INTERESTED IN THE MARINERS AND RAINIERS? GREAT. LET’S TALK

   I can hear it now: I thought you retired.

   I’ve heard that a lot over the last six months and, let me tell you, retirement isn’t an easily defined term.

   When I accepted a buyout last October from the Tacoma News Tribune, I generally characterized the act as one of retirement. I was in my 60s after a 46-year career as a sportswriter that included 30 years as a baseball beat reporter.

   Sure, I remained somewhat active on Twitter and continued to serve as the Mariners correspondent for Baseball America. I also kept doing a weekly radio spot with my pal Mike Franco on KLAY (1180 AM).

   You know…fun stuff.

   Now, I’m adding a sports blog on the KLAY website thanks, again, to Mike and also some hard work by the KLAY team in providing the necessary technical expertise to make this blog a reality.

   I hope you’ll bookmark this site and become a regular visitor. I’ll post a link on Twitter at @ByBobDutton whenever there’s an update or new material. I’d also encourage you to check out the other elements in KLAY’s revised website.

   Here’s the thing, though: I still feel retired.

   The job of being a baseball beat reporter is the highest calling in the history of upright man. You might see that as hyperbole (I don’t), but this much is indisputable: If you can cover ball, you can do anything in journalism.

   It’s a lot of work though.

   The point of this blog is to post some thoughts and, hopefully, lend some perspective to what the Mariners and Rainiers are doing. In short, not really work. More fun stuff.

   I see this blog as merely an extension of those weekly chats with Mike, which amount to a conversation you’d have with a friend at lunch. The blog will offer the chance for others to join the conversation.

   Plans call for the blog to be heavy on the Mariners and Rainiers for now but, if it clicks like we hope, it could expand to other areas.

   Let’s be clear, though: This blog isn’t a first stop for breaking news.

   I’m hoping to provide some material and a perspective you won’t see anywhere else. I’m also planning to be a regular at Safeco Field and Cheney Stadium, but I’ll be following the club’s beat writers for the latest news.

   You should do the same, and Mariners fans are fortunate to have three of the best.

   TJ Cotterill (@TJCotterill) replaced me at The News Tribune, while Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) of the Seattle Times and Greg Johns (@GregJohnMLB) of MLB.com are must-follows.

   I’ll leave the daily grind to them. I’ll be having fun blogging away here at KLAY. Retirement (or whatever you want to call it) is great.