TBOH Marches Into Spring Training


Here at TBOH, we’re saying goodbye to this cold February, and moving forward into the month of March and the beginning of spring training Grapefruit League games. It’s been a challenging, yet rewarding off-season as we begin a new era of coverage, and our expanded staff is ready to roll.

Back on December 1st, after serving as a staff writer, I took on the expanded responsibilities as the Editor for our “That Ball’s Outta Here” website. Unfortunately, I was the last person standing. There was no other writing staff remaining. Fortunately, we were entering the deepest, darkest days of the winter, which gave time to recover.

More from That Balls Outta Here

There were three main areas of responsibility that needed to be worked on:

First was the continued writing of original articles. Original content still had to be provided on a regular basis for the diehard Phillies fans who were following the site. I keyed on the numerous trade rumors and activity that surrounded the club this off-season, and supplemented that coverage by expanding our respect for team history, instituting our “TBOH Remembers” category.

Second was the expansion of our social media presence. Getting the TBOH voice heard in the huge ocean of information now available on the web is not an easy task. I began to offer daily Phillies history items, frequent trivia items, and of course continued linking our website articles.

Last and absolutely not least was the recruitment of staff writers to help produce content. I got in touch with a couple of folks who had produced content for TBOH in the past, and then began to recruit. Some of that was direct, some of it was by putting notices out in social media and waiting for responses through our parent site at Fansided.

Gradually over the course of the last three months, it has all begun to come together. Anyone who visits our Twitter feed @FS_TBOH and scrolls through over recent weeks will see a difference, and is sure to find some of the best Phillies content available from any independent resource. In recent weeks, much of that information has mirrored at our Facebook page.

We were able to land our first two Phillies-related direct interviews for the site. There was a highly controversial, widely lauded interview with Mitch Williams in which he sounded off on a number of issues in his usual colorful, no-holds-barred manner. And then there was the much calmer interview with the Phillies outstanding Spanish language broadcaster, Angel Ibo Castillo. We’re actively looking to bring you more of these unique interviews moving forward.

The staff has grown to where we now have 11 writers producing content for you, the Phillies fans. It’s an extremely eclectic group of varying ages and experience levels. As a team over the last month or so, we have brought you a “Best Case/Worst Case Scenario” series on Phils players, a “2015 Phillies Coaching Staff” series offering a look at that staff on a coach-by-coach basis, a “My First Team” series that looked back at the very first Phillies team each of our writers ever followed on a regular basis.

We have writers now on the staff who are strong statistical-based evaluators, bringing information from a Sabermetrics analytical angle, and writers with tremendous fantasy baseball experience who will be looking at how the Phillies players might impact your roto/fantasy squads. We even now have a writer actually based down in the Clearwater area who follows the minor leagues closely, expanding our opportunities to cover not only spring training, but also the minor leagues in general.

This is your site, Phillies fans, not ours. We aren’t here to satisfy our egos, or to make a name for ourselves. We’re not here to shove our opinions into your faces, or to present ourselves as better than you in any way. We’re simply here because, like you, we love the Fightin’ Phils. It has been one of the pre-requisites that I set for the vast majority of writers added to the staff, that genuine vested interest in the team.

While we have that love of the Phillies, we will not necessarily be cheerleaders at all times under any circumstances. Anyone who has been following over these last few months knows very well, for example, that I have been highly critical of GM Ruben Amaro and club president Pat Gillick. When we feel criticism is warranted, we will present that view. But we’ll do it as maturely as we possibly can, defending our positions as well as we can.

In March, we begin the challenge of game coverage. We’ll be presenting pre-series, pre-game, and post-game coverage as often as we possibly can. It takes a team to bring you this kind of coverage. We have a team now here at TBOH. We’re ready to bring you tremendous 2015 Phillies coverage, and we hope that you make us a regular part of your baseball enjoyment now and into the future, sharing us with your fellow fans.

If you have a love of the Phillies, and feel that you might have some writing ability and something to offer our TBOH team, please feel free to apply to join our staff. You can write to me at veaseymj@comcast.net, and I will be happy to send you the information to get you started with the Fansided organization.

Thanks to everyone who has given us positive feedback as we’ve continued to grow TBOH. We’re under no delusions that everyone will always agree with us on every player and every position we ever take. Heck, we don’t even always agree here among our staff. Different opinions make the world go around. If there is something we’re not covering, let us know, and we’ll try to build it in for you.

Let’s share opinions and the love of the Phillies with one another as the club rebuilds, just as we rebuilt here at TBOH. Make comments on our articles at the website. Respond to us on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll try to interact regularly. You can follow me as well at @MatthewVeasey, as I’m constantly tweeting and posting Phillies information. Many of our staff are also found on Twitter.

And two final words as we leave February and enter March, marching forward to the 2015 season together: Play ball!