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Happy New Year: 2007's Greatest Hits

One of the few things I share in common with Tiger Woods is my birthday, which is the oft-overlooked December 30th. Nice enough day on the face of things, and generally just about at replacement level, as these things go. Nevertheless, as I've gotten older and older, the turning over of the calendar seems less and less exciting and more and more sobering. This is especially so as I've found myself seemingly no closer to really doing anything, nor making any progress towards anything either. With my birthday so close to January 1, a real double-whammy of get busy, you worthless and pathetic loser has hit me these last few 30th-31st-1st periods. Last year marked the beginning of my "Age 27 Season", the traditional beginning of a baseball players peak; and I promised myself to make 2007/27, the best year of my life. Not really sure that happened, although I did successfully propose to Mary, which essentially represents the only accomplishment of my life, although, since the wedding is still months away, its not quite fully come to fruition.

But beyond all that angst, its been a very good year at Royals Review. This site launched in 2005, and since the Winter Meetings of 2006 has steadily grown. Time after time, when I've been travelling, or swamped, or just lazy, I've logged onto the site to find that a discussion of that day's news item has already taken off without me, which is exactly what I always considered the marker of success. In many ways the site runs itself, content-wise, which is a credit to the readers. Its been a long ride since I was pecking away on blogger back in 2004.

There were over 370 stories posted on RR last year, which isn't even counting the hundreds of diaries which also came to life. The first story of 2007 was on 1-4-07, a notice that our belovedly useless Jeff Keppinger was moving on.

Although I love the internet, I'm still haunted by this sense that it lacks the material permanence of the world of print, however flawed this line of thought may prove to be. So often, I'm torn between a desire to keep the site freshly updated on one hand, and a feeling that too many good posts and diaries are getting pushed down the page towards oblivion on another. Before we turn the page on 2007, here are a few site highlights. Its not much, but this is a pretty small-time operation here, so its slightly stunning to even me to see just how much content had flown across these wires.

Lets start with one of my favorite pet projects:

Royals Radio Affiliate Profiles

Ulysses, Kansas
Trenton, Missouri
Fairbury, Nebraska
Nebraska City, Nebraska
Winfield, Kansas

Lame. I wish I'd found the time to do more of these. I cranked out nine Radio Affiliate Profiles in 2006.

More posts of note:

Brett Saberhagen- Like an Enormous Yes
Random Royals Watch The Office
Five Fun Facts About Reggie Sanders
Predicting the 2007 Mark Quinn Award
Early Nominees for the 2007 Andy Sisco Award
Five Fun Facts About Gil Meche
RR Dialogue with Rany Jazayerli
Auto Interview
Watch Your Bako
The Battle for Grass Creek, Wyoming Begins
Buddy, You're Doing a Heckuva Job
RR Dialogue with Marc Normandin
8.5 Angles to the I-70 Series
Royals in the All-Star Game, an Illustrious History

Take a deep breath. OK, lets keep going.

Well, That Was Pointless
Closing the Book on Buddy Bell
Somewhere Becoming Rain
Gil Meche Throws 124 Pitches for Absolutely No Reason
Rafael Betancourt Destroyed Our National Innocence
Unpacking the Trey Hillman Hire
National Sports Media Disgusted by Attention Given to Arod by National Sports Media
Honoring Joe Nelson
Its Like Nashville, With a Tan
ESPN Anchors Said to Occasionally Have Contact with Public in Nation's Airports

The site was also augmented by the contributions of Gus Booth, aka NHZ (his blog here), who posted the regular Spreadsheet Baseball series. Here's a selection of some of my favorite SB posts:

The Book on the Royals
How to be an Obnoxious Baseball Fan
A Rivalry Renewed
The Anatomy of a Losing Streak
Holes in the Lineup
The Deadline in Review
LaRue's Average is Going Down and Other Scary Stories

We've also been gifted by the presence of Royal Retro's countdown through team history. Let them offer you succor through the long winter.

The Greatest 100 Royals of All Time

#100 - Jay Bell
#99 - Rey Sanchez
#98 - Rusty Meachem
#97- Mark Quinn
#96 - Jason Grimsley
#95- Jorge Orta
#94- Kevin McReynolds
#93- Jim Sundberg
#92- Jeremy Affeldt
#91- John Buck
#90- Tom Burgmeier
#89- Paul Byrd
#88- Mike Hedlund
#87- Chris Haney
#86- Jim Wohlford
#85- Pete LaCock
#84- David Howard
#83- Mark Littell
#82- Darrell May
#81- Ted Abernathy
#80- Luis Aquino
#79- Jamie Quirk
#78- Pat Kelly
#77- Fran Healy
#76- Rich Gale
#75- Bruce Dal Canton
#74- Tom Poquette
#73- Michael Tucker

Finally, a major feature of this site is the regular diaries that end up getting flipped over to the front page. Personally, I feel like my 2007 production actually declined from what I did in 2006, but the overall site quality was much better because of what everyone else brought to the table, from NHZ, Royals Retro, and everyone else. This post is getting long, and there are literally hundreds to choose from, but here are some randomly selected gems from 2007:

A Conversation with the KC Star's Sam Mellinger (marbotty)
here's your gosh darned minor league report (marbotty)
What is the Value of a Consistent Lineup? (NyRoyal)
How Good is Brian Bannister (NyRoyal)
Decision Time: Emil Brown (JQ)
Decision Time: Jimmy Gobble (JQ)
Five Unlikely Heroes and Five Surprising Bums (JQ)
My Charlie Brown Heroes (JQ)
Just How Important is a Good Manager? (Royals Nation)
Royals Insider: John Buck (Royals Nation)

And on and on... I invite further links down in the comments, and feel free to link to yourself!

And so, we bring 2007 to a close -- although I still need to write that damn 2007 Year in Review post at some point -- and begin to look forward to whatever living in 2008 will be like.

Unless something major happens, I'll be taking the rest of the week off, at least on the main page. Thanks for a great 2007 everyone, and lets make it a great 2008!