I have been asked to contribute to the Seattle Mariners SB Nation Baseball Blog Lookout Landing and that is a rather insane thing for me to think about and process. Recently, Jeff Sullivan stepped down from the website after god knows how many years. Turns out spending a great deal of your time committed to thinking and writing about one single, not that good baseball team can take its toll on a man. Jeff left behind a really large void and really big shoes and a really large staff of writers has been tasked with continuing on where he left off. They’re calling it Lookout Landing 2.0 and I am one of those writers, somehow. It feels good. And terrifying. Good and terrifying.
A few years ago I was asked by some friends to join their fantasy baseball league and I accepted. These friends were huge fans of the San Francisco Giants and I was a pretty lapsed Mariners fan who didn’t know hardly anything about the sport anymore. I was quite taken with the fantasy league, and by the game I had loved as a kid, and I started reading about baseball a lot at many different online destinations, both as a way to win my fake baseball league and also as an enjoyable intellectual pursuit. The first place I landed was probably McCovey Chronicles. My Giants fan friends would link me to these hilarious posts by this hilarious writer and I would laugh and enjoy the hell out of myself and marvel at the creativity that could be mined from baseball. From there, I figured hey, if this Giants blog on SB Nation is so great, I’m sure the Mariners blog is also awesome, and I just so happen to be a fan of the Seattle team, so that should work out great for me. Little did I know that going forward, I had lucked into a habit of reading two of the best baseball writers out there, and that the Mariners blogosphere as a whole was one of the most talented and robust a baseball fan could ask for. I started reading Lookout Landing and Jeff Sullivan every day. I started learning more and more and visited more and more sites with more and more information. I slacked off at work and tried to absorb everything. I hurt my head with math and had my mind blown by brilliant baseball posts about seemingly nothing. I looked at spreadsheets and equations and read poems and watched GIFs. Eventually, I decided that being a failed writer in my mid-twenties wasn’t all that romantic, and that baseball was just a specific enough avenue, defined in some sort of manageable niche, that writing about it wouldn’t paralyze me completely. Octavio Dotel threw a baseball towards first base. And here we are now.
I’ve been doing this now for something like 18 months, and I’ve been lucky in that almost every time I’ve had it, or felt tapped out creatively, or wanted to quit torturing myself because watching TV and drinking beer is easier, the Baseball Blog Gods have thrown me a bone of encouragement and given me a reason to keep grinding. It wasn’t very long ago that I left some other baseball website because a new editor wasn’t buying what I had been selling. I pulled myself back a bit and enjoyed my life a bit more, but I didn’t stop and then all this Lookout Landing chaos happened. So I supposed I’ll keep going a while longer and try to make my humble contributions where they are needed. I’ll also keep going with some general baseball nonsense around these parts when inspiration strikes. It’s pretty crazy to read a website regularly for years and then one day look up and see your name on the front page. Here’s to not fucking it up.