Category: Housekeeping

One Writer’s Fond Farewell to Views from 314ft

This is my 368th post at Views from 314ft and it is, unfortunately, my last. I have a new job where I won’t be able to write about the Yankees on a regular basis, so my time with this wonderful site must come to an early end.

When we came together to create Views from 314ft in April and May, I felt a bubbling excitement as a writer.

Working for Views was a chance to explore the idiosyncrasies and minutia that I love about baseball while taking on the responsibilities as one of the site’s head writers. Every day, I strove to unlock key insights into the Yankees’ organization and their players while having fun in the process; You as the readers can judge me on the first part, but I know I succeeded with the latter.

Interacting with the readership and molding the site to your anticipations and demands has been a blast. I tried to both give you what you expected while trying to figure out the topics you didn’t even know you wanted, hitting a level of Yankees-specific analysis that we felt was missing on the baseball internet.

In the process of working to make this site a reality and then keep it moving along, I developed friendships with the rest of our staff and I know they won’t miss a beat in my absence. I’ve learned plenty from my colleagues and can’t thank Randy, Derek, Bobby, Matt and Jonny enough for bearing with me in this journey and obliging me the opportunity to come along with them.

As in April, my deepest gratitude to the folks at River Avenue Blues for taking a chance on me a few years ago and allowing me to contribute to that site. It was my first chance to write about the Yankees and Views wouldn’t have been possible without RAB’s legacy, influence and support.

The backbone of Views remains with my exit stage left. From Derek’s detailed analysis to Bobby’s tireless work to Randy’s passionate posts I wish I could emulate to Matt’s reliable and fun Sunday posts (and Jonny’s pinch-hitting for the occasional Saturday), this site will be as strong as ever. There are countless articles I wish I could have written for Views (one being a World Series recap), but those guys will have the opportunity to do so in my stead. I’m glad to have been a part of it and I’ll simply move from writer to avid reader.

If you want occasional exclamations of joy about baseball, Celtics basketball or Carly Rae Jepsen’s entire catalog, you can follow me on Twitter if you haven’t already made that mistake. Otherwise, goodbye for now!

A Simple Thank You

via GIPHY

As the 2019 regular season enters its final weekend, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that this is also the end of our first regular season here at Views. The time has certainly flown by, hasn’t it? There was a huge void left for many of us when Mike decided to shut down RAB. The Yankees and RAB felt like the perfect fit. The site grew to be just as important as the team in many ways. It legitimately felt that a part of my fandom was taken away when RAB left us. So it is pretty funny that I am writing this thank you letter to you all.

All of this began for me during a game back in April. My girlfriend, Eljon, and I were spending a couple innings at the stadium with Bobby and his wonderful fiancé Leah. After joking that the Yankees crazy injury run was going to be a great story in the 2019 World Series DVD (true story), Bobby mentioned starting a new blog and asked if I wanted to be a part of it. I was very excited, but also nervous as all hell. I had all the faith in the world that Bobby, Derek and Steven (Matt and Jonny didn’t join until later in the planning) were going to create something awesome. The issue was all I did was write random thoughts on Twitter hoping I didn’t come across as an idiot. Writing puts you in a vulnerable position. At the time, I wasn’t sure I could provide enough value to the site to justify being a part of it. But then I thought, why the hell not. I’m gonna keep posting my thoughts on Twitter so why not take the leap. My decision to join Views is one of the best things I’ve done in a very long time.

All of you are the reason why this was such a great decision. It is amazing to see this crazy journey of Yankees fandom from the other side. There are so many smart and insightful fans out here. I have learned a great deal from you over the course of the season. You demand the best not just from the Yankees, but from the site as well. All of us at Views earn a living doing something other than writing for the site. This is in some ways a hobby, but it has grown into a responsibility for us. We deeply care about what we do here and we strive to give you the best of ourselves. All of you deserve that. It is truly humbling to earn your respect and trust.

We’ve come a long way since that last week of May. There was a clear desire to honor RAB, but add our own flavor to it. A big goal of mine was to expand the community of Yankees fans. That is one of the beauties of sports right? It provides us an opportunity to come together and share in a common cause. I believe we are building that community. The ultimate goal is to be here for the long haul. That aim doesn’t get accomplished without your tremendous support. We recognize it and greatly appreciate it. Thank you for giving us a chance. And thank you for helping to build Views by our side. This belongs to all of us.

Cast Your Vote for Suzyn Waldman for Radio Hall of Fame

Here is some good news: pioneering Yankee radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman has been nominated for the Radio Hall of Fame in the Spoken Word category. Here is some even better news: you can help play a role to help ensure that Waldman receives the honor she so deserves by casting a vote. You can do so on RadioVote.com or, if you prefer, by phone at 877-370-VOTE. Voting began yesterday and will run through July 28.

You can only vote once, obviously. The way it works is that the public vote counts as a committee vote, so it is not insignificant–it might make a real difference. She is facing:

  • Stephanie Miller
  • Scott Slade
  • Joe Madison

I don’t think there is any question that Waldman is deserving of the honor. She is a pioneer in the field of sportscasting, an inspiration to young girls with dreams of joining the sports industry, and has been a fabric of New York sports for more than 30 years.

Hers was the first voice ever heard on WFAN. “They laughed at me,” Waldman told the New York Times in 2001. “They laughed at the station.” Unfortunately, similar derision and skepticism has followed Waldman throughout her career, almost entirely due to the fact that she is a woman in a man’s world. She therefore made herself indispensable, disrupting the industry by offering to drive to arenas for WFAN soundbites instead of waiting for the newspaper reports the next morning.

At WFAN, Waldman co-hosted a midday talk show and also covered the Knicks and Yankees beats. There was a problem, though: her future boss, George Steinbrenner, denied her access to him for interviews. She demanded a meeting anyway, penning a letter to Steinbrenner; he relented, but told her that “I don’t like women cops; I don’t like women firemen; I don’t like women in the military; and I don’t like women in sports.”

Waldman pressed on, as she always has, displaying a toughness and determination that apparently impressed Steinbrenner, who should already have been impressed. This is truly remarkable, and came against a context in which Waldman faced rampant sexism from all corners. As she told Newsday a few months ago:

“I used to get things in the mail at the FAN. I would get used condoms in the mail. I got toilet paper with feces on it . . . They were really ugly and disgusting letters, the most vile stuff. You know, it’s not in cyberspace. It’s sitting in your hand. In 1989, it started really early. We got a lot of letters to the station, got letters to the stadium.”

Suzyn waldman

She has constantly risen above these displays and advanced her career in spite of serious and significant institutional barriers. A long career in beat and clubhouse reporting gave way to her replacing Charley Steiner in the Yankees radio booth for the 2005 season. She has been there ever since.

Suzyn is every bit as much an integral part of the broadcast as her colleague, John Sterling. Her “as [leadoff hitter] steps up to the plate, stepping up to the microphone issssss the voice of the New York Yankees, here is John Sterling” is every bit as part of the fabric of a Yankees radio game as “it is high, it is far, it is gone!” When Sterling missed his first games in three decades a few weeks ago, Waldman’s voice alongside substitute Ryan Ruocco’s provided a sense of familiarity to the broadcast. (Ryan did a fantastic job as always, but it was weird to not have Ma and Pa Yankee on the mic, no?)

Her intelligence, passion, and drive come through on every broadcast. That’s why her list of accolades is already quite long. Consider her list of awards:

  • International Radio Award (1989)
  • New York Sportscaster of the Year (1996)
  • American Women in Radio and TV Star Award (1999)
  • Alliance for Women in Media Lifetime Achievement Award (2016)
  • Gracie Award (2016)

In addition, she is the 3rd woman in MLB history to serve as a full-time color commentator for a club and the 2nd women to serve as a play-by-play announcer on TV, which she did in the 1990s for the Yankees.

All of this is to say: vote for Suzyn for the Radio Hall of Fame. I’m sure the other candidates are deserving, too, but I didn’t bother to look because I don’t care: there is only one Suzyn Waldman, and I know that she deserves this more than they do.

Views from 314ft. Mailbag

When we launched this thing a week ago, we expected to be mostly writing for ourselves. Instead, we’re blown away by the immediate support you have all given us. I know I speak for all of us when I say we are overwhelmed with gratitude. We really are thankful to each and every one of you for reading, and we’re really looking forward to keeping this going.

To that end, you’ve sent in quite a bit of feedback over the last week about recurring features you want to see. One of the features we’ve heard most want about is a mailbag. Last night’s Twitter Q+A that Randy ran further illustrated that point. So, long story short, we’re going to go ahead and launch one, starting next Friday (the 14th). It will run every week thereafter, and we’ll rotate who answers the questions depending on our schedules each week. It should be fun.

Please send us your questions to our Gmail, which is viewsfrom314 [at] gmail [dot] com, noting that it’s a mailbag question in the subject line. We’ll answer our favorite ones each week.

Welcome to Views from 314 ft

Hello, and welcome to Views from 314ft! We are a new, independent blog that will provide fans with smart, informed analysis of the New York Yankees. We’ll provide up-to-the-minute news, takeaways from each game, minor league updates, sharp opinions, and the in-depth statistical breakdowns and analyses that Yankee fans deserve.

314ft is an offshoot of River Ave Blues, and you’ll likely recognize many of our names if you were a frequent RAB reader. We are:

Over the coming days and weeks, we hope to introduce you to our individual style as well as our site’s collective voice. We each have unique and sometimes conflicting views on the Bombers, and we are confident our varying viewpoints will represent many different segments from across the fandom.

While we’ll have reactions to each game, nightly updates on the minors, and other features familiar to those who used to read River Ave Blues, we are not—and cannot be—another RAB. For that, we strongly recommend Mike Axisa’s new Patreon campaign, where he provides weekly thoughts and commentary.

With that said, we do hope to fill a bit of the void that RAB left in the online Yankee community. The best way for us to do that, of course, is by hearing from you, so please tell us what is working, what isn’t, and what you want to see from our new site. You can reach us on Twitter at @Viewsfrom314ft or by email at Viewsfrom314 (at) gmail (dot) com.

We hope that this is the beginning of a fun ride for all of us, and we can’t wait to get started.

— Bobby, Derek, Randy, Steven, and Matt

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