I'm allowing myself exactly 600 words to tell you about something I could easily, easily write 6,000 words about. Because we've created, and will continue to create in the coming weeks and months, a new sort of baseball page. And it's just about all I've thought about for the last five or six months.
I could go a lot longer than 600. I know, I know ... we're already getting close to tl;dr territory. Or maybe tboring;dr. Which is why I'm keeping this short.
Welcome to Just a Bit Outside! I've been doing this "work" for a long time now, and over the last 70-some years I've developed some pretty strong opinions when it comes to covering baseball on the Ultranet. You know, I was there at the beginning, covering such luminaries as Gus "No Shoulders" Wagner and Dale "Murderer" Sisler for the website of the Baltimore Picayune-Democrat, and I've seen it all. Having strong opinions is both a blessing (confidence!) and a curse (intolerance!). But it's difficult to edit a website if you don't know what you like.
When I was pitching this page to my bosses and colleagues, I came up with a bunch of words ... which I won't list here, because a) it wouldn't read particularly well, and b) every time we do stray from those ideals -- and yes, we'll stray because we're human and sometimes things just get away from us -- I'd rather not have my words handed back to me.
But I'll give you some words, just so you can keep us honest: smart responsive passionate honest accountable.
Those are enough, right? No? Here are some more: dynamic interactive paradigm glockenspiel cullotes.
I also came up with a list of words that are the opposite of what we're going for ... but no, I'm not going to share any of those. I'm sure we'll upset some people and hurt some feelings as we go along, but I'd rather not start on Day 1.
What will you see here? You'll see some familiar names and faces. Mine, of course. More than you would like, maybe (can't complain about the price, though). But also two of the game's top reporters, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi. And two of our smartest former players, Gabe Kapler and C.J. Nitkowski. We'll be featuring, nearly every day, the best work of our partners at FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus. And we'll have some surprises, too. You'll notice that our masthead includes Jeff Garlin, a brilliantly talented actor, comedian, and filmmaker ... who also happens to love baseball as much as anyone you'll meet. Jeff's going to be contributing regularly to this page, and I just can't wait to see what he comes up with.
I've grown tired of the term long-form ... isn't that just the hipster's way of saying good, well-developed story? But I'll tell you right now, Just a Bit Outside is going to feature some really terrific stories in the next few months. I mean, I know it's best to under-promise and over-deliver ... but damn if I'm not really excited about some of the stuff you're going to see.
Of course you won't like everything we do. I won't, either. But we're trying some different things, both design-wise and editorially. I hope you'll trust that we'll iron out some of the obvious kinks early on, but I also hope you'll hit me up on Twitter if you see something that's just not working. Because I really do care what you think. Because you, friend, are our Ideal Reader.