SB Nation is the hidden gem you’ve never heard of. The 3-year old site has 316 blogs – one for every sports team – and is run by rabid fans, not paid writers. The one I follow – with about 200 other crazy UCLA fans – is Bruins Nation and it’s incredible. Calling it a blog isn’t right, it’s more of a website with many features. There are editor articles, fan articles, and fan shots – where you can share pictures, links, video, and quotes.
My two favorite elements of Bruins Nation are the analysis pieces from the editors – weekly grades after the game and a unit-by-unit breakdown of upcoming opponents – and the fan shots where I can find all those random, and awesome, links only true fans would find. A combination of dedicated, but volunteer, writers and fan contributions that make SB Nation a special place.
Today, the site is undergoing a major renovation – called SB Nation United or SB Nation 3.0 – with the goal of creating a common look across the site. New logos were created with the same size and format – though, each has its own team-defining illustration and colors. And a new article and front-page layout that finally brings the site into the modern internet era. The old one was very functional, but cluttered and hard-to-use.
Find your team in the SB Nation Directory, and here is the new look for SB Nation and Bruins Nation, and a few of the new logos.
As we cross the all-star break, we decided to take a look back at how things have changed. What we found was a strong correlation between their achievements in the 2011 season and their level of Facebook fan increase.
Over the course of his 14 years in baseball, Bob Ojeda threw more than 1,000 strikeouts and countless pitches across the plate.
The lefty, who spent most of his career with the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets, retired in 1994 after winning a World Series in 1986 and leading the American League in shutouts in 1984.
During that entire time, his left pitching arm hurt.
“For more than three decades, whether in Little League or the minor leagues or Fenway Park in Boston, there was pain,” he wrote in a recent New York Times article. “Sharp or dull, in the elbow or at the shoulder. Throwing fastballs as a kid or junk as a lefty trying to stay in the big leagues, it all led to pain. It would be dulled by aspirin or beer or more powerful cocktails of medicine and booze. But it would never leave.”
The pain Ojeda experienced is typical for a pitcher in the major leagues, he tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross.
Ojeda says the amount of pain he experienced depended on what type of pitch he was throwing. A change-up — which required little energy — wasn’t so bad. But sliders and curve balls would wreak havoc on his elbows, and fastballs really hurt his entire arm.
“Fastballs required the most energy,” he says. “That was the one that if I misfired at all … that put the maximum ‘wow’ factor in the ow.”
As the primary architect of the Atlanta Braves’ dynasty in the 1980s and ’90s, Kasten noted the Dodgers’ fast start in stressing that the goal is to “win now — we’re not going to wait two years.”
In the tall, reserved Walter, Johnson can see parallels in ownership style with the Lakers’ Jerry Buss. Buss left it to general manager Jerry West and successor Mitch Kupchak to make the moves that kept that franchise at the top of the heap.
“Mark’s like Dr. Buss,” Magic said. “He’ll put money into the team and stay out of the way. He wants to win.”
Johnson, a big baseball fan growing up in Michigan, called it “one of the happiest days of my life.”
He said he was flattered that Walter and Kasten wanted him to join Guggenheim Baseball Management — along with Mandalay Entertainment chairman Peter Guber, Guggenheim Partners president Todd Boehly and Texas energy investor Bobby Patton — when they were putting together their winning bid to Frank and Jamie McCourt.
Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully — one of the few individuals holding a place in the region’s hearts close to Johnson’s — mastered the ceremonies, concluding that this would be the last ownership exchange that would have his involvement.
There will be an unspecified amount of room available in the budget to pursue established talent in trades and free agency while fortifying the farm system, Kasten said.
“We’re not going to gouge the fans just because we paid a nice sum for this franchise,” Johnson said, disclosing that general parking would come down from $15 to $10. “We don’t want the fans to think because we wrote a big check [$2 billion], we’re going to stop writing checks for talent. We don’t want people to think we’re short on money now. That’s not the case.”
The sale of the team, the stadium and land surrounding it became official on Tuesday as the group closed its $2 billion purchase, ending the McCourts’ stormy eight-year ownership..
Guggenheim paid an additional $150 million for a 50-percent interest in the property surrounding Chavez Ravine and the stadium parking lots, in a joint venture with McCourt.
The McCourts bought the Dodgers in 2004 from News Corp. for a net purchase price of $371 million.