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Who’s Who on the SnakePit

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As at Opening Day 2018, here are the people whom you’re most likely to see doing things around the place. Please, introduce yourself in the comments, too!

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

As we launch the SnakePit User Guide, which will be permanently pinned on the front page, for the benefit of new and old readers alike, figured we should take a few minutes to introduce everyone to the current roster of writers and editors, as at Opening Day 2018. We’ll endeavor to keep this updated, but... Well, we’ll see!

Veteran presence

The six below are those have been contributing to the site for the longest time. You should therefore avoid making eye contact with them, and leave their presence only by backing away slowly, with head lowered. But, seriously folks: If you have questions, issues, requests for media appearances, or whatever, reach out to any of the people below, as the ones with the most experience of this place. Contact info is on the masthead.

  • Jim McLennan - I started writing about the D-backs in 2003 as a coping mechanism, so Mrs. SnakePit didn’t have to listen to me ranting about batting average with runners in scoring position, and was brought on by Blez to create the SnakePit in March 2005. Originally from Scotland, I didn’t see my first baseball game live until my thirties. I’ve been making up for lost time ever since. When not SnakePitting, I watch a lot of movies, and will argue with anyone about the relative merits of Pulp Fiction and Showgirls.
  • Charlie Gebow - I started writing for the Pit for the 2012 season, fresh off the last playoff appearance, so I’m sorry about that. I generally write with more prose and narrative and dumb jokes in mind with my analysis coming in the form of uniform records. To pay for my internet to bring you my takes I run lights for a concert venue in a suburb of Tucson. Once wrote a feature-length radio drama you can find in the pinned tweet of my twitter profile.
  • Steven Burt - I’ve always been a fan of baseball, and once I realized my baseball career wouldn’t make it out of community college, I turned to the SnakePit to comment. I saw an opening to do a morning link-dump in 2013 and then moved to recaps the next year. I enjoy playing rec league softball to satisfy my competitive itch as well as some PS4 games like Destiny or MLB The Show.
  • Michael McDermott - This will be my 2nd full season on the Snake Pit. The first Diamondbacks game I watched on TV was in 2004, first attended game was in 2006. Been regularly attending Diamondbacks games since that year, you’ll find me at Chase Field every weekend home game this season. Stats, especially pertaining to baseball, is my favorite hobby. I’m currently studying math at the University of Arizona, under an applied math track. My dream job would be working in the Diamondbacks analytics department someday. Currently I work on the minor league recaps, albeit probably slower and less consistently than people would like, and a lot of stuff related to the prospects in the Diamondbacks system. My favorite non-baseball hobbies are video games, both on the PS4 and my phone, which I am on too much. Currently addicted to Tap Sports Baseball 2017, which I run a club called AZ Snake Pit.
  • James Attwood - I was born and raised a fan of baseball, though it was originally the Chicago Cubs, by way of my grandmother and the San Francisco Giants, by way of their AAA affiliate, the Phoenix Giants. I made my debut with the Snake Pit the morning Chris Young was traded from the team. I tend to post on a variety of subjects, from analyses to eulogies, to cheerleading for the team. I am a graduate student in English at Arizona State University. I also teach the subject. Before I did that though, I spent 26 years in the restaurant industry, the overwhelming majority of those as a chef. Now that I am no longer cooking for a vocation, I do it as a hobby. Other hobbies include Dungeons & Dragons, reading various types of fantasy and fairy tale fiction (which dovetails with my studies), sharing good alcohol with my mates (which goes hand-in-hand with appreciating good food), and movies. I have a small collection of roughly 3100 films and about 1200 seasons worth of various television shows. When I’m not writing about Beowulf or baseball, I’m generally writing about the cinema.
  • Imstillhungry95 - My Snakepit story starts in 2011, during that exciting run. Being 16 year old with absolutely zero life, I spent the majority of my time making sure I had the most comments in the GDT’s. After a couple months of that, I started picking up guest recap spots, and then eventually a weekly recap spot opened up at the end of 2012 and Jim offered it to me. Since then I have become the Pit’s official food correspondent, as well as being in charge of a weekly variety competition series we call Pit Your Wits. When I’m not here, you can usually find me in the kitchen of a restaurant, or at a karaoke bar with my wonderful fiance.

Everyday players

In some cases, the people below been around almost as long as the veterans, but spent more time as commenters before making the move to the other side of the lines.

  • Turambar - I’m absurdly proud of being (likely) the only 5th generation Arizonan on this blog, and of course wildly proud of being a Dbacks fan. I’ve been on the blog since I returned from school in LaLa Land (don’t hate) way back in 2008 and, along with EddBiggHead, I’ve been a steady contributor to the blog since then. Initially i was just a game day commentator, but in a stroke of brilliance (or beer induced madness) I decided to become a weekly editor on the blog with my very own recap concoction known as a Beercap. Thus my place in history is now assured……….
  • Makakilo: In September 2013, I moved from Tucson to Hawaii with joy, wonder, and aloha! In my third season writing series previews for AZ Snakepit, my points of view are optimistic and creative. This season’s creative effort is Mental Habit of the Series. My passions are baseball writing, master gardening, bike riding, and yoga.
  • Nate Rowan: I’m a junior at Arizona College Prep High School in Chandler, and this will be my 4th year writing for the Snakepit, doing primarily series previews. Upon finding that nobody at ACP was super into baseball, I turned to this site to get my D-Backs discussion fix. The last championship for a major AZ sports was when I was one (sorry Mercury and Rattlers), so I am anxious to see someone win it all!
  • Hazzard21 - Born and raised in Arizona, I’ve been a Dbacks fan as long as they’ve existed since I was 4 when the inaugural season was played. I’ve been a member of SBNation since October 2011 over at Revenge of the Birds, and I’ve been on the SnakePit since March of 2012. I graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2016 with a Film degree, currently working on getting into sports media and working with the Scoreboard Department of the Arizona Cardinals. I mostly participate in the comments, but I also run one of the SnakePit Fantasy Baseball Leagues and write the recap of SnakePit Fantasy Gauntlet every week. Hoping to expand into recaps and such as time goes on. Hobbies include playing Fantasy Sports (mostly baseball and football), video games of every type and system (mostly Playstation 4), and spending an extraordinary amount of time watching Rooster Teeth content. You’ll often find me in GameDay Threads, sometimes trying to make really bad pop culture references.
  • Sean Testerman - Sean is one of those actual rare-breed Phoenix natives and has been a Phoenix loyalist since birth. He has dealt with the continual onslaught of transplanted Cubs fans (approx. 4.3 million residing in Phoenix per 2010 census), bandwagon Giants fans (still working out the sources, but reporting numbers in the hundreds of billions), and rational Dodgers fans (3) for as long as he can remember, but now he represents the Diamondbacks in the tropical paradise known as Indianapolis.
  • Keegan Thompson: Much of his basic understanding of advanced metrics has come from contributions on the Pit and similar sites. He has lived in Phoenix his entire life and graduated from Arizona State University in 2014. His lofty goal is to establish a substantial real estate empire and one day acquire ownership of the Diamondbacks [highly unlikely]. Keegan recently began his quest to attend a game at every Major League stadium. Baseball has always been his passion in life, and writing about the team gives him an outlet. His favorite team at a young age was the Boston Red Sox as a result of playing little league baseball for them. Keegan’s focus shifted to the hometown team after the nightmare 2004 season, and hardened him for the seasons ahead.
  • Jay Ego. I am a native Arizonan and have been a baseball fan my whole life. My father has two loves in life, hunting and baseball. Since my mother wouldn't let me go hunting, baseball it was. I have been a teacher most of my adult life. However, I have grown weary of the profession.

    A perfect example is one day I was teaching my math class how to calculate BABIP and OPS when an administrator walked into my classroom. After looking at my whiteboard she asked, "What is BABIP and OPS and why are you teaching it to your fifth grade class?" My response was, "this is my advanced math class, I am teaching my regular class OBP and SLG." She failed to see my humor. Before I could explain that they were using multiple steps to calculate a mean and finishing by rounding to the thousandth place, she had already rolled her eyes on her way out the door. Perhaps, BABIP isn't on our Arizona standardized assessments, but it should be.

    Personally, I enjoy traveling and sampling different cuisines around the world. While in Tokyo, I tried to get tickets to a baseball game, but I couldn't figure out how to use their ridiculous website in time. Google Translator failed me on that day, but now I have an excuse to go back. As for this year, I have been enjoying the resurgence of the Arizona Diamondbacks and I am trying to enjoy it, rather than worry that it may come to an abrupt end.

Rookies

New blood is an essential part of any collaborative endeavor, and so, currently enjoying their first season on the SnakePit team (with the exception of Xipooo, who’s returning to the fold after a sabbatical) are:

  • Xipooo: I moved to Arizona in October of 2000 and at the time I didn’t really care about baseball, or that there was a professional team in Phoenix. After the 2001 world series though, obviously they became a thing to pay attention to. I really didn’t become an active fan until 2007 when they had an improbable run into the playoffs. In the past I was a Golf Professional and studied the mechanics of the human body as well as cognitive learning so I could be a better teacher. I try to take what I know from that sport and translate it to baseball. After I gave up golf as a career I went into software development and database architecture. This gives me some good insight into how to organize data and understand its implications, but I’m not so big on the statistical analysis. I leave that up to the guys that really care to investigate such things. Typically I try to impart a small amount of wit, and very little substance in my posts, so read at your own peril.
  • Dano_in_Tucson: I went to junior high and high school in Phoenix, but that was long before the Diamondbacks were even a glimmer in anyone’s eye. The team first caught my notice when I was living in NYC in 2001, and they made it to the World Series against the Yankees (who I hated and hate and will hate for all time, partly because I lived for awhile up in the Bronx in between the 4 train and the D train, which are the two trains that service Yankee Stadium, and their fans who actutally go to the games in person suck so very, very much, and I had to ride with them whenever I wanted to go anywhere in the summertime). Autumn of 2001 was a hard time in NYC, and I wound up watching every game of the the 2001 World Series in bars in various places in Manhattan. Still couldn’t bring myself to root for the Yankees, though, and my mom still lived in AZ and had been talking up the Dbacks since they started up, so I rooted for the good guys, vocally and emphatically, thoughout that epic seven-game saga. That World Series was an enormous spectacle for NYC, and provided healing and comfort for all of us who lived there, and I had a lovely time talking congenial yet passionate trash with Yankees fans during every game, and it made a lot of people feel better than they had in awhile. It gave us all something else to focus on besides the big smoking pile of rubble in Lower Manhattan.

After game seven ended, too, despite all the cries of lamentation from most of the people in the bar, hugs were exchanged all around, and most of the folks, Yankees fans included, conceded that their team had been outplayed, and the Dbacks deserved it more, and that it had been a hell of an ending and it was all good. I didn’t get punched in the face even once. And I’ve been a Dbacks fan for real ever since. I think NYC is maybe the best city in the world, but our boys are the best team to root for in the entirety of MLB.

I started claiming guest recap spots for the Snakepit at the very end of 2016, if I recall correctly, and had a ball with them. I tend to use my phone mainly as a phone, so I’m not terribly well-known in the comments on the gameday threads, even for games I’ve recapped--I’m generally sitting in front of the TV with a 2x2 sheet of graph paper in front of me, scoring the game by hand (it’s old school, baby). I have been, however, an avid lurker, and since I moved back to AZ in 2013 the Snakepit has been my go-to place for Dbacks coverage, insights and hot takes. I read everything all of you lovely people post, even though I don’t always comment.

  • Cumulus Choir: A native Texan and aspiring Arizona transplant, I’m a sophomore at an inner-city high school in Houston, Texas. I started following the Diamondbacks during the waning days of summer 2016 shortly after I began getting back into sports. Houston teams had been ruined for me by my stepdad, so I had branched out to find new teams to follow, eventually settling on the Arizona Cardinals to be my new NFL team. I soon fell in love with the Valley, the Valley’s teams (there’s that word again), and the entire state of Arizona.

I’m a member of the series preview staff and active most-types-of-post-but-especially-game-threads commenter, so expect to see me around the ‘Pit pretty often. During my previews I’ll highlight one key contributor, one under-the-radar player to be wary of, and an especially notable aspect of the team I’m covering, injecting a bit of humor here and there to keep things interesting. When I’m not pitting I’m either caught up in practice for some kind of extracurricular, finishing some homework, or doing some gaming on *insert any Nintendo console*.

  • Wesley Baier: has been around the Snakepit since almost the beginning, under a million different names, but you probably know him now as ‘the poster formerly known as Zephon’. He’s a formerly classically trained chef who had to switch careers due to health problems. Having written for the Snakepit in the past, providing prospect analysis and minor league coverage, coming back to do the same was an obvious no brainer. A native Arizonan, Wesley was born and raised in Tucson, and has been fan of the Diamondbacks since 2001, after betting it all on the Dbacks to win. As a fan of the Dbacks old AAA affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders, he’s a little jaded about the move to Reno and is still mad about MLB Spring Training leaving Tucson.
  • Alex Boswell: My SnakePit story started when I left the East Coast just 2 years after I was born. Without ever having had “a team” I gravitated towards the Arizona Diamondbacks. I first got the snake bite after a game against the Chicago Cubs (when Sammy was still just a slugger). My passions in baseball have changed as the world was introduced to the Moneyball trend. This peaked my interest at an early age. While I am no math-wiz, I firmly believe that data can give great insight into actual performance. I am currently a Senior at the University of Oklahoma and continue to further my education at Grand Canyon University while pursuing a Master of Science in Business Analytics. I am also the former President of the Brandon Drury fan club so….well its only member actually. Along with some Monday recaps, I look forward to sharing a deeper dive at our favorite ball club.