The Cublogoverse is Movin’ on Up

cublogoverseRecently, our friends at Wrigleyville23 got the call up the big leagues. Well, the call up to somewhere anyway. They were tapped to become the Chicago Cubs blog for MVN, a post previously occupied by such Cublogoverse heavyweights as The Cub Reporter and View from the Bleachers.

We caught up with the proprietor of Wv23 (creatively known as… Wrigleyville) for a brief chat over coffee and scones.

The conversation ranged from ethical entreaties regarding the atrocities in Darfur to the merits of an aggregator bank formed to purchase and hold toxic assets. Or maybe we just talked about the Cubs and blogging. Check out the interview after the jump.

So, first thing’s first – ever done one of these before?
LOHO did a “Better Know Your Bloggers” with me last year. It pretty much changed the world.

Clearly. Ever think two years ago that you’d be such a superstar celebrity that you’d be giving interviews (can we can get an autograph later, by the way?)? What made you start the site in the first place?
Yes, I was certain of it. It was and is my destiny.

As for why, Wrigleyville23 was started on the day Alfonso Soriano signed as a way to re-engage with the Cubs after the debacle that was 2006. For the first time in nearly a quarter century, I simply did not care about the Cubs. I would go days without watching a game – or even checking a box score. With Lou’s hiring and Soriano’s signing, I could see that they were at least trying again and I figured writing this mess would force me to pay attention.

So, to that end, it has been a success.

How did you come up with “Wrigleyville23”? Do you like gum, cities, and Michael Jordan?
Unfortunately, I didn’t put much thought into it. I got to the step on Blogger where you need to name the blog and I didn’t have the foggiest idea. wrigleyville.blogspot.com was taken, if memory serves, so I added the 23 in honor of Ryne Sandberg (my all-time favorite Cub).

If I could go back in time, I’d probably pick Bleacher Nation or waxpaperbeercup, just to mess you guys up. Because I’m small that way.

You can be Bleacher Nation 2 if you want. It’s like the original, but you team up with Jackie Chan to fight crime. So what makes Wv23 different from all the other Cubs blogs out there?
Oh, we’re all different and special in our own way, aren’t we? As for WV23, well, we don’t really do game-by-game stuff. We don’t do much analysis of anything in particular. We don’t know much about statistics. None of us actually live in Chicago.

So that leaves us to critique the reporters and columnists who cover the Cubs (we’re uniquely qualified to do so), to antagonize (in a good way) rival fan bases, and defend Alfonso Soriano against those who say he shouldn’t bat leadoff (let it go, would you?) or even be allowed to play baseball. Dusty’s beat is to basically claim that Dusty Baker is misunderstood and that the Cubs have to fire Lou and bring Dusty back. The Sarge is much more active when things are going bad. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater likes roster moves and Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot (he went to LSU).

Oh, and we all use excellent grammar (other than Dr. Noisewater, who is a disaster). It really is a full-time job.

May I have your socks?
If you must.

So you’ve recently become the Cubs blog for MVN, along with Out of Right Field. Congrats. I believe you’re replacing View from the Bleachers, who replaced The Cub Reporter. Those are some big shoes to fill, eh?
Thank you. I don’t know about the shoes, as we more or less have our own built-in audience that looks like it will grow a bit by being associated with MVN. I’m not sure it will change much with the site, beyond making us a little more Cubs focused than we sometimes were in the past.

So you don’t feel compelled to be “more serious” or change the tone of WV23 now that you’re part of a big network, and carrying that mantle?

What are you saying? The tone needs to be changed? Mind your own damn business.

Silly us. To ask questions. In an interview. How did you get tapped into MVN and what was the transition like?
They sent me an e-mail asking if I’d like to join MVN, as well as requesting some money to help them get millions of dollars out of Nigeria – a portion of which I could share once the money is recouped. It was too good to pass up.

The transition has been pretty easy. MVN did a good job with our layout and migration of content. The only downside was their expectation that I would bother to read about how to use the new platform without sending them dozens of e-mails asking questions that would otherwise be answered with a few mouse clicks. Go figure.

Clicking is for suckers. You note on your site that yours is the 17th best Cubs blog (I would have been way more generous and said it’s at least 15). So what are your favorite sites in the Cublogoverse – other than, of course, your own and this magical, wonderful site?
Hmm. I read Another Cubs Blog regularly, as well as waxpaperbeercup, A League of Her Own, Hire Jim Essian and Chuck’s stuff. I pop by Not Qualified To Comment, but that will be more interesting come baseball season, as I really don’t care about other Chicago teams. I look at Out of Rightfield more now with the MVN thing, and I actually am enjoying the Bleacher Nation. And I wouldn’t just say that. Ask anybody.

Outside of the Cubs, I read Chuckie Hacks (Brewers), Half Street Blues (Nationals, when they bother to update it) and MLB Trade Rumors most every day.

Speaking of the blogs of the world, any thoughts on the sniping that goes on in the Cublogoverse?
Most of the chatter on the InterWeb is merely a fart in a whirlwind, and the sniping among Cubs blogs are no different. I tend not to get too involved in that, unless the biggest Cubs blog attacks someone who is apparently mentally ill or someone says something patently absurd (calling Soriano a lazy Latino or claiming he should not play baseball or he is merely a luxury for the Cubs).

As WV23 becomes more visible, do you expect to get more barbs thrown your way than in the past, and are you ready for it with mad ninja skills?
I’m not sure what anybody could find at WV23 to criticize. The logic is sound, the insight is keen and the readers are few. I would guess the intra-family disputes will continue to be the source of the more entertaining disputes.

I guess the only thing they could find to criticize is your over-the-top humility. So, Mike Fontenot or Aaron Miles?
To play the baseball? Fontenot.

Does that mean there something for which you would choose Miles?
I don’t really get a vote, but a three-player platoon of Miles-Fontenot-Theriot seems like a decent middle infield, no?

Favorite Milton-Bradley-is-Crazy joke?
Bah. Let the man play baseball. A vocal minority seems determined to see him fail before he even takes the field, which is an odd way to approach your favorite team. While Ryan Theriot takes a lot of crap from me and others (not that he cares), I very much want to see him succeed – and stop with the TOOTBLANs [ed. note: “Thrown Out on the Basepaths Like a Nincompoop”] and goofy falling down in the field. But I’m certainly not rooting for him to fail.

That’s fair, but I gotta say: isn’t Ronny Cedeno, on a per-at-bat basis, way more TOOTBLANy than Ryan Theriot?
Hard to say. Last year, we only kept track of Theriot’s TOOTBLANs, because they really got ridiculous in the middle of the year. This year, we’re considering keeping track of full-team TOOTBLANs.

[ed. note: this interview obviously took place before Ronny Cedeno was traded]

Please offer some words of wisdom/inspiration for the other aspiring writers in the Cublogoverse.
It will be difficult, but we will get beyond cubs.com taking away Carrie Muskat’s mailbag. I promise. Oh, and we also did a handy guide on how to be a Cubs blogger.

Excellent. Though I don’t know that I, personally, will ever get past the loss of Muskat’s mailbag. I just hope the rumors of a modeling career are true.

Thanks to Wrigleyville for chatting with us, and naturally, be sure to check out the 17th … aw hell, 15th best Cubs blog on the ‘net, Wrigleyville23.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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