They say you never want to be the guy after The Guy. You want to be the guy after the guy after The Guy. In the case of a position like Site Manager for Lookout Landing and given the magnitude of The Guy you can go ahead and tack on another degree of separation to that ideal.
And so I am. The guy after the guy after the guy after The Guy.
About 4 years ago, during a slow time at work I hammered out 1000+ words on a pointless game in Mariners history and sent them to Jon Shields, in response to his open call for writer applications to Pro Ball NW. I still shudder to think of how poorly I wrote in my early days but Jon kept me on, and he encouraged me greatly. Jon did a lot of building, both for myself and for LL to get where it is today. He's not around much and may not read this but he's the only reason I ever got to write about baseball. Thanks Jon.
When Jon left LL Scott Weber took over and in those were crazy, chaotic times we started talking. We would bounce ideas off each other, look at drafts, and vent our stress over the site. We learned to lean on and trust each other in a way that is common for many, but not for myself. Working under Scott was one of the most enjoyable, rewarding times of my life.
When Scott asked me if I would be interested in this position I hesitated for a long time. Much of that was due to the standards that this site demands and deserves. Those demands were maintained and in some ways established by Scott's incredible commitment and unending hard work. Since yesterday's announcement many have noted that they aren't even particularly worried about the change, a vast difference since the end of LL 1.0. That's Scott, his willingness to share the load, to build a staff, keep himself in the background and always, always, always think of the site first. Thanks Scott.
While change in leadership invariably brings a trickle down effect to some degree I view myself strictly as a steward of something very, very special. Lookout Landing, or Leone for Third as it was known at the time, coupled with USSMariner and an old dusty stack of of Baseball Prospectus Annuals were key building blocks in my early 20's on how to examine the game and the world around it.
The important thing you, the reader/commenter/site participant should know for the rest of the season is that the amazing, talented, diverse group of writers we have here have thankfully agreed to stay on staff. There may be minor shifts and changes in the coming months but by and large my hope is you will barely notice them, if at all.
I cannot overstate what a pleasure it is and has been being a part of this group. Without exception they are gracious, kind, hardworking, and honest. Lookout Landing is exceedingly healthy and it is largely do to the hard work done by Colin, Matt, Andrew, Peter, Ashley, Patrick, Michael, Brendan, Jake, Jose, David, Logan and Anders every single day.
Above and beyond today, myself, the staff, Scott and transitions Lookout Landing has, is and will be the best place on the internet connected to the Seattle Mariners, and one of the best places on the internet as a whole. That is true for reasons that extend well past what a site manager or a group of writers could ever hope to achieve. We on the masthead are but the architects and builders of this grand public forum, which would sit empty and rot to ruin if it weren't populated and maintained by a beautiful community, one that has created a culture that is the envy of almost every blog and website on this here World Wide Web.
Every day I am here my full commitment is to helping provide you with the best experience, long form, short form, crossovers, podcasts, satire, gifs, player interviews, and events I possibly can. This is your place, and my hope is to keep it homey while encouraging others to discover and share this space with us, complete with Asparagus, SeaBosses, Fiddle Cats, Dadguts, Lawn Darts and on and on.
I was at home last Monday night and I was rushed. Work kept me late. Late to get home, late to the neighbors' for dinner, late getting the kids back from the neighbors' and late getting them into bed.
Bed time with young children is a thing that can be stretched, plied, pulled, pushed and compressed. One thing it cannot do is be reduced. The things that are done are done and if there isn't time to do them all you do them quickly and you get annoyed because it's hot and you're tired and you just want a moment to process the world's manifold inputs. I told my son, for the 4th time and angrier than I'd like, to get his pajamas on and he stopped and just looked right at me:
"Dad, did you get the baseball job?"
I looked at my son for a beat, not really sure what to say. Seven years old is somewhere between the shores of ignorance and worldliness and he often catches me off guard with his out of nowhere intuitiveness and depth of inquiry.
"Did you get the baseball job dad?"
What does it mean to be site manager of Lookout Landing? What is the role you ascribe to keeping watch over a place like this,a glittering, living monument to the beauty and insanity of sports fandom that draws a huge and diverse group of people who create, fight, laugh, rage, bless, curse, cry, and live together daily. Is that a job?
"No son. I've never worked one day in baseball, and I hope I never do."