This is a yearly tradition here at Bless You Boys, dating back to, well, I'm not even sure. Before my time, anyway. With another offseason in the rear-view mirror and opening day within a counting distance of hours, it's time to post a new introduce yourself thread. We see so much of each other's virtual names all season, we may as well learn a thing or two about the people behind them!
I am your host, your managing editor, your curmudgeon, Kurt. On the podcasts, Big Al says I'm right 99.5% of the time, but you might feel like it's closer to 95% if you run the numbers. Remember, it's all about padding your stats to get the number you want to see. I've been doing this blogging thing since April 2006. (Not coincidentally, the Tigers have been playoff contenders since then. You may thank me.) I know how to pad stats. Do not question Big Al's number. Regular readers will know my Tigers background. Here's an essay for the rest.
I live in Marquette, in the Upper Peninsula. That puts me closer to the Brewers, White Sox and, I'm pretty sure, even the Twins than the Tigers. It also puts me close to a really big lake that I try to spend a lot of time near, and several smaller lakes I would also prefer to spend time near, and an acidic pond and bog that I find to be beautiful in every season. This makes evening choices in the summer difficult. Before 2006, decisions were easier. They're harder now. Fortunately I have a staff who can pick up some slack. I also have a tent that is barely big enough to fit both me and the dog -- Donner -- but light and quick to set up. I plan to use it more this year. I also plan to take a vacation to the Boundary Waters near Ely, Minn. I am already counting down the days. The first one after the trade deadline passes, I will be westward bound.
I am a graduate of dear Manton High School and Michigan State University. I am a former newspaperman. The phrase ink-stained wretch exists for a reason. When you go down to receive one of the first copies off the press, you smudge the copy and color your fingers in the process. That may be what I miss most about newspapering. I won some awards for the local paper, including a first-place honor for sports columns from the Michigan Press Association, then got sick of the place and left. I do freelance work for several publications as well as serve as a copy editor for SBNation.com. I am also an avid photographer, but infrequently paid for that. Examples of both writing and photography can be found at my website, which I do not update nearly enough, KurtMensching.info. I run this blog with journalistic standards in mind. If I report breaking news, it's because I feel quite confident in my source. BYB breaks a few stories a year, but it's not the main purpose by any means.
My German Shepherd Dog, Donner, is a little more than 13 months old. A few days before his first birthday, he weighed 106 pounds. He's a big dog, son of an import from Germany. Because of his size, (relatively) unique looks and playful expressions on his face, everyone wants to meet him. I nicknamed him "Hollywood" but his full name is Rollender Donner -- "rolling thunder" in German, more or less. He lives up to it, but he's actually one of the friendliest and most fun-loving dogs you can meet. I'm pretty sure he's become the official mascot of Bless You Boys and if I don't give him his own video podcast soon there will be a rebellion.
Despite having a dog, I remain a curmudgeon. Get used to it.