Well, since we managed to avoid my typical overly dramatic “well, I’m not sure if I’m coming back this year” routine this off-season, I suppose you all know that I’ll be back covering the Trenton Thunder for the 2012 season. With the Trenton Titans season winding down — and for those of you who follow them closely, you know it was pretty much over with before it started — I’ll be able to turn my focus to where it belongs, baseball.
I love covering hockey, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been very fortunate to have covered hockey in Trenton for the past four seasons, as well as to parlay that into serving as the ECHL.com national alumni feature writer for the past two. Hockey is my passion, and getting to interview guys like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Henrik Lundqvist certainly isn’t a bad thing.
But baseball is my bread and butter, and what I’ve done for ten seasons now. It takes a few weeks into hockey season to realize how much I miss being at the field every day — well, all right, maybe not every day — and I can’t wait to get things going with the Thunder’s annual Media Day on April 3.
I will return to doing this blog on a daily basis, and hopefully can find something new to implement on here. I am ALWAYS open to suggestions and only want to put the type of coverage on here that fans want to see. I sign every post with my e-mail address for a reason. I don’t do this for myself. A writer is nothing without his or her readers, and I encourage you to tell me what you want to see more and less of for the 2012 season.
My print coverage will be expanding a little bit this season. In addition to serving as the Hunterdon County Democrat’s beat writer for the club for the sixth season and contributing to The Trentonian as well, I will be writing for the Hamilton Pulse this year.
However, I will not be attending spring training. I actually pursued a few opportunities that would have allowed for this to happen — which is a bit of a change from years past — but it isn’t going to happen. Considering a trip down there for a week would cost the Democrat more than they pay me in a season and The Trentonian is sending Josh Norris down — and Josh will do his usual fantastic job — there really wasn’t much of a choice in the matter.
On the plus side, I am planning on doing as many of the 71 games at Waterfront Park as possible — yes, even the
stupid camp days — and am hoping to do a few road games this year as well. With that being said, if those of you living in Eastern League cities have a futon, garage or anything other than a bed of nails I can sleep on or in, I’d be pretty excited about that. I’m also hoping to expand my organizational coverage as well, and would like to make trips to see Charleston, Tampa and whatever the hell they’re calling Scranton these days Empire State play. So don’t be scared if you see me going door to door with a bucket in my hands attempting to collect change for those ideas.
Also, I will continue to cover the Somerset Patriots for the Democrat, as I have since 2003. Hi, Art Vandelay! The road to the Atlantic League tends to run through Trenton on occasion, and it’s nice to catch up with former Thunder players there for stories which you’ve seen on this blog over the past few years. On that note, I’m also planning on covering my usual handful of big league games for the alumni features which you guys have seemed to enjoy.
I’m excited to get things going for 2012 and looking forward to seeing how things unfold for Trenton this season. But whatever does happen, I can assure you that I’m your guy for Thunder coverage. I’m very grateful that so many of you have visited this blog since its inception in 2008, and look forward to hearing from and, in some cases, seeing you again this year.
Mike Ashmore — mashmore98 AT gmail.com — Twitter: @mashmore98