The Spitter…And The Bugs And Cranks Days

In 2006, a young, talented, motivated web designer named Jesse Pugh had a vision to marry sports writing and humor, with a presentation unlike anything the web had seen before. And he succeeded. Bugs & Cranks was born later that year, and quickly assimilated itself into the burgeoning world of independent sports blogging.

Over the years, Bugs & Cranks achieved considerable success, with our writers’ work regularly highlighted on the pages of Deadspin, Bleacher Report, CNN’s Extra Mustard and countless other prominent sports sites.

Additionally, many Bugs alumni have gone on to great success in more mainstream media, including Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! Sports, and more. For these select few, Bugs didn’t just pass the time, it started bigger careers.

Now, a decade later, several Bugs & Cranks graduates have recaptured that initial magic all over again through the site in front of you. We are The Spitter. Some of the names are the same, the focus is the same, and the quality of the work is the same, if not better. And our goal is to create something new and exciting that better represents the things about baseball that we love.

We want to be old school, in that our content will be honest, heartfelt, funny and real — the qualities that made Bugs & Cranks such a success at the start. But we’re also going to be more closely tied into the online community, and the vehicles with which they communicate. We are introducing new elements like podcasts about beer; book, television, and movie reviews, and more of a focus on all things baseball.

We will also have a much firmer finger on the pulse of social media.

Bugs & Cranks was ahead of its time, a perpetual underdog, and quietly one of the finest resources for sports writing on the web. We had a lot of success, more than our share of viral notoriety, and just enough heart to keep us grounded.


“Bugs” and “cranks” were bats and balls as the terminology went back when great-great-great Grampy Crampus was playing the game. Of course, Gramps also played in woolen pants and without any protective padding.

Though we’ve evolved into the site you see in front of you, we want to honor our past, and remember how it helped us grow into a stronger, funnier, all-around better group of writers and journalists.

Sadly, comically, or perhaps rightfully, a tragic failure to wing ding some ones and zeros caused a tragic loss of Bugs & Cranks moments, memories and triumphs. In its place now lives an Asian pornography site.

We like this site better.

It’s something a little more immediate and memorable to describe our unique brand of baseball commentary.

Patrick Smith, long-time Bugs & Cranks scribe and the fearless leader of this new venture, chose the name because The Spitter harkens back to the days when baseball cheating meant sandpaper and pine tar, not anabolics and amphetamines. The spitball, when used properly, was at once, unexpected, left of center, strategically deployed, and damn effective.

That’s exactly how we see ourselves. In a world in which journalism has been reduced to clickbait, listicles, slide presentations and zero originality, we want to bring back the pure literary quality of good sports journalism. Oh sure, we want clicks. But we want to earn them the right way.

We feel this “old school” approach is as refreshing as a year without PEDs and Tommy John surgeries. We hope you agree.

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