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In the SB Nation network's internal communications, one of the primary driving principles seems to be to turn each team blog into a must-visit destination, with the blog providing as much news and information about the team as is possible. I've always kind of wrestled with this idea, myself, because while I get how some fans might want to consume as much as they can, I've never been able to figure out who would want to consume as much as they can about the Seattle Mariners. One could argue that the key to still being entertained by the Mariners is not actually knowing all that much about them or all that much about how they work. That's just a guess on my part -- I know way too much and there's no going back. I have to deal with the burden of knowledge.
So I don't know how much demand there is for more and more information and content about the Seattle Mariners. I assume not a whole lot. And yet, despite that, this strikes me as being just fantastic news. Ryan Divish:
Today officially marks my full-time return to the Mariners beat for the News Tribune. Obviously, many people knew the change was coming. I know it’s been mentioned on Twitter and the radio some. The decision was made a few months ago to have Larry move to a news side columnist, while I would leave the Huskies beat and return back to covering baseball. For people, who know me even a little, they know my heart really never left baseball when I switched beats a few years ago.
It became apparent toward the end of the season that Larry LaRue was leaving the beat, so it only makes sense that Divish would slide back in. But it feels good, warm, snuggly to have confirmation, and now we can continue ahead emboldened by the knowledge that Divish will be right there with us, grimacing with us and discussing failure with us. Divish always belonged on baseball; now, or at least soon, Divish will be back on baseball, and our Mariners fan experience will be better for it.
This is a tricky thing to write about because in praising Ryan Divish I don't want to denigrate other people who do currently cover or who have previously covered the Mariners. Every single person provides a different perspective and a different interpretation, and if you're going to immerse yourself in the coverage of a sports team, it's valuable to have diversity of opinion. But I've always been a fan of the way Divish blends humor, insight, and analysis, with what reads like astonishing ease. Even when he writes something that he might feel like he mailed in, he'll casually hit upon something one might not have thought about. What keeps this game fresh is thinking about different things, and Divish makes that more possible. He makes observations other people don't. He asks questions other people don't. He's often completely honest where other people might not be so blunt.
I don't have a thing against Larry LaRue or anyone, really. Everybody tries super hard -- you have to try super hard, if you're going to write about the Mariners all the damned time. And I'm biased, because I just like Ryan Divish as a writer and as a person. But you can love this job, hate this job, or do both at the same time. Divish makes no secret of often doing both at the same time, and I appreciate that honesty. Divish isn't a bullshitter.
Hopefully I've now succeeded in making Ryan Divish kind of uncomfortable. It's not a surprise that he's back, but I'm happy that he's back, and you ought to be, too. Things are getting better. Or at least one thing just got better. I guess this isn't a pattern yet.