Behind The ScenesOTL

Christina Kahrl reflects on the convergence of big baseball news, important milestones

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ESPN.com writer/editor Christina Kahrl today on Outside The Lines.

Editor’s Note: Christina Kahrl is a sportswriter and editor for ESPN.com, and a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America as well as the first trans* woman voted into its ranks. She writes this Front Row post about appearing on ESPN’s Outside The Lines to talk about Chicago Cubs phenom Kris Bryant today, which just happens to be the International Transgender Day of Visibility. With ESPN colleague LZ Granderson, Kahrl was inducted into the the first class of the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

So, I got to join three reliably awesome ESPN regulars on Outside The Lines today for the first time: [ESPN baseball analysts] Curt Schilling and Doug Glanville and the great [Outside The Lines host] Bob Ley. That would be a thrilling development on any day, but to have it happen on the day that also happens to be the Transgender Day of Visibility?

It was just a happy coincidence because, hey, I just work here. April 1 will mark the beginning of my fifth year on ESPN.com’s coverage team as a writer and editor.

. . .as a trans journalist at ESPN.com, it was simultaneously an honor and an accident of timing, because the appearance was the natural outgrowth of a dynamic conversation those of us on the baseball team have been having about Cubs phenom Kris Bryant since last week.
– Christina Kahrl on making an Outside The Lines appearance on the International Transgender Day of Visibility

But as a trans journalist at ESPN.com, it was simultaneously an honor and an accident of timing, because the appearance was the natural outgrowth of a dynamic conversation those of us on the baseball team have been having about Cubs phenom Kris Bryant since last week.

Curt, Doug and I were all outspoken about the issue of the team’s manipulation of his service time in an email discussion, so that when the Cubs sent Bryant down on Monday, we had an opportunity to take that conversation public, revisiting many of the same points, because we can look forward to talking about Bryant for a long time to come.

If I take anything away from being on Outside the Lines today is that it was a great way to end my March, because this was a great month for me at ESPN as our baseball coverage team gears up for another baseball season.

I spent nine days covering spring training, helping break some news, and made my SportsCenter debut talking about Hunter Pence’s injury because there I was, on the spot.

I got to do some in-depth interviews with Giants coaches Ron Wotus and Dave Righetti about analytics and how the Giants use them, with A’s assistant GM David Forst about rebuilding a pitching staff.

I got to talk with new A’s like Billy Butler, Ike Davis and Marcus Semien or reigning world champs like Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford.

And I got to escape from the tail end of a Chicago winter to do that?

Even though I love my dual gig as both an editor and a writer, I can’t sign up for these kinds of assignments often enough.

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