I am ecstatic to see that despite the pandemic’s best efforts, Opening Day is now upon us with minimal hitches.
Normalcy has found its way back into our lives. Fans will be at games again. Beer and sodas and hot dogs and souvenirs will be sold. One thing remains the same though that limits the normalcy for me. For the first time since 2013, I will not be present for a regularly scheduled – non-July start – Opening Day game.
Over my nine years covering the sport, my life has transformed in many different ways. When I began my coverage in 2013, I had just come off being a staff member of a Minor League team and being present for 150 affiliated games over the course of one season. In 2013 and 2014, I was present for 250 baseball games combined between the professional and amateur levels. That was when my body, mind, and desires changed.
Beginning to map out a life with something other than baseball, I became a married man in 2017. Life changed quickly, as by mid-2018, I moved on from the outlet I was working for – a company that had changed affiliates three times over my five years – as part of a mutual decision to part ways. I had decided prior to that leave that life would not be limited to being away from my wife for over half a calendar year.
That was when David Locke of The Locked On Podcast Network reached out asking if I would like to take on a different role, and something I had never pursued or thought of doing. I became a daily podcaster, using that source as a primary outlet to cover the sport I love, and be able to do most of it from home.
Over my year-and-a-half with Locked On Angels, I enjoyed the process. It kept my mind busy, attempting to create content daily, even for spans of 15-minute episodes at minimum. However, life once again interrupted my coverage, as my body began to scream at me. Spending two months on a couch with kidney stones, I began to reevaluate where life was and where it would be in time. I was content, but not happy, and settling would not be an option.
That was when I decided to leave the network despite their best efforts to keep me on board. I greatly appreciate everyone who has brought me on and trusted me to provide coverage, not limited to Melissa Lockard and Rick Randall of Scout Media, or David Locke, Carl Weinstein, and Kylee Young of The Locked On Podcast Network.
This season, I have a new adventure that allows me to dictate my own coverage and allow me the opportunity to pursue the goals I established for myself from the start of my career. Home Plate View is an outlet I am proud to open to the audience that finds entertainment and intrigue in my work. I now single-handedly control my destiny and am elated to cover baseball in the way I feel is best suited for myself and the audience.
As you follow along over the year, you will notice some things will change from prior years. I will cover the team from my perspective. Storylines can come from one game, or they can come from multiple games, and that is how the coverage you see here at Home Plate View will occur. It won’t be daily content. It may not even be weekly content. What you will read here will be what I believe is premium content, without the cost of a membership or paywall.
I will be less active on social media platforms. For some of you, this will be a disappointment, as that is the primary source of attaining information about a single game or daily news. However, you don’t need to see a notification that (Player-X) had an RBI-single in the fifth inning to make the score 5-3. This was a decision that I have been pondering for years now, but as the world seems to collide, I see less-and-less value in social media and am relying on something I was told by a trusted friend in the industry: “Tweet less, write more.”
That is the goal. I now get to write about things that I find intriguing.
You will be able to read specific storylines about players and teams, while also getting the regular in-depth looks at the ongoings on the Angels farm system. You will find draft coverage, aided by the opinions of scouts and in-person views (don’t forget those pesky mock drafts beginning in May). This will be specific coverage about specific items. As games go pitch-by-pitch and inning-by-inning, I will write about the ongoings of why one pitch, or one inning, or one game, or one event could turn the course of a team’s season, or prospect’s outcome.
As always, Thank You for following along. I thoroughly hope you enjoy Opening Day, and everything the 2021 season has in store.
Taylor Blake Ward, Founder of Home Plate View