For this week's top 5, we look at our mainstream sports coverage brethren. However, this top 5 won't be just one man's opinion, I've reached out to the other Philly bloggers on the SB Nation network and got their picks of the top writers who cover their team. Every team gets at least one and the Phillies get two because let's be honest... the baseball writers do more work than everyone else. Plus, there's something extra romantic about being baseball writer.
One thing you may observe is that only two people on this list is a traditional newspaper writer(and both may be better know for their blog work). Three work for the big papers in town, but just two literally writes articles in print.
So without further ado, the top 5 best beat writers in Philadelphia(in no particular order).
Eagles fans are lucky to have a bunch of solid guys covering the team in the mainstream media. Considering how much the sports departments of the local papers put into Eagles coverage that's not a shock. That said, I think Sheil Kapadia's Moving The Chains blog is the only one that consistently tells me things I don't know. He isn't the guy to go to for a big scoop or a revealing player interview, but that's kind of what I find interesting. He does research and uses stats in ways the typical beat writers don't. Now, you may say it's kind of unfair to compare since he's essentially a blogger and doesn't have to write a traditional "story" but how valuable will the typical who/what/when/where style they teach in J-school be going forward? Especially in sports coverage.... Also, Sheil is a good twitter-er.
I actually remember when Philly.com launched Moving The Chains saying it wasn't going to be an Eagles blog and would focus on the goings on around the NFL. It wasn't too long before that concept was dropped and it essentially became a full fledged Eagles blog on a mainstream newspapers site. If I could make one criticism of MTC, it's their new iphone app... Charging for content that's online for free seems weak to me. Read MTC for sure, but skip the app.
Best twitter-er overall though? Geoff Mosher
- Jason Brewer, Bleeding Green Nation
I'd definitely say Fagan, and even she leaves much to be desired a lot of the time. The Sixers are basically ignored everywhere, so Comcast/Inky doesn't really give a shit about how much they write about them, or the writers they have assigned to the team. Dei's a puppet with occasional insight, you could basically sub in players from 30 years ago in Jasner's articles and it would read the same, Cooney's alright when he gets around to writing something. I think a more interesting list would be the bottom 5 mainstream writers in Philly. Conlin's gotta be 1-4 at least.
SanFillipo gets the nod for the best Flyers beat writer not because he's the best writer or the one with the best sources, but because he does everything you want in a beat reporter well. His writing is solid, his reporting is timely, and he often is the first to start a conversation, whether it be from a source claiming the Flyers will get a young goalie in the offseason or by speaking out against Mike Green's Norris nomination.
But most importantly, SanFilippo is constantly looking to serve his readers. He includes video in his recaps, runs an opinionated blog that is separate from his print articles, engages on BSH threads, and has included advanced stats in his posts. For being open to new ideas and truly catering to the fans, SanFilippo is the best mainstream Flyers writer.
Mr. Zolecki, the Philadelphia Inquirer Phillies beat reporter for several years, jumped ship to MLB.com in 2009. Although his work is no longer "in print," Zolecki is one of the most accessible and professional sportswriters in the area. He's also open to new ideas, often incorporating elements of cutting edge statistical analysis in his work. Zolecki's approach is that of one who is trying to inform, not confront, and he does his job quite well. Bonus: Yacht Rock enthusiast. His terrific blog, The Zo Zone, is also a must-read. http://zozone.mlblogs.com/
- Whole Camels, The Good Phight.
If there's been a big Phillies personnel story in the past few years, it's most likely been Jim Salisbury breaking it. Also a former scribe for the Inquirer, Salisbury has been with Comcast Sports Net since last December, fortunately for him (and for us) just in time for the Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee clusterbomb. Crisp prose, straight facts, great stuff.
- Whole Camels, The Good Phight.