Saturday, November 08, 2008

Casey's Clipboard & Wally's World

Yesterday, the first installment of a new series I'm writing appeared on Casey's Clipboard & Wally's World. It's called Cooking with Chas: A Weekly Look at What's on the MLB Hot Stove, and it will be a regular Friday morning feature for the next few months. As the title suggests, I'll be discussing the major topics of the Major League Baseball off-season, what is commonly referred to as the Hot Stove League.

A little explanation as to where the Chas moniker came from is in order. My friend Smitty moved back to his native Rochester a little over a year ago, abandoning our undefeated fall co-ed softball team in the process. We lost in the finals, and continue to come up short in the quest to duplicate our Summer 2005 championship, despite several regular season first-place finishes. But, that has little to do with this story.

Shortly after Smitty returned home, he sent me a link to a blog that his uncle (Casey) had started recently, and encouraged me to check it out. I did, but I laid low for a little while, then decided to start commenting somewhat mysteriously. As you know, Charles Simone is my writing pseudonym. Charles is my middle name, and it's also my father's name. As a child, I recall my dad sometimes abbreviating his name as Chas in cards and notes he had written, so I decided to start leaving comments on the site as Chas.

I succeeded in my quest to be somewhat mysterious, as I learned later that there was some discussion between Smitty and Casey about who I was. Casey, as the site's administrator, was able to determine from his usage statistics that the comments were coming from the Boston area, so they surmised that I was a friend of Smitty's. But, since he had promoted the site to several people, he didn't know specifically who I was. Slowly, I revealed my identity through a series of hints, and have continued to be a regular commenter on the site since.

Casey and I developed a rapport through his blog, and eventually he started reading my blog as well. I now have Casey to thank for diverting some attention to Left Field, as both he and Rey--who writes an excellent weekly column about English football on the Clipboard called On the Pitch with an American Novice--have become fairly regular commenters here.

So, when Casey asked me to write a weekly column on the baseball hot stove league, it only made sense for me to continue to embrace the nickname that I don't particularly like, but for which I have no one but myself to blame. However, when I came up with the cleverly cheesy title Cooking with Chas, I started to appreciate the name a little more.

If you're interested, head on over to Casey's Clipboard and check out my first column. I'm hoping to generate some discussion there by incorporating the interests of the commenters into my future columns, so please feel free to become a part of that.


  1. Showing some love to the clipboard! Thanks for the shout out for "On the Pitch..." Great post by the way and looking forward to them each week.