Sending Zuckerman to Florida

Posted by Dave Nichols | Monday, February 08, 2010 | , , , , | 4 comments »

Mark Zuckerman, late of the Washington Times, is having a fund drive to come up with the funds to cover the entirety of the Washington Nationals spring training.

It's a unique opportunity for Mark, who is a talented and perceptive writer.  Having been RIFed from the Times along with the rest of their sports reporters and columnists, Mark has put up his own shingle, the provocatively titled "Nationals Insider".

Here's where things get intersting and, frankly, a little murky.  Mark, technically, is not a "Nationals Insider" anymore.  Currently he's an internet writer, joining the three dozen or so other internet writers and bloggers in the Natosphere that write about the Nationals on a regular and frequent basis.  This is no longer his source of income (for now), and at that, in order to provide quality coverage of the team and spring training, he needs your help to get there.

The thing Mark has going for him is his BBWAA card, which he's held for nine years now.  That instantly qualifies him for credentials to cover the team, whether he's employed by a media outlet or not.  That exemption only applies for one year from his termination date, though.

During the season, it's entirely likely that Mark will freelance for an outlet and will have some source of income, but he has no such sponsorship for spring training.  So if you want to see a professional, independent persepective covering the Nats in Florida, by all means click on the link at the top of the article and contribute to the cause.

Personally, this idea is very intriguing to me.  My wife and I go to spring training for a week to ten days every year, and we cover it as best we can with stories, news and pictures from the sidelines and from relationships we've built since we started our site two seasons ago. 

I hold out hope that the Nationals will one day (hopefully soon) follow in the footsteps of their NHL cousins, the Washington Capitals, and credential responsible independent internet writers, opening up coverage of the team to even more voices, and more comprehensive coverage.

As I said before, Mark has a very unique opportunity here.  As he continues to pursue gainful employment, he can provide in depth coverage of the team without filter, deadlines, or bottom lines.  He IS the new media, and there are others that will follow in his footsteps.


  1. MikeHarris // February 8, 2010 at 8:45 PM  

    Mark will have to confirm this - but if memory serves, your nine-year note about his baseball writers membership is key.
    That will make this his 10th year. After 10 years, you're in for life.

    At least that's the way it used to be. So it could be more than a one-year deal for him.

  2. Dave Nichols // February 9, 2010 at 12:11 AM  

    Mike, I think that is the case, which is why it is a big deal. you get "the vote" at ten and you're in for life.

  3. Anonymous // February 9, 2010 at 7:32 AM  

    And Chico Harlan is burning his BBWAA card the way kids of my generation burned their draft cards...

  4. Andrew // February 10, 2010 at 1:05 PM  

    Mike Harris - That is the big deal with his BBWAA for access as your standing as a blogger for access is 1 step in front of the average STH and many steps behind a credentialed member of the media!

    Mark has earned his way in so he hasn't been handed anything, and maybe in the long run he will help the Bloggers along the way since he is now one of them for the time being.