February 2, 2006
You Stay Classy, San DiegoIf I had my way, I would have quietly exited stage left, slipped out in the middle of the night leaving little trace of ever having been here at all. Given the number of amazing people who have come and gone from Baseball Prospectus over the past decade without so much as a "So long and thanks for all the fish" it seemed rather arrogant to take up a few minutes of your time with what would inevitably become a self-aggrandizing and protracted farewell message. But there are two things that swayed me: my editors told me I had to, and more importantly, it's imperative that I thank all of you, the readers.
Almost exactly a year ago, I acquired pictures of Joe Sheehan in compromising situations and BP launched Crooked Numbers, proving that while simultaneity usually only implies causality, sometimes there's just no doubt. Over this past year, I've tried to put baseball's conventional wisdom to the test, but more often it's been you the readers who have put me to the test. Your comments, questions, and critiques have made me a better writer and a better analyst; it's clear that without that growth, I would not have been presented with the opportunities that have recently come my way.
However, taking advantage of this latest opportunity means that I must leave Baseball Prospectus, a distinctly difficult decision given the increasingly bright future ahead of BP. The level of talent that continues to accumulate here--through internships, free agency, or blatant recruiting violations--makes me feel more than a little bit in the way and it's time for you all to hear from the new breed of BP writers who are as smart, funny, and armed with quips as any of us could ever hope to be. In addition to the new talent, BP's recent history is filled with expansion into new ventures with smashing success, from BP Radio to Mind Game to Baseball Between the Numbers and more. Lest we forget, this is only PECOTA's third season; wait until you see where BP is three years from now. Passing up on that opportunity feels like leaving the Milwaukee Brewers--a young team on the rise that should be a force for years to come--only without all the nepotism and cold weather. There are many exciting things to come for BP and I look forward to watching them happen.
Before this column gets to that length where good natured farewell turns to unsympathetic droning--the "Julia Roberts Threshold"--I'll remind you that it's only one month until Spring Training, five weeks until the WBC, seven until the Mets sue MLB for blowing out Pedro Martinez's shoulder because the WBC pitch count limits weren't low enough, and two months until Opening Day. As it all unfolds, I hope that BP will continue to open your eyes about the game we all follow much too closely and that you will continue to challenge the writers here to produce the best content on the web. And keep asking those prudent questions because, as Francis Bacon said, they are one-half of wisdom.
The other half is, of course, found by reading BP.