Tag Archives: Blogging

Baseball Blogging Update Lookout Landing Edition

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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.

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Reading is Easier Than Writing

There are a lot of really good writers on the internet. A whole lot. They write all these columns and pieces and posts with all these words in them and they’re all just full of wordsmithing and honesty and humor and everything else that’s amazing and good in this world. Shit that makes you want to be a better writer and wish you were doing more to make your brain smart in service towards that aspiration. Excellent writing on the internet is both equally inspiring and paralyzing. Today I read a bunch of stuff that I really enjoyed, but reading said stuff also convinced me to just call it a day, blog post wise, and instead lazily post links and excerpts to those pieces rather than hold myself accountable to any sort of self-imposed writing schedule. We’ll let the experts have this one today. Reading is easier than writing.

Greg Luzinski Is a Killing Machine

Do not blame Greg Luzinski for being a killing machine: For he is but a hostage to his factory settings. The pits of his eyes are pellucid only at the moment of the kill. Stare into them — moments before he makes a deadly cudgel out of one of your de-socketed limbs — and you see nothing more than the clicks, clangs, grinds and clatters of an industrial sense of mission. It follows, then, that Greg Luzinski is a killing machine.

A Baseball Life, Page 19

Not every sport was equally viable for one player. Basketball worked well enough, though football was a near disaster. (On a given play, I would hike the ball to myself, drop back, throw the ball into the air, run under it, make the catch, and then proceed to tackle myself.) I talked my parents into letting me dig one golf hole in the middle of our yard, and then set up a course by arranging eight tees around it in each compass direction. My parents even bought and set up a tetherball pole in the driveway in what I can only imagine was a cruel and well-executed joke.

Felix Fermin To Feast On Your Entrails Just As Soon As He Puts On This Cap

Hehehehehehe, Felix Fermin does not even want to complete the act of putting on this cap, because he smells what you just ate for lunch through the filter of your entrails. Once Felix Fermin rips open your outer flesh, he will also rip open your entrails to get at your lunch; he will eat the undigested mush as an appetizer — before he eats your entrails. He likes that.

These aren’t baseball related but I also read them today and had a great time doing so. It’s not like their inclusion is going to make this post any less half-assed than it already is.

The Nobituary: David Bowie

Anatomy of a Fascinating Disaster: Fire Walk With Me

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Call to the Pen: Some Other Moves the Yankees Should Make / Blog Abyss (Don’t Do No Good to Get Angry)

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My most recent post at Call to the Pen was about the New York Yankees and some baseball moves they should consider were the logic of Jon Heyman and some other mainstream writers to be mistakenly believed as sound. It was a wee bit satirical and there were some attempts at jokes and all that. It was also posted over a week ago. The day after my post I was contacted by a Call to the Pen editor-type and asked a series of questions in regards to my place on the site. Reading between the lines (I went to college, where I studied English and Creative Writing), it became readily apparent that they were very interested in internet-things like “relevant baseball news” and “traffic” and “page views” and all sorts of other insufferable garbage that I don’t care to understand or think about. Metrics, perhaps. Click-Through Rate. I was also able to glean from the electronic mail that I probably wasn’t the greatest performer when it came to all of this new and important stuff and that the editor-type wasn’t all that keen on my choices of blog content and writing style. Some people don’t find me funny or interesting, turns out. I’m just as shocked as you are. The end result is that I promptly tendered my resignation, or whatever, and the post you can click on and read right here will be my last at Call to the Pen. So it goes, a guy once said and continued to say for quite a long time.

I spent over a year at Call to the Pen. I wrote like, somewhere around 100 posts in that time. That strikes me as a lot. It was a lot of posts, and a lot of words, and a great deal more stress and anxiety and impending doom. The blessing of Call to the Pen was also its curse. I was expected to provide two posts per week. This kept me motivated, to a certain extent, and it forced me to write when I wouldn’t have otherwise. I think I fared ok, despite the panic. It also made me more than miserable on select days. Many days. I suppose part of the idea of this blog is to show someone, anyone out there that I’m a person with a decently functioning brain who likes baseball and can write about it on a certain consistent frequency. Call to the Pen allowed me to publicly present that ability, and to do so on a stage marginally larger than the one I’ve fashioned for myself here, with internet comments, and on Twitter. For that I am grateful, and I think fondly of many of my co-writers, and to the people who originally gave me the opportunity to contribute. Thank you, people who deserve it. You were nice, and we posted some baseball shit, and it was good more often than it was not.

And now here I am, back where I started, and it’s just fine. For one reason or the other, I felt a certain responsibility to Call to the Pen, a responsibility to cover topical subjects and newsworthy happenings, and I gave it my best shot and I wrote about things in such a way that I could live with myself. I was willing to write about a contract extension, or a free agent signing, or a steroids controversy, but I was going to couch it in a great deal of ham-fisted bullshit, and occasional satire, and a whole lot of tongue-cheeking, because I know what baseball news aggregation looks like and I don’t find it particularly compelling or worthwhile. Unless it pays, in which case, I fucking love it. I’ll give you Dan Haren’s career trajectory and injury history and WAR/$ all day every day. Now, I’m a free man, burdened to no website or news cycle or misplaced sense of responsibility. It feels good and also not good, because I can do whatever the hell I want. Most days, whatever the hell I want to do is not write a baseball blog post. I’ve sat around for a week, lived life, breathed easy after work between the hours of 5pm-10pm, and now I suppose I’ll attempt a return to the grind. Shit might get weird, or intermittent, or just plain awful. But writers write, and that’s the delusion I’m grasping at for a least a while longer.

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