The Dodgers made sure Eric had a permanent spot in the media room this spring, according him an affixed laminated sign as they do with all the regular beat writers.
I suspect I'm speaking for everyone in our community as I/we congratulate Eric Stephen on becoming credentialed by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Since Eric started writing for TBLA in Dec of 2008 we have been blessed with one of the hardest working bloggers on the SB Nation site. Eric was not only hard working but extremely good at his gig, and it is always good for the human spirit when talented hard work is rewarded.
With his very first column he threw out a challenge to the Dodgers, and to us. He expected the Dodgers to excel, and he expected his new readers to become engaged as he took us on his Dodger journey. Under Eric's guidance TBLA became a force. He brought in Michael, David, Brandon, and Chad. Eventually even Craig saw fit to say yes. The site has grown from several hundred members to over four thousand.
Over the last three years Eric had already shown us he could be clever, accurate, and fair. Eric was already delivering us the latest Dodger information as well as could be expected from someone juggling three jobs. Yet, as good as he had been, things got even better when he moved to Arizona and covered the Dodgers full time these past few weeks.
I'm not a party to the goings on between Eric and the other beat writers but I suspect they are happy to have him just as we are. He's a funny man not hung up on himself who would be a welcome addition to any group.
This is not a lovefest. Eric is not without flaws. His payroll worksheet is a testament that he has serious mental issues that should eventually be addressed. He's not a fan of bears and does not use his power to change how management should run the team. He barely acknowledged the divorce which was cool because thanks to the Dodger blogging community, others were only focused on the subject. He may not think he's a homer but if he ever looked back as his optimistic player projections year after year he might have to reconsider that thought. He has tended to deal in absolutes knowing full well nothing is absolute in baseball.
His biggest flaw however is his ridiculous work ethic. Lucky for us.