New York Times’ Public Editor’s Public Editor Is an Accidental Impostor, New York Observer, July 10
I didn’t write this article, but it does blow the lid off a fake Twitter account I wrote for a good chunk of the year, and how it was felled by the laziness/idiocy of unnamed accusers. Not bitter about it, though!

The Night Bobby Valentine Lurked, The Classical, July 20
An excerpt from my forthcoming tome about the 1999/2000 Mets, Yells For Ourselves.

Consider The Umpire, The Classical, September 11
I re-read former MLB umpire Ron Luciano’s smash hit memoir from the 1980s. Once considered a wacky romp, it has been rendered a tragic tale by the passage of time.


Call the Doctor, January 18
In the depths of coldest winter, a Mets beat writer unleashed a torrent of tweets about the team’s shoddy medical history, apparently venting years of frustration and pent-up anger. It was…interesting.

When the Fourth Estate Pleads the Fifth, March 14
Does the press have the obligation to report every leak it gets, even if said press knows the leaks have Machiavellian motives? This post was about the smearing of Carlos Beltran, but could easily apply to R.A. Dickey’s exit as well.

Chipper Jones and the Negative Spotlight, March 27
Thesis: Larry Wayne Jones make himself into a villain in New York out of a deep-seated need for attention he could not get in Atlanta.

I’ve Seen Fire and I’ve Seen Whine, April 25
Do some players get worse strike calls than other because they’re seen as complainers? Is Ike Davis such a player? Find out here!

Asterisk and Reward, June 4
The case against pasting an asterisk on Johan Santana’s no-hitter.

My Favorite Highlight: “Tied At 7, Hoping for Game 7…”, June 8
A look back at Mike Piazza’s forgotten heroics in game 6 of the 1999 NLCS.

Follow The Money, August 27
Read the post that got an entire site blocked by a Mets beat writer!

The Event Horizon of Chipper Jones Hate, September 5
Farewell to a enemy.

R.A. Dickey and the Door into Summer, September 28
On Dickey’s 20th win and clinging to a season.

Bart Giamatti Said It Best, 2012 Edition, October 4
My annual season review in pictures.

The One Who Stayed, November 30
Until 2012, two things were elusive for Mets fans: a no-hitter and a player that remained with the team for their entire career. Now, we have both.


Working, January 5
Discovering a note from one of my heroes, and finally completing a long delayed project.

Stamped, January 25
Presidential candidate/pork vacuum Newt Gingrich’s horrible comments about entitlement programs reminded me of my own history with food stamps.

The Style Dad Council, March 20
A study of that curious New York City phenomenon: The Style Dad.

Pledging, March 27
A trip back to grade school reminds me of my childhood issues with the Pledge of Allegiance.

A Sample, April 20
On the odd experience of being sampled in someone else’s song, and getting to know your heroes.

Embracing the Audience of One, April 26
Who you should write for, and why.

Paul Rodgers’ “Rock and Roll Fantasy” Fantasy Camp, June 28
The Bad Company frontman fulfills people’s dreams to live out their rock and roll fantasies, as long as they are confined to the universe he sings of in “Rock and Roll Fantasy.”

How to Wind Up in Twitter Jail, Starring @TimesPublicEdit, July 11
I had a fake Twitter account that made me and some other folks laugh. Then dumb people forced it to shut down. Here is that cautionary tale.

If You Need Any Clues…, July 13
My dad, the Times crossword, and how the @TimesPublicEdit mess cause me to lose a certain reading experience forever.

Death Becomes Her, August 6
The grave is everywhere when you live in Queens.

Ishmael vs. Ahab vs. Jean Shepherd vs. Myself: One Night Only!, August 9
A wild goose chase and a failed recording experiment leads to a letting go.

“Classic” Scratchbomb: Variety Chronicles Frank Sinatra’s Failed Biker Movie, August 24
Collected together for the first time, the saga of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ doomed attempt to cash in on the biker movie trend of the 1960s.

Talks Given at the 2012 Symbrosium, September 24

The Devil You Know and the Moral Buffet, October 26
An attempt to understand the rape apologists of the religious right.

They Fought the Math, and the Math Won, November 7
How Nate Silver triumphed over the monsters who fought data harder than they fought rape.

The New Quadruple-A Landscape of Writing, November 26
In the world of literature, there are no more call ups, not even cups of coffee.