Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Exclusive Interview: Chad Jennings of the Journal News

We at the RJG had the chance to send some questions to the new Journal News and former Scranton Yankees beat writer, Chad Jennings. Chad is one of the main authors of the Lohud Yankees blog, having taken over for Peter Abraham. The Lohud blog is perhaps one of the most popular among Yankee fans, and a great place to catch up on Yankees news and updates.

Chad was gracious enough to answer several of our questions, and we are happy to have been able to complete this interview. Many thanks to Chad!

What interested you in becoming a baseball writer?

I was 15 and realized I enjoyed writing assignments in school. That's how I became interested in being a writer. Covering baseball just sort of happened, but at this point, I can't imagine covering anything else.

You are originally from Missouri. How have you adjusted to small-town life in New York and have you gotten into your first fight on the subway yet?

No subway fights just yet, but I have adjusted to getting around in the city. I'm hoping for no more wrong trains to the stadium.

If you could interview anyone in the history of baseball, who would you interview, and what would be the first question you’d ask them?

Branch Rickey. "What made you think any of this stuff would work?" Rickey changed so much about the game, and it all required thinking outside of the box. I'd love to interview him. Of course, I'm sure different names would jump to mind on different days. Lou Gehrig. Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Joe Jackson. Christy Mathewson.

The Yankees recently parted with fan favorite outfielder, Johnny Damon. How long before they trade Jesus Montero to get him back?

Oh wow. You shouldn't suggest such things.

What has been your favorite move by Brian Cashman this off-season?

Staying out of the Holliday sweepstakes. That sort of contract would have haunted this team, and it took some guts to see the big picture instead of the short-term gain. Of the moves he actually made, getting Vazquez stands out to me. That was a very real need for the Yankees, and it cost them parts they could afford to lose.

The LoHud Yankees Blog has established itself as the best Yankees news blog out there, and is the first stop for Yankees news for many who follow the team. What has the experience been like since you stepped into the role of one of LoHud’s principle Yankees bloggers?

It's been exciting, but it's obviously a challenge to keep up Pete's standard, especially in the winter. I'm just looking forward to getting spring training started. That's when things should pick up.

Follow up: How much has the work of Respect Jeter’s Gangster inspired you in your blogging efforts?

I love that there are so many great fan blogs out there. What I do is completely different, but it's important to have multiple fan perspectives out there. It helps me to learn what people are interested in reading and learning.

Let’s be serious for a moment. How often does Jeter mention RJG in the Yankees clubhouse? Every day? Every other day?

I hear it's his home page.

What kind of contract do you see Jeter getting at the end of this season, and will it really be enough for all the joy he’s brought to our lives?

Three year deal. Basically the same money he's making now. He'll probably be overpaid according to his numbers, but I think the Yankees will make certain he doesn't play anywhere else.

What has been your favorite experience as a Yankees beat writer so far?

A month into the job I covered a World Series. That's tough to beat.

Do players ever get bored and just call you up?

Not really. There are a few who I randomly text from time to time, but those are few and far between. I have a great, friendly relationship with most of the guys, but we don't really talk just to talk.

What has been the biggest challenge going from AAA to the majors?

I didn't deal with agents very often in the minors. Mostly, the challenge is about establishing relationships with the guys who never played in Scranton. Professionally, that Jackson/Kennedy/Coke trade sucked for me!

You write for the most popular Yankees news blog on the internet. How many times a day do you frequent the Respect Jeter’s Gangster blog, and why is it your favorite blog?

Haha! I'll say that I don't have a favorite. That's pretty diplomatic, right?

Imagine for a moment that you’re caught up in a bar fight, which Yankee on the 40 man roster would you want on your side and why?

How about the new guy, Jamie Hoffmann? Never met him, but he's a big guy and a former hockey player. That dude can probably throw down.

Lastly, what do you respect most about Jeter’s gangster?

That when he's surrounded by reporters, he's the one running the show. He doesn't seem bothered or upset. If he doesn't like a question, he says so, but not in a way that makes anyone mad. Not many guys can handle those situations. Jeter does more than handle them, he controls them.

So there you have it, clear documented evidence that even the media respects Jeter's gangster. Many thanks again to Chad for completing this interview. If you don't already, please check out the Lohud Yankees blog. They make the winter off season that much more enjoyable.


Anonymous said...

This guy has a cool job, to say the least (he sends text messages to Yankees!!!). Also, yay, no more Pete Abe making endless snarky comments about A-Rod/Girardi!!!

hunter said...

great interview guys!
i know that when pete left the lohud blog, there was mild panic over whether or not it would still be good, but chad and sam have done a great job taking over and running it.
i was thinking about the bar fight question... if we could pick former yankees to help us, i would pick ponson... chances are he has been in quite a few.

Rich Mahogany said...

Nice work with the interview.

Chad just went with Hoffmann for the bar fight because he's expendable! He could get beat up and then we would give him back to the Dodgers. Still a good choice though. I'd go with Andrew Brackman because he's at least nine feet tall.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely go for Posada in a bar fight. Do I really even need an explanation? Past Yankees, obviously Graeme Lloyd. He THREW DOWN in that brawl with the Orioles from 1998! Plus he was Australian.

Rich Mahogany said...

Past Yankee for the fight: Jeff Juden. 6'8", and I think some teams (including the Yankees) signed him solely for his bouncer/enforcer abilities.

Posada is a solid choice, especially if the fight starts after he visits the bathroom.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

Ponson is probably in a bar fight right now! I think Brackman would be risky because a guy that tall is susceptible to having poor balance, and if he goes down, that's that. Posada would probably be my choice to, except that if I were out with Posada it would probably be him getting into a bar fight, not me, with me having to jump in (though I imagine I wouldn't have to do much, probably just kick some guy who's already down and then act like I'm real tough).

Fernando Alejandro said...

Ponson is a solid choice for past Yankees, though I may have to go with Chris Britton. Couldn't really pitch, but looked like he could take a stool over the head and not blink.

Current Yankees, hmm, that's a tough one. Posada's a good choice, Cano's a pretty big guy, but I have to agree with Chad's reasoning, former hockey players have to know how to throw down.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and how are we all forgetting SHELLEY DUNCAN???

I'm still picking Posada. Then again, maybe I'd go with Mariano because all he would need to do was look at the offending person in a stern manner and they would instantly be struck with a lightning bolt.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and how are we all forgetting SHELLEY DUNCAN???

I'm still picking Posada. Then again, maybe I'd go with Mariano because all he would need to do was look at the offending person in a stern manner and they would instantly be struck with a lightning bolt.

Anonymous said...

Double post. :(

Jon Roberts said...

If you can pick former Yankees, I would go with Crazy Kyle Farnsworth. He body slammed Affeldt in a brawl when he was with the Cubs still.

I also seem to remember Wells breaking his hand in a fight not long after he came to the Yankees.

Anonymous said...

I would never want to do ANYTHING with Farnsworth. Kevin Brown, maybe. Though not before Game 7 of any important series. AHEM.