You’re probably wondering to yourself right about now: ‘Self—Who is this guy with the hard-to-pronounce last name that’s writing on my favourite Angels website?’ Let me attempt to answer that.
My name, as you’ve more than likely gathered, is Travis Reitsma (pronounced ‘Right-sma’). In a few weeks, the current editor of this fine site, Mr Jason Evans, will be leaving his post to perform the same duties over at FanSided’s Yankees-based site, Yanks Go Yard. At that time—and very gradually before then—I will take over as the new editor.
I know change can be difficult, but if you stick with me, we’ll get through this. Let me tell you a bit about myself.
The first thing you should know is that I’m Canadian. I know this may seem strange, but hear me out. I was born and raised a fan of the Blue Jays in a suburb just east of Toronto called Cobourg. I lived there until I was roughly 18 at which point I moved a few hours west to a city called Windsor. Those of you familiar with the Detroit area will probably know Windsor as that weird Canadian city with all the strip joints and the casino on the other side of that baby-blue bridge.
I have lived in Windsor for the last ten years where I have studied Communications—first as an undergrad and then as a graduate student—at the city’s university. During this time, as I have my whole life, I have remained completely and totally obsessed with the game of baseball.
I discovered very early on (as most of us do) that my deep-seeded love for the game did not translate to an ability to play it very well. I did, however, discover a passion for writing and decided to marry that passion with baseball.
I started up an ill-advised blog a few years back called Baseball Canadiana on the then-newly-formed MLBlogs network. It was terrible and so was I. Soon after, I moved the site off of MLBlogs and to an independent hosting service where I honed my craft and wrote more feverishly. I decided to work another passion of mine into my writing—progressive politics.
In between writing about a trade between the Twins and the Brewers, you could find me writing opinions on everything from homophobia in sports to racism in baseball commentary. Turns out when you write controversial things you get noticed and it wasn’t long before I was asked to contribute to The Score’s emerging baseball blog Getting Blanked.
Over the next two years, I wrote intermittently for Getting Blanked writing team-by-team previews (which I’m doing again this year, by the way—I’m currently just a few teams in) and eventually holding down the role of ‘Weekend Editor.’ I also shut down the horribly-named Baseball Canadiana in favour of Runs Batted Out—a site I still run to this day. We also do a weekly (ish) podcast.
So how did I end up here? Well, I was offered the position when I inquired about becoming a staff writer with FanSided. They needed someone and I stepped in.
I know it’s probably weird that a Canadian and Blue Jays fan will be covering your beloved Angels, but rest assured, I will do the best job I know how in covering your team. I understand your passion and I want to make sure that Halo Hangout remains your place to keep up with all the news and happenings for baseball in Anaheim. I come from a Sabermetrically-minded background and so on top of providing you with news I’ll try to work in some in-depth analysis to the best of my meager abilities.
I’ll be working alongside Jason for the next few weeks as I slowly integrate into the role of lead editor so if you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to contact me either in the comments, or by e-mail ([email protected]). As long as you’re respectful, I’ll interact with you. I feel that reader-interaction is the biggest advantage blogs have over traditional media and I want to help cultivate a sense of community here at The Hangout.
Oh, and if you feel like you’re capable of contributing to Halo Hangout as a staff writer, apply to the link in the top-right corner of the main page. I could use some help delivering Angels news and views—this ship can’t be guided alone, my friends.
I’m new to FanSided and it may take me a little while to become acquainted with some of the finer points of the network, but bare with me—I’ll only disappoint you slightly, and certainly not intentionally.
Oh, and also, Mike Trout, y’all.