Now that the Swallows’ season is over, it seems as good a time as any to let all of you, dear readers, know what’s going on with the site and what’s in store for the future.
First, what has been:
Since starting the blog on the evening of June 5th, we have published a post on every single Tokyo Yakult Swallows game the same night as the game. As of this post, that means 137 posts, which have received a total of 407 comments and a lot more views than we expected when started out.
Traffic has been steadily, rather gradually rising, with the end of the season seeing some acceleration in the increase. So far, the most popular post we’ve published, by a sizable margin, has been “Our Day at Chiba Marine Stadium.” The least loved? The July 12th tie with Chunichi in Nagoya. (We’re not very big fans of ties, either.) The Game Results page gets quite a few visits every day as well.
Most of our traffic has come through searches, with Google being, by far, the search engine of choice for Anglophone Tokyo fans. The search terms that have led the most people to us have been, of course, various permutations of the words “Tokyo Yakult Swallows” and “Meiji Jingu Stadium,” which makes sense. The names of other Japanese baseball teams have also helped us out, but not as much as Hitomi Aizawa. Thanks, Hitomi!
During the season, the three of us here had the pleasure of seeing the Swallows play every team in the land at least once, in most cases a few times or more, and catching the team at nine parks in eight cities and six prefectures, in the process of which getting rained on more times than we can remember and largely enjoying it (in retrospect.)
While we would’ve been at those games with or without this blog, it has given us at least one nifty opportunity – meeting Bobby Valentine, Benny Agbayani, Jose Ortiz, Brian Sikorski, and a handful of other fine folks during a behind the scenes tour of Chiba Marine Stadium – and introduced us to a wider community of baseball watchers and fans, which has been interesting and educational in myriad ways. We’d like to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to look around the site and read a bit. Add a second helping of thanks to all of you who have commented here and made the site more interesting and enjoyable through your input.
We’d like to specifically thank Tomnish, author of Salt, Sugar & Spice, not only for her input and information, but for being a fellow Tokyo fan and blogger and the rest of the Anglophone Pro Yakyu blogosphere, especially Deanna over at Marinerds, Michael at Japanese Baseball.com, Simon at Japan, Hockey, Baseball, etc., and Patrick at NPB Tracker, as well as James at Japan Probe. All of those blogs have sent fair amounts of traffic our way and we’re much obliged for it.
Second, what is yet to come:
We’ll follow and report on each and every Climax Series and Japan Series game, in both leagues, until the fat lady gets a doage.
The stats, history, and historical stats sections will all be expanded and deepened. For those who didn’t know, we have pages with Current Player Stats, Team History, and complete NPB Standings and postseason results for every season from 2000 to 2008.
We’re also planning to add all kinds of other spiffy content and a bit more info on other clubs and stadia. In between all of that, we’ll be publishing a few articles on various topics related to the Swallows and baseball, but not necessarily about games in and of themselves. We still have a few leftovers from the season that have not yet been written up, but need to be, so, while we probably won’t be publishing every day once the Japan Series is over, there will still be regular new content. No hibernation for us.
Of course, if there’s anything you’d like to see, want to know, or think we ought to change, please let us know.
We hope all of you enjoy the postseason, even though it’s a second-rate one with our guys not in it, and stick with us through the off-season. Thanks for coming along with us this far.