Friday, September 18, 2009

Replacing PeteAbe

Over the next two weeks, the Westchester Journal News will have the unenviable task of trying to replace the Blogfather of the Bronx Bombers, Peter Abraham. I published a tribute to his work this morning and other Yanks blogs have weighed in as well, including Bronx Banter, River Ave. Blues, IIATMS, Heartland Pinstripes and The Yankee Universe.

They are going to be some big shoes to fill, but we have put together a couple of candidates for the job. The list is woefully limited to due to our outside perspective in terms of the newspaper world. However, since LoHud is relatively small, circulation-wise, we believe that it would be in their best interest to fill the position while placing the online readership as the main consideration. The way that the newspaper industry is going, they would be wise to try to support an employee solely by their online presence if at all possible. With the traffic PeteAbe drew that is a very attainable goal. As a result have focused our list mainly on internet writers.


The Minor League Guys

Chad Jennings - Jennings does a bang up job of covering the AAA team for the Scranton Times-Tribune. He's been at it for about two and a half years so he has dealt with the Yankees organization pretty extensively. PeteAbe himself has said in the past that some newspaper would be wise to scoop him up. He's as close to a "name brand" that is available in the Yankee blogosphere and probably the best hope LoHud has for keeping people around.

Mike Ashmore - Author of the Thunder Thoughts blog and current employee of the Hunterdon County Democrat, Ashmore has been on the Trenton beat for four years. His blog has been around since January of 2008 and is far and away the best resource for the Yankees AA affiliate.

Robert Pimpsner - Former keeper of, Pimpsner has moved his coverage of the New York baseball to Gotham Baseball. Another great contributor to the excellent coverage of the Yankees' minor league system that we fans have been spoiled by, he would be a dark horse candidate, but a great choice to take on of the spots vacated by Ashmore or Jennings should they be chosen by LoHud.


The Yankee Bloggers

The River Ave. Blues Guys - This one is a little outside of the box, but let's be honest, newspapers could use some outside of the box thinking. If LoHud is serious about their online presence, they would be wise to work out something with the biggest and best independent Yankees blog out there. Ben, Mike and Joe have done great work without any real access and it stands to reason that it would only get better if they were credentialed. They already have a content sharing agreement with the YES Network site and attended the Winter Meetings last December, so it's not as if they are some fly-by-night operation.

It would also represent a major stride for bloggers in general, something we obviously have a vested interest in. The two weeks before Pete vacates his position might be too tight of a window to figure out a working arrangement, but RAB comes with its own large, vibrant online audience, something that none of these other candidates can claim in comparison.

Cliff Corcoran - Cliff's writing at Sports Illustrated and Bronx Banter is always thorough and insightful. I don't know if the position would be something he is interested in considering he has infant daughter at home, but judging by what I have read from him, I'm guessing he would do a great job. BB's founder Alex Belth would probably do good work as well, but he didn't seem interested when he wrote about Pete's departure.


The LoHud Guys

Sam Borden - You probably recognize the name from the times they he has filled in for Pete on his blog. He is currently a columnist on LoHud, and while it's customary for a beat writer to aspire to be a columnist, but the Yankees beat that PeteAbe has carved out is a pretty high profile spot.

Kevin Devaney, Jr. - Devaney also works for LoHud and at the moment, has filled in for PeteAbe before and maintains a blog on high school sports called Varsity Insider. He's been with the paper for over 10 years and is another guy primed for a promotion to the Big Leagues.

Josh Thompson - Another occasional fill-in for Abraham, Thompson has been at LoHud since 2003 covering sports from the high school to pro levels. He currently maintains an ironically-titled blog on girls basketball in the lower Hudson called the The Sixth Man.


  1. Good stuff Jay. My vote would be for Cliff Corcoran but I would be very suprised if it happened.

  2. You should do it Jay!

  3. Good evaluation, Jay. Personally, I think Borden would make a very good replacement and is in-house. Like Abraham, he seems to be a hard worker, which would be essential to maintaining the high level of detailed updates that made LoHud, to me, far and away the best beat coverage of the Yankees around. Borden is also a very good writer, polished and articulate.

    Jennings would be a good choice for his blog work at SWB, and his knowledge of the Yanks' farm system.

    Either way, LoHud MUST maintain the blog and at a high level. That is not just because online content has become cutting edge, but also because it has cultivated a regional and national base for an otherwise small paper in a big market. I check LoHud for Yankees coverage far more than the NYT, Post, Daily News, and Newsday for the Yanks.

  4. @ Anon (probably my Mom) - You're embarrassing me.

    Jason - Thanks. You're dead on about the small paper in a big market. The blog is their only chance to stay relevant beyond their circulation and I've got to belive they realize that.

  5. You hit the nail on head there Jason. Granted, I'm stuck up here in CT rather than being in the City, but I never even heard of the Journal News until Pete Abe came along.

    The newspaper inudstry is crumbling. The Journal News is already at a disadvantage by being a Westchester County paper. However, they have a golden goose of an asset in the LHYB. If I were them, I'd be looking at this opening with an eye towards getting a replacement for the blog as a primary goal and a replacement for the beat as a secondary goal. Beat writers are a dime a dozen, particularly when it comes to the Yankees. LHYB is one of a kind.

  6. I have it on good source that Devaney was offered the job