Cardinals beat writer Matthew Leach is now officially creeping interview backgrounds for MLB.com
For the past ten seasons in St. Louis, Matthew Leach has been running the Cardinals beat. Ten seasons. Or, 1620 games. Plus post-seasons. To put it into perspective, when Leach began his tenure at Spring Training in 2001, Rick Ankiel was on the mound, JD Drew was expected to be healthy, Dave Veres was three years away from retirement and everyone was getting their first glimpse of a rookie named Albert Pujols.
Leach played the game well and proved that a commitment to content and a positive demeanor can still dominate journalism, even in the digital age. Last week, Matthew officially began a new assignment/promotion with MLB.com and handed over the reigns to Jenifer Langosch. And while the past decade has been one of the most prosperous in franchise history, we’re certain that it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable had Matthew not been serving the Cardinals fan base. For during that time, the media landscape dramatically shifted. The world moved to a 24-hour news cycle and both immediacy and transparency became attributes that were often valued more than accuracy and professionalism.
Leach walked the line enviably; proving that a commitment to content and an engaging demeanor are not mutually exclusive, even in the digital age. He embraced the new media and used it to promote game insight and an affable persona. In a conservative market such as St. Louis, that early adoption pioneered an industry that is truly complemented and enhanced by a diverse portfolio of online Cardinals coverage today (ahem!). Leach was instrumental in evangelizing the digital platform in St. Louis.
We’ll miss Leach’s game commentary and daily interaction about anything under the Cardinals umbrella, but wish him the best of luck at MLB.com, where he’ll serve as a national columnist (translation: write about the Yankees, then the Red Sox and then everything else). But above all else, we’ll miss Leach’s undying ability to position himself in the background of pre-game and post-game interviews.
As a digital goodbye present, here are some of our favorite Leach “interviewbombs” from the past two seasons.