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:
- As you’ve already seen, R.J. Anderson, formerly of Fangraphs, will be pitching in on a variety of topics, including transactions and roster management.
- If you follow our ever-growing fantasy content, you’ve likely noted that we’ve been joined by Jason Collette, who brings his 10 years’ experience writing about fantasy for sites like RotoJunkie and Fanball.
- Corey Dawkins of Baseball Injury Tool fame will be bringing a new depth and thoroughness to our coverage of baseball’s wounded.
- BP vet and authority on stadium economics Neil deMause (Field of Schemes) has reupped with us to join Jeff Euston in writing about the business of the game.
- Bradford Doolittle of our sister site Basketball Prospectus crosses over to the baseball side to write a weekly column with his you-are-there-style insights.
- Larry Granillo of Wezen-Ball will be bringing his baseball commentary and Tater Trot Tracker to BP.
- Jeremy Greenhouse, formerly of the Baseball Analysts, and Sky Kalkman, formerly of Beyond the Box Score, join Colin, Mike Fast, Eric Seidman, and Matt Swartz with news from beyond the stats frontier, as does Dan Turkenkopf, formerly of Beyond the Box Score and The Hardball Times.
- We’ve doubled up on our helping of Bloomberg Sports veteran Ben Lindbergh, and his habit of “Overthinking It.”
- Jason Parks, co-host of our runaway hit podcast Up and In, debuts today in adding his scouting-based knowledge of prospects to our minor league coverage.
- Emma Span, author of the praised 90% of the Game is Half Mental: And Other Tales from the Edge of Baseball Fandom and commentator at such diverse locales as The Village Voice, Slate, The New York Press, and Bronx Banter joins our roster of columnists.
- We will be inaugurating a new series of weekly columns focusing on division-by-division coverage, featuring the talents of, among others, the aforementioned Mr. Granillo, Geoff Young of Ducksnorts, Joey Matschulat of Baseball Time in Arlington, and our own Brandon Warne.
- And because we can’t bring in every great baseball writer at once, we’re beginning a new weekly series called Baseball ProGUESTus, featuring opinion and analysis by the best and brightest writers and thinkers from the baseball world outside BP.
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!”