In addition to player reports, photo/video, features, and interviews, I’ve published many longform pieces about professional baseball and the people that give it such character. Below are a few of the best; you can also email me for more information on these and other longform pieces.
You don’t know me, but you don’t like me: The life and death of the Bakersfield Blaze — Today’s Knuckleball — September 12, 2016
I spent six months of my life meticulously covering the Bakersfield Blaze, which in 2016 was the Seattle Mariners’ High-A affiliate in the California League. The 2016 season was the final one ever for the Blaze—in August, I was the one who broke the news that the Cal League was contracting the Bakersfield and High Desert franchises forever—and so this is the story of the final days and weeks of the team, its front office, its fans, its players, and its bizarre and unique role in the greater Bakersfield community.
I amassed so much information and so many interviews, and the piece generated such strong emotional reactions from readers, that I am expanding this into a book about the history of baseball in Bakersfield and its downfall in 2016. The majority of the book will be completed by Opening Day 2017, at which point I will seek a publisher. Know one? Email me.
For Jonah Arenado, Josh Fuentes, and Justin Seager, brotherly love is (usually) a blessing — Purple Row — August 3, 2016
Jonah Arenado, Josh Fuentes, and Justin Seager are all related to big leaguers—and even though they may come from different places and live out different minor league careers, the three players have quite a few things in common. Baseball is a little bit different when you come from one of the game’s young royal families, after all.
Grand Junction’s Challenger Baseball League readies themselves for the trip of a lifetime — Purple Row — February 21, 2016
Talk to Carma Brown for a while, and you’ll fall in love with her passion, her energy, and her idealism—and you’ll probably also fall in love with her Challenger kids, for whom she’s completely altered her life, and changed many more, in the city of Grand Junction, Colorado. (On a personal note, this is one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever written.)
At home with the Mariners, Isaac Sanchez stays in the middle of it all — Today’s Knuckleball — August 19, 2016
Don’t let Isaac Sanchez fool you. He may be incredibly quiet and shy among teammates and the media, but talk to him for a couple minutes and you can really get him to open up about his unlikely path to the Seattle Mariners’ organization, and how he found his fit with the Bakersfield Blaze.
As the Hartford Yard Goats begin a road odyssey, the Biloxi Shuckers have been there, done that — Purple Row — April 8, 2016
The Hartford Yard Goats were supposed to go on a 52-game road trip to start 2016; it ended up lasting the entire season, unfortunately, but back in April when things were still fresh there, hopes were high and everybody was optimistic. Then again, the Biloxi Shuckers’ wild experience from the summer before greatly informed Hartford’s in 2016, so that helped.
It’s become impossible to ignore Seattle Mariners prospect Tyler Herb — Today’s Knuckleball — July 21, 2016
After a few uninspiring summers in professional baseball, Tyler Herb realized that something needed to change. He committed himself in winter workouts in a way he had never before done, he wholeheartedly bought in to what the Seattle Mariners’ new front office demanded of its minor league charges, and he turned in a dominant half-summer in the California League before a promotion to Double-A.
Five years on, the Colorado Rockies have created a vibrant social media community — Purple Row — February 18, 2016
You probably follow a baseball team or two on Twitter, but have you ever thought about what kind of a job it is to be the man or woman sending those tweets, posting those pictures, and dealing with all those responses from fans angry and excited? I took a really, really deep look at the Colorado Rockies’ and Cleveland Indians’ social media teams and came away with answers to all that, and then some.
Trevor Story sought refuge in host family during tough times with Modesto Nuts — Purple Row — April 7, 2016
You may not know it to look at him now, but things haven’t always been so easy on a baseball field for Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. Back when he was in High-A with the Modesto Nuts, an unusually bad season brought him closer to his host family, and from there, an unbreakable bond was formed.
Travis Demeritte eyes a new beginning with the Atlanta Braves — Today’s Knuckleball — July 29, 2016
Travis Demeritte was caught taking a performance-enhancing drug early in his minor league career and suspended 50 games for it. A long, hard road back turned into an incredible first half of 2016 with the High Desert Mavericks, the Texas Rangers’ affiliate in the California League. And then, without warning, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves.
The Colorado Rockies just gave Mitchell Osnowitz 30 days to fight for his baseball career — Purple Row — March 14, 2016
The story of how Mitchell Osnowitz became a pitcher—and then how he worked himself to a spring training gig the Colorado Rockies—is very unique, and very unlikely. Here’s the tale of a third baseman with a great arm that, against all odds, became a professional pitcher.