Yes, I have a new job. Welcome Brian McTaggart.

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June 1 is going to be a big day for two people — me, as I will begin my new post as the Astros’ Senior Director of Digital Media, and my good friend and colleague Brian McTaggart, who takes over as the Astros beat reporter for MLB.com. I couldn’t be happier for Brian, whose knowledge of and familiarity with the Astros through his five years covering the beat for the Houston Chronicle will surely make the transition smooth and quick. He’s highly respected by the folks he covers and I am sure you will enjoy his daily coverage on Astros.com and MLB.com.

I say that with a touch of sadness. I’ve been covering this team since the very beginning, way back in 2001, when no one was sure if this web site thing was going to work, or have staying power. I continue to be astonished with what we’ve done over the last eight years and what a smashing success MLB.com has become. That’s a testament to my coworkers, from the out-in-front reporters to the behind-the-scenes support staff. It’s a huge, huge operation and
I’ve never met more dedicated, hard-working people. Kudos to all of you.

I’ve heard from a lot of you already, and I appreciate the kind words and well wishes. There is a perception that I’m going away, slipping into desk-job oblivion — that could not be further from the truth. I’m in charge of pushing the Astros further into the digital age, where blogging, Facebooking and Twitter-ing [yes, I know it's called Tweeting, but seriously, I cannot seem to embrace that word] are where everything is headed. Consider me your fly-on-the-wall
observer, one with an all-access pass [within reason, of course] to places the club has never before shared with the public.

I’ll spend a lot of my time with the Major League team, but I’ll also visit and blog about the Minor Leagues as well. I’ll be at every home game, floating around all parts of the ballpark and sharing my observances through the various new media options we all have at our fingertips. I’ll also be with the team on many road trips.

I’ll have duties on the marketing and sponsorship sides as well, and I’ll be responsible for conveying information about community appearances, off-the-field events, ticket specials and promotional initiatives. The job description is still evolving, and I’m excited to see where this is headed.

I have no idea what goes on in the draft room on draft day, or the GM suite during the Winter Meetings, or the closed-door arbitration hearings. I’m about to find out, and in turn, so are you.

So while I’ve left MLB.com, I’ll still reside in a special section of the Astros’ web site. I’ll have more time to answer reader emails and of course, I’ll still post lots and lots of pictures on this blog, which beginning June 1, will be my main method of communication.

And to address something that most of you are wondering, no, I’m not going to lose my objectivity. One of the most oft-used phrases in baseball could not be more true: It is what it is. Baseball is an everyday rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, wins and losses, triumphs and controversies, and as a storyteller, I’ve done my best to convey my observances in a fair, unbiased light. That’s not going to change. That was established right away upon meeting
with the Astros about this job, and they understand that if readers don’t think they’re getting the real deal, they would have no reason to go to Astros.com.

That said, Brian McTaggart is the beat writer, and reporting the news will be his job, and his alone. I’m here to describe the process, to tell you what I see, to make you feel like you’re there, even when you’re not. When answering fan questions, I will be forthright and honest, as always. More than anything, I’m hoping I spend most of my time bringing you the personalities of the players and the team that you can’t get from simply watching from afar. The Astros are the first team to create a position like this one, and we’re all excited about where this is
going. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Alyson Footer is on Facebook and Twitter 

12 Comments

Congrats on your new gig! Glad you will still be in touch and Mr. McT will have to go so to be you. Have fun !

Thanks for discussing the pink elephant in the middle of the blog. Good luck with your new adventure.

-Austin

http://stonebutch99.mlblogs.com/
Twitter: AGAME_

Thanks for the update, and good luck again!

Mazel tov on the new job, Alyson! It will be interesting to see what you can do with this role. Those of us who are amateur Astros bloggers will look forward to see what the next gen of Baseball Web 2.0 has to offer. It wasn’t that long ago since being an out-of-town fan meant getting a box score and a couple of sentences in the daily paper. How things have changed for the better – and I bet you’ll find ways to creatively contribute to the further evolution of the baseball experience for Astros “fans in exile” all over the map!

Welcome Brian! We’re looking forward to reading you on Astros.com, where the cool folks hang out, instead over over at that crazy newspaper. Toodleoo, Justice! :-)

Thanks for this post Alyson, I feel better about what’s happening now, I thought for a moment we might be losing our inside picture-posting source.

Aloha, AF, from Kauai and the upcoming wedding of Erik Dobson – someoone you may remember. Congrats to both you and McTag on the new roles.

Alyson, thanks for the update. It sounds like a win-win situation (or should I say, a win-win-win when Brian McTaggart is included). I’m excited for you and your new position. If you handle your new responsibilities the way you have handled the beat reporter job you will do well and we, the fans, will also benefit greatly. I’ve always liked McTag’s reporting style so I am happy that he is your replacement. Go Astros!

Congrats on the new gig Alyson! And, cool to hear you’ll still be around. I still brag to all my Astros family and friends about getting to meet you (and Jim Deshaise) at Spring Training a few years back. Look forward to seeing you on the interweb and at the ballpark on occasion. Take care and good luck!

Alyson, congrats on the new job! That sounds awesome and well deserved. I’ve been a fan of your writing for a while now with the Stros. I was a bit taken aback when I started reading your post, that you were about to disappear….but I’m glad to read you’ll be continuing this blog and Facebook, Twitter, etc.

I know I’ve asked you before, but it’d be really nice to have some interviews with our broadcasters sometime: Milo, J.D. Brownie, and the ‘new guys’ as I’ll always call them.

Ciao for now,
Scott

Way to go, Alyson! At first I was really sad because I thought you were leaving, but since you’re keeping the blog and mailbag (my favorite parts!) and planning new great things, I’m really excited! I live in Braves’ territory and grew up a Braves’ fan, but you’re great coverage of the team is one reason why I fell in love with the Astros and am now a huge fan. Keep up the good work!

Congrats, Alyson! Glad that the team is being proactive in finding new ways to reach out to the community.

Brian, glad to have you on board. You were a wasted resource at the Chron, and I’m sure you’ll be happy to know which stadium to drive to each day. Keep up your good work, and build on the incomparable Ms. Footer’s!

“I’m not going to lose my objectivity.”

Then whom, pray tell, will be paying you? If it’s the Astros, then of course you’ll have a bias. Nothing influences our perceptions of reality quite like who signs our paychecks!

Your bias will be that the Astros are a great organization and that the current owner, GM, manager, coaches, and players are really great people. And when the next owner, manager, coaches, and players are in place, they’ll be great people, too!

You won’t have “objectivity”, but at least let’s be honest about your biases.

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