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I'm taking a step away from the game today to write a note directly to my readers. This was such a special year for me professionally and personally. I am happily married, work was just incredible, the column has taken off, and I just wanted to thank all of you, the great readers of BP, for allowing this column to exist. I appreciate the interaction so much, and you have no idea how much you all really do mean to me. Thank you.

With all the work that has gone on so far this offseason I am exhausted, but I have to keep pushing on. Those of you who know me personally are aware that I have been dealing with health issues the past few years. I have had 42 surgeries (soon to be 43—more on that shortly) to correct a pediatric birth defect called bladder exstrophy. I have never really been too comfortable discussing my ailment because it isn’t something I ever saw as an impediment in my life. But now I realize that I’m the exception, and I am utterly embarrassed I have not done more to help others who struggle with this ailment.

For the past three years I have worked with the writer Joe Lemire and told him my story in its entirety. Joe spoke with my clients, family, friends, and doctors about my life as an agent dealing with a persistent medical issue. I am not writing this to usurp that column—I’m looking forward to it finally being published. But I will have surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore Wednesday to rebuild my abdomen. It is a two-hour procedure and it’s all superficial (irony) surgery. The risk of error is technically very low, but given my history there is no such thing as minor surgery. I’m nervous, obviously. Recovery is an overnight hospital stay if all goes to plan; however, I had “routine” surgery when I was 17 and that recovery that was supposed to last 10 days turned into six months, two intestinal ruptures, six months NPO, a couple air ambulance trips, and a 60-pound weight loss.

You know, I remember every day I was in the hospital when I was 17. I also remember during brief periods of discharge my dad taking me to Delmarva so I could meet Vernon Wells and Jayson Werth. I remember having a feeding tube from my chest to a backpack, and I remember chasing Vernon Wells for his autograph—it ended up that I was the first person to ever ask him to sign a baseball card. I remember my dad helping me write letters so I could get the entire 2000 UDSP set autographed. He even went to get me Pete Rose Jr. and Jason Brester. I was that big a nerd in 2000—I cared more about getting my Jason Brester card signed than, say, Vladimir Guerrero.

Without running too far off point, baseball played a huge role in getting me through that horrible period of my life. The one constant throughout my life, from the time I was 4 to now, has always been baseball. The game has always allowed me to immerse myself in its rich history, its oddball statistics—and, now, in my work.

So now to you guys. I do not know when my next baseball related column will run. It is my goal to get through the surgery and post a real article by the end of the month. It won’t be another transaction monkey story nor will it be another non-baseball self-introspection piece. I would ideally like to talk about something triumphant and inspiring just before spring training begins.

I have always used this space as a place to tell stories about the business as much as I can. Everything from personal anecdotes to general advice. It was never my intention to “pull back the curtain,” but that’s what this has become to a point. Obviously, this column does not interfere with my job and there are some subjects I just can’t touch, but with that being said I am quite proud at how honest I have gotten to be here. I long feared a negative blowback from the column but, fortunately, that has not been an issue, at least to any point where it has negatively impacted my career. So I’m looking forward to telling more stories about my life and career as soon as I can. Who knows, maybe I can turn all these stories into a book—I’ve already been pitched a reality show idea. I have to finish up free agency, all my marketing stuff, then get ready for the spring.

I just can’t wait until I am past all this medical stuff and I can get back to focusing on my family and baseball. I can’t wait to start writing content again and connecting with so many great fans on here or on Twitter. I reread this and I know it reads like a band breakup note or Kurt Cobain’s suicide note, but that is not what I wanted to do. I just wanted to give you guys a heads up to what is going on in a way I could never do on social media, and to thank everyone for their support. Your reading of my column and your comments mean so much more than any of you will know. I reply to every single one of the comments left and it really is a joy for me to interact with such passionate fans. So again, thank you. I shall return soon. Peace, love, empathy, Joshua Kusnick.

Thank you for reading

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alwaxman
1/05
Thanks for sharing your personal story. Best wishes with a quick recovery. You are one of the main reasons why I continue to subscribe to BP, you provide a unique insight into a part of the game that many of us wouldn't know much about otherwise.
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Any time, happy to write here.
jfranco77
1/05
Best wishes! I hope everything goes well!
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Thank you
bowdrie42
1/05
Good luck! Stay positive!
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Thank you, yes sir.
mlsgrad99
1/05
Best of luck to you, Joshua. Hope to see another of your articles here soon.
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Will do as soon as I can!
elljay
1/05
Hope all goes well, and you're back in the game soon.

Always enjoy reading you.

Larry
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Thank you!
Shawnykid23
1/05
Good luck, Josh!
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Thank you
sam19041
1/05
Joshua, thanks for sharing (and continuing to share). Given the focus of your column, you still manage to cover a surprisingly broad array of topics -- and they all seem quite interesting. Best of luck with the surgery!
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Thank you very much.
GeorgeKimmet
1/05
I hope all goes well ... get well soon!
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Thanks
jwhetpbp
1/05
Best wishes Josh. Hope you are feeling well again in no time!
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Yes sir, thank you
therealn0d
1/05
Honestly, I'm touched by this. As much as you enjoy the readership, I must say we enjoy you that much more. Here's wishing you a smooth recovery and looking forward to your next column.
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Thank you
pjbenedict
1/05
Peace, love, and empathy to you as well. I love your column, and in large part that's because its narrator seems like a good person doing an exciting job. I look forward to the next piece :-)

I've had friends go through repeated abdominal surgeries. I am sorry you're on that journey. I'll pray for you.
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Thank you.
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Here is a link to the story I did with Joe Lemire that took 3 years to come to fruition.

https://medium.com/the-cauldron/mlb-agent-fights-for-his-clients-and-his-life-71e9f857b71e
beeker99
1/05
Josh, best wishes for a speedy recovery, and I look forward to your next column!
adrock
1/05
Thanks very much for sharing your stories. Best wishes for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery.
russel58
1/05
Best of luck Josh! Prayers to you and your family
danfinn01
1/05
Best of Luck!!!! Luv reading your columns especially the last one from San Diego which shows the type person you are.

Looking forward to your next column.

Dan
poorlittlefool
1/05
Josh - Just want to add my appreciation, thanks and best wishes to the chorus.
saint09
1/05
Thank you Josh and best of luck in your surgery. I trust you are in great hands with your surgical team. Looking forward to your next column. Chris
comish4lif
1/05
Good luck and great health to you - you saw Werth at Delmarva? Did you get to any of the MD Fall/Winter League games when they were in the area - that one year?

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Bowie_Nationals
SChandler
1/05
Good luck to you and your family. Your column is one of my favorites on BP. I hope you recover quickly.
walbeck
1/05
Be well, stay well, Joshua. Thanks for how open, refreshing, real you are, and how engaging with people - even little twitter "friends" like me.

Hugs from Santa Cruz,

Brian.
BeplerP
1/05
Joshua: I send prayers for you and your family. I have just gone through a year in which I had three major surgical procedures. How you have been able to cope with your unending (?) problem I don't know. I salute you. Please heal fast so you can get back to your column, your career and your family. Best regards
JoshuaKusnick
1/05
Thanks. I mean it was something I was born with, didn't have a choice
melotticus
1/06
Love, Peace, and chicken grease my man (old southern colloquialism). Unintentionally, you've allowed us access to the inner workings of how an agent does his job. For that, I am very grateful. Agents and agencies are one of the last frontiers in baseball to be explored in depth, and you sir are the Lewis or Clark.

I'm not much of a prayer kinda guy, but I will definitely have you in my thoughts even though we've never met. I wish you the best of luck on your upcoming procedure and hope you bounce back faster than you even though possible. Not because I want to read another piece from you, but because throughout the year, you come across as a great man who puts others light years ahead of yourself, and there is a severe lack of that in this world these days.

Much love Josh. Take it easy man.
JoshuaKusnick
1/07
Thank you very much
Agent007
1/06
Good luck. I have really enjoyed your columns. Any chance of getting Scott Boros to fill in during your absence? Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery.
JoshuaKusnick
1/07
Steve Boros is dead and Scott Boras isn't me so no. No fill ins.
brucegilsen
1/06
I enjoy your columns. Feel better soon!
JoshuaKusnick
1/07
Thank you
mbodell
1/06
Good luck! I enjoy your articles.

I had my own routine appendectomy develop complications, multiple surgeries and procedures, and about 2 weeks in hospital (more than half of which was similarly no food/no hunger IV goodness) and then another 5 weeks recovering. That was definitely bad enough for me, I can't imagine how much worse six months would be nor 43 surgeries!
JoshuaKusnick
1/07
Hope you're well. Thank you for the nice words.

J
JoshuaKusnick
1/07
Thank you so much to everyone, surger in 10 hours. My wife will be posting @mjannen and Ill post as soon as I can @JoshuaKusnick

thank you everyone so very much for the support

Your friend in baseball

Peace Love Empathy
Joshua