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Bidding farewell on getaway day

Posted Oct 4, 2009 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Oct 4, 2009 at 04:23 PM

The last Sunday of baseball’s regular season is for goodbyes, and it’s always kind of a strange thing.

Those like me who cover the teams on what amounts to a daily basis spend so much time in the presence of the same few dozen people—players, coaches, staff, reporters—from the start of spring training in mid-February through at least the end of September that it’s jarring when the season ends and you’re not in familiar company anymore.

It happens every year around this time, but the sense is particularly acute for me today, because it’s my last day on the Rays beat for the Tampa Tribune. I’m on the move to Northern Virginia with my wife and not exactly sure what I’ll be doing in the future, but after six seasons covering baseball full-time—three here and three at the Cincinnati Post before that—I’m eager to try something different.

But this job and this place have given me some great memories, obviously topped by that remarkable journey last season, and brought me into contact with some even greater people. So before I shut down the laptop and Blackberry this afternoon, indulge me in some thanks to some of those people:

The staff at the Tribune, past and present, who put me in this job and helped me do it, most notably my great and unsung editors Nick Pugliese, Doug Jacobs and Mike Garbett.

My fellow reporters in a job that can really be a grind, especially Marc Topkin and Bill Chastain, for their friendship. We spend more time with each other during the season than we do with our families, and enjoying the people you’re around every day goes a long way. The same goes for the broadcast crew of Dave, Andy, Dewayne, Todd, Griff and the rest, who are road warriors in their own right.

The Rays’ outstanding communications staff, headed by Rick Vaughn, Chris Costello, Carmen Molina and Dave Haller, for everything they do—not the least of which was putting up with my complaining.

The front office, starting with Stu Sternberg, Matt Silverman and Andrew Friedman, for their insight and accessibility. They really have done a remarkable job here.

The players, here and departed. With a couple of exceptions, this clubhouse has been a very welcoming one the last three seasons, and an environment like that is always appreciated. Players like Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, James Shields, Edwin Jackson, Scott Kazmir, Dan Wheeler and many others who were willing to share their time and thoughts on so many occasions really make our jobs easier and more pleaseant. And you could add a couple dozen more to that list as well.

And finally, Joe Maddon, who really is a reporter’s dream to cover—as many reporters around the country learned firsthand last October. He’s smart, funny and insightful, treats everyone with respect, and invariably finds a way to carve out time even when he might not really have it.

With that, I’m just about out of here. I know you’ll stay tuned to this blog, TBO.com, the Tribune, @tborays on Twitter and everywhere else you can find our coverage as my colleague Tony Fabrizio takes the reins this offseason.

The final thanks goes to you, for reading. That’s why we do what we do.

See you down the road. 

Reader Comments

Por (swflabill) on October 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Marc, thanks for 3 great seasons of covering Rays baseball. Our loss is Northern Virginia’s gain. Good Luck in your future endeavors.

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Por (Manatee John) on October 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Thanks Marc! I have loved your blog. It was an everyday read for me and your insight will be missed.

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