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Mad Em-Dashes is a St. Louis Cardinals blog by Dan Moore that does not want to waste your time. 

Thinking hard about Mike Crudale

Did you guys read CardNilly? If you did—or if you didn't, and you're yearning this afternoon for the internet epoch just before the Age of Content—you'll be as happy as I am to know that the bulk of it appears to be available on Archive.org. Here's No. 54, from Scott's long series on jersey numbers:

Ah, #54… Pound for pound, this is probably the worst uniform number we’ve got out there. I mean, there are some individual stinkers out there (Chad Hutchinson — I’m looking at you here…), but this is a whole collection of guys who just weren’t all that good.... We’re left with Mike Crudale — more or less by default, but his numbers support the pick, too.

As a Cardinal, he threw 64 IP with a 1.97 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Useful stuff, particularly back in 2002 and 2003, when most of the bullpen could be kindly described as horrific. Why, then, did Walt & Co trade Crudale in the middle of the 2003 season, one which would feature extended appearances by Esteban Yan and Pedro Borbon Jr. in the Cardinal pen?

I don't know what it was about my Saturday night that reminded me of a long-gone Cardinals blog, but I'm glad it worked out that way.

One of the sad side-effects of the incentives search and social media aim at blogs right now is that everybody is talking about the same thing as everybody else. You basically have to; what people are looking for drives Google traffic, and what people are talking about drives Facebook traffic, and that's basically all the traffic there is. (See also MetaFilter.)

The first wave of blogs sprang up to talk about things people weren't talking about. As a form it's actually pretty terrible at generating on-demand thinkpieces about trending topics, which is why the blogs that are best at monetizing Google and Facebook and Twitter have had a series of discreet cosmetic surgeries to remove all the reverse-chronological crows' feet around their bylines.

Which is why it's such a pleasure to read these old blog posts, and sites like RetroSimba that appear to be transmitting out of a wormhole connecting us to 2007. Even now there's few things the format is better at than forcing yourself to think hard about Mike Crudale.