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Farewell and thanks

Posted by Andy on November 1, 2011

As the Baseball-Reference.com blog draws to a close, there are so many people I wish to thank:

  • First and foremost is, of course, Sean Forman. Baseball-Reference.com has been (and undoubtedly will continue to be) so influential, and four years ago I jumped at the chance to scribble on a tiny little corner of the massive colorful canvas he has so wonderfully painted. Sean is a credit to the sports community and has forever changed the way stats are developed, accessed, and utilized.
  • Neil Paine has been an excellent boss and sounding board for many of my ideas here, and I know has assisted Sean with many developing efforts over the last few years. He adds a lot of strength to the Sports-Reference team and will undoubtedly be a major part of accomplishments over the next few years.
  • I very much appreciate the contributions of the other authors here, but none more than Raphy. His writing style is quiet, but there is a big intellect and a very friendly guy behind those posts. Raphy developed numerous uses of the PI that nobody else seems to have thought of and taught me a lot over the last several years. We also engaged in countless interesting and useful baseball discussions.
  • Finally, there are of course all of you readers out there, without whom this blog would have been pointless. Your contributions are nearly beyond measure, and I have very much enjoyed developing virtual relationships with many of you over the past several years. There are too many of you to name individually, but I really appreciated the different perspectives from our group.

So I find myself without a baseball home on the internet. If you might be interested in having me contribute content, or if you just think I should check out some other site out there, please don't hesitate to drop me an email at andy ( at ) baseball ( dash )  reference ( dot ) com

Farewell and thanks!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 4:45 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

60 Responses to “Farewell and thanks”

  1. Um, why?

  2. Wow Andy.
    Thank you; I'm touched.

    As a I mentioned in Sean's post, I really appreciate the opportunity that you gave me to write for this blog and it has been a real treat to work with you.

    I can't wait to see where you end up writing, as I'm sure that your posts will be as witty and informative as ever. I thank you both as blogger Raphy and reader Oscar Azocar for a wonderful time.

  3. OMG. Get a room!

    Just kidding bro's. You guys rock. Will miss the fun here with you.

  4. Richard Chester Says:

    Andy:

    Good luck wherever you end up.

    Raphy:

    I recently sent a feedback to Neil asking him if blogger tags Oscar Azocar, Rico Petrocelli and Dave Kingman were real or aliases. He did not know. Now I see you admit to Azocar. Who knows about the other two?

  5. Oh man, sorry to see you go! Good luck wherever you land.

  6. It has been enjoyable reading your entries, Andy.

  7. AlvaroEspinoza Says:

    Thanks for the always thought provoking articles. And on a personal note, thanks for never picking on my 1990 season.

  8. Sad day! I thought I'd be nitpicking Andy for years to come. :)

    Andy was my sponsor to the B-R blogosphere. For that, and for all his interesting posts, I'm forever grateful.

    May the BREFren all "meet" again someday at a (virtual?) watering hole to be determined!

  9. Library Dave Says:

    Any chance you'll put up a blog on a free site to continue these discussions? Along with John, Steve and others? I'd definitely follow you guys there. Thanks for all the thought-provoking posts.

  10. Dave, it's a possibility, but probably not all that likely. Steve of course already has his own blog, so perhaps he will move his B-R blog style posts over there. As for the rest of us, I don't know. It's a heck of a lot of work.

    I actually very much agree with the decision to end the blog here. Although it was a lot of fun and very rewarding for me, in many ways it sort of ran its course. It hit home for me on my recent David Freese post when we went through the exact same WPA argument we've done numerous times in the recent past. I don't feel that the blog was, anymore, adding value to the overall picture that Sean has created here, certainly not as much in 2010-2011 as it did in 2007-2009.

    Currently, I'm weighing opportunities and hope to catch on somewhere else as a contributor.

  11. Richard Chester Says:

    @4

    You can add Alvaro Espinoza to my list.

  12. Andy, we've had our run-ins, but definitely let us know when you catch on elsewhere if you do. You (and the others) were the reason I checked in multiple times a day, every day.

  13. This blog had many points of interest, stories, & great exchanges of opinions even recently. Avoiding the disproportionate focus on a stat like WPA is easy. It was the conversation & comradely aspect here that many love. Even if some topics were stale, there was new food for thought-especially if we were not around, like most, at the start.

  14. I wanted to share a few more thoughts:

    1) I am gratified and honored to have been a part of this blog from the first day to the last day. Other than Sean, I think I'm the only other person who can say that.

    2) There are certain readers who I've found myself thinking a lot about in the last few hours:

    Johnny Twisto--simply the best commenter this blog ever saw. Sharp as a tack, completely reasonable, and able to argue any point like a well-read lawyer.

    John Autin--a close second to JT and very worthy of becoming an author here. When our blog stats didn't increase significantly when he came on board, I had a feeling we had already reached our critical mass and there was nowhere else to go. I hope I have another chance to work with John.

    BSK--I think I learned more from you than any other commenter here--I really respect your moral compass and thoughtful attitudes about just about everything in life. You taught me a number of really good lessons and gave me a chance to redeem myself after mistakes.

    Frank and Double Diamond--I absolutely loved your stories and observations and loved that you were both so active here. There's no substitute for having actually been there, and you both have such wonderful memories and a gift for story-telling. Richard Chester also has a lot of great memories that he frequently shared.

    There are quite a few other commenters that I have warm feelings for---please do not feel bad if I have not happened to mention you specifically above.

  15. I have to admit I'll probably come here less. I always liked reading the comments and the back and forth and throwing in my own penny and half. Still a great site though...

  16. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Andy, I really appreciate that. Thanks for helping to host this great forum and posting so many interesting topics for the Brefren to digest, learn from, tear apart, or just enjoy. Other authors came and went but this blog wouldn't have been what it was without your constant efforts.

  17. Richard Chester Says:

    @14

    Andy:
    Thanks for mentioning me. There were times when I thought my blogs going unnoticed.

  18. Yippeeyappee Says:

    I started to so look forward to John Autin's daily summaries. Good luck to all.

  19. Andy , thanks for everything. I'm new to the blog,but not to baseball writing ( full disclosure, I saw the St Louis Browns play) , and your writing is of the very highest standard.

    Best in your next endeavor.

  20. Andy-

    Shocked and honored to receive the shoutout. I came on here to bid adieu to you for much of what you wrote in your comment to me. I appreciated being able to touch base off site and on non-baseball issues. I have a ton of respect for you and hope to stumble upon you again. If you know where you'll be heading, be sure to let me know. I'd love to keep the dialogue going, be it on baseball or other things.

    To all, I'm amazed at the community here. I never thought of myself along the likes of the headliners here or the big daddy posters, like Johhny Twisto and John Autin and still don't, but I am honored to have contributed to whatever degree I did.

  21. @13 Mike Felber: I agree.

    It's too bad that the numbers didn't go up when JA started to contribute regularly. He is awesome.......as are the rest of you.

    I am going to miss you all a hell of a lot.
    Very sad day.

  22. To Andy and all who contributed please let me add my thanks and best wishes for wherever the future takes you.

  23. So this is because of WPA?
    WPA is the cause of this?
    Can't we just get rid of WPA?

  24. Indeed there are/were some great commenters here. Not a good day for the internet.

  25. I'm disappointed at hearing this. Even when I didn't agree with you I always appreciated the discussions that your posts started.

  26. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Andy,
    I still think your “Mr Brown can Moo…” was your best.
    Seriously, thanx for the conversations and the insight.
    Remember if you ever wanted to start a site, I can have one up in 3 days.
    I think you should definitely keep writing.
    And if not… happy trails bro….

  27. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Andy,
    I echo Duke's sentiments in toto, and THANK YOU ! ! !

  28. I've been reading and enjoying for a long time... I'll miss it!

  29. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Andy, I love the way you handle a headline. Thanks for all the great work you've done on this blog. You've been the big man in the middle of the lineup — don't think we haven't noticed. May your next step be a big one — up.

    Voomo #23: ell oh ell

  30. SocraticGadfly Says:

    I second the kudos to Andy, JA, Johnny T and others. Damn.

  31. "When our blog stats didn't increase significantly when he came on board, I had a feeling we had already reached our critical mass and there was nowhere else to go. "

    Er, did you guys ever think about marketing this blog more? I'm certain half the internet would have loved to read John Autin... Do you know how many readers Kelly Dwyer gets with his (comparably lame) NBA recaps at Yahoo?

  32. Fun blog. Hope it makes a comeback. Enjoyed all the writers.

  33. @31: John Autin reminds me, of someone I came to 'know' in 6th grade. Our homeroom teacher was a huge Phillies fan, and he would also bring in copies of the Philadelphia Inquirer every day, and he made sure that we read them. So, I read a lot of the sports page back then. And there was this up-and-coming writer named 'Peter Pascarelli' who totally blew me away.

    I'd never read a sportswriter who reminded me of PP, in those days, until Mr. Autin became a regular contributor last year. I don't know if PP's body of work is still as high-quality now, I don't watch much TV, and don't really catch up with his work, online. But what made him so awesome, and what makes JA so awesome now, is that, in his writing, the game comes alive. Without that, to me the stats become just that- a big pile of numbers. For that matter, to me, a writer in ANY field, who can breathe life into a subject, is a very special talent indeed.....let alone one whose chosen field is the game that I love.

    On this site, it isn't just JA, by any means (altho he is my fave), I'm just agreeing with Jacob- you guys have some unbelievable talent on here. I tried to read Yahoo baseball tonight- it's terrible. Lasted maybe 5 minutes. But people are so used to going there. Conversely, who really knows about this site??

    Whether it's Vizquel, or Matt Kemp, or some unknown Astros rookie, some numbers will continue to be produced by somebody, every year, but the great writers......
    There's your strength.

  34. actually, maybe that was Jayson Stark? Ugh, sorry, memory not so good anymore.........sorry.

  35. Yeah I think it was Jayson Stark--certainly your story made me think of him.

  36. The Discontinuing of the blog may be more depressing for me then the Phillies early exit from the playoffs.

    :(

  37. Why? I told you last year the Phillies were done. I guess you didn't read carefully enough :)

    Update as of 9:45 this morning...I just registered a new domain name, and may start an external blog as soon as today.

  38. Thanks for the excellent work - not just Andy but all the regular contributors to the blog. Bringing humor and humanity to reams of raw data isn't as easy as you guys make it look.

  39. Of all the nice things people have said since yesterday, #38 is the most-appreciated by me, as it really gets at what I've been trying to do here...

  40. @39
    Exactly. This is the #1 reason I appreciate this place.

  41. Andy, Voomo, Jiffy-agree completely. There's a huge difference in the atmosphere here-people can post controversial thoughts or comments, but they are dealt with respectfully. Go to any major newspaper site-NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, read one political story, and then watch the crazy name-calling follow. Andy (and friends), you did good here.

  42. is this blog done forever or just until next seasonnn?????????

  43. Where will I go for Card of the Week?

    Thanks for everything Andy!

  44. Thanks for the work all of you did, the hours of distraction, the endless historical tidbits, the Card of the Week, and for a semi-regular opportunity to tell everyone what I thought of WPA. :-)

    Good luck wherever the winds take you!

  45. Announcing High Heat Stats, our new baseball stats blog.

    It's here:

    http://highheatstats.blogspot.com/

    Please come visit, sign up for the RSS feed, and comment, and be patient as we get things going.

    Thanks!

  46. Sorry to see you go. Thanks for all your great writing.

  47. Disappointing, but thanks for all the work!

  48. Wow, I will miss this as much as anything. This blog was a great part of each day for me to read. Thanks for the mems.

  49. I have to tell you. I am shocked. This is a very sad day to be honest with you. As you read the time and hour of this post, I just found out and I can't believe it.

    I don't know how many readers you have south of the border but you will certainly be missed by this mexican baseball fun. I hope I can still follow your future work. It's been a great experience sharing our thoughts and baseball memories with all of you. From baseball cards to stories of past players, it's been a great ride. My best wishes to Andy and JA. You always respected my background and my little knowledge of your language.

    Muchas Gracias y buena suerte! (thank you very much and good luck)

  50. Luis, I hope you follow us over to the new blog (see comment 45 above).

  51. rico Petrocelli Says:

    #2

    Rico Petrocelli here. Touched that you thought I might be the MAN. Brooklyn born but never made the bigs. See you on High Heat?

  52. Again, I'd like to say thanks to everyone who wrote and contributed. What a pleasure this has been to read.

    Andy,

    I get the sense from your posts that there was some type of numeric (page view) threshold that was hoped for with this blog. Is that the case?

    Most everyone who comments about discovering the blog element of B-R (including myself) found the blog by accident. Sometimes after years of visiting B-R. I don't really understand how numbers could be expected for the blog when it was so subtly presented.

    And as far as stagnation, I'm not so certain that can be measured with blog numbers. What little I know about any aspect of sabermetrics I've learned on this blog. And I share this knowledge my friends who are more casual baseball fans than those who would read this blog. There are at least a couple of dozen people who do not read this blog, but who now have some understanding of WAR because I've shared what I've learned here.

    This termination was just such a shocking thing to find as a blog reader. And judging from others comments, I was not the only one who was completely taken aback by this. Everything seemed great. (Things like adding JA as a writer this year seemed to be a sign that things were gaining momentum.) So it's so surprising to hear your comments on how the blog was viewed internally. (As a stagnant detriment.)

  53. KJ, a few responses:

    I cannot speak for certain about many of the issues you raise, but I'll take a stab with my best guesses:

    1) It's not that there was a specific page-view threshhold target per se. The blog was created initially as an unpaid venture. It was converted to a paid venture for reasons about which I can only speculate, but I suspect the corporate structure required it so that there was no question about content ownership. Once it was paid, it needed to justify its existence through revenue created--hopefully breaking even. This blog did not break even in terms of ad revenue or PI memberships. It simply does not make financial sense for Sports-Reference to spend MORE money to try to make it break even--unless it could be grown by more than an order of magnitude, that's just not going to work.

    2) Sean made the original decision to invite JA as an author. John delayed for a long time coming on board. I recognized that the blog was stagnating, and that John was posting all that great game-recap commentary, and I pushed him to come on board as an author. In this way, his addition can be viewed as a "last ditch" effort to breath new life into the blog. And although John's performance was excellent, it didn't translate into more pageviews, and thus didn't produce more revenue.

    3) The blog was not viewed negatively internally. It just doesn't fit with the overall mission of the site, especially in view of #1 and #2 above.

    Just to reiterate--I am somewhat guessing here, and/or these are my perceptions. They don't necessarily reflect what Sean thinks.

  54. the King is dead....

    LONG LIVE THE KING!

  55. Just wanted to add my thanks and farewell. I didn't grow up on baseball so this blog really helped turn me on to some of the history and explain a bunch of stats. I definitely enjoyed the looks back for historical significance and, in my experience at least, it generally seemed to offer a middle ground between, say, ESPN and certain "stats are everything" websites.

    BR is still an awesome site and I look forward to the new blog that i just bookmarked!

  56. Richard Chester Says:

    @51

    Did you mean to reply to my post #4? If so, thanks. Yes I will blog on High Heat. Now all I need is someone to 'fess up to Dave Kingman and also Alvaro Espinoza.

  57. Andy,

    Thank you for your response. I appreciate your time, honesty and transparency in this. Not to mention your proactive efforts in starting High Heat.

    From what I can see, this is a money decision. Sean has limited resources and he wants to use them to further enhance the stats. To keep B-R on the cutting edge of the numbers.

    But, what is so difficult about this decision is that this is the art of the site. This is the public park of the site. Museums and parks do not make money. They exist to enhance experience. (I realize that I'm engaging in a bit of hyperbole here.)

    Paying writers most certainly had a hand in building this blog into what it was. But I believe it had reached a point of quality, regard and esteem where payments could have been reduced or eliminated and the community would have stood. Maybe there would have been fewer posts. But, it would have endured. Because some very talented people would write (albeit, less often) for the love of it.

    Dismantling and scattering this amazing blog community without at least trying rework the system was just very, very disappointing.

    If this blog does not fit in with the mission of Baseball Reference, it should.

  58. Wow, totally unexpected and totally sad to read.

    I've been posting here at B-R for the past three years, even though I've been mostly quiet the past six months due to some life craziness. While my online voice of late has been quiet, my online reading has not, checking in daily on what Andy and company had to say, as well as all the denizens here at the B-R blog.

    I of course will be coming back for the simple reason that Baseball Reference is an invaluable resource. I'm not quite sure, however, that I will be coming back as often every day with this community silenced. That is the sad part. A blog is a community, and I will miss the many voices here that brought me back reguarly.

    Good luck all.

  59. Bob Wayland Says:

    I've been away for awhile and just discovered the B-R blog was discontinued.
    I used to drop by and sample Andy's opinions and will miss him. Where did he wind up?

    Bob

  60. We're alive and kicking over at High Heat Stats.