Much of my adult—or whatever you call your mid-twenties—life has been spent dreaming of a career that involves either writing or baseball or—in some perfect world—writing about baseball.
(Note: I’ve recently made peace with the fact that I won’t be playing baseball or, more than likely, working in baseball for a living.)
Instead, I’ve made my millions multiple-hundreds in the “library services” world.
There was, however, a glorious period of time (ie: the fall/winter of ’09) in which my baseball writing was top-notch and I eventually become the top-ranked baseball writer at the burgeoning sports website, “BleacherReport.”
As is often the case, my writing was hindered by Christmas vacation and then was absolutely obliterated by a dang-near year-long battle with writer’s block.
As has proven to be the case in the past, a trip home to Iowa was enough to re-charge the batteries and get me feeling the need/urge/craving/etc. to write again.
Unfortunately, I’ve yet to really get my ass back into gear in regards to my baseball writing. Most of this is because my beloved Minnesota Twins haven’t really done a damn thing beyond trade away the shortstop I have a man-crush on.
Today, however, I received reason enough to get my shit together in the form of an email from the fine folks at BleacherReport that read:
“We want the members of the Bleacher Report community of writers to be the first to know about this coming opportunity.
Bleacher Report will start hiring a small number of writers for part-time paid writing positions immediately – a limited number at first, but more over time. These paid writers will be given specific assignments by Bleacher Report editors and be responsible for meeting goals – volume, traffic and engagement, and quality.
We will accept some external applications but, for the most part, Bleacher Report will look to source candidates for these paid writing positions from our existing writer base. Our best Featured Columnists will be considered for these positions.
Newer writers may qualify for the Featured Columnist program by proving themselves consistent contributors of high-quality entertaining content and demonstrating expertise in a specific relevant subject area.
There is no need to apply directly for these paid positions; over the course of several months, our editors will reach out to writers who qualify.”
I know, right?!
Now, I don’t want to get the cart ahead of the horse here, because I’m certainly not the world’s greatest baseball writer. I’m not big into sabermetrics and I’ve got no real cable, so I don’t get to watch 1,000 games a year, but I generally know what I’m talking about despite a lack of live games and ESPN-infused insight.
I’m a dude who does his research and legitimately loves the game more than he does some of his family members (sorry, Aunt Linda). This is all because of my Pappy.
As a kid, baseball was my major connection with my Pappy.
He is much, much, much more of a “manly man” than I’ll ever be and he has that particular connection with my brother, G-Doggy. I’ll never have that.
I’m not the kind of guy who wakes up at 5am, ready to go work and roof a house. I’m the kind of guy who wakes up at 5am and rolls back over to sleep for a few more hours before waking up and getting stoked to write about something moderately amusing that happened at his library job the day before.
As an adult, baseball is just as important between me and my Pappy. I’ll never fully understand his stories about working in the cold to fix up a crappy run-down house and he’ll never fully understand (or perhaps really respect) my stories about working in a dusty old library, and that’s okay. That’s life. We live in different worlds.
The important thing is that when we’re chatting about who will be starting in left field for the Mets or who will be the Twins designated hitter against southpaws, we’re on the same page.
My Pappy is—without a doubt—the reason I love baseball as much as I do and for that, I am eternally grateful. There is nothing else in my life that is as simple and pure and beautiful as a game of baseball. It is the ideal way to spend a day/morning/afternoon/life.
As I said, I’m not the greatest baseball writer, but I’m also not the worst.
I’m sure I’m either far too technical and impersonal or way too personal and unprofessional—I have some serious troubles finding that middle ground—but I do know what the hell I’m doing.
And when I’m “on,” by golly I am motherf’n “ON.”
The problem is that I’ve yet to really get my shit together on the baseball writing since my recent battle with writer’s block came to an end.
I’m still incredibly overworked and likely in WAY over my head at work, but you know what…I’m gonna handle that like a champ. If I don’t, well then I’m going to go down swinging.
I’m going to find a way to factor what I really want to do—(ie: write)—into my ridiculously busy work life and also comically busy social life.
This is a legitimate chance for me to finally do what I really want to do and, by golly, I’m gonna make this shit happen.
…or go down swinging, that’s kinda my thing.