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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

November 26, 2013 at 11:27 AM

A quick introduction

So this was supposed to be my first blog post. It was going to be simple introduction of who I am and what I covered and more importantly what I plan to do with the Mariners coverage.

But then this happened ….


So that was my first blog post.

But we – my bosses and I – felt like it would still be a good thing to write a brief introduction. I will also do a live chat today at 4 p.m. to answer any questions you have about me, my coverage, the Mariners, the greatness of the University of Montana, the grittiness of Willie Bloomquist, the friendliness of Chone Figgins and whatever else you could possibly want to know.

Some of you are familiar with me and my work. I spent seven years at the Tacoma News Tribune – five of those covering baseball.

For those of you not familiar, here’s a quick bio:

I was born and raised in Havre, Mont., home of the mighty Havre High Blue Ponies. For the record, it’s pronounced: HAVE-er. I played baseball for four years at Dickinson State University where I was recruited as a second baseman and ate myself into a catching position. After getting a teaching degree at DSU, I quickly realized that I didn’t care much for educating our youth. So I went to University of Montana and earned my journalism degree. Add it all up, that’s 7 ½ years of college (insert Tommy Boy movie reference here). My parents were so proud at the accumulation of debt.

After college, I worked for two years at the Havre Daily News as sports editor. From there, I went to the Idaho State Journal where I covered Idaho State University sports. After nine months, the News Tribune, where I worked as an intern in college, hired me as a general assignment writer. After a year at the TNT, I started covering the Mariners/National baseball, while helping with other sports. After a year covering the Huskies, I returned to covering the Mariners full time last season.

As for interests, I love watching college hoops and college football. I still try to play fastpitch softball and pick-up hoops. I used to enjoy fly-fishing but then I started covering baseball.  I like dogs, particularly labs.

Wow, this feels like I’m filling out an on-line dating application … not that I would know anything about that.

Let’s get to baseball and the blog.

From a blogging standpoint, I believe there isn’t one right way to do this. And the only wrong way is not to update it enough.  If you had read my blog at the TNT, you’ll know that Geoff and I are different in many aspects. He made this blog into what it is and changed the way baseball is covered in Seattle. I’m just trying to keep people coming here. But I’m not going to try to imitate Geoff to do so.

He has his opinions and his beliefs. Some I agree with and some I disagree with. It’s the great aspect of baseball – it fosters debate. I have my opinions, which I will share on occasions. But I’m not going to just hammer you with what I think. I want to keep it a mixture of information, news and analysis. Offering just one portion would be unfair to readers.

I think it’s important to address prospects and the minor leagues. Because I contribute to Baseball America, I will have access to plenty of that information. Living in Tacoma, I also have quick access to Cheney Stadium and the Rainiers. It’s proven to be beneficial on numerous occasions.

Really, I want the coverage to be interactive – meaning I want to provide what you ask for. My goal is to bring readers what they want. We are given access to players and coaches and management and using it to provide desired information is the key. One thing I’ve tried to do, usually through Twitter, is be accessible. Obviously, people will address concerns or questions in the comment section. But when a post has over 300 comments, they can get lost. Feel free to e-mail me or tweet me.

You’ll find that I try to have fun with this. I get to cover baseball for a living. But when you cover a team that has been epically bad for this long, you have to maintain a sense of humor about the situation and yourself. I’ve found the more seriously you take yourself, the less seriously people will take you.

As for baseball, I am person who doesn’t believe in absolutes, particularly in ways of thinking. Maybe it’s my not-so-high playing background that won’t allow me to stop thinking that certain intangibles that can’t be measured by metrics are important.

But I’d be uninformed and ignorant to discredit advanced statistics and sabermetric thinking as valuable. I’ve leaned on people like Dave Cameron and Jeff Sullivan, whom I consider friends, to help me understand what those numbers mean and why they have value. Over time, I’ve learned to embrace that thinking as well.

The moment you decide you know everything and don’t need to learn new things, you might as well be done.

Still, there’s been a divide in baseball:  Traditional vs. Sabermetric. With each year, there seems to be more of a line being drawn to where you are either one or the other. And that’s stupid. I don’t believe that at all. There is too much to the game of baseball to simply think one way and one way only. It’s like bunting. I’m not a fan of it. I don’t usually like it. But there are times when it is necessary. Another example is clubhouse chemistry. I don’t think it’s as important as some people, who like to romanticize the notion. But I do think it has a level of value that people, who often like to disparage it, don’t understand.

Basically, I try to be fair and logical. If you are looking for me to be reactionary and angry, it’s not going to happen. It’s not me. I realize this organization and its failures have driven fans to the point of anger and disillusionment and apathy. I understand it. I’ve seen your comments, tweets and reactions. I respect that emotion and passion, but as journalist I won’t share it. Is my life easier when the team wins? Of course. But I can’t be fan. I can be a fan of the game and good stories.

In all my time covering baseball, I’ve been subjected to countless clichés. But I try to follow this player cliché: “Do what you do. Control what you can control.”

And that’s what I plan to do with my coverage. I got this job by providing coverage that readers want and expect. I’m going to continue to do that. I can control the effort, output and consistency. Hopefully, that keeps you coming back.



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The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

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