There have been a whole lot of writers heading to The Athletic over the years, but it’s more unusual to see a writer from that outlet leave for a newspaper. That’s what’s going on with Julian McWilliams, though, who had been covering the Oakland Athletics for The Athletic (his hire was announced in December 2017, and he officially began there the following month; the above photo of him is from that introductory piece). He tweeted Wednesday that he’s heading to The Boston Globe:
Employment news: May 31 will be my last day at The Athletic covering the A’s.
I’ve accepted a position at the Boston Globe as its Red Sox beat writer and will start in late June.
I’m thankful for the opportunity The Athletic gave me and am excited to get going with the Globe.
— Julian McWilliams (@JulianMack105) May 15, 2019
As per his LinkedIn profile, McWilliams has worked at The Athletic since January 2018, with previous stops at the Greenwood, South Carolina Index-Journal, Sports On Earth and The Huffington Post. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple, and also played Division I baseball for both the Owls and the Ohio Bobcats. He also played professional independent baseball for the Las Vegas Train Robbers of New Mexico in the Pecos League in 2014.
It’s not exactly common to see a beat writer not only switch outlets but also teams covered during a particular season, but it does happen from time to time. And some additional context here on the Globe may be important; their long-time baseball columnist Nick Cafardo passed away at 62 in February, and that’s led to the paper reconfiguring their MLB coverage a bit. So this may be more of a specific move and a specific need for that paper, not necessarily a wider trend or an indication of things to come. But it’s still interesting to see someone leaving The Athletic for a newspaper, as that’s the reverse of the trend we’ve often seen.
[Julian McWilliams on Twitter]