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Every year I try to project every team’s record and runs scored and allowed, using as much information as is available to me in the waning days of March. I do it because it’s fun, and because the process of making those predictions is very educational for me in the ramp-up to the season. The process, rather than the end results, is what is important, because the chance of getting many teams’ overall records or run differentials correct is fairly slim. The value of the pieces I write at that time is in the analysis, the words; the numbers are for information purposes only.

However, it’s important to learn from any process, so as we close out 2009, I want to take a look back at my predictions for the season and see what lessons can possibly be learned. I’ve written this piece before, so if you want some deeper explanations of process, you can check out the recaps of previous seasons. One key change, as I sit down to this, is that I’m no longer making a global adjustment based on overall run scoring. In the comments section of last year’s piece, I was convinced that the mistakes I’m making that show up in the overall run totals aren’t so much an error in misprojecting run environment globally, but the adding and subtracting of small errors in specific team projections. So the comparisons this will be between my unadjusted predictions and the actual numbers. For what it’s worth, this year was as close to dead-on as I’ve ever been, projecting 22,906 runs in leagues that scored 22,408, a difference of a tick more than two percent. It’s not Nate Silver on Election Night, but it’ll play.

Let’s look at the top and bottom five by the Err score, which is the difference between a team’s projected and actual run differentials:

```
Actual       Predicted
Team        RS    RA       RS    RA    Err
Marlins    772   766      797   792      1
Rays       803   754      766   719      2
Braves     735   641      799   703      2
Astros     643   770      731   843     15
Mariners   640   692      641   671     22

Mets       671   757      812   712    186
D'backs    823   748      720   782    137
Indians    847   822      773   865    117
Nationals  710   874      707   757    114
Angels     883   761      741   726    107
```

Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I am pretty happy with that first list. To peg three teams essentially at their differential-and to be fairly out of step with the field on two of them-is something I’ll hang my hat on. With that said, look more closely at the numbers, and you find that while I had the differentials close to correct, the path to being so wasn’t all that helpful. The Mariners’ figures are close enough, but in the cases of the Rays and Braves, I missed on both runs scored and runs allowed, but by both in a way that allowed be to nearly nail the differential. I remain unsure if this is the most valid means of evaluation-is it more important get the elements of differential correct, or the differential itself?

I’ll take a pass for the Mets, who whiffed by 141 runs on offense because of all their injuries, the collection of which was largely unforeseeable in March. As far as the Diamondbacks and Indians go, I’m open to the idea that I’m systematically overrating “good” organizations, as I seem to miss on those teams to the high side with some frequency. I’ve certainly been accused of bias regularly, and I think there’s a case to be made that I have to be more careful about falling in love with a GM, a front office or a particular team’s offseason, and take a skeptical eye with teams that, in my mind, have a certain progressive seal of approval. That’s not me saying, “I whiffed on the Diamondbacks and Indians because I’m biased,” so much as me saying I’m willing to think about the charge. In the Tribe’s case, remember that they made another dump trade this season, a deal that pushed them into the AL Central cellar by season’s end. That, and all other midseason deals, are a total non-factor in preseason analysis. You cannot predict who will make what deals at the deadline and how that will affect projections.

Another way to look at the problem is to add up the absolute value of all the misses. If you do this, you get Net Error Score (NES) of 3496, which is low for my history with this task. I’m making 60 predictions and missing by an average of 58 or so runs a pop, which doesn’t seem competent. Net Error Score is also a way in which to evaluate the various team predictions; in Err, guessing 30 runs high on runs scored and 30 runs high on runs allowed is a score of “zero,” or a perfect match, In NES, it’s a 60. Here are the rankings by this method:

```
Actual       Predicted
Team        RS    RA       RS    RA    NES
Mariners   640   692      641   671     22
Giants     657   611      657   658     47
Padres     638   769      611   792     50
Marlins    772   766      797   792     51
Phillies   820   709      819   774     66

Rangers    784   740      860   888    224
Yankees    915   753      789   675    204
Cardinals  730   640      772   788    190
Mets       671   757      812   712    186
Angels     883   761      741   726    177
```

I can’t figure the Phillies, who I’m accused of hating pretty rigorously. Their run prevention was a lot better than expected, which has to be largely their good defense, because the pitchers don’t add up to that at all. Even giving them a half-season of Cliff Lee and some decent work by Pedro Martinez wouldn’t account for 70 runs. The bullpen wasn’t that good, and we all know about the year the closer had. Yet they allowed 65 runs fewer than I expected and ran away with the NL East. The other teams on the good side of the ledger don’t tell us much, if anything. On the bad side, you had the Rangers remaking themselves as a pitching-and-defense squad, with Elvis Andrus at the helm. The Cardinals got a dream season from Joel Pineiro and Chris Carpenter‘s return, which explains much of their run prevention. The Mets show once again, as do the suddenly-cheap Padres and the suddenly-addled Giants.

My goal is to predict runs scored and allowed, and let wins and losses fall where they will. With no team possessing a :clutch” skill, it’s reasonable to figure that wins and losses, with maybe a small adjustment for bullpen quality, will be what the RS and RA say they will be. For completeness, though, here are the W/L predictions, formatted just like the above charts:

```
Team        Actual     Predicted
Pirates      62-99       62-100
Brewers      80-82       79-83
Blue Jays    75-87       76-86
Rays         84-78       86-76
Dodgers      95-67       92-70

Mets         70-92       92-70
Indians      65-97       84-78
D'backs      70-92       88-74
Nationals    59-103      74-88
Angels       97-65       83-79
```

This is my last column for Baseball Prospectus. My contract ends today, making me like any number of free agents looking for work. No hard feelings or recriminations, just two entities doing business.

When I left BP-temporarily, as it turned out-in 2002, I wrote a big piece about it. I’m not doing that today. I just want to thank everyone who reads us, who listens to us on the radio, watches us on TV, buys books, writes comments, sends in e-mails… all of the people who have helped us build Prospectus into what it is today. I never in a million years thought I’d get to write about baseball for a living, but I did. I did thanks to Gary Huckabay and Clay Davenport; Christina Kahrl and Rany Jazayerli; Dave Pease and Keith Woolner and Keith Law and Nate Silver and so many other people who built Prospectus in the 1990s. In the 2000s, we benefited from the grace of men such as Rob Neyer, Peter Gammons, Billy Beane, Brian Kenny, Jeff Erickson, Bernie Miklasz, Chris Stone, Michael Epstein, and Louie Belina, who spread the word about what we were doing, who helped us make the leap from niche to mainstream, even as the mainstream was coming our way. I cannot ever thank these people, or the hundreds like them who simply pointed at BP and said “read those guys,” enough.

From where I sit, I have a particularly personal view of the role chance plays in a life. If I hadn’t gone back to USC, if I hadn’t gotten an e-mail account and found rec.sport.baseball, if I hadn’t joined NASA and met Rany, if I hadn’t done any number of things, I have no real idea of what I’d be doing today. I can’t even guess at it. I got blindingly lucky, beyond anything I personally deserve, to have fallen in with such a talented, dedicated, hardworking group of people, and for that, I am forever in their debt, as I am in yours, readers. Thank you, for everything.

“Tomorrow.”

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

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villapalomares
12/31
Please don't leave Joe. You're my favorite.
Neifitastic
12/31
I had no idea you were leaving BP. Your work is almost certainly my favorite from the site (which I have been reading since 1999). I hope that you are off to bigger and better things and (selfishly) that those things bring you back to BP in the future.
formersd
12/31
nils707
12/31
Bring back Sheehan!
dantroy
12/31
This is pretty shocking news. I wish you nothing but the best, Joe, and thanks for all you have done in the past here at BP.
rawagman
12/31
Joe - thanks and good luck.

As the Man in Black sang, "Do what you do, do well.
You have and I'm sure, you will.
hurling
12/31
"Say it ain't so, Joe."
mattymatty2000
12/31
Terribly sad to see you go, Joe. All the best with what ever it is you choose to do.
deanmara
12/31
If Sheehan is not brought back, I am not renewing my BP subscription. He is by far the most thought-provoking writer on the staff.
bpickclass08
12/31
nice west wing reference
beta461
12/31
mgendall
12/31
That is very disappointing. Here's hoping you stay in the industry, Joe. I too will continue to read you wherever you end up. Thanks for all your hard work.
tmangell
12/31
I echo everybody above - we'll miss your writing, Joe. Best of luck!
BillyB
12/31
You gotta keep Joe. No disrespect to the rest of BP, but he is the best writer. His out of the box thinking is always well supported. Please keep Joe!
abonin
12/31
Dear BP Management,

Your business will be a better place if Joe Sheehan is still a part of it. Work this out.

Signed,
A loyal reader of so many of you from the r.s.baseball days.
jgalt73
12/31
Joe, This may be 'business', like baseball is a 'business' - but it's rarely good news when we have to point that out. I will follow your writing wherever it goes.
frampton
12/31
Best wishes going forward, Joe -- hope you find success and happiness, and I look forward to reading your material in the future. I'll certainly stay a BP subscriber, though, there are still plenty of smart people here who can keep me advancing my own baseball knowledge, as Joe always has.
DWrek5
12/31
Joe you are the #1 reason I subscribe to this site.
Hope you pop back up soon!
athletic
12/31

Joe-Thanks for countless hours of thought-provoking and entertaining reading.
joshhall
12/31
While I will probably keep my subscription because of Christina, this will cause me to think long and hard about it. None of the new additions to BP are as good, IMHO, as you and Christina.
collins
12/31
I have nothing to say that wasn't already said by one of the earlier posters, but I want to say it anyway: I will miss you on BP, Joe, and I look forward to seeing what you write elsewhere.
straightoutofhxc
12/31
I read Joe's work more than any other author here. His pieces alone justify my subscription. If he doesn't "resign", I'm going to be terribly disappointed. I already renewed for 2010, but would definitely have to reconsider for the following year.
collins
12/31
On a more mundane note, I think the actual and predicted column in the first chart are switched.
collins
12/31
Reversed just for Dbacks and Indians, perhaps. Indians actually did not have a positive differential.
chico123
12/31
Good luck, Joe. I hope you continue to write about baseball. I've enjoyed your writing for over a decade. Please let us know where you end up...maybe mainstream media, the old email list, twitter?

And to my fellow readers, let not assume BP didn't want Joe. He could be getting a sweet deal from say ESPN, Fox, etc.

Tom
www.elguaposghost.com
deanmara
12/31
I agree. Either that or a job with any MLB team. Any baseball front office would benefit from having Joe employed as their Assistant GM or whatever.

Maybe my Yanks will sign you. Cashman + Sheehan + \$\$\$\$ would be a deadly combo.

bflaff
12/31
Best of luck to you, Joe.
12/31
I will miss Sheehan terribly, as he was very much my favorite among the writers. The continued presence of Kahrl and Goldman mitigates this somewhat, but losing Sheehan is a body blow that makes me seriously reconsider whether or not to spend my hard-earned shekels on a renewal of my subscription.

This is a huge loss for BP and to BP.
KerryFam4
12/31
I hope that a new contract is executed shortly to the satisfaction of both BP and Mr. Sheehan. I agree with others that he's the best writer on the site and that whether I'm on board with his view or not, it's always thought-provoking. I won't be leaving BP thanks to Kahrl, Goldstein and Perrato, but Mr. Sheehan's contribution would certainly be missed by this long-time subscriber. Good luck, Joe, and let us know where you land.
Meurso
12/31
As with any free agent negotiation, we'll never know the whole story, nor are those details particularly our business. But count me as another voice that would like to see Joe stay with BP.
uno1234
12/31
How about an extra \$5 a year to read some more joe articles? Raise the prices! Bring him back!

Seriously he is by far the author I read the most on this site. Not sure what things will be like without him. He connects the stats with the human element in a way that no other writer here does.

The only way I can accept this is if he gets a sweet front office job, which he 100% deserves.
Yarky1
1/01
Now that my team sucks, I've been reading and looking forward to Goldstein more, but to me Joe *is* BP. Him and Christina. It would be a huge loss if he were to leave, not just of good content but of the character and identity of the site. I would probably still renew, but I'd grumble about it.
davezahniser
12/31
And I just reupped for another year. BP, please bring Joe back.
mbrown
12/31
Nate... Joe.... (Will?)... BP will remain, but jeez it will seem odd without you here, Joe. Was an honor to work with you. All the best in where ever the road leads.

-- Maury
fielding99
1/01
The best sportswriter in the business. Best of luck, Joe.
kerrigrr
1/01
I have no complaints for BP and will happily keep subscribing to read the thoughtful work of the other writers. I don't think it is for us to guess about what parties want behind closed door. I simply say - thanks, Joe. There has been no one who's work I have emailed to friends more often than yours (and Bill Simmons). Best of luck and thanks for so many great columns.
kcellis224
1/01
With all due respect to KG, CK, Nate, et al, there are a lot of "nice reads" working on the BP staff. Joe, you were the only "must read." I'll miss your opinion and anaylsis, and here's to hoping you resurface somewhere soon.
Richie
1/01
To quote the Slapshot goalie, "who own the team"???

I had figured BP was an employee-owned entity. So is it? Do investors own it? Some rich broad's tax write-off? What kind of business operation am I buying from here?

None of my business whether Joe thinks he's worth more than the owners think he is, or if Joe is being reticent for some reason about an MLB job he's about got lined up, or if Joe's been voted off the island.

But I don't think it's out of line to ask what is the ownership structure of BP.
pmatthews
1/01
Richie,

With respect, how is the ownership structure of Prospectus Entertainment Ventures any of our business?

If it were a public company, then the ownership structure would be a matter of public record, and you could peruse the 10-K at will.

However, it is a privately held firm, and while I guess it is not out of line for us to inquire about the ownership, they are not really required to reply.

As I see it, we "vote" on the quality of the organization every time we decide to purchase a book or premium subscription, and every time we read an article.
1/01
Really sorry to see Joe Sheehan go. I hope this was because of opportunity and not squabbling, because he was really, in my mind, the most excellent analyst at BP. Oddly enough, I was just saying that last week when I was talking about reasons I subscribe to BP with a friend of mine.

For BP I really believe this is the stathead equivalent of losing a Greg Maddux circa December, 1992...
sklarj
1/01
In case anyone else was wondering. Here's his Joe's goodbye bit from 2002, followed by the 2003 reenlistment.
http://baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1593

and

http://baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1670

I've been subscribing since '05 and I'll miss reading prospectus today several days a week.
dianagramr
1/01
ssimon
1/01
I would also pay \$5 more a year to bring Joe back.

Bring Joe back!
jsheehan
1/05
This idea, with this exact same price point, was expressed a few times. I'm flattered, thanks. It made me think, though...

Seven years ago I sold the newsletter for \$19.95 for 50 guaranteed offseason issues and had about 250 subscribers by the time it ended. The marketplace was different then, but so was my profile. BP launched Premium in part because of the success of the newsletter, I came back, and I never tested the question of what might have happened next.

It brings up two ideas, one specific, one general:

1) I wonder how many people feel the way the three people in this thread do. How many people would pay \$5 a year to read whatever the hell my output would be in a year? Does that number x \$5 make the notion viable? What if it were \$10? What if it were \$19.95? Can you price a product like that in a way to make it a better option than traditional paths, for both you and the readers, short of aiming for 100 subscribers at a thousand bucks a head?

2) Is this, perhaps, a new model for content, where individuals sell access to only their own stuff for a vanishingly small price, and hope to get there on volume? Is it possible to compete with larger entities selling a half-dozen, a dozen, four dozen writers? I've screamed "differentiate on quality" for 15 years now, but I'm not convinced that the market rewards doing so. Large entities can leverage economies of scale to rule the world at \$4.95/month or \$.99/song. Individuals can't compete with those rates, even if they don't have the overhead that even a lean entity like BP accumulates.

Whenever I think about this stuff, I come around to the idea that subscription content is probably underpriced. A BP subscription costs about four cents an article, and then everything else (stats access, PECOTA cards, archives, et al) is free. If you hate everyone and everything but, say, Kevin Goldstein, you're paying maybe 20 cents for each Future Shock/Top 11/Minor League Update. Bargain. If you'd pay \$5/year extra for Joe Sheehan, that *sounds* like a lot, but it's about three cents a byline.

I don't know if I have a point. I guess I'm just thinking about business models, writers, and where the next steps take you. I've been involved in Internet content for as long as anyone, as deeply as anyone, and I don't have an answer. I just think the issue is interesting.

collins
1/06
roebuckj
1/15
Joe, if you're still checking in on this thread, best of lukc to you, and count me in with J. Collins. BP is \$40/yr, and you were worth at least 50% of that for this subscriber.
ssimon
1/01
Another thing:

I've read all over BP how excited everyone at BP is for the changes that are coming to the site, to BPers' roles. If I knew there was a chance that losing Joe Sheehan was one of these "changes," I'd have commented sooner that this is nothing to be excited about.

I've been here a while and have seen BP's emeritus roster expand to include Gary, Rany, Nate, Klaw, Fox, Woolner and now Sheehan.

Unless some of those other guys are coming back regularly, or unless you're bringing Neyer on board, the huge hole at Prospectus Today will be impossible to overlook when I consider whether to pay for another subscription.

Bring Joe Back!
Polfro
1/01
SAY IT AIN'T SO...JOE.
silviomossa
1/01
Thanks for all your work over the years, Joe. Wherever the future takes you and your family, may the road rise with you.
Hawkeye
1/01
You're the MAIN reason I come here, Joe.

I know BP is changing but this is NOT for the better.

God bless you, Joe
cengineer
1/01
I agree with the others, Joe, you have always been my favorite author here and the site will just a little less worth reading without your column.
biteme
1/01
Wow. A casual mention at the end of fairly mundane piece (for you, anyway). I couldn't believe my eyes. WTF?
Treemaster
1/01
Very sorry to hear the news. All of my favorite authors have left, and now with Joe Sheehan leaving too, I don't think I will renew my subscription.
NumberPower
1/01
I love to read your work, and hope I get to keep reading it here. Kudos on such a thoroughly thoughtful and insightful take, day after day.
kapnxn
1/01
Best of luck to you Joe. Your columns were always well-thought out and thought-provoking. I'll echo other sentiments here; I hope you're moving on to bigger and better things.

As for BP, one of the great things BP does is promote skepticism, skepticism of conventional wisdom and folklore. In this case, I'm skeptical that a BP without Joe Sheehan will have the quality I've come to expect. I am interested to see if you will prove me right or wrong.
mrgriffey
1/01

That's a very fair statement, but also bold enough to probably make BP's manangement cringe a little bit. I applaud the leadership here for letting it be said. That's what makes this site a thought leader.

Joe, thanks the for the great writing. You will be missed greatly. You certainly deserve the career you've earned and you will be read wherever you go.

BP leadership, many of your readers have an idea of what you are going through. Running a business in this economy isn't quite what we signed up for when we left college with our dreams and ideals intact. After all is said and done though, your product is worth every penny you charge me and for that I am grateful. Keep up the good work, keep investing in your product and I will definitely keep coming back.

jackpace3
1/01
In the spirit of piling on (what else is a comment past the 3rd or 4th?), I likely won't cancel but would pay \$5 more to read Joe. \$10 more for more articles on the Yankees. And \$15 more if Joe was hired by the Yankees and wrote a column about the experience.
Gugilymugily
1/03
Just to be clear, you're a Yankee fan, right?

You wouldn't pay more than \$15 if the result was Sheehan working for the Yankees?
jtrichey
1/01
I guess before I renew (2 days left!) I should ask, Jay Jaffe and Kevin Goldstein are still here right? It's those 2 plus Sheehan that keep me around.
silviomossa
1/01
Same here, + Karhl and Perrota (sp?). The latter mentioned some changes upcoming in his role, and I'm anxious to find out what they will be.
iorg34
1/01
Hey Joe,
Thanks for the many hundreds of compelling and provacative efforts over the years. Daily Prospectus (Today) was an oasis of originality and boldness in an environment rapidly filling with drab echoes. Your dedication to keeping your column fresh via unique phrasing and blunt imagery is what kept us coming back; if your strong voice emboldened nattering commenters, take it as a compliment. You'll be sorely missed. Stay classy.
mattidell
1/01
Joe, make sure you get at least 4 years with an easy-vesting 5th year. And a no-trade clause, except back to BP.
fgreenagel2
1/01
Mr. Sheehan educated his audience the way that writers dream about. His loss is huge. I agree with earlier posters: losing Rany, Gary, Nate and now Joe has been a huge talent loss (and despite some additions, it hasn't evened out (the best comparison is the late 90's Indians (Gary as Belle, Nate as Ramirez and Joe as Thome)) and what they are now.

I'll keep the subscription, but only because of Christina, Kevin, Steven (where has he been?), Jay and to a lesser degree, Marc (and the fact that I have disposable cash).
qqqqqq
1/01
BP do what you need to do to keep Joe. He is, easily, one of your best.
1/01
I can't recall when my subscription is up, but I will think long and hard about renewing sans Joe.
Tensai
1/01
Me too :(
nickgieschen
1/01
Been reading BP since '98. Joe has always been a must read. Now there's just Kahrl and Goldstein whom I'd bother reading, and to be frank that's not worth my \$. See ya BP, The Hardball Times, FanGraphs, and Transaction Oracle provide what you do and more for no charge.

(Will C, note your conspicuous absence from the must read writers in all the posts above. It's not your content, but your attitude.)
xnumberoneson
1/01
I will also miss you, Joe. Your columns always carried a little more weight with me because we are fellow Regians and I know you did some good book learnin'. I'm not abandoning BP, but I'll certainly follow your work wherever you go.
drmboat
1/01
It's funny, I probably find things to disagree with Joe more than anybody else, but man is it a good day when there's a Prospectus Today article on. I also feel like BP has gone further away from cutting edge number crunching, and yet Joe was the one guy you could count on to focus on tangible results. Kind of like wondering what an A's team looks like without Hudson and Mulder (that only worked for 1 year), I'm wondering what a BP subscription looks like without Nate and Joe.
jack66
1/01
Joe was easily the best writer at BP. Good Luck Joe! I am not happy with BP right now.
kenneff
1/01
This was kept quiet till the last minute. Stupid me, I just renewed for a year. This is the one writer I always read - best at BP. As has been stated above, lot of sites doing the same thing for no cost. Joe was the difference maker.
HMGould
1/01
Huge, huge loss. Perhaps more than anyone, Joe Sheehan "was" BP to this reader, and it'll be a significantly lesser site without him, to the same degree BP became a significantly greater site when Kevin Goldstein came aboard.

I hope this gets reversed somehow. But if not, thanks for the years, Joe, and good luck. I'll look forward to reading you elsewhere.
pmatthews
1/01
While I will miss Joe's writing, BP will survive, and I am confident it will remain the best site out there for baseball. Something we should all remember is that BP has had a lot of turnover throughout the years but has kept up--nay, improved--its quality continuously because the team has always been great at bringing new talent into the camp.

Also, as per prior comments, none of us should assume that this came about due to any kind of dispute, or from lack of interest from Prospectus Entertainment Ventures in retaining Joe. For all we know, Joe may be moving on to a terrific opportunity, or perhaps Joe just wanted to change gears.

Joe, thanks for generating consistently interesting content. I did not always agree with you, but even when I disagreed, I typically enjoyed reading your columns. Should things work out that way, I'll be glad to see you back in the BP fold. If not, then I wish you every success, and I hope that I'll get the pleasure of reading you again soon.
pieman1121
1/01
As Scott Simon said earlier in this comments section, there has been a huge amount of talent exiting BP since the beginning. Losing Joe on top of those departures puts BP on shaky footing. I will still subscribe mainly due to Chris and Kevin, but this loss is particularly hard to bear. Prospectus Today is always the first thing I look for each day and miss it when Joe doesn't write. I hope everything works out for the best.
kmdarcy
1/01
I noticed--in Strat Fan Forum no less--that Joe was leaving BP. Upsetting news. As a purchaser of BP books from WAY, WAY back and a subscriber to BP since WAY back, I've become increasingly concerned that the talent (writing and analytical) of people like Sheehan is not being adequately replaced. (And to the developing "talent" at BP I apologize if that reads like an insult to you; my intention is to focus on excellent work by folks like Joe Sheehan and not criticize up-and-coming baseball analysis.) BP should be improving and expanding (literally and intellectually) and I often find it to be doing an about-face. I will continue to subscribe, but this is upsetting news.

Best of luck Joe Sheehan. I'll miss your columns and your chats.
abcjr2
1/01
Um, WOW. Didn't know I'd be reading this when I logged in today.

Joe, when you had a subscription newsletter, I subscribed. Never done that before or since (paid for a subscription newsletter) but your writing is so entertaining and informative that I'd do so again, if you go that route again.

Best wishes. Cream always rises to the top, I look forward to finding your writing at some other reputable source.
Lawnchairfan
1/01
Joe, here's hoping your next job is replacing Bud Selig!
Seriously, I'm bummed, but good luck,man!
mgvasquez38
1/01
no no no no no no no no
bmmcmahon
1/01
Worst news ever.

I can't wait to see where you end up Joe. I've read just about every article on BP since '99, but yours and Christina's were always the ones I read immediately, with excitement, as soon as they were posted. This is a great loss.

No insult to the other writers on the site, but in terms of pure writing ability, it feels like a bunch of five-star talents have been gradually replaced by four-star prospects. Those guys are still worth going to the park to see, but it's hard to get quite as excited about it.
bmmcmahon
1/01
Wouldn't it be cool if Sheehan replaced Gammons on espn? I know, I know, I'm dreaming.
funnywriter
1/01
Like so many others, I will have to think long and hard when my subscription renewal time comes. Joe was one of the main reasons I logged onto BP.
kernan
1/01
Good luck in your future endeavors Joe - I've always enjoyed your columns.
rsambrook
1/01
Ah, BP... re-sign Joe. He and Kevin are irreplaceable, I don't know if I'll renew without him.
Vilica
1/01
Yeah you guys had best re-sign Joe... all the articles on here are very well-written and informative, but Joe and Christina are the two whose columns are the reason I check BP before anything else when I get up in the morning, even during the offseason. Just re-sign him to a slightly above-market contract for off-the-field concerns, like attendance :)
FlyingPolack
1/01
Wow. No Joe. Definitely won't be renewing my subscription. Very disappointing.
1/01
Maybe Joe replaces Steve Phillips on Baseball Tonight? Yeah I wish. Or better yet, Joe and Harold Reynolds on the MLB Network together. That would be true "Must See TV".
brownsugar
1/01
Joe, best of luck in the future and thanks for many years of enjoyable reading. In reading through the previous comments, my sense is that many people here feel the same way that I do, which is that we're losing a bit more than a regular article about baseball, we're also going to miss the company of a friend that we've come to enjoy.

There's been a bit of chatter about people's subscriptions also. My two cents are that while I will miss Joe, that is no good reason to deprive myself of the writing of KG, CK, Will, Eric Seidman, and others. Thanks for the reminder about the subscription, mine is coming due soon. I'm renewing today.
ssimon
1/02
Randy, Everyone:

The Baseball Prospectus brand means a lot to me. BP and Rob Neyer were my initiation into the stathead world in the late 1990s.

Now... as we support our favorite team, we understand that players come and go. Seinfeld quipped that we root for laundry. Sometimes your team signs or develops a superstar. BP's moves to add Will and KG were inspired, expanding my enjoyment of the site and the annual. And of baseball in general.

But sometimes your team's best player leaves in free agency. In my view, this has happened a lot at BP. For whatever reason, Baseball Prospectus hasn't adequately replaced these guys. We used to see more columns (as opposed to research articles or the recurring UTK or TA or Hit List) written in the big-picture style shared by Joe and Gary and Nate and Rany and Klaw.

(This season KG proved he could write those pieces, with articles like "Throw Hard or Go Home" and "The Alex Gordon Problem" and *especially* "Getting Dealt." But KG rarely has time for producing such content while also compiling Ten Packs and running BPâ€™s business side.)

Itâ€™s not just that BPâ€™s lost its best columnists, but that the site is no longer the vanguard of stathead content on the web. Yes, itâ€™s great for BP that ESPN pays them to share content. But how is that a good thing for BP subscribers? And while BP's website has become more sophisticated, it is archaic next to the data manipulation capabilities and presentation you see at B-Ref and Fangraphs.

Baseball Prospectus, here is one longtime readerâ€™s challenge: My subscription was scheduled to expire on March 1st. I just renewed it because of the goodwill I owe you for more than a decadeâ€™s worth of enjoyment. But know that the online baseball community has caught up to you in terms of content and presentation. Make 2010 so great for BP readers that I wonâ€™t think twice when my subscription comes up next March.
mkny13
1/05
Well said.
buckb2
1/01
What a lousy way to begin the year. Joe's the best writer and thinker at BP, bar none. Last time he left, I signed up as a paid subscriber to his newsletter and will gladly do so again. Let's hope wherever he ends up, he keeps writing about baseball.
sgturner65
1/01
Bummer
AndrewP
1/01
Well, I wish Joe the best in whatever is next in his future!

Life is about change. Some change is better than others of course, but nothing stays the same.

BP will continue to be a terrific baseball website, just a little less so today.
sbnirish77
1/01
Invoking the Kirk Gibson home run call ...

I can't believe ... what I just saw ...

"As far as the Diamondbacks and Indians go, Iâ€™m open to the idea that Iâ€™m systematically overrating "good" organizations, as I seem to miss on those teams to the high side with some frequency. Iâ€™ve certainly been accused of bias regularly, and I think thereâ€™s a case to be made that I have to be more careful about falling in love with a GM, a front office ... "

Have to give it to Joe ... he at least has the guts to confront the issue of BIAS.

It just not your numbers, however, that illustrate the BIAS at BP.

In the last 5 years BP has picked the Boston (4), Cleveland (4), and Oakland (3) a total of ELEVEN times to win their divisions and have been right exactly TWICE. Overrating 'good' organizations? I'd say so.

Just pass the memo to your virtual office mates.

Joe your contrarian views were refreshing and will be missed.

ephinz
1/01
Good luck, Joe. As many others hear have said, I've enjoyed your work.
MikeFetters
1/01
...I suddenly feel prescient for having switched to the monthly subscription awhile back - time to play out the string and read Christina's take on the Cubs' Marlon Byrd signing while I wait for my subscription to expire.

I feel like a pretty enlightened fan, but some of the in-depth statistical articles are so far out there that I have to scroll down through miles of plot charts and graphs to finally arrive at the conclusion they're trying to make.

Joe, Christina, John, Kevin, and Will are the only ones who help inform a fan's thinking on what's relevant in our baseball universe, doing so in a way that doesn't make the casual reader have to read the same sentence five times to understand it - and Joe was the best of the bunch.

Maybe I'll change my mind, but Prospectus Today was always my first (and often only) click.

Best of luck, Joe! Hopefully you keep sharing your insights with fans - your chats were always the most entertaining, especially with your willingness to spice it up a bit with College Hoops every year during March Madness.
kcellis224
1/04
Well said.
andrewhume
1/02
What a great baseball thinker/writer Joe is. Can't wait to see what he does tomorrow.
3FingerTimm
1/02
For a lot of us, Joe was Baseball Prospectus. He was the guy who took all the numbers and smart ideas floating around here and told us how they were relevant. He was the one guy whose column I never failed to read. I can't say I won't renew my subscription without Joe, but I can't say I will, either.
1/02
I think we need to hear from the other BP writers about this. Might save a few subscribers from departing.
sunpar
1/02
Joe's a great writer, but I'll still be subscribing and reading BP with or without him. Just thought I'd put that out there in sea of pro-Sheehan thoughts out there.
briankopec
1/02
I honestly can't say that Joe was one of my 'must reads' here, but I certainly enjoyed his work over the years. It's never good news for subscribers when a talented writer leaves. Best of luck Joe!

I don't expect BP to cater to my preferences, but there was a time when I read every word of every article. Now I find myself coming back only for prospect and injury news. Did I leave BP or did BP leave me? I'm not sure. I'll be watching the 'changes' intently.
1/02
Joe,

Looking foward to reading you in the future. I hope it is at BP. if not it will be wherever you land. Best of luck.
dpratola
1/02
As a longtime subscriber who fairly rarely comments, just had to join the chorus and say how much I've enjoyed Joe's writing. His particular niche - taking the basics of sabermetric thought and just plain clear thinking, and fleshing out exactly how those might apply to the baseball issues of the day, at both the game and industry level - well, made his articles my favorites (at least since Doug Pappas' passing and Nate's departure). Like many others, I haven't always agreed with him, but I've always enjoyed reading him - and hope to have the opportunity to continue to do so somewhere.

So, just thanks, Joe, it's been great.
jessehoffins
1/02
sjd0378
1/02
Joe, the very best of luck to you and wherever you land, I will follow.
OldBean
1/02
Man, BP is starting to have a real Godfather II feel to it. One by one, our old friends are gone...

Seriously, considering that every single person who's commented on this article is disappointed to see Joe go, I'm going to go ahead and say that this was a very poor decision by the Prospectus Overlords. I'll certainly be thinking twice about re-subscribing.
1/02
Good luck Joe! BP Today is my favorite.
ElAngelo
1/02
"I did thanks to Gary Huckabay and Clay Davenport; Christina Kahrl and Rany Jazayerli; Dave Pease and Keith Woolner and Keith Law and Nate Silver and so many other people who built Prospectus in the 1990s."

And with the exception of CK, they're all gone. Too bad. For us.
thermos
1/02
Big loss. Consistently entertaining and thoughtful writing that will be hard to replace.
HarleyBK3
1/02
I've always enjoyed you, Joe. As an uber-competitive face-to-face Strat foe who introduced me to the idea that player analysis goes well beyond checking a team's "Future Stars" box in a Lindy magazine, I can't thank you enough. You were never afraid to tell it as Joe sees it, even if it meant that your commentary wasn't likely to win a popularity contest. Like the reader above, I still remember the days when I looked forward to finding your newsletter in my in-box. Perhaps what I like best about you is that you always made me stop to think, and you've always seemed to have the knack of turning opportunity into something good.

I look forward to seeing you again, wherever you may take yourself.
greenengineer
1/02
Best of luck - I hope we read you again soon.
rguerin
1/02
Hey Joe, I hope you land your dream job -- joining the ESPN Sunday Night telecast so you can call out every numb think Joe Morgan says. (Actually, that would be "our" dream job for you...)

You will be missed at BP.
jkaplow21
1/02
Did they offer arb and is BP going to get 2 draft picks for Joe?

I always liked Joe despite some obvious biases he refutes by acting like the biased are against him. I guess that does make him a fun read, but I can understand this move from BP's perspective. Signing Joe to a long term deal when he has already reached his peak is going to kill them in the future. Sure, maybe they make it again with him this year, but this would look awful silly in 2012.
mhmosher
1/02
I won't miss him. Too arrogant for my taste.
thenamestsam
1/02
Just wanted to add to the chorus saying that I hope the two sides reach an agreement. Joe reminds me why a BP subscriptions is worth the \$ every time he writes, and BP is a great forum for Joe.
devine
1/03
Wow. Joe, I hope your future includes more writing in a forum where I can find it. Too bad it won't be here, but that's baseball, I guess.

I will of course continue to subscribe to and read BP. I love the idea of reading the work of the new contributors, and assessing their efforts and witnessing the good work that I'm sure many of them will do. And I'll read Fangraphs, etc., too. I seem to have a lot of time to read baseball analysis. Funny, that. I don't seem to have enough time for a lot of other important things in my life...

Rider11
1/03
Godspeed, Joe. Please let us know where you pop up next.
WaldoInSC
1/03
Just want to add my sadness at Joe's departure and echo the sentiment that I hope it's for better opportunities and not because of a squabble.

Joe, write when you get work...
FalcoT
1/03
I can't believe I renewed my subscription yesterday. Weak. Sauce.
jsheehan
1/03
Thank you, sincerely, for all the kind words in the comments. They kicked off my 2010 wonderfully.

I wasn't being coy--I don't have anything lined up right now, and I'm open to opportunities as they arise. I'm optimistic that I'll be able to write and talk about baseball should I choose, and this comment thread has certainly helped with that attitude.

For those of you who have asked, the best way to get news about my future will probably be through my Twitter feed, @joe_sheehan. You can also just yell questions at me if you run into me on the streets of New York.

Thanks again, and have a happy, healthy and successful 2010!
joelefkowitz
1/03
Wow, honestly thought Joe must have had something else lined up. PEV get this man a contract. You are Bill Smith, and he is your Joe Mauer. The fan base needs this!
collins
1/04
Well, I guess I finally have a reason to check out this Twitter thing.
tosaboy
1/03
Joe, as another of the subscribers to your email newsletter (man, it was a different time, wasn't it?) I'll miss your BP articles as well. .
nosybrian
1/03
Hey Joe, BP should retire your number (17) and then bring you back for an occasional "old-timers game."

Seriously, you're still a young man (compared to me!), and I've got a feeling you're going to catch on with another team and we'll be able to enjoy your writing in another venue for many years to come.

granbergt
1/03
I'd like to echo the sentiment of shock and disappointment that Joe is leaving BP.

I will not be renewing my subscription.

--Tynan Granberg
granbergt
1/03
FanGraphs is free and more user-friendly...

...I'm just sayin'...
granbergt
1/30
A year and a half later, I guess I ate my words...
mhmosher
1/03
FanGraphs is outstanding. They are why I cancelled my Baseball HQ sub. I mean they offer the same stats (and more!) and better writing than HQ for FREE!

HQ is \$100 a year. Ridiculous.
onegameref
1/03
I hope the Cubs or White Sox have contacted you about consulting with their player personnel groups. They need some help recognizing the value of getting on base. Good luck in whatever venture you find appealing. BP will survive though it won't be as entertaining for certain.
bgleason
1/03
Joe: Count me stunned and saddened along with the rest. You're one of my favorite writers, baseball or otherwise. It's a joy to read your prose.

I'd love to see someone compile a list of your all-time best BP pieces. Meanwhile, best wishes to you, and thanks for all the great columns!
justin32099
1/04
Joe, best of luck, your column has been a can't-miss for me for six years now. I look forward to following your future work.
gogotabata
1/04
I find this acceptable only if Joe's taking Carroll with him . . .
ecarrero
1/04
Noooo... Por favor, no dejen que Joe se vaya.

Well, a plead in Spanish to see if it works. JS is probably the main reason I love BP so much and that I suscribed all the way from Venezuela.
SaberTJ
1/04
You will be missed Joe, Good luck with whatever life brings you next.
Arrian
1/04
Well that's unfortunate. I'll miss your columns here. I was torn as to whether to re-up my subscription, but ended up doing it. I don't know if this would have pushed me the other way, had I known, but it's possible.

Also, kudos on at least pondering the possibility that you (and perhaps other BP writers) might overrate teams that operate a certain way (sabre-ish) and underrate those that operate another way. Though that doesn't really explain your tendency to pick the Mets. ;)
mikebrak
1/04
Last column?! I hope they re-up you, Joe. Your column is the one I look the most forward to for daily entertainment.
McCaffery
1/04
You mean that now I have to compete with YOU in the job market? That's not fair!
stevebro
1/04
Say it ain't so, Joe. I enjoy your work immensely.
molokai
1/04
Good Luck Joe, over a decade ago BP opened a new window from which I could view baseball and while you were never my favorite writer at BP. you were a must read most of the time. Seems like only yesterday I was reading the 2002 farewell column, you had a good run and we are all better off for you having hooked up with Rany.
Clemente
1/04
Thank you, Joe, and good luck!
jmoultz
1/04
Joe, you'll be terribly missed. Thank YOU for the hard work over the years here. Your articles were rarely ever missed. I wish you the best of luck in your next chapter.
mgibson
1/04
Too bad you're going, Joe. I appreciate the way your writing combines quantitative analysis with strong, well-expressed opinions. Hopefully this means you'll be doing baseball writing elsewhere, not giving up the gig entirely. In any case, thanks for all the good work. You and Nate Silver were always my favorite BP writers.
beitvash
1/04
I love BP, but I honestly don't know if I'll renew again without Joe. I know I'm repeating what has been said many times already in this comment section, but I'm adding my comment to the pile. I don't know the circumstances under which this happened, but the two sides need to figure it out if BP is going to survive in its current form. When fangraphs and thehardballtimes are free, it takes a lot of good work to get me to pay a subscription. That good work has kept me coming back for many years, but this is a serious loss.
ZacharyRD
1/04
I was all set to congratulate you on whatever your found to replace BP until I read your reply, and now I'm fairly shocked.

If you don't have anything else lined up, why either quit or be forced out? If you're forced out, BP just made a huge mistake - you're a large value-add to this site that we know and love. If you just up and quit - best wishes, and I'm surprised you couldn't work out a limited contract to stay on a short-term or part-time basis.

Either way, go forth and find amazing things to do - it's a small world, and I'm sure I'll see your name again, somewhere, somehow, in the future.
wmharris
1/04
Let me add my best wishes, Joe. I've enjoyed your work for close to a decade now, and you have been my favorite read on this site for years. As so many others have said, I look forward to reading you in your new home, wherever that may be.
herbertstencil
1/04
Just renewed. Didn't think twice.
dzzard
1/05
Joe,
You have done it the right way; you left all of us wanting more.

Good luck. Change is sometimes the best thing. Live long and prosper.
mkny13
1/05
Thanks for everything Joe. -Mike K
brianquick
1/06
wonderful writer- thank you
BenJoel
1/06
Wow. I'm definitely leaning towards letting my subscription lapse given this news. Best of luck, Joe, in whatever it is that you do.
Alceste42
1/06
Thanks for the years of entertaining articles and good luck to you in the future.
benwa73
1/06
asekoonce
1/07
Thank you, Joe, for so many thought-provoking columns over the years and for always being willing to stake out and support a strong position. You were the main reason that I initially subscribed to BP. I join the many others above in questioning whether I will continue to do so.
tombores99
1/07
Gary Huckabay said it best at a book signing last Spring:

"Joe Sheehan could write about lint and make it interesting."

Joe - Thank you for the insight, the passion, and the inspiration. You wrote the book on articulating the online rant, and I read it cover to cover.