The MLB playoffs started this week, and though two teams have already been eliminated, it's still shaping up to be an exciting postseason. The Texas Rangers missed out on the American League Wild Card this year, but they were competitive until the very end and notched their first winning season since 2004. Their outlook for 2010 is looking up, and to find out what it's like to root for the boys from Arlington we checked in with one of our longest tenured bloggers, Adam Morris of Lone Star Ball.
Eric Simon: For the permanent SBN record, what is your name and age?
Adam Morris: Adam J. Morris -- 38 years old
Simon: Where were you born and where are you living these days?
Morris: Born in Bryan, Texas, grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, spent 9 years in Austin, Texas, getting my undergrad degree, and now living in Houston.
Simon: Tell us about your family. Any kids? Pets?
Morris: Married -- I have a wife, Bethany, a 3 year old son named Seth, a 1 year old girl named Rowan, and 3 cats -- Buddy, Jack and George.
Simon: What do you do for work?
Morris: I'm a divorce lawyer, a partner in my own firm of Short * Carter * Morris
Simon: How did you become a Rangers fan?
Morris: To paraphrase Henry Hill, as far back as I can remember, I always was a Rangers fan. The team moved to Arlington in 1972, a year after I was born, and I remember going to the games from early on, and listening to the Rangers games on the radio in my room as I was going to bed. My dad still talks about how, when I was 5 or so, when we'd go to the games, I'd sit there with my hat pulled down over my ears and with my scorebook out, shushing people around me who weren't paying attention to the game so I could focus on what was going on and keeping score.
Simon: What was your high point/low point as a Rangers fan?
Morris: High points: There aren't a ton of them. Probably seeing the team win game 1 against the Yankees in the 1996 ALDS, the only playoff game the Rangers have ever won.
Low points: There are a bunch of them. Probably the Alex Rodriguez trade...knowing that our team was trading a guy who would probably go down as one of the 5 best players of all time, and was paying another team to take him, was probably the biggest kick in the nuts from a team that has consistently kicked its fans' nuts, administered wedgies, and stolen our lunch money over the years.
Simon: How did you get started blogging?
Morris: Back in 2003, I started a Blogspot blog, in part because I was tired of having my posts on message boards disappear, and not being able to have evidence to refute people who would say things like, "You thought the Todd Van Poppel signing was a great idea!" I would post every day or to, with thoughts and links and the like, and it gave me a more forum for more expansive thoughts I had that wouldn't fit in the message board format. After Frankie Francisco threw a chair at a fan in late 2004, that blog had a big surge in traffic from search results, and consistently started getting over 100 hits per day. I thought 100 hits per day meant I was really awesome and popular...
Simon: When and why did you join the SBN family and where did you write before?
Morris: I wasn't one of the Original Six, but I came on soon thereafter, in April, 2005. Tyler approached me, having seen my blogspot blog, and got Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing to lobby me as well. I was relucant at first...I was like, this sounds like too much work, I'd have to answer to someone else, this thing might never get off the ground, and plus I'm already kicking ass with my 100 hits per day. I just sort of ignored Tyler at first, but he persisted, and I broke down and agreed to do it, after Jeff and a few other folks convinced me it would be worthwhile.
Simon: Briefly summarize your approach to blogging
Morris: This is hard for me to answer. Basically, I write about what I think is interesting, and I try to come at things with passionate objectivity. Passionate, in that I'm passionate about the Rangers, want them to do well, and am not going to pretend otherwise, but objectivity in the sense that I'm going to try not to wear rose-colored glasses or be a homer when it comes to evaluate the organization, its players, and its performance. I feel like I'm writing for people like me -- statheads who are really into the Rangers from top to bottom -- and so I just try to do things that I would enjoy reading about if I'm in the audience.
Simon: Any tips for someone trying to become a better blogger?
Morris: The main tips I have to offer about being a better blogger is update constantly. One kickass, in-depth, hard-core, super-impressive post every 2-3 days isn't going to build traffic like doing 6-8 much shorter posts per day. Even if things are slow...I'll put up Rangers trivia, or even Seinfeld trivia or something like that. I put up posts every few days wishing a former Ranger happy birthday. I've started doing "This Day in LSB History" occasionally, going back and finding a post from a given day a year or two or three earlier, linking back and saying "this is what we were talking about back then." I think that, particularly with baseball, there is so much activity, so much to write about, even (and sometimes especially) during the offseason, that you can pretty easily do several posts a day even without game day threads and the like, which is key to building a solid community. And of course, the more you blog, the better you get at it, so doing regular blog updates ends up improving your skills, as well.