2017 in Review

So, what is there to say about my fourth year of blogging?

I count 54 posts. Less than previous years, but still pretty good.

There were a total of 1,383 page views from 652 visitors (and 25 “Likes”). 239 of those views came in November, which set a record for most in a month. You know, I have to wonder – do my own page views count in that total?

The Top Ten Most Viewed Posts in 2017:

10. A Walking Tour of Lower Manhattan

Pay attention to where you are putting your feet. See those long strips with names and dates on them? You are in the Canyon of Heroes, the route taken by New York City’s ticker tape parades. Each strip marks a parade, and there’s some on each side of the street.

9. A Chinese Ghost Story (movie review)

Usually, when someone tells you a movie “has everything”, they are either lying or the movie tries to “have everything”, but it fails utterly at putting them together in a rational and balanced manner. A Chinese Ghost Story (literally: “The Ethereal Spirit of a Beauty“) has romance, action, horror, and comedy – and actually does integrate all of them successfully.

8. On the Electoral College – Part 2

There are two things to keep in mind when contemplating a reform of the system. First, changing it would require a Constitutional Amendment. You’re just not going to get enough small states (the ones that benefit from the current system) to go along and voluntarily give up influence.

Secondly, though, nowhere in the Constitution does it say how a state must choose its electors. So if one wants to try to reform the Electoral College, the way to do it is in the selection process in the individual states.

7. On Confederate Memorials

NOTE: No matter how much you may want to take it down yourself, leave that to the professionals. Vandalism is never to be condoned. If you absolutely cannot leave the statue alone, try something non-damaging. Stick a white “surrender” flag in its hand. Hang a sign saying “I’m a Loser” on it. Be creative! Just don’t damage it.

6. Russian Ark (movie review)

As I was watching the credits scroll by, I couldn’t help but notice that there were dozens upon dozens of gaffers listed. Gaffers are the electrical and lighting technicians, and they had a hell of a job to do here. Not only do you have to have all your lighting equipment set up in each and every room, you have to place it where it gives the required lighting without being seen as the camera moves and turns! Nor can you let a single foot of cable be seen!

5. Indiana Jones and the “Top Men”

Sorry, Dr. Jones, but I’ve got to side with the government on this one. The Ark is too dangerous to be kept out in the open. Better to stash it away in a secure warehouse somewhere. Then, if you absolutely need to, you can get it – but no one else can.

4. A Trip to Philadelphia – Part 2

The big one, the “keystone” if you will of the Parkway’s “Museum Row”, is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Thanks to Sylvester Stallone, you’ll likely see several people doing a workout as they run up the steps like Rocky. There’s even a statue of Stallone as Rocky in a nice shaded grove off to the side at the bottom of the steps (Nothing about Chuck Wepner as far as I could tell). Be ready to wait in line if you want to take a photo with it.

3. The Hall of Fame and the Keltner List

The Keltner List was developed by Bill James (who, by the way, *needs* to be in the Hall of Fame himself) in 1985…. The fifteen questions on the list are intended to help people better evaluate players in a consistent and relatively unbiased manner. But as James himself said, “You can’t total up the score and say that everybody who is at eight or above should be in, or anything like that.” Which, I might add, should also apply to all those other supposedly objective methods like JAWS.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the questions. And for fun, let’s apply them to a couple of players on the ballot this year: Jim Thome, Mike Mussina, and from the Veterans Committee, Jack Morris.

2. A Trip to Philadelphia – Part 1

However, I decided to avoid the obvious. I deliberately avoided Independence Hall and the national icon of the Liberty Bell. I’d visited them on a family trip in my childhood. Instead, I went to museums in that neighborhood that hadn’t existed back then.

1. Expanding Major League Baseball – Part 2

So with Portland and Montreal as our two choices for expansion, now it’s time to decide which one goes in the American League and which one goes in the National League, and then set up our four divisions per league. And work on scheduling…..

(The ones in bold were posted in 2017)

I have no idea why my review for “A Chinese Ghost Story still gets so many views. Or my tales of visiting museums in Philadelphia. I suspect that my post on the Keltner list did so well because just after I posted it, I was able to link to it in a comment on a post in another blog about the Baseball Hall of Fame voting. Timing was everything!

As far as the post on expanding major league baseball, I would like to think it’s because in that post, I discussed what the divisions and schedules might look like with sixteen teams in each league. That’s something that rarely gets discussed when people talk about expansion.

After the US, the countries that got me the most visitors were:

Canada – 101
China – 49
United Kingdom – 32
Germany – 21
Australia – 14
Netherlands – 10

So many Brazilians stopped by in 2016 – in 2017 I only got one visitor from there. Maybe it was because the Olympics were over….

Hey, and could you “Like” a couple of posts? Those are candy to my ego….. Thanks!

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