I haven’t gone a day without reading Lookout Landing in a length of time so long I can’t define it. It was a part of my daily routine for years before Jeff decided to step down, and even as I joined as a writer (that quickly escalated into managing editor), I never stopped being a fan of the content this site creates, whether I’ve been involved in it or not. For the past few years, I’ve tried to create and encourage content that I’d like to read, because I do. And will.
The 2013 and 2014 seasons were a whirlwind for us at Lookout Landing. The site pushed into new areas it had not previously been, including player interviews and scattered stints as pseudo-media members. It was consuming, both in energy and fulfillment. After writing online for a decade, I felt accomplished with what we were doing. I still do.
As the 2014 season winded down, I transitioned careers in my regular life, if we can call it that. I no longer worked from home, which meant I a) had to put pants on and b) had a commute and meetings through the day. My flexibility to provide spin on transactions and rumors the Mariners were involved with was cut dramatically. Moving into 2015, I shifted into a management role almost entirely, spending the time I had to give planning content but mostly allowing our tremendously talented staff to do what they are best at. It wasn’t the same as it used to be. I wanted so badly to give the site everything I did from 2013-2014, but didn’t have the resources. I saw a future in which Lookout Landing was trending downhill. That didn’t sit well with me. Not as a fan of this site first, and a content creator second.
And so on June 6th, at the Lookout BBQ, I told staff I would be stepping down as managing editor. Today, I’m telling you.
The Lookout BBQ was incredible, a cherry on top of an amazing stretch of running this site. The support so many of you expressed made the whole night an emotional one, and the sentiments expressed by staff damn near broke me. I’m sad, but mostly I am proud. So proud of all the amazing things we were able to accomplish over the last three seasons. When I took the time to write out everything, there was so much more than I initially remembered. We went to Safeco Field and asked Taijuan Walker and Chris Gwynn questions at a press conference sitting next to members of the actual non-snarky, non-cursing media. We had James Paxton, Edgar Martinez, Aaron Goldsmith, and Ty Kelly on the podcast. We went to Tacoma and talked to coaches about player approaches at the plate. We talked to the Mariners analytics department. We wrote a gigantic offseason plan that took nearly two weeks to complete. We posted a monstrous Choose Your Own Adventure saga. We published a series of articles featuring extensive research on sacrifice bunting. We dove deeply into the history of Mariners minor league franchises through the years. We created t-shirts with a fantastic clothing brand and sold hundreds of them. We took over the site on an off day and re-lived the day the Mariners traded Danny Tartabull. We found the most terrible baseball cards ever created and voted for the worst, then we opened packs of them while sharing beers with many of you, laughing and rejoicing this spectacular community. We wrote hundreds and hundreds of recaps, some wildly hilarious, some deeply informative, some existential. Some angry, some sad, some exuberant. And there’s so, so much more.
I say "we" for all of these things because Lookout Landing 2.0 has never been about a single voice. It’s a collective mindset, a group of writers who all trust each other and look to one another for ideas. If you haven't noticed that I've taken a step back in recent months, then I did my job. And that’s why this site and its wonderful group of writers will be just fine under new leadership. Especially because we’re staying in-house with somebody who shares the same site vision as I. A friend, a gifted leader, and an exceptionally talented writer.
Nathan Bishop is going to be your new managing editor, and I couldn’t be happier. Nathan has been with LL the entire time I have, and he and I go as far back as the ProBallNW days with our LL predecessor, Jon Shields. He ran the site for the majority of September last year as I went on vacation, and has been sharing a large bulk of site planning and strategy for a while now. Alongside him will remain all of our current editors and writers, and that’s even more exciting. I'll be around behind the scenes during the transition, and may even return to write every once in a while down the road.
I want to thank all of the staff for all of their continued hard work, including those who have come and gone through the years. To Jon Shields, for giving me the opportunity to run this site for years, and for weathering the storm of following Jeff Sullivan. To Jeff, for making me so invested in this team that I would even consider writing about them on regular basis, let alone run the thing you created. I hope I didn't ruin it.
To every single staff member over the past three seasons. Your commitment, contributions, and flexibility are the sole reasons this site can exist. This is a thankless job for a lot of reasons, so let me thank you. To Jake, Brendan, Michael, Andrew, Jose, Ashley, David, Peter, Anders, Logan, Rick, Kyle, Eric, Joshua, Adam, Alex, Jesse, Connor, Stephen, CapSea, Seth, and everyone else who I might have forgotten -- thank you.
To our editors, Nathan, Patrick, and Colin -- your advice and collaboration has made this a better place than it would have ever been if I had to shoulder the entire load. You are all brilliant writers and I am humbled by your intelligence and investment into this site.
To Matt Ellis, who has been the site's primary recap specialist for the last three seasons. I couldn't imagine a better talent and voice to set the tone for this franchise through stretches both dark and bright. We have all written numerous recaps, but yours are so frequently special. Lookout Landing 2.0 does not exist without you, period. Recaps are hard to write and often dull to read. I appreciate the former and thank you for always outshining the latter.
To SB Nation, who offered immense support. When I took over, without knowing exactly how to do this, I asked a lot of questions in the "what would you prefer" vein. Their response -- Justin Bopp specifically -- was simply "site's yours, man." The network often suggested direction but never required it. Without their support to let us do whatever we wanted, the site could not have functioned as it did these past few years. I'm eternally grateful for the network's leadership and structure without restriction.
To the Mariners, who have always supported us despite how critical of the on-field product we were at times. To Kevin Martinez, Jeff Evans, Nathan Rauschenberg, Gregg Greene, Jeff Kingston, Wes Battle, and everyone else who was kind and generous to us over the past several years.
To everyone who allowed me to go on the radio and talk about this team, thank you. It fulfilled a lifelong dream. To Michael Grey, Jim Moore, Dave Wyman, Gary Hill, Shannon Drayer, and everyone else at 710 ESPN. To Aaron Goldsmith, who has not only been a friend but has plugged us on Mariners broadcasts. To Joey Jenkins and Steve Grubbs at 1400 ESPN Palouse. To Dan Dickau and Sean Widner at 700 ESPN Spokane. To Dr. Roto at Sirius XM. To Jerry Brewer, Bob Dutton, Ryan Divish, Mike Curto, Chris Harris, and all other members, former or current, of the Seattle media scene who links to us or praises what we do.
Finally to you, community. Thank you for generally putting up with me this long. Thank you for allowing me to take the site in directions very different than before, and thank you for allowing me to employ such a diverse group of writers and encourage different perspectives. Thank you for making this decision such a difficult one.
I sometimes see people wearing the Homage shirts we made around Safeco Field. I almost always wear mine to games, and often eyes will lock and there will be a nod, or an exchange of "Nice shirt. You read Lookout Landing?"
For me, the answer will now and forever simply be: