Great Minds & Rick Morrissey Replacements | Bleader

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Great Minds & Rick Morrissey Replacements

Posted By on 12.08.09 at 01:01 PM

Ed Sherman:

Regarding Mr. Morrissey's replacement, the process is in its early stages, Mr. Kellams said. Don't be surprised if the Tribune considers Jason Whitlock. The long-time columnist for the Kansas City Star has attracted national attention for his stance on many hot-button issues.

I just want to say for the record that I did not read this before commenting on Michael Miner's blog.

Admittedly I haven't been reading Whitlock much at the Star, but I enjoyed his tenure at But as much as I've admired Whitlock's writing, If I Ran The Tribune, I'd shell out to lure part-time Whitlock colleague Joe Posnanski. He just got a gig at Sports Illustrated, and has said on his blog that the job was a longtime dream. So he might be off the table.

But it's the holiday season, and one can dream. There may be no better hire than Posnanski for a forward-thinking sports section. He's got impressive reporting chops; he's an outstanding, moving (for instance), idiosyncratic blogger who can write informally at length without sacrificing quality or structure; he's a stat geek; he's funny and entertaining without being cheap, mean, or gimmicky. I don't want to call him the best sportswriter in America, since there are lots of good ones in different areas, from the stat heads at Baseball Prospectus* to fan proxies like Bill Simmons to deeply traditional long-form reporters like resident Sports Illustrated genius Gary Smith. But one advantage Posnanski has is his skill set - even if there are people who can do aspects of sports writing better than Posnanski, he can seemingly do everything well (and is admirably democratic at citing specialists when the need arises), even as the definition has expanded in recent years. He's a five-tool player, as they say.

* If the Trib wanted to get a little adventurous, they could promote someone from this local institution. The Nate Silver boat has sailed, but the equally analytical Christina Kahrl is still in town. There's also Tim Marchman, who lives here and has written about baseball for the Wall Street Journal, New York Sun, and Sports Illustrated. He also writes about MMA, which is probably with us for good.

Update: More Posnanski goodness: his post on Larry Johnson straight broke my heart; it's one of the best things I read this year in any format. Note how seamlessly he blends statistics and storytelling.

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