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A Personal Note -- What Happened and What Will Happen

Mike SteffanosMonday, April 4, 2011
By Mike Steffanos

I wrote my last blog post of the 2010 season on April 12. Fully eleven months elapsed before I began blogging again in April.

The vast majority of citizens of the world, including Mets fans who read blogs, paid little notice to the disappearance of one of a chorus of voices in the Mets blogosphere. I was never under the illusion that it would go any other way. There are so many good Mets blogs out there that few, if any, of us are irreplaceable. I knew that I certainly wasn't. That is not to diminish my surprised gratitude for all of the emails I received over those eleven month from readers who actually missed hearing what I had to say on the Mets.

It is true, I think, that a writer -- particularly one who doesn't make money doing it -- writes simply because it satisfies some need within us to write. Still, there is no real satisfaction writing without an audience. Communicating something you feel to someone else is the only real motivation to keep something like this blog going.

Sincere thanks to those of you who wrote, and those who have found their way back here since I began posting again. I appreciate your comments, emails and your time. Even if you've never communicated with me at all, if you are someone who comes here to read what I've written I want you to know that I do not take you for granted. You are all the reason that this space exists, and why I doing this thing again.

As for the "what happened", it was a combination of things more than anything else.

My Mom had a series of strokes last spring that complicated an already bad situation. She had mental and physical problems before these strokes exasperated her personal situation. Among other things, my brother and I spent weeks removing 2 dumpster loads of hoarded clutter of the most pathetic variety after she was removed against her will from her house. Her financial situation was messy, too, and is still something that eats up large chunks of my time. My mom and I were never close, but she's the only one I have, and I did what I had to do.

Personally, there were setbacks and disappointments in my ability to earn a living. As I scrambled around trying to figure things out for my mom I also scrambled trying to make enough money to get by. That's still an ongoing challenge, to be honest.

There was little time for the Mets last year, certainly not for the concentrated effort that worthwhile blogging required. I missed it at times, and kept thinking to myself that I would be doing it again any day now. Meanwhile, time kept moving on.

There were a few times that I started writing something, but I found that the longer I was away from writing the harder it seemed to get back to it. Writing isn't something that my day to day life demands of me, and the specific type of discipline required to harness my thoughts into something coherent that I actually wish to share with others doesn't come effortlessly to me. The longer I went without writing, the harder it seemed to get back to it.

But I continued to follow the Mets. Like many of you, I felt a renewed sense of hope when Sandy Alderson and company took over this team. Also like many of you, I grew increasingly frustrated at how the owner's financial mistakes dominated every discussion about our team.

I found myself spending a lot of time thinking about the Mets this past winter, and was amused to discover that I was composing imaginary blog posts in my mind. I had somehow become a writing nerd, and it was time to just get back to it.

It wasn't easy to get back into the swing of things after almost a year away. I started writing a piece about the Wilpons in March that took me almost a month to finish. There were lots of distractions, but also wasn't completely happy with my work. I realized eventually that the only way to get back to producing work that I was pleased with was to grind through and get something finished.

The last month has been my spring training. I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm posting again, and I'm getting there.

My plan going forward is to continue to try to post a couple of times a week through the season. There are times where I will probably post more frequently, and other times when it gets crazy and I may have to back off a little.

Once I get a little bit more comfortable with my writing I will be contributing occasional columns to Joe Janish's terrific Mets Today blog. My readership has understandably shrunk substantially due to my time away, and Joe was kind enough to give me an opportunity to write for a larger audience again. I'm looking forward to that, and will place a heads up on this blog when I write something that appears there or any place else.

I hope at some point in the future to be able to post daily again, as I really enjoy the constant interaction with other Mets fans that regular blogging affords. In the meantime, I will try to maintain a semi-regular presence as described above. I missed this a lot in the past year and will do my best not to disappear so long again.

Some thanks are in order. First and foremost, thanks to everyone who took the time to contact me in the past year. It meant a lot to hear from you.

Thanks to those of you who comment on this site. I always read what you have to say and appreciate your input.

Thanks to all of you who continue to grace this site with some of your valuable time to read the words that I and my fellow contributors have written. You're the reason I'm back, and I am grateful to you.

Thanks to Joe Janish for his encouragement when I contacted him with my request to write for his blog.

Thanks to Greg Prince of the irreplaceably wonderful Faith and Fear in Flushing blog for the kind mention and link that allowed some of my lost audience to find their way back here.

If somehow you read this, thanks to whoever selects the items that are linked from SI.com's Mets page. I understand you're not doing anything as a favor to me, but you've linked to some of my stuff since I've been back. These links and Greg's mentioned above are the only substantial traffic coming into my site since I've been back. While this is my spring training as a blogger, it's nice not to be toiling in an empty ballpark.

I know that old readers are going to continue to find their way back here in the coming months. Rather than repeating this story over and over again I will link to it from my new posts. That way we can just talk Mets, which is much more fun and interesting than talking Mike. Thanks again to all of you for your time.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

Comments (21)

Two of three from the Fish in Fla and Mike is back blogging, what a great weekend, Welcome back Mike

Mike - I feel your pain. My mother in law is recovering from a stroke, and it's a long, hard road. For what it's worth, you missed nothing by not posting on our Mets last year. There wasn't much blog-worthy there, either on the field or in the owners' luxury box.

Lean on your writers - you be the narrator, and we'll be your Geek Chorus.

Welcome back! What Kranepool said.

Now I know it's going to be a better year. We have a piece that was missing back with us again. Welcome back Mike.2 out of 3 on the road is a good sign.I know it's early , but they look like they have that attitude that was missing for the last few years. With good health on our side this may be a fun year to watch them.

Never left ya. Have kept the bookmark alive, until you stated that you were closing up shop. So do your stretches, or soft-toss, or whatever you need to do, because we're here, enjoying reading you whenever you post.

Thanks, guys. It means a lot to hear from you.

change my posted by ..to Rev.Al,from now on.

I know I'm late to the party, but welcome back Mike! Sorry to hear about everything that's been going on in your life, but I certainly can sympathize with some of what you were/are going through. I've checked on the site every so often, and kept the bookmark active; it's good to be able to go here again and read your take on the Mets.

Looks to me like you're ahead of Isringhausen right now.

Looking forward to seeing you writing more, be it here or wherever.

Thanks for coming back, George.

Izzy still has a better curveball than me, Joe, but I appreciate the thought.

Aloha Mike. DaMetsman has moved across the pond (kind of contemporaneously with your travails) and you are back with your creative take on Mets baseball. Life is good. The Mets will be better than most expect (at least until the trade deadline). More later. In the meantime, so good to see those words exploding off your blog.

Welcome back Mike - I missed you all the way from London UK!

Great to have you blogging again - I aloways really enjoy reading you.

I hope the rest of the (non Met!) things in you life sort themselves out too.

Welcome back, Dave.

Thanks, Peter. I never knew I had readers in England. Cool.

also glad to see you back, in any form.

Thanks, Caryn

Glad you're back!

(Ex-Mets fan, living elsewhere, found your blog occasionally informative, had wondered what happened.)

hey your story about your mom touched me. i also have had to deal with mom,father in law, and mother in law, who had health and mental issues straining and testing my marriage playing and watching baseball helped reading your blog help also keep it going i will try to send you bits and pieces of ny baseball from the 1950 to 1970 fred

D. -- Thanks. I got a kick out of your description of the blog. I'm thinking of changing the tagline of the blog to "occasionally informative since 2005". :-)

Fred - I only have to deal with my Mom. Sounds like you had it pretty rough. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Glad you are back, Mike-- I have always enjoyed reading your blog.

Hey Mike -- Just read your piece. Understand completely how life can get in the way -- more than you'll know for a while. Hope to write a piece for you now and then -- as I watch "our guys" as Ken Harrelson would put it, losing to "their guys," the Yankees, 3-1 in the 4th at CitiField. I too, am late getting back here but hope to both read your stuff again as well as contribute an occasional piece as well. You always have good, reasonable, realistic and heartfelt stuff. So it's good to say welcome back, keep on trucking, and what another friend always says to me -- what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Be strong, my friend.


I come here because I find the writing on this site to be intelligent, interesting, and passionate toward the Mets. I've been following this team since 1968, and feel that this community suits me, This isn't the only blog I read, but it is in the small list that I check daily. Take care of yourself and yours, and keep doing what you're doing!

Thanks, Steve.

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