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January 25, 2012

Spinning Yarn

Last Pitch

by Mike Fast

I have greatly enjoyed the last 15 months here at Baseball Prospectus. It has been a better time than I could have imagined, in many ways. It has been a privilege to share my thoughts and the results of my research. The conversations that resulted, whether in the comments here or on Twitter or at other sites, are among the things I value most. Baseball is a great game, full of interesting nooks and crannies, and it has been a lot of fun to explore them with you.

Today marks my last official writing for Baseball Prospectus, as I am joining the front office of the Houston Astros. I am excited about the opportunity to work with Jeff Luhnow, Sig Mejdal, and the rest of the Astros organization. I am eager to bring winning baseball back to Houston, and hopefully a championship club, too. The vision that Jeff and Sig have laid out is very inspiring, and I am excited about contributing my part to implementing and expanding it.

I thank you, the readers, for putting up with me this long and for your many words of encouragement. I thank the whole editorial staff for their help, especially Ben Lindbergh, Steven Goldman, and John Perrotto. I thank Colin Wyers and the rest of the stats group for sharing their thoughts and feedback both on my articles and the hare-brained ideas that were not fit to print. Colin also deserves the blame for broaching with me the idea of joining BP back in the fall of 2010. Thanks to Dave Pease, Joe Hamrahi, and Kevin Goldstein for giving me the chance and encouraging me along the way.

Thank you also to Dave Studeman and the crew at The Hardball Times, and Russell Carleton and company at MVN’s StatSpeak blog. I have been struck over the past few months by how kind and generous everyone in baseball has been to me, whether insiders or outsiders, whether in positions powerful or humble. I regret that I cannot give adequate thanks to each of you, but it has meant a lot to me.

My dear wife Lori also deserves a great deal of credit for her forbearance, encouragement, and love. If not for her, I would not have written for the aforementioned publications or be taking the next step.

I am leaving Baseball Prospectus in very capable analytical hands. The current crop of excellent writers you are all familiar with is adding Max Marchi to the ranks. Max is one of my favorite writers and a very sharp researcher. He has analyzed PITCHf/x data about as long as I have, and it was my privilege to meet him at the first PITCHf/x summit in San Francisco back in 2008. I encourage you to keep an eye out for his first article here soon.

If you want to read a few final bits of writing from me, along with the rest of the BP gang, you can pick up Best of Baseball Prospectus, Vol. 1, for which I wrote the introduction to the pitching section and discussed some of my views on the future of baseball analysis. I also contributed a chapter called “What Has PITCHf/x Taught Us?” to the upcoming book Extra Innings: More Baseball Between the Numbers, which should be available in April.

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

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