Best Sports Columnist (2004)
Gerry Fraley, The Dallas Morning News
You could say that the chief quality of a good columnist is that he or she always surprises the reader. Except that one can do so in bad ways, such as when a Metro columnist writes about his dog dying or the back-porch witticisms spouted by his parents. Fraley, though, surprises sports fans in good ways. He is a contrarian when appropriate, writing compelling columns about why the much-hated Barry Bonds deserves respect. He offers context in his columns, such as when he said that Buck Showalter's influence with management could be as damaging as Lou Piniella's power reign was to the long-term prospects of Seattle. He champions the underappreciated (TCU) and isn't afraid to call out local stars (Hank Blalock). That he is able to consistently surprise and enlighten sports fans, most of whom are already immersed in the day-to-day activities of their favorite players and teams, makes him a star in the local media lineup.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram