A little over five years ago, I wrote my first piece for Baseball Prospectus. It was an unmemorable, bad Unfiltered post about a long-forgotten transaction (Justin Duchscherer signing with the Orioles). Having wanted to write for BP since discovering the Annuals as a teenager, I relished the opportunity and hoped to stick around for a while. I’ve been fortunate to do so, and always figured that BP’s leadership and/or readership would push me out before I left on my own.
Anyway, it appears I blinked first, because I’ve decided to pursue an opportunity that has surfaced over the last several weeks—an opportunity that requires I leave BP (though I have a few outstanding commitments to fulfill, meaning this won’t be my final byline). It wasn’t an easy call to make; I love the people on and around this site, and I loved being part of something I held dear as a young baseball fan and reader. But at this point in my life, I feel I owe it to myself and my family to take a position as intriguing as the one offered to me elsewhere.
I’m not going to use this space to talk about my theory of everything (largely because it’s always changing), or to play myth-maker. What I am going to do is use this space to thank and acknowledge those who made these last five-plus years possible and special.
Foremost, that means the BP readers and subscribers. You beget everything around here. Everything. Thank you for your support and patience over the years. I hope you had fun trying to learn something about the game right alongside me. And I hope you did learn something from me, since I learned plenty from you.
Thank you to Kevin Goldstein for recruiting me to BP in the first place.
Thank you to Sam Miller, Ben Lindbergh, Bret Sayre, Craig Goldstein, Patrick Dubuque, and Jason Wojciechowski for being wonderful editors and dear friends. I made it a point to trust you each as if you were Yadier Molina, and it proved to be the right call. You each made my work look much, much better over the years than it had any business looking. More importantly, your friendships have made an impression on me beyond grammar and diction fixes.
Thank you to Marc Normandin, Tommy Rancel, Adam Sobsey, Christopher Crawford, Jonah Keri, Keith Law, Zachary Levine, Sahadev Sharma, and Jack Moore. Y’all are some of the best at what you do, and at various points along the way, each of you has helped me with writing or personal matters—even when there was nothing in it for yourself. I owe you all at least one, and often far more than that.
Thank you to Dan Turkenkopf, Bradley Ankrom, Andrew Koo, Harry Pavlidis, and Rob McQuown for helping with all kinds of inane statistical requests, and for helping me learn SQL. You each exhibited monk-like patience. Also, thanks to Dan for coming up with the concept behind Randy the Random Number Generator. Who knew it’d be so popular? And Rob, you’re the most valuable person at BP.
Thank you to Christina Kahrl for showing us that transaction analysis writing can be interesting. I was never going to replace you, but I hope that in your eyes I did a respectable job with the beat. If not, I’m sure Bryan Grosnick will do me one better.
There are countless others I owe thanks to who will go unnamed. Just know I haven’t forgotten.
Lastly, thank you to all the BP staffers past and present. I’ve been fortunate to work with so many caring, smart, and talented people over the years, and this current crop is one of the best I’ve seen. I’m not going to name everyone on the masthead, but I’d be remiss to not note how much I admire Meg Rowley’s courage; Rian Watt’s elegance; Jeff Long’s creativity; Matthew Trueblood’s stamina; Jeffrey Quinton’s intelligence; and Dustin Palmateer’s attentiveness; and so much more. I mean no disrespect to my old colleagues when I write that I believe BP is in better shape than it was five years ago—to the extent that I know I wouldn’t have cleared the bar if all these folks had been around back then. Given the folks in place and in charge, I expect nothing less than for BP to continue to grow, with a greater diversity in voices, backgrounds, and specialties.
I won’t end this with goodbye because it isn’t goodbye; anyone who wants to reach me still can. To borrow a phrase: I’m not gone, I’m just not here. So let me end it this way instead: take care, everyone, and I hope you enjoy the upcoming season.