Finnigan’s replacement, Geoff Baker

DMZ · August 16, 2006 at 1:49 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Finnigan’s departure date hasn’t been announced, which means Rizzs gets to shower him with compliments every game, but his rumored (confirmed?) replacement is Toronto Star columnist Geoff Baker. Baker’s already off the Star’s list of columnists, which hints it’ll happen soon. That also makes finding past articles harder. At times like this, I wish I had Lexis-Nexis access* but fortunately, the Blue Jays have a lovely blog, the Batter’s Box and I can point to some of their stuff. Here’s a short profile piece.

Baker’s written an anti-stathead screed (everyone was doing it) but this bit with Baker on stat geekery offers a more interesting view.

He may be most famous for the controversy his June 28, 2003 “White Jays” article sparked. Check out “Whitest team in the majors” if you’re interested.

More recently, much of the Shea Hillenbrand coverage (in which his teammates slagged him as a horrible person they were glad to be rid of and praised him as a popular and pleasant guy to have around) was Baker’s.

In any event, I’ll spare everyone a repeat rant on why replacing Finnigan with almost anyone is good for local sports coverage (though it pales compared to the looming 1-paper disaster). I’m happy to hear it’s Baker, though, as he’s written pieces critical of the local team, and Finnigan… uh… has not done that so much as the opposite.

And hey, Geoff, if you’re reading, drop us a line, we can do a Q&A, introduce you to the crowd.

* would have been handy for the book, too. Aren’t they local? Please tell me someone there reads USSM and wants us to use their outstanding research tools. We offer endorsements and frequent credits.


22 Responses to “Finnigan’s replacement, Geoff Baker”

  1. phil333 on August 16th, 2006 3:33 am

    Glad to see someone new but the whitest team thing was stupid.

  2. VandalJeff on August 16th, 2006 5:40 am

    I found Baker’s use of the phrase “visible-minority players” curious. Does this mean that Mike Lowell, for example, wouldn’t be included in this count if he happened to play for the Jays?

  3. Oly Rainiers Fan on August 16th, 2006 6:39 am

    Yes, off topic.
    [deleted, off-topic]

  4. Dash on August 16th, 2006 7:53 am

    I know somebody who at least used to work at Lexis-Nexis. Let me check to see if he’s still there and see if he’s in any position to make any special offers.

  5. The Ancient Mariner on August 16th, 2006 8:10 am

    “Looming 1-paper disaster”? I knew the P-I’s on its deathbed, but I didn’t think the TNT was going anywhere — what’s up with them?

  6. Jeff on August 16th, 2006 8:28 am

    I am prepared to shower affection on Finnigan’s replacement.

  7. dw on August 16th, 2006 8:34 am

    But from the sounds of it, you’re showering affection on whatever replaces the Weimar Republic.

  8. dw on August 16th, 2006 8:35 am

    OK, maybe that’s too Godwin. You’re showering affection on Mobutu Sese Seko’s replacement, because Kabila just has to be better.

  9. dw on August 16th, 2006 9:07 am

    I’ve given Lexis-Nexis a browse, and honestly, it wouldn’t help you that much. I’ve found half a dozen articles, none of which are the two-part feature he wrote last year on why Hispanic players are more likely to be caught doping (“Life in Needle Park” and “Harvesting the Dominican Diamond Mine”). Also, I can’t find his stathead hatchet job, though Richard Griffin appears to be the main offender on that.

    He was at the Montreal Gazette before the Star, but I can’t find any articles from there. Maybe Jonah has some insight?

  10. katal on August 16th, 2006 9:14 am

    Wow, as soon as I read that this new writer is coming from Toronto, I immediately thought of the afterward in Moneyball.

    As happy as I am to see Finnigan leaving, I see no reason to get excited abour an old school guy who goes out of his way to make up controversy that he can write about.

    Oh well. Bad journalism goes out, bad journalism comes in. I’m sure there’s a Latin phrase for that.

  11. msb on August 16th, 2006 9:46 am

    #9– often for Canadian papers, you get better search coverage if you select ‘world news’ and ‘north/south america news coverage’– that pulled up 592 hits for just 2-year period.

    Derek– are you an alumni of an institution of higher learning? If you have library privileges, in many cases you can then get ‘off campus access’ to the various databases said library may hold.

  12. msb on August 16th, 2006 9:56 am

    Baker’s piece on steroids is still available on the Star site, but it’s in the archive now, so you’d have to buy it–

    Steroids part of the game
    May 14, 2005
    Baseball system in Dominican teeming with greed, exploitation and a drug culture that grabs players young and doesn’t let go

  13. Jim Thomsen on August 16th, 2006 10:09 am

    In other media news, Jerry Brewer of the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal will be starting next month as the new sports columnist at The Seattle Times.

    From his Aug. 2 farewell column:

    “Now I understand Brad Pitt. Louisville was my Jennifer Aniston, a perfect fit. Seattle is my Angelina Jolie, I guess. Fortunately, in this scenario I’m not following Billy Bob Thornton.

    I will not say I am leaving for a better opportunity. Seattle is a wonderful chance for me to grow as a person and a journalist. It is a challenge that comes packed with the potential for failure, and the thrill-seeker inside of me cannot wait for such danger. It has four pro sports franchises, which will infuse my column with more diversity.”

    My sources tell me he’ll debut in The Times somewhere around Labor Day.

  14. Ralph Malph on August 16th, 2006 10:14 am

    Now I’m it Baker or is it Brewer? (or is it, maybe, Candlemaker?) Or will the Times have 2 new columnists?

  15. Jim Thomsen on August 16th, 2006 10:17 am

    Brewer will be a general sports columnist, filling the ostensible vacancy created by Blaine Newnham’s semi-retirement last year.

    Baker, it appears, will be the Times’ lead Mariners writer.

  16. msb on August 16th, 2006 10:25 am

    Brewer seems to feel that he is coming in as an all-round sports columnist. Baker has been the Jays’ beat reporter, as was/is Finnigan.

  17. msb on August 16th, 2006 10:28 am

    Baker also does a column on thursdays, with Q&A at the end; here is last weeks piece about the Jays since Tosca’s in-season firing 2 years ago.

  18. Jim Thomsen on August 16th, 2006 10:56 am

    Good to see The Times is finally taking a mulligan on Finnigan, by the way. If only 25 years too late.

  19. DMZ on August 16th, 2006 11:12 am

    I wonder how long it’ll take to wash off afterwards.

  20. Jim Thomsen on August 16th, 2006 11:20 am


  21. DMZ on August 16th, 2006 11:28 am

    I’m saying that’ll take one long shower to get clean.

  22. LH sock puppet on August 16th, 2006 5:03 pm

    17 – Gosh, but that’s a lot of words. Most of them good. I can’t see the Times sparing that many inches. But then, the current crop of Seattle “writers” aren’t worth the space allotted now. Be interesting to see if this Baker fellow will go against the ingrained homerism of the Seattle sports media.

    After all, remember the 21st-century journalism motto: “Access above integrity.”

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