There will be some new articles here soon. I promise.
Category > NPB Tracker
This was, indeed, an April Fool’s joke. I’m sorry to disappoint those of you who were looking forward to content about tiles. I’m already back to extraordinarily infrequently updating the site with the usual stuff. But be warned, there probably will be some off-topic stuff thrown in.
When I started this site back in 2008, I didn’t give much thought to whether anyone would read it or not; it was an endeavor of fun. If I had any dreams for what this site might become, reality has certainly exceeded them. I never imagined meeting people in the baseball industry, or that they would know my work, or becoming friends with writers that have influenced me, or writing an article for ESPN, or making media appearances in three countries.
But over the last couple years, I’ve developed a bit of a desire to branch out from Japanese baseball and explore other topics. I can’t escape the feeling that it’s time to really stretch my arms and test myself as a writer. So today, after a lot of soul searching and careful consideration, I finally decided to move in another direction. I’m thrilled to announce that from this day forward, NPBTracker.com will be all about tile!
Why tile? Well, for starters, everyone can relate to tile — if you’ve ever taken a shower or set foot in a diner, you’ve probably come into contact with tile. But moreover, tile is an extraordinarily rich subject matter. Here are just a few of the many tile-related topics I’ll be exploring:
- release dates of new tiles
- tile materials, such as ceramic or marble
- proper tile maintenance
- tile history
- interviews with tile factory employees
Just to get started, here are some pictures of various types of tile I found online:
It’s an exciting time at NPB Tracker, and I hope you’ll all enjoy this new direction as much as I’m going to enjoy pursuing it. It’s been a great seven years, and I’m looking forward to at least seven years of tile-related content!
The data site is back up. It’s still not getting updates for 2013 (that will be more work) but the old data is there.
For anyone wishing for a technical explanation, I fell victim to an sql injection attack. When I first set up the database four years ago, I knew about such attacks, so I was careful to set up a database user for this site with very minimal privileges. I was, however, a little less fervent about sanitizing input from the php pages. The inputs are supposed to be numeric id values (like “252”), but an attacker could put add other stuff in and see if it would work (like “252 and select * from information_schema”). Eventually an attacker came along and did that. Since the database itself was locked down pretty well, none of these sql injection attempts worked. The attacker tried over 1000 before giving up and through an “and sleep()” into the query, which unfortunately did work, and caused trouble for my web host. It was a simple thing to fix but I couldn’t find the time until yesterday. I have taken other measures to avert similar attacks as well.
If you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area next Friday, October 5th, and happen to not have plans, I would like to invite you to come hang out with myself, Eno Sarris, and several other Bay Area baseball writers at the 21st Amendment in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood. All are welcome for an evening of baseball chatter, beer (if you are so inclined) and apparently even free food.
The full list of out-hangers can be found over at FanGraphs. Hope to see you there.
I guess at this point, I’ll call a spade a spade. It’s been a month since I’ve been able to put together any content for the site, and it’s not clear when I’ll be able to again. I’m considering my writing activities to officially be on hiatus, with no particular timeframe in mind. NPB Tracker has had it’s schedule gaps in the past, but I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve made it nearly four years without taking a serious break.
Happily, the things keeping me away from writing are good. Neither my motivation to write nor my enthusiasm for Japanese baseball has diminished. NPB Tracker will return; it could be weeks or months, but the site will be active again someday. And I’ll still be on Twitter.
25 years (or so) ago, an elementary school-aged me was the happy recipient of an Atari 2600. I was a lucky kid and had a lot of nice toys, but for whatever reason, playing games like Moon Patrol and Jr. Pac-Man still stands out as a particularly fun memory. Ironically Super Baseball wasn’t very good though.
Christmas Eve is about to become Christmas day in my part of the world, and wherever you are and whether your you recognize the holiday or not, I hope you’re doing something that you will look back on as fondly as I do playing those Atari games. Merry Christmas!
And Daisuke Miura, if you’re reading this, happy 38th birthday!
Alright, so time constraints prevent me from writing as much as I used to, but the hot stove season remains the busiest time of year for NPB Tracker.
If you’ve got questions about this offseason, fire away, and I’ll do my best to answer ‘em. Mileage may vary.
It is my very great pleasure to announce that Eno Sarris and I have gotten a story published in ESPN the Magazine. It’s available online now (Insider subscription required) and in the October 17 edition of the print magazine. You’ll have to click the link to find out what it’s about.
I’m pleased to welcome our latest contributor, Randy Fuller, to NPB Tracker. Here’s a little about Randy, in his own words:
A native of San Diego and fan of the Padres since the 1970’s, Randy discovered NPB while living in Japan between 2000 and 2003. He dedicated most of his personal life to watching Giants games on TV every night and reading the sports dailies. Randy also spent much of his time in Japan traveling to several ballparks and learning the strategy and idiosyncrasies that make the Japanese game unique. He has been an enthusiast and proponent for pro yakyu for a decade and counting.
Randy has already published his first post, and needless to say, we’re happy to have him on board.
San Francisco Bay Area residents — if you happen to be free on the evening of Tuesday, September 6th, I’ll be taking questions about Yu Darvish with some of my FanGraphs friends at the Gordon Biersch near AT&T Park. And if you aren’t interested in Darvish, Carson Cistulli will be on hand to provide his unique brand of baseball analysis. A good time will be hand by all, hope to see you there.