Bob Dutton is leaving The Kansas City Star to cover the Seattle Mariners for Tacoma’s News Tribune. Dutton has been The Star’s beat writer for the Kansas City Royals since 2000 when he moved from covering the Kansas Jayhawks as their beat writer.
“It is true,” said Jeff Rosen, The Kansas City Star’s sports editor (who coincidentally is a Seattle native and University of Washington graduate), when asked if rumors about Dutton’s departure were accurate. “We are very sorry to see him go.” Rosen and The Star are not the only ones who will miss Dutton’s wit, work ethic and talent.
There might not be a more difficult job at a newspaper’s sports desk than that of the MLB beat writer. Killer deadlines, a ridiculous seven-month season and an almost endless stream of nightly games that often differ little from the night before. Somehow, Dutton was able to make his Royals’ game stories fresh, funny and must-read stuff. That is a rare talent indeed.
This signals yet another blow to The Star’s dwindling talent pool on their sports desk. Adam Teicher moved from The Star to ESPN.com to cover the Chiefs for the Bristol, Connecticut based sports media giant just prior to the start of the NFL season. Kent Babb, who was a Chiefs beat writer for The Star before being promoted as a columnist, left Kansas City for The prestigious Washington Post in September of 2012. These departures followed other Star sports staffers, none more impactful than Joe Posnanski ‘s and Jason Whitlock’s partings. These two opposites were two of the more decorated and celebrated sports writers The Star has ever hired.
Dutton has become a much-loved writer for Royals fans. His interaction with readers via his @Royals_Report Twitter account is one of the more informative and entertaining online venues for Royals news.
The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings will be held in Orlando December 9-12 and Dutton is scheduled to cover these meetings for both The Star and Tacoma’s News Tribune.
“A goodbye and a hello,” is how Dutton described the dual role he will play for both papers at the winter meetings.
No definitive date has been mentioned as to what day will be Dutton’s final day at The Star but it is assumed he will be wrapping up his byline shortly after MLB’s winter meetings.
Know this; whenever that last day at The Star is for the talented Dutton, it will be a sad day for all of us who have enjoyed his work.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24