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February 2, 2011

Please Allow Me to (Re)Introduce Ourselves

And Now, Your Starting Lineup

by Steven Goldman

I dimly remember my high school French — I’m not sure if I even passed the second year I took — but I do recall memorizing one of those famous Gallic adages that we pretentious English speakers like to drop into our conversation now and again to make ourselves sound educated. I have used it many times to impress dates and potential business partners: La plus ca change, la plus c'est les vaches — “The more things change, the more they stay the cows.” The saying has its roots in the Greek tale of Sisyphus, who would spend all day pushing a boulder uphill only to have it transform into a giant amorous heifer and chase him back down again. Attempting great change can be like that: You wait for the cheers, but all you hear is a lot of mooing.

At Baseball Prospectus, we fear cows far less than we do complacency, which is why we’re making some changes for 2011. First, if you hadn’t already heard, we have engaged a new editor-in-chief (John Perrotto remains with us, having stepped down to concentrate on his writing). This new fellow is so clever, so wise, so wonderf — I can’t go on: It’s me, and very nice of you to say all those things. After a seven-year apprenticeship on the BP annual, I have been given the honor of supervising the next stage in the development of our website. I’ll have a lot more to say about that as things progress over the next few weeks, but for now, suffice it to say that I do swear that I will faithfully execute this office and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the high standard of analysis and insight you have come to expect from us over the 16 years of our existence. I will also be writing a new thrice-weekly column, “The BP Daily Broadside,” which will see me take on the top news stories of the day.

A small army of contributors will be joining me in this quest. In addition to Kevin Goldstein, Christina Kahrl, Jay Jaffe, Colin Wyers, Marc Normandin, Ken Funck, and the rest of our established roster of pawky analysts, we have myriad new wonders for you to behold:

This is just a sampling of the changes we have coming up over the next few months. There will be new stats reports, a new interface for the site, and much more that we’re working on for later in the spring. I can tell you that as we move forward into spring training and the regular season, you will see faster-paced coverage from us than you have before, with multiple updates each day bringing fresh looks at the day’s events.

Long before I joined BP, I was a reader, and it was an honor for me when I was asked to join the team back in 2003. I loved the enlightened, aggressive tone that our writers took, the way that they broke down everything and took none of the game’s received wisdom for granted. I’ve tried very hard to uphold that standard as I’ve shepherded various BP projects over the years, and I see a major part of my job as inculcating that same pride in what this site stands for to this newest group of contributors — although as you will see, they come with such good stuff, to slip into scouting parlance, that they won’t require much coaching in that regard.

If you are reading this and are already a subscriber, thanks for standing beneath the BP flag; we hope to give you what you’ve come to expect from us and then some. If you’re just dropping by, then please, join us for what is the world’s longest-running super-informed, no-holds-barred conversation about baseball.

The more I think about it, the more certain I am that I didn’t pass that French course; I was too busy thinking about the .343/.402/.551 season Alan Trammell had had the year before, and Paul Molitor’s .353/.438/.566 of the same season. Still, I half-remember another saying: Plus les choses changent, les choses sont mieux (et le meilleur des vaches), which is to say that the more things change, the better things get (and the better the cows). You can’t argue with that, not with the new crew we have here, and you can’t fight City Hall. Fortunately, you can fight Citi Field, so we still have plenty to discuss. And remember, they’re not saying “moo,” they’re saying, “Make mine BP!”

Steven Goldman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Steven's other articles. You can contact Steven by clicking here

Related Content:  Writing

68 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

R.A.Wagman

Very, very excited! Go team!

Feb 02, 2011 09:08 AM
rating: 2
 
Ian Miller

BP is quickly becoming the Evil Empire of baseball websites. I feel like I'm getting a lot more value for my membership dollar all of a sudden. Well done, and welcome to all the new talent!

Feb 02, 2011 09:10 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Bill Baer
BP staff

I said to the BP crew via e-mail that this feels like the off-season where the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia, and A.J. Burnett, then went on to win the World Series.

Feb 02, 2011 09:14 AM
 
markbhey

Any word on the BP iphone app? Congrats to the new staff and looking forward to the 2011 season.

Feb 02, 2011 09:27 AM
rating: 2
 
R.A.Wagman

Very fitting that the top banner ads on BP today have to do with Signing Day.

Feb 02, 2011 09:28 AM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

Glad I re-upped my subscriptions. Gawd, how am I going to get any work done during the day now?

Feb 02, 2011 09:30 AM
rating: 5
 
MichavdB

Exactly my thoughts! Very exciting.

Feb 02, 2011 10:00 AM
rating: 0
 
awayish

yay

Feb 02, 2011 09:36 AM
rating: 0
 
CalledStrike3

Speaking of AJ Burnett - saw an interesting comparison of his career stats to those of Josh Beckett last night on MLB network ... right before Sean Casey elbow dropped Leiter ...Josh Beckett who seems synonomous with Ace/top of rotation pitcher had almost identical career stats (3.9 ERA, 110 wins or so - near 500 record) - with the enigma that is Burnett.

Feb 02, 2011 09:37 AM
rating: -1
 
Matt Kory

You mean the two pitchers have the same number of wins?!? Are you sure they're not twins?

Feb 02, 2011 13:54 PM
rating: -2
 
smallflowers

ERA, actually.

Feb 02, 2011 14:14 PM
rating: -1
 
Jim Humdingding

As an AL Central team's fan, I clicked on Brandon Warne's Twitter feed to subscribe only to see a bunch of revolting Twins logos. I'm worried the quality of his AL Central coverage will plummet once the regular season is over. Are you sure this is a good hire?

Feb 02, 2011 09:54 AM
rating: 2
 
Brandon R. Warne

I'm currently seeking treatment for Post-seasonal Stress Disorder, but my prescription expires in mid-February.

Thanks for your concern.

:)

Feb 02, 2011 18:52 PM
rating: 0
 
Jim Humdingding

I'm still in treatment for 2009. I now only mail Randy Marsh pictures of Brandon Inge getting hit by that pitch three times a week, so there are signs of improvement.

Looking forward to your coverage.

Feb 03, 2011 07:12 AM
rating: 0
 
Brandon R. Warne

That is awesome. Thanks.

Feb 06, 2011 23:15 PM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

Well done, Steven. It makes me think of what I learned in French class: Ma mère est la cheeseburger.

Feb 02, 2011 10:04 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

I got yelled at -- a lot. But I remember the cows.

Feb 02, 2011 10:10 AM
 
Matt Kory

(For the French impaired: My mother is a cheeseburger)

Feb 02, 2011 13:52 PM
rating: 0
 
rfermann

Wow, a veritable Murderers Row! Now I can be even less productive around the house--thanks!

Feb 02, 2011 10:06 AM
rating: 1
 
Shaun P.
(676)

Wow. This is very exciting news! Congrats to all - can't wait to see all the new content.

Feb 02, 2011 10:09 AM
rating: 1
 
smallflowers

I'm grateful and delighted by all the changes, but when are you going to please allow yourselves to introduce the new PECOTA's?

Feb 02, 2011 10:11 AM
rating: 6
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

Tick... tick... tick...

Feb 02, 2011 10:12 AM
 
rfhp

Of the many things BP did last year that impressed me, two stand out: the promises made after last year's PECOTA debacles to communicate much more transparently with your subscriber base; and last September's deep analysis of PECOTA, including promises to communicate much more transparently with your subscriber base. Given that many of us have keeper decisions coming up in the next few days (due early in the morning on Feb 7), it would be useful to know when we can expect to be able to consult PECOTA predictions for the coming year. If I need to make decisions based on partial ZIPS and my own hunches, that's okay -- but it would be helpful if BP could follow through on its promises to communicate transparently. To that end, "tick... tick... tick..." is funny, but not helpful. So: when should we expect PECOTA to be available?

Feb 02, 2011 15:57 PM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

lucastate, not trying to be coy--I thought we would have an answer for you up not long after I did that. Watch the BP Blog side of the home page this evening for a message from Colin Wyers.

Feb 02, 2011 16:28 PM
 
rfhp

Roger that. Thanks for the responsiveness. Like I said, I was really impressed by how BP handled the aftermath last year, and appreciate you being so quick with the update tonight.

Feb 02, 2011 16:37 PM
rating: 0
 
mwunder0

Ummm, nothing yet...tick tick tick

Feb 02, 2011 19:34 PM
rating: -2
 
Marc Normandin

These are the droids you are looking for.

Feb 02, 2011 20:12 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

Yup! It's there now.

Feb 02, 2011 21:03 PM
 
Richard Bergstrom

This early? Sweet.

Now all we need is peace on earth and the Cubs in the World Series.

The first one might be easier.

Feb 02, 2011 21:32 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

"I've heard of half these guys, and the ones I haven't heard about aren't past their prime."

- Major League (rephrase/paraphrase)

Looking forward to the new material and tone.

Feb 02, 2011 10:11 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

I had a prime?

Feb 02, 2011 11:02 AM
 
dianagram

Most likely ages 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17 . . .

Feb 02, 2011 15:21 PM
rating: 2
 
Richard Bergstrom

I turn 35 this year, that makes me a double-prime.

Actually, I've been a double-prime since 32...

Feb 02, 2011 18:11 PM
rating: 0
 
BarryR

Dear Editor-in-chief

Nice collection of announcements, impressive indeed.
Now as for the editing part...
Your new column is named The BP DAILY Broadside -- and run three times a week? Planning on long weekends? :)

Feb 02, 2011 10:12 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

My BP colleagues will gladly tell you that my conception of time is quite elastic compared to the accepted definitions of such.

Feb 02, 2011 10:18 AM
 
Richard Bergstrom

That's kind of how I view fielding metrics.

Feb 02, 2011 12:42 PM
rating: 1
 
Max

So...chats every day, right? Great job. Great site. Thanks.

Feb 02, 2011 10:14 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

I don't think we will be suffering for chat hosts. We may need a bigger clubhouse.

Feb 02, 2011 10:20 AM
 
Greg Ioannou

When I heard that changes were coming, I was afraid that you'd drop some of my favourite writers. But they are all still here, and your free-agent signings sound terrific. Thanks so much!

Feb 02, 2011 10:15 AM
rating: 0
 
devine

Good stuff. Thanks, crew.

Feb 02, 2011 10:30 AM
rating: 0
 
Ben F.

Sounds great!

Although at the risk of being pedantic, can you really call it a Daily Broadside if it happens 3 times a week?

Feb 02, 2011 10:40 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

On the days we don't publish it, I will be thinking about it very intensely?

Feb 02, 2011 11:08 AM
 
Richard Bergstrom

Half the week he's shooting, and half the week he's reloading.

Feb 02, 2011 12:44 PM
rating: 1
 
dianagram

"Triweekly Broadside" just doesn't roll off the tongue, but it DOES anagram to "Sleek, wordy diatribe".

Feb 02, 2011 15:26 PM
rating: 5
 
Richard Bergstrom

Do a wild berserk yeti.

Well... Elite Drow Bikers Day had an extra "e"

Feb 02, 2011 18:37 PM
rating: 1
 
Cory Schwartz

Awesome. Rumors of BPro's demise were of course grossly exaggerated.

Feb 02, 2011 10:47 AM
rating: 1
 
Michael
(736)

I especially look forward to reading Jeremy's work over here. Adding Dan and Sky exceeds expectations for me.

Is anyone leaving (or writing less often)?

Feb 02, 2011 11:21 AM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

Any chance you guys can apportion some of the new articles to weekends?

Feb 02, 2011 11:30 AM
rating: 1
 
Agent007

So don't the subscribers get a t-shirt or something?

Feb 02, 2011 11:40 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

What I would love to do is print up a series of T-shirts with the Prospectus Boxes from last year's/this year's annuals (designed by Jay Jaffe). Everyone looks at me a little cross-eyed when I bring that up, though.

Feb 02, 2011 12:24 PM
 
jtrichey

This is overdue I must say. My renew is due today actually and I was really thinking that I would not renew, and I've been here since the beginning. I guess I will reconsider over the next couple days.

Feb 02, 2011 14:16 PM
rating: 1
 
RallyKiller

Let me get this straight, an organization that purports to pride itself on logic and rigorous analysis will now give us the BP Daily Broadside three times per week. Does BP now stand for Baseball Paradox, perchance?

FYI, the most common form of the French expression referenced is, without the proper accents inserted, Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose, which translates to The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Feb 02, 2011 14:40 PM
rating: -3
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

RallyKiller, just for you, next week I will deliver five Broadsides, M-F, and then I will complete the process of changing the name to just "The BP Broadside" and take a nap.

Feb 02, 2011 15:01 PM
 
BP staff member Mike Fast
BP staff

I wanna take a nap, too. Do I get a nap?

Feb 02, 2011 15:13 PM
 
dianagram

I was promised a pony.

Feb 02, 2011 15:19 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ken Funck
BP staff

You didn't get the one I sent you? Perhaps they couldn't fit him through your mail slot.

Feb 02, 2011 15:22 PM
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

I grew up with a pony. Be careful what you wish for, because he was the meanest bastard I ever met, with a passion for maiming small children. Which made riding him all sorts of fun. :)

Feb 02, 2011 15:50 PM
 
dianagram

VORP: Value Of Rambunctious Pony

Feb 02, 2011 16:09 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ken Funck
BP staff

I see your mean bastard of a pony, and raise you a mean bastard of a Belgian stallion, which got out of the pasture at my father's place on Sunday monring. I helped my brothers chase him back into the barn, as did my 12-year-old daughter, who was actually frightened by a horse for the first time in her life, so we perched her on a tractor and let her watch the proceedings. But we only got him penned after one occasion where he was almost in, changed his mind at the doorway, and barreled straight towards me about thirty yards away. So I ... jumped out of the way. I scarpered, and by not closing my portion of the perimeter doomed us to another twenty minutes of chasing him back to the barn. I've felt completely inadequate ever since, even though the more fully evolved portion of my brain says it was the right decision.

"And back in Rice Lake, well they say if you need a couple of stiff drinks before you stand your ground in front of a charging horse, you're finished." -- Harry 'Breaker' Morant (slightly edited)

Feb 02, 2011 19:08 PM
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

Breaker Morant's right--stand your ground. I had to run down said pony at 13 as he was kicked through two fences and a barn to attack a new-born colt, so I had to deal with a panicked hours-old foal, an angry 16-hand mare limping along, and one mad bastard with hooves looking to kill. I sorted it out by myself without bloodshed, got the pony restrained, noted the foal was going to become a hell of a jumper (as he indeed became), and made it to school by second period with a reasonable excuse for being late.

Feb 02, 2011 20:38 PM
 
Lou Doench

Now that's just a crazy amount of content! iPad app in the works perchance?

Feb 02, 2011 15:28 PM
rating: 0
 
bgleason

Ponies, t-shirts, cheeseburgers, broadsides -- I've just renewed my subscription, too. I'm re-hooked.

Feb 02, 2011 18:52 PM
rating: 1
 
Bodhizefa

As someone who has been fairly critical of BP in the past couple of years, allow me to say that the content you guys are pouring out now as well as the slew of excellent writers you have brought on has me very very excited about BP's present and future. For someone who thought you guys were nearing your expiration date in relevance, I must say I am extremely impressed with the overhaul. Thank you for giving me good reason to place BP back at the top of my bookmark list.

Feb 02, 2011 18:56 PM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

Thank you for saying so, Bodhizefa. We're going to do our best to keep you excited.

Feb 02, 2011 19:38 PM
 
RallyKiller

I, too, wondered if the bloom wasn't off the rose, but realized changes were coming and renewed in January to give it another chance. I, too, think it looks promising.

And Mr. Goldman, I'm looking forward to the five Broadsides next week, followed by the name change.

Excuse me now. It's time for my nap.

Feb 02, 2011 19:58 PM
rating: 0
 
Juris

This is excellently outstandingly wonderful. New talent, established talent. More coverage. I'm going to get so much more than I already paid for!

Feb 02, 2011 21:00 PM
rating: 0
 
Tuck
(667)

"enlightened, aggressive tone" --

Love hearing that. I was first exposed to BP through the annuals and that TONE was what struck me. Predict greatness for Jeremy Affeldt and Erubiel Durazo. Tell me Paul Wilson will be an All-Star. I don't care if you miss. It was based on something. Misguided though it may have been at times, it was the confidence of a group that was creating their own way. That tone has been muffled in recent years. Pilferage of some of your best writers was part of it, and PECOTA clearly took your voice at least for a couple years. But I'm glad to hear that things are changing and I hope it comes to pass.

Thanks.

Feb 02, 2011 21:24 PM
rating: 3
 
edwardarthur

Emma Span is a brilliant addition!

Feb 03, 2011 17:11 PM
rating: 0
 
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