Sports Journalist Josh Suchon Enjoying His Journey - page 2

By Jeff Ferrantino on March 31, 2006

Josh SuchonHe wouldn't regret it. After spending four years covering the Giants, Suchon moved over to covering the A's last season. Looking back on his experience, Suchon said one of the keys for him was his stubbornness to leave the world of sports.

"People have to realize that they aren't going to graduate from college and cover the Red Sox for the Boston Globe," Suchon says. "You have to pay your dues, and you have to be willing to make sacrifices. But if you're really willing to work at it, you're going to make it, because there's such a lack of quality people in the business."

As glamorous as it may sound, being a sportswriter has it share of challenges, particularly for a baseball writer like Suchon.

"The work and the travel get harder and harder every year," he says.

One of the biggest challenges that a baseball beat writer faces is being creative. With Spring Training, a 162-game regular season and the possibility of covering a post-season to top it off, Suchon says coming up with fresh material is one of his biggest challenges.

"After a while, you start to run out of ideas and how to describe a game," he says. "And you really starting writing like a formula, which I hate doing, but it's only natural sometimes."

Covering a team for such a long period also means that a beat writer must walk a thin line at times to avoid confrontations with players or the front office.

"It forces you to be acceptable because you're there every day and you can't run and hide," he says. "If you're going to take a shot at somebody, you better be sure of it."

Suchon admits that he does his best to remain objective and out of harm's way.

"Some writers actually get off on that," he says of instigating confrontations with players. "They enjoy stirring things up, but I think you can do the job and not bring attention to yourself."

Another challenge unique to Suchon is the fact that he grew up as an A's fan.

"It's definitely weird," he says, "but in some ways it makes me better because I can relate to what a fan is thinking. "But you have to diverse yourself and your feelings and stay above the common fan's thinking."

Suchon adds that with such a long season, baseball writers must be aware of the moment.

"You don't want to overstate the significance of a game early in the season," he says. "In September, you can get a little bit more dramatic in your writing, and in the playoffs I don't think you can ever get overly dramatic. Come October, you want your writing to display the drama that is happening on the field."

It was during a magical 2002 season by the Giants that Suchon experienced the highlight of his career. Down 2-1 in an opening Divisional Series to the Atlanta Braves, the Giants bounced back to win game four at home and force a fifth game in Atlanta.

"Driving to the ballpark that night with a suitcase of clothes, not knowing where I was going was the most amazing thing ever," he recalls. "If they lose, the season's over and I go home. If they win, I drive straight to the airport to catch a flight to Atlanta."

The Giants went on to win that night, which led to an improbable run to their first World Series appearance in 13 years.

2002 was an incredible experience for Suchon for another reason — it was also the season that Barry Bonds crushed the Major League home run record. That led to Suchon penning his first book which he titled, "This Gracious Season: Barry Bonds & The Greatest Year in Baseball."

"It was an amazing year," he says of Bonds' record season. "I think that year taught me that whether you like it or not, the lives of the athletes you cover become your life."

While he is unsure of what the future has in store for him and whether he will revisit his play-by-play aspirations, Suchon admits that he's in a good place.

"I still get a kick out of informing people," he says. "Being the eyes and ears for the fans, I still think that's really cool."