ST. PAUL, Minn. — Take it from a guy flying into a blizzard tomorrow — seriously, they’re talking about a foot and half of snow blanketing Winnipeg — this might not feel like the time to talk baseball.
But hey, this is is how far ahead most plans are put together in any sport, so why not?
Let’s start with this: Alex Stumpf will, in fact, cover the Pirates for us in 2020 and beyond.
I know, not much of a surprise. But I had mentioned a few weeks ago when Alex came on board that it was on a trial basis, and all he did in the interim was exceed all our expectations, draw the visible support and appreciation of our readership and, most of all, he enjoyed what he did. He loved it, actually. And when it comes to the baseball beat, as I found out myself once, that’s probably about 90 percent of the battle. Because there’s so much of it, day after day after day, that passion’s got to be that big a part of it.
Alex has that. He wants to do it. He also has the intensive knowledge of both baseball in general and the Pirates specifically, the humility to grasp when it’s best to ask someone else, the reporting and writing skills to combine both, and the voice and presence to bring his own flair to what he presents.
We won’t take advantage of that passion, though. We’ll support Alex the same way we’ve supported everyone on that beat over the years. I was at half of the Pirates’ games myself this past summer, including roughly a quarter of the road schedule. Hunter Homistek did a bunch, too. We’ll both remain heavily involved, as will Matt Sunday. No beat here has to be more of a team effort than baseball, and that won’t change.
For now, please join us all in congratulating Alex. He’s earned it.
THE TECH UPDATE
Many more hours were invested this week in the app design and, by week’s end, it finally began taking form. We have a home page, we have a Brewing page (yes, that’ll be its own thing, which is awesome), and we’ve got a few other key pieces in place.
For now, I can share that our emphasis is on a super-clean look and a super-easy navigation. We’re not looking to crowd stuff or make it excessively fancy. We want readers to find the stuff they want and, in turn, to enjoy it the way they want, based on what we’ve learned over these five-plus years.
Also, I’m very happy to share that all our familiar terminology and other elements — Brewing, Java, Lunatics, Asylum, up-cups, down-cups, etc. — will be a big part of what we’re doing. Even though this is a completely new app, built from scratch in every way, we want it to still feel like home for our longstanding readers. Just a newer, prettier, more modern home.
MEET US IN EAST LIBERTY!
We’re having a Miller Lite live Q&A session next Friday, Oct. 18, 8-10 p.m., at Social at Bakery Square in East Liberty.
We’d love to have you there with us. No cover. No charge. No catch. Just talking sports with a bunch of our staff. You ask us questions. We ask you questions. Nothing terribly formatted about it. I’ll be there, too, but don’t let that dissuade you.
If you’re interested, let us know here.
TOONS ‘N’ AT
We’re way overdue on giving David Golebiewski the toon treatment, courtesy of Rob Ullman. Read David’s excellent Stats ‘N’ At feature each Wednesday.
VETERAN COUNT: 377
Early this year, our friend Josh DeNinno at Moon Golf Club came up with the concept of pushing all of us to reach 1,000 full-year military subscriptions for the calendar year through his Veterans Challenge. And to back that, Josh is buying 10 a month himself for a total of 100, leaving 900 for everyone else. To date, we’ve sold and committed 377. That’s appreciated. Here’s where to contribute. — DK
BACK TO BUSINESS
• New subscribers for 2019 are at 872. (Fifty-two new in the past week!) You can track this figure daily at the bottom of the desktop and tablet versions of the site.
• Our daily page views, averaged out over the past 30 days, are at 99,212. I’ve been citing here for months now that the goal with this figure is to average 100,000, a number we’ve achieved regularly only during the two Stanley Cup runs.
• Our most-hit original article of the past week was Dale Lolley’s coverage of the Steelers releasing Xavier Grimble at 33,651. The Steelers accounted for 223,795 page views, the Penguins 133,793, and the Pirates 51,507.
• We’re at 34,132 (+98) followers on Twitter, we’re at 32,091 (-15) page likes on Facebook, we’re at 11,544 (+8) followers on Instagram. These figures are just for our official company account on each platform, not for us as individuals.
• Get our free newsletter with a simple signup! We send out a new one Monday-Friday at 7 a.m.
• We make mistakes. If you see one, email Typos@DKPittsburghSports.com
• Anything you need, including lost/forgotten passwords, email us: Help@DKPittsburghSports.com