Slap Hitter: Best Baseball Website '09


Spring training starts tomorrow and we're fired up already...starters going three innings... ballplayers wearing jerseys number 83...tie games... But the stuff we're force fed about rebirth, fathers playing catch with sons pales to the much better reality of February baseball. It's about earnest effort and frequently falling short. It's about the best website celebrating that fact; so if you don't have a half hour to kill, you may want to avoid clicking onto the link below. Introducing the Cardboard Gods.

Without a clue about its author, we stumbled on the site one day while trying to figure out if selling our own card collection might help us weather the Bush recession. Instead up popped multiple journeymen of the 1970's. And the remarkable thing about the little prose poems dedicated to the flotsam and jetsam of the Me decade is that our scribe's focus rarely attaches to the cheap targets of giant Afros, hideous jerseys and blonde moustaches, but rather spends its bandwith ruminating on fame, missed opportunities and growing up.

The site is divided by team and not by whatever wild hair its writer woke up with that morning. So some are about baseball, some are about middle school, some are about fatherhood, some are about drinking. There are multi-part dramas and one-off rimshots. But mostly it feels right. Spring baseball is for sure about hope, but it's also about near misses and the human comedy. Cardboard gods with feat of clay. Play ball.— Kibby Kleiman