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September 29, 2010

BP Unfiltered

After The Knife

by Dave Pease

I can still remember the day that Gary Huckabay and I met up in Coronado to talk about the future of Baseball Prospectus, though I don't remember the exact date. There was a lot of tension on the team and not a lot of money to go around, and our default position was just blowing the whole thing up and saying our goodbyes. We ended up selling each other on making a go of a greatly expanded content offering, though, most of which would be available (*gasp*) to subscribers only. We both expected paying for content to be a tough sell to prospective subscribers, so after laying out the content schedule for the long-time contributors already on staff, we looked it over, and it looked qualitatively strong but a little thin.

"Now what?"

"Well ... who's this Under The Knife guy I've been hearing so much about lately?"

It seems like forever ago when we were first introduced to Will's legendary energy, immense enthusiasm, expansive knowledge of human physiology, and formidable network of sources. Will has informed and entertained for over one thousand of his signature Under The Knife columns, he created the very popular (to readers and other sites alike) "traffic light" injury risk rating for his annual Team Health Reports, and he's worn many different hats at Baseball Prospectus behind the scenes in his copious free time.  But Will has decided that it's time for him to move on, and his column today will be his last at Baseball Prospectus.  Whatever he ends up doing next won't be a secret--@injuryexpert has been known to test Twitter's limits--but one thing's for sure: many people inside the game and out will be watching.  Powered by best wishes: thanks for the volume of memories, Will, and may you be happy in your travels.

Under The Knife was one of the more popular columns at Baseball Prospectus, and we were planning to provide it to subscribers for quite a while. Luckily, we've got some very interesting quantitative injury analysis to present on Thursday as part of Reintroducing PECOTA week, and we plan to continue providing cutting-edge injury analysis in 2011.

And if you're an excellent, experienced baseball writer with a following who has proven to be a reliable multiple-times-a-week contributor and wants to work at an outfit that doesn't do TPS reports, we are looking to make your acquaintance.

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

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

BP Comment Quick Links


Booooooooooooooooooooo! Certainly will miss Will. Good luck to him. I will be interested to see where BP is going from here.


Side note: If you are a commenter who is going to come on here and kick and scream that BP is "going down the tubes" because Joe left, and Will left, and Nate left, or whatever....just....don't. Please?

Sep 29, 2010 06:16 AM
rating: 4

There's always one or two (or eight) of those counter-productive "commenters" on every message board, CRP13. You can't stop them, you can only hope to contain them.

Sep 29, 2010 08:00 AM
rating: 0

Who's picking up the mantle for the playoff injury analysis?

Sep 29, 2010 08:26 AM
rating: -1

Thanks, Dave, for filling us in.

Sep 29, 2010 09:17 AM
rating: 0
Greg Pizzo

Thanks for letting us know, Dave. I go back following Will when he was sending out missives before joining up with BP, so it sad to see him leave this home, but know he will doing great stuff elsewhere. Powered by......

Sep 29, 2010 09:45 AM
rating: 0

Thanks for giving him a send off here.

I hope there is a plan to address the talent drain the site seems to be having. To me, the biggest issue is lack of a clear mission and focus.

Sep 29, 2010 11:00 AM
rating: 1

Talent drain? Seidman, Wyers, Swartz, Normandin, all newer, have talent to burn, and have significantly upgraded BP in their areas. Goldstein, Goldman, Kahrl, Jaffe, et al., more talent. Changed talent? Yes. Drained? No.

Sep 29, 2010 12:32 PM
rating: 10

I should have been more clear in my comments. I think the new writers are talented, but I think the type of talent is different. There is a type of work I used to enjoy a lot on BP, and it largely is gone.

The site--mostly through Joe Sheehan--used to have quite a bit of commentary on current topics and issues in baseball, that were entertaining opinion pieces informed by a statistical approach. For example, I look at Joe Sheehan's piece on Dusty Baker's handling of Mark Prior. It is one of my all time favorite pieces on BP. And I would be shocked to see something like it published on BP today. That is not to demean the current writers--they simply don't do that sort of piece.

In other words, let's say you have a world class rock band, and your drummer and bass player leave. You respond by saying, "we need more musicians!" So you hire two more guitarists. And you still have no drummer or bass player.

Well, I don't care how great the new guitarists are--your band still has a problem with a loss of talent.

Sep 29, 2010 18:01 PM
rating: 7

I agree, compared to the start of last year, it's a talent increase. Compared to the start of this year, yes, there hasn't been enough replacements.

How many quality writers do you need in order to justify your subscription? I think for me, that number is around 5. "My five" are Colin, Matt, Eric, and a bit here and there from Jeff, Ken, Tommy as the mood strikes me. All came on board since 2009 I think. Jay too from the old-timers. I've never really gotten into the non-saber articles here, but, I'm obviously in the minority.

So, rather than looking at who has left, look at who is here, and decide if that is enough.

Sep 29, 2010 13:11 PM
rating: 2

Oh, and no slight intended to anyone else I have read. Always a danger when you write a list of names, you forget someone.

Sep 29, 2010 13:15 PM
rating: -1

Every publication evolves. Every creative team adds and loses members. I'll honor what was and salute Will and look forward to what is published tomorrow.

Sep 30, 2010 11:41 AM
rating: 2
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Premium Article Prospectus Perspective... (09/29)
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