Growing up in New York, I followed the New York Yankees very closely my entire life. Once I joined Twitter in 2009, the Yankee beat writers were among the first people I followed. From Marc Carig of the Star Ledger (now moving to Newsday to cover the Mets) to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, I would get all my team updates through my Twitter feed.
The Yankees and Rays are locked into a race for the American League East divisional crown and after being assigned the Tampa Bay Times beat, one of the first things I did was followed the Rays beat writers. This adds a whole new dimension to now just looking at the scoreboard, but keeping track of both the Yankees and Rays games at the same time.
The tweets from writers are very informative, but could use a little more wit and humor to keep followers more engaged. Carig's departure from the Yankees beat was a sad moment for Yankee fans this weekend, because he is known for his jokes and interaction with followers via Twitter.
Taking a look at TampaBay.com, I could get the feeling that this is a media outlet that could have a much larger readership through an actual newspaper rather than their website. There is a lot of text and not many graphics or photos on the front page in comparison to a website like the New York Daily News'.
Further evidence for my assumption is backed by the fact that some of the game recaps for the Rays have widows and orphans. There's a premium option at the top of the website to view the E-version of the newspaper, which would allow a reader to browse through a pdf version of the print version. It is quite possible that the widows and orphans may not be present in those editions.
Doing some research on the writers, columnist Tom Jones is a lot like New York's Mike Lupica in the essence that they are not afraid to speak their minds and channel their views through the radio or television. Marc Topkin has covered baseball for the Tampa Bay Times since 1987. One week into following him, he is an old-school reporter trying to make the transition into using other media means like Youtube to get analysis out.
Thus far, I am a fan of the Tampa Bay Times. Following the American League East divisional race is going to be quite exciting to say the least.