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.