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Is there a better baseball writer in the country than Tyler Kepner? And I’m not just talking about newspapers. If so, please let me know because I’m missing something special. Kepner covered the Mets beat and then the Yankees beat for the New York Times before becoming the paper’s general baseball writer/columnist. His work features measured, even-handed analysis, good reporting, and, oh yeah, the guy can actually write. He’s just getting better and better. I got to thinking about him when I opened the sports section of the Times this morning. There are few sports writers than have all of Kepner’s skills these days and I, for one, am grateful to have him on the scene.

Also in the Times today is a long feature by Ken Belson on Hideki Irabu.



1 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 9, 2011 10:49 am

I really like Verducci.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 9, 2011 11:56 am

1) Very good, much different kind of writer though. Does more features, though he seems to be transitioning to a TV personality.

3 Mrs. Peterson-Kekich   ~  Oct 9, 2011 1:05 pm

I thought his article about a month ago that covered the Orioles and the Blue Jays -- giving the perspective of teams and their fans that have no shot at the post-season but are still battling for every win -- was one of the best pieces I've read in a while.

4 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 9, 2011 2:01 pm

3) Yes, that was good. I think one of the things that separates Kepner is consistency. He's rarely bad. Not everything is inspired, of course, that's too much to expect, but everything is solid. And he's really taken to the new position and I think he's just improving all the time.

It's funny, not every beat writer makes a good columnist and not every columnist can do takeout pieces or write books. Some guys do one thing really well and that's not a knock. It's knowing what you can do. And yeah, some guys get credit for having ambition and stretching themselves. Then again, George King doesn't seem to have ever wanted to be anything but a beat guy. And Red Smith, the greatest of all sports columnists never wrote books (he did write one kids book) and only the occasional takeout piece.

I'm glad that Kepner has not used his position to become a columnist-rumor guy like Olney, Heyman, and Rosenthal. I think Olney can really write and Rosenthal and Heyman do a great job in their position, too. I don't think they'd pretend to be great writers or stylists. They are insiders. And now, they are more suited to TV than just print.

But I'm glad there is still room for writers, too.

5 Simone   ~  Oct 9, 2011 3:28 pm

As someone who dislikes the New York Times' Sports section, I always find myself peaking in to read Kepner's baseball articles. I like his writing style and he comes across as someone who appreciates the game.

6 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 9, 2011 4:23 pm

Is there a better baseball writer in the country than Tyler Kepner?

Joe Posnanski.

Frankly, it's not even close.

7 a.O   ~  Oct 10, 2011 1:12 pm

What I'll always remember about Tyler Kepner is when the ARod steroids story broke in spring training, he turned the NYT baseball page into a tabloid. You could get absolutely no info from the Times on how the team was doing (e.g., position battles, injury updates, etc). All you could get was more lurid details on "the scandal." He should have been writing for the National Inquirer, because he gave up writing about baseball and the Yankees for over a month. It was pathetic. His singular obsession with the topic is a great illustration of how the corporate media follows the $$ instead of providing information and analysis on what they purport to cover.

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