Richard Justice, the Houston Chronicle sports columnist who might have the highest profile at the paper, is leaving after 11 years to write for MLB.com, the online service of Major League Baseball.
"MLB.com made me a great offer. It's a place of such energy," he told Hair Balls. "I've been wrestling with it for weeks."
Justice is well-known in the sports world -- he worked for the Washington Post before coming to Houston -- and makes regular appearances on national radio and TV shows. (Often defending to the death MLB commissioner Bud Selig, fwiw.)
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Justice says his move is no reflection on the Chronicle, which has just experienced another round of layoffs.
"I love newspapers and especially the Chronicle," he said. "[Chron editor] Jeff Cohen has been incredible to me."
MLB.com has been hiring beat writers and some big names for both national columnist slots and regular coverage of individual teams. Brian McTaggart left the Chron Astros beat to write for the site.
Since it's affiliated with the business it covers, there has been some grumbling about whether it can be truly independent and aggressive, but generally the coverage is respected.