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Hello, Bucs Dugout!

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Hey there. I'm Eli Nellis, and I'm going to be doing this Bucs Dugout thing, which I'm pretty psyched about.

I covered sports for the Indiana Gazette in my hometown of Indiana, Pa. for the last five years, mainly focusing on high school sports.

My top rooting interest has always been the Pirates. You may know me from Chapter 11 of Dry Land. I met Charlie and talked his ear off for an hour or two about what it means to be a Pirates fan. I've always wanted to translate those feelings and that energy into written words about the team we love so much. I'll be doing game recaps and a few other things here and there. I don't exactly have a plan, but I look forward to finding a good way to contribute to your community.

One quick note -- my fiancee actually works for the team, hiring and scheduling the people who clean the ballpark. Obviously, that sort of thing isn't the focus of this blog, but it could perhaps be considered a conflict of interest. Working for my hometown paper I ran into plenty of other potential conflicts, covering people close to me because, on a small staff, we didn't always have the luxury of removing ourselves from those sorts of things. I'm always considerate of those types of issues and focused on the job I'm doing and the duty I have to readers and all that. I've developed the ability to flip the switch from fan to impartial middle man at a moment's notice. And I promise not to write about how the cleaning coordinator needs a raise.

Anyway, now that that's out of the way, I'm pretty pumped to be a part of this. It's going to be fun.