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B-R Blog End of Season

Posted by Sean Forman on November 1, 2011

One of the tough parts of running a business is deciding when to put more effort into something and when to not. After a lot of internal debate, we've decided to stop posting editorial content on the B-R blog.

This obviously has nothing to do with the quality of the content produced by our writers (Andy, Steve, Raphy, John, or Neil or any of the guest writers). Their posts were phenomenal. I always looked forward to their posts and know you did to. A big thanks to them for making this such a vital place for baseball discussion and analysis. As a small company, focus is vital for our success, and we are choosing to focus our energy on pumping out as much statistical baseball data as possible and that means cutting back in other areas.

None of the existing content is going to go away. We'll keep it up here for as long as the site is open (which we intend to be a very long time). If our writers should end up writing at new venues, we'll certainly post links to their new addresses here.

As best I can tell we've had a blog in one form or the other for eleven years now dating back nearly as far as weblogs as a form and the website itself (see outside the box on the front page from Dec. 2, 2000, First post on A-Rod signing with Texas). It's been a tough decision, but we really like baseball data and want to focus ourselves more there.

Lastly, thank you most of all for your patronage as our readers.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 3:59 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.

203 Responses to “B-R Blog End of Season”

  1. Sad day indeed...

  2. wow, i have loved reading this blog.

    i hope some of the writers will post some of their other editorial outlets on this thread so we can follow them elsewhere.

  3. Detroit Michael Says:

    Thanks to the writers. Content was very good. I'll still use, but no need for me to check it daily (or multiple times a day often!).

  4. You do realize that this is one of the absolute best blogs on the internet, right? Just checking.

  5. Wow, I'm really taken aback by this. It hadn't occurred to me this would cease. In any case, thanks for all the great content all this time.

  6. Hey. :(

    I started out on this blog as a reader because I loved the content and intricacies and I will miss it a lot.

    Thank you Sean and Andy for the opportunity to write for this blog as well. It has been a fun and unique experience.

    Also, a tremendous thank you to all the readers and commenters over the years. While I did not have a lot of time to give to this blog, the comments and conversations always made the time I did have very rewarding.

    All the best to all of you, its been fun.
    ImAShark, I guess were in the same boat now.

  7. This is really a shame. I wish I had found the site earlier. The data is wonderful, but the blog gives it more flavor and context. I'm going to miss the guilty pleasure of peeking in the middle of the day to see what Andy, John A. and Steve have put up. And, of all the people who commented, many of whom really know their baseball (even the Red Sox fans) a shout out to Kahuna Tuna-Tuna, you have a way with a stat sheet.

    I wish the writers luck-they obviously have great talent.
    I guess I'm back to reading and writing about politics. Won't be nearly as much fun.

  8. heart = broken.

  9. ...a crying shame. The only blog I follow religiously, visiting several times a day.

  10. First my dad dies, and now this.

  11. I agree with 4. This is EASILY the best sports blog around. I can understand focusing on data, but now there's no reason for the daily stop ins.

    Regardless, thanks to everyone for everything they've written...I've been entertained by the tidbits and debates pretty much non-stop.

  12. This is my first post here. However, I've been reading this blog ever since I came across Baseball Reference, about two years ago. It's been my favorite baseball blog during that time. Every day I'd come to school, check out the site and then spend time reading the blog. Then I'd do my homework and check the blog again for updates. I love reading this blog, and I want to thank you for keeping me interested in baseball. Thank you.

  13. I like stats too, but the blog was my favorite part of this website - I always wished the basketball blog was updated as often as the baseball one... Funny thing, even though I've been visiting this site for years, I never commented until now.

    I think you're making a big mistake taking down the blog, but if this is it, thanks to all the contributors for making it so enjoyable.

  14. Nathan Weinberg Says:

    This is such a shame. This was easily one of my favorite blogs, too.

  15. While I am sad to see the blog go, I understand the business decision. However, the one thing I would say is this: if not for the B-R blog, I would have no idea about all of the powerful tools on the site and what to do with them. Through these blog posts, you raise awareness and create interest of those features. I'm sure that's something you've considered, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

  16. BK (not BSK) Says:

    Nooooooooooooo! I've stalked this blog for years without actually posting anything til now... please don't close it!

    I agree with #13.. I think this is a big mistake.. I basically came to this site for the blog. PI is great - the ability to search through all of baseball history is a wonderful tool, and this blog was a place to share our findings. Now... I don't know where to go?

    May be change it to user submitted articles? Not much work on the companies part besides choosing the article and some proofreading...

  17. Johnny Twisto Says:

    WTF? I don't know anything about running a business, or running this site, but this seems like a terrible decision. At the very least, it's rather disappointing.

  18. Brian Wells Says:

    Cruel Fate,why do you mock me soooo!?!?Most certainly am going to miss.Thanks for the great work!

  19. I'm sad the blog as it currently exists is going away.

    I hope there will still be "new features" posts when new content is added to the site?

  20. Library Dave Says:

    Agree with others that this blog is what brings me to the site every day. Also what drives me to spend too much time clicking through the various pages. Now where will I find out exactly how much people hate Joe Carter?

  21. Yes I am going to be sorry to not read John Autin and his games summary.

    I will also miss many of the regular posters such as Andy and Kahuna etc. and also some of the controversial posters.

    I tuned 78 in early August.I have been posting less and less since June 20, 2011 when I was diagnosed with Plueral Effusion and Lung Cancer.
    Ya, I smoked starting at 17, until I was about 33 when the Surgeon General said it would cause cancer, it hit me 44 years later.

    First 3 month of Chemo Therapy (on Tarceva) was not successful and have had 4 Thoracentesis (Lung Tap Procedures) so far and I can tell, I will be needing another soon.
    Started a new Chemo called Alimta and am hopeful it will help.

    I will continue to check both here and on the Stats part which I discovered when the site was first put up (I forgot exactly when), and on a few occasions e-mailed Sean with corrections and suggestions and he was prompt with his replies.

    I love this part of the site and especially the stats section and link to it often on my web site as we have had 7 players make it to the Majors, of which I am very proud.
    2 more are hopefully in the near future in Trevor Bauer (Diamondbacks) and Mike Montgomery (Royals)

    Thanks for everything:

    Mike Gaber

  22. Mark in Sydney Says:

    Put me down in the disappointed column.

    Stats are one thing, Sean, but there are other sites that do stats. Stats are dry and open to interpretation. What this blog added (past-tense, I suppose) was humor and meaning. Those are big value-adds in my opinion.

  23. Might I suggest that the on-going conversation that has been this blog relocate to another venue? Although it would surely not get the same traffic that a blog on the front page of b-ref has gotten, there seems to be enough interest in continuing a discussion among b-ref fans to keep some form of this blog going elsewhere. I'd be happy to help set something up if folks are interested. Feel free to discuss below or here:

  24. Robert Moyer Says:


    It is a sad thing to read of the hasty and disappointing news of your decision to discontinue this blog. The forum it provides is informative, insightful, and inestimably valuable in ground truthing of many of the evolving metrics so important to your growing business and its success.

    The calibre of posters here, many of whom are highly statistically savvy, is unmatched.

    (Need I say the names Johnny Twisto, Larence Azrin, John Q., the recently elevated John Autin, Mike tick off just a few who cause my eyes to light the moment I see theirs on a post.

    (And how about Frank Clingenpeel, a baseball fan since the *1930s*. The insights and anecdotes he shares with young fans here...What's that Mastercard tagline? "Priceless"

    (Likewise the nonpareil Timmy P. Our days will be a little less bright and light-hearted without him.

    Sean, I've always found you to be a reasonable man. As a user for a decade, and dedicated baseball fan for half a century, I beg you to reconsider, and to refine a business model that focuses on statistics first yet still finds a way to keep this valuable forum and the daily traffic it generates intact.

  25. As someone who has "known" Sean (as a long-time SABR member) before this website even started, and who has know Neil for years during his college days writing for the long-defunct, I am sad at this announcement.

    It does however, point towards a subject I have mentioned here going back more than a year...the impending demise of the sabermetric movement.

    Under normal circumstances I would have thought this announcement to be a sign of the Apocalypse, but Billy Beane's firing of six of the eight full-time stat personnel with Oakland and replacing them with scouts beat the punch.

    The "Sports" Reference sites are a business; Sean and Neil and the staff make their living off of what "reputable" entities will pay them for.

    "Tim Raines for the HOF" polls and "David Freese Game Six best playoff performance ever based on WPA" may be interesting to people, but not enough to make Sean's car payment.

    To Sean: Thankyou for putting together arguably the best "reference" site out there, and if you're going to be in Arizona this weekend for the SABR AFL Conference, I've made arrangements to stop by and meet the group. I will be part of the Media Coverage and will officially "be on the clock", but will swing by the group at some point during the game.

    To Neil: Always the best, "Davis" and looking forward to working with you on the College Basketball site. Thanks for the trust and opportunity.

    To Andy and John and Steve and those writers who left before I got here. This "blog" only existed because of you.

    But take a little advice; your knowledge of stats and and their applications far exceeds your knowlege of baseball and fundamentals and the rules.

    Putting "Baseball Reference Site Administrator" on your resume doesn't mean anything, if you're really serious about pursuing other writing opportunities, "what" you know really is more important than "who".

    Good luck to everyone.

    If you need a letter of reference, email me at

  26. Chuck Hildebrandt Says:

    Hey Sean: Count me among those who thought the blog breathed some life into the site. Not being inside, I'm not sure why the blog could not be maintained as you put additional effort in the data side, but I'd assume it's a budget issue. It's sad indeed that you couldn't see your way to maintaining the blog portion of the site, but you do run a business, and if the revenue opportunity is stronger in a data-only business versus a data/editorial content business, then you have to do what's right by the business and your shareholders. Seen that way, I'm sure you're making the right decision. Best of luck to you going forward. Thanks for keeping the past stuff up on the site.

  27. This will probably cut my visits to this site in half, as I will only come here when I have a specific thing I wanna look up, rather than coming to check out the blog, comments, etc.

  28. This is incredibly sad to here. This site actually got me into sabermetrics by teaching me what the numbers meant and how they could be applied. Great blog, the one I looked forward to the most, and I'm sad to see it go.

    At the very least, is there anyway to create a forum so that people could voluntarily post about baseball? I'd presume it wouldn't need that much moderation, and that way baseball could still be talked about.

  29. Wow, I will most miss the discussions here. You folks did a great job. if there is any way to have articles-from readers possibly-so that the discussions can continue without detracting from the need for revenue, please do this. Birtlecom had a good idea.

    But can the discussions continue here in any way?

  30. Richard Chester Says:

    Sean, let me take this opportunity to tell you what a fantastic site this. The type and volume of statistical data is mind-boggling and staggering. You have to see it to believe it. The P-I is an incredibly amazing tool. Where else could I determine that Reb Russell has the highest seasonal RBI/G ratio for all players with more than 25 RBIs.

    Removal of the blog will create a void in my daily routine. There is always the hope that it will someday return.

  31. Mike @21, I had noticed your absence here recently and was missing your contributions. Sorry to hear the sad reason behind it.

  32. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Well, after getting the grousing out of my system:

    Thanks to Andy, John, Raphy, Steve, and Neil for constantly putting up new posts to spur conversation. (And to the old, departed contributors Chris and Sky(?).)

    And thanks to the commenters who were often just as important in providing interesting content. I wouldn't have visited the blog as often as I did if not for the great discussions that flowed out of the blog posts I know I'll forget more than a few I wish I had included, but I want to mention Birtelcom, BSK, DavidRF, DoubleDiamond, Dukeofflatbush, Frank Clingenpeel, Gerry, Imashark, John Q, Kahuna Tuna, Lawrence Azrin, Michael Sullivan, Mike Felber, Mike Gaber, Neil L., Timmy P, Topper,

    ...and others whose names I forget or get confused with others.....

    And to Sean Forman for this great site, which I'll still visit too often, albeit less than before.

  33. Just posting another comment so I can subscribe to this comment thread.

  34. Matt Vandermast Says:

    I echo everyone's thanks to Sean and to all the bloggers and posters who have made these years possible.

    #23: It would be great if these conversations could continue somewhere else. Thanks for the suggestion and for being willing to set something up.

  35. I just found this site a few months ago . I wish it had been years ago . The quality of the writing is fantastic and I have been visiting multiple times a day since I discovered it. Andy, and the others , thanks for everything. I understand business dynamics and the need to make everything pay for itself, but I am very sad at the decision. I hope the regular posters can find a new home and that I can follow them there. thanks, to. All

  36. Weak. Probably won't use this site anymore. Bye Timmy P!

  37. This is not what I was expecting to read on the best overall baseball blog in all the land. Very sad. As if having to spend the next 5-ish months without meaningful baseball wasn't bad enough, now this. I agree with the above commenters who thought this blog was a great way to take in the wealth of information on the rest of the site and discuss what it meant. The posts were always informative and the comments were 99% of the time intelligent and greatly added to the discussions. I have no idea where to go next year to read about the obscurities and bizarre happenings around the baseball world -- say, the player with the most PA with a higher OBP than SLG -- and that makes me genuinely sad.
    RIP the BB-Ref blog.

  38. Look what happened to NetFlix...

  39. Cyril Morong Says:

    I am disappointed like everyone else. This was a good blog and the discsussions were great. How can we protest this decision? Let's start an "Occupy Baseball Reference" movement. We should all keep clicking as many links as we can to crash the servers until the blog is re-instated.

    Okay, that is too drastic. But I might write a letter to my congressman. Can someone tell me who that is?

  40. Yippeeyappee Says:

    You know, one of the things that makes this site so great is the absence of ads. If ads were added to the blog page only, I would be back to visiting BR daily again. Now, it's just when I'm randomly curious about a player, or I need some data for a Sporcle quiz I'm writing.

  41. I have been a silent reader of this blog and have enjoyed it very much. Thanks and good luck to all the writers. Hope to read you soon!

  42. ATarwerdi96 Says:

    I think everyone here will agree that Tony LaRussa's retirement was only the second most important of the week.

  43. Cy, just write a letter to everyone's Congressman. That's why they invented email!

    Sean, at least commission an artist to do a B-Ref Blog T-shirt along the lines of the Mt. Rushmore thing we jokingly mentioned a while back. I'll wager that many of us who've visited here would put down a sawbuck to have the "gnarly" images of the Big Four planted on our chests as a tribute to their fine work.

    Best of luck to everyone!

  44. Sean, given the interest that some have shown in having a secondary blog, have you given any thought to the use of BRef content on that blog, such as data from PI? Presumably, you determined that this economic model was unsustainable. Is there another one, using the wonderful writer/editors you have, to do periodic postings on things like the playoffs, trades, free agents, etc etc.? Basically "special editions", which presumably could be at least revenue neutral with decent advertiser support.

  45. Ya know, I actually came on here to inquire about the lack of blog posts on Basketball and Pro Football Reference, hoping someone here would know what was going on. I assume this is a Sports-Reference wide decision? It's a shame. Thanks for all your work. You will be missed.

  46. Saw my name mentioned a couple times. Shocked any of you lump me in with whom I consider to be the big daddies of this site. I hope what I posted was 1/10th as helpful to others as what others posted was as helpful to me. I'd try to run down the names, but I'm afraid I'd leave someone out. But, kudos to everyone. Hopefully I run into you elsewhere. I generally post under BSK or BSKazzy. If any of you know where you'll be heading, drop a link here if possible and maybe we can migrate together.

  47. nooooooooooooooooo..........................
    this site's blog, damn. Everyone's contributions on here, have given me so much more than giant reams of stat sheets could ever do. Laughter, occasional frustration, etc. It was so much more than just a 'stat site'.

    I'd assumed that one day, we would all meet in a giant conference room somewhere, and have a couple beers, and have a big party, with guest speakers and such. Not this. This is awful.

    Please reconsider. I haven't donated- perhaps we need to have a donations drive?


  48. Oh man, I feel like I did when I heard Bob Feller died.

  49. Yippeeyappee Says:

    Oops, I meant relative absence of ads. Very inobtrusive. But I woudl tolerate a big lit-up banner on the blog!

  50. timothylhood Says:

    I am deeply saddened, I feel worse than when I got laid off.

    Other than coming home to my family, this blog was the absolute highlight of my day, the thing I looked forward to most.

    I'd pay for a subscription if it would keep the blog going. Please reconsider.

  51. i am not sure how this is a good business decision. because of this blog, i come to b-r daily. and because of the blog, i click through dozens of b-r pages to get data to post as my rebuttals. i estimate that because of this blog, i visit 1000s of b-r pages a year. without this blog i definitely will not come to this site daily. weekly maybe. probably once or twice between now and March. I estimate that without this blog I will probably visit a few 100 pages a year. i don't think this is a good business decision.

  52. I echo many of the sentiments here and have also never posted here, but have read this site almost daily for years. Thank you to everyone who contributed. I learned so much more than I ever thought there was to know about Baseball and the quality of the people here as well. I used to look at things like Bill North's 1980 season and tried to see if anyone ever had 500 AB and less than 19 RBI, and here I found a community of people like that. I'll dig out my old Baseball Abstracts and when I'm done with that, I'll use my free time I just got from the lack of the blog, and go cure cancer or something. Blessings and Thank you all.

  53. Sean- if I promise to renew my sponsorship of Floyd Stromme (the only major league player born in Cooperstown... North Dakota) will you reconsider?

  54. First of all, a deep and heartfelt thanks to all the bloggers. Andy, Neil, Raphy, Steve, John-- thank you for all your hard work. And secondly, not to be a dick about it, but the blog was THE reason baseball reference was top of the favourites list. I'll still visit the site I'm sure, but not two or three times a day. A sad, sad day.

  55. Cyril Morong Says:


    Thanks. That will make it alot easier.


  56. donations.......
    Ads.......ok, yuck, but if that's what it takes.....selling shirts........
    Something. But not this.

  57. After thinking about this a while and reading the recent comments, I've had a couple ideas, or rather, prayers that there are ways to revive this great blog. Donations seem like a good idea to me. Someone could start a Kickstarter to raise the necessary money, and they allow for cool prizes to be given to donators, as well.
    Also, this appears to me to not only be a great place to read about baseball, but for us fans of the blog to congregate and talk about it, too. What about a site funded and run entirely by the BB-Ref fans. We could write about odd things we notice from around baseball, daily game summaries, whatever. And they original bloggers - Sean, Andy, Steve, Raphy, John, Neil, etc. - of course would be welcome whenever they want.
    Feel free to make changes to either of my ideas, they're just the things that have been bouncing around in my head ever since I heard this awful news, as a desperate attempt to keep this awesome group of people together.

  58. I don't think Sean's decision is financial--but rather about the business of what his site is intended for.

    If enough people are invested in making small contributions to keep this sort of blog alive, I will absolutely start an external blog and invite our authors from could simply be on a Paypal basis. I would certainly give it a shot.

  59. I don't pretend to understand Sean's business model-- but how can cutting your traffic by an order of magnitude be a good thing?

  60. Wow. First Fire Joe Morgan closes ITS blogs, now Baseball Reference. Now someone will probably kick my dog, and I'll forget to buy lottery tickets and my numbers will be pulled.

  61. Frank Clingenpeel Says:


    Just let me know {you have my e-mail} when such a site is developed, and I WILL contribute!

    Until then, "Thanks for the memories".

  62. Evil Squirrel Says:

    Aw... damn! I really enjoyed this blog and its posters....

  63. Ok, so, this has got to be like in pro wrestling, when John Cena gets fired by the anonymous general manager, only to appear the next week in a lucha libre mask as "Juan Cena," and then somehow two weeks later everything is back to normal. Because obviously they are not going to fire John Cena.

    That's what is happening here, right?
    Because if not I might just be done with the internet.

  64. I am very sad to learn this. In my perception, this was approacing the level of discussion that used to occur at, which I don't think exists anywhere right now. I hope that such a place exists soon.

  65. @59

    I suspect that Sean's model isn't about us at all. We're an afterthought; not that he doesn't care or isn't interested at all. I'm not trying to say he's a jerk, I'm just saying that I think his business model is probably predicated around selling the services of the site to other businesses rather than to individuals. Thus, the returns on a blog like this are not worth the outlay for maintaining it.

    But who knows, maybe I'm way off and he's planning to parlay this into pork futures somehow...

  66. This cannot be a good business decision, the site traffic will surely go down by a huge amount. Does bb-ref know there is basically nothing on their site that I cant find some other way, except for random lists that are just generated..... just for this blog? I mean look at all of the random searches done for blog topics, how often would those things be done without it?

    I think in the long run the fact that baseball-ref does not update their stats live will eventually really drive people elsewhere, who wants to wait until the next morning to see how your favorite players batting average changed after going 4-4? In this age of people demanding everything now now now without the blog why would anyone have any reason to come except for random, rare specific searches and then leave right away.

    This makes me feel like Netflix, as a previous poster pointed out. I might have to use Fangraphs or Baseball Almanac from now on.

  67. Sad day. I know I'm repeating others at this point, but it was a great blog. This was the reason to come several times a day, and it served as a great intro into the tools and data available, as well as provide context for some of the more advanced stats that have come along. If the community goes somewhere else, I will follow.

  68. @66, Topper; It's been a tough market for what these guys do. The Baseball Analysts essentially shut down-there's no new content on it at all. In fairness to Sean, unless site views and comments generated ad revenues, you had content without an economic platform to support it. You do these things either for love (and don't worry about monetizing) or for eventual profit, and my guess is that the cost of creating the content exceeded the return.
    There's been some discussion of creating an alternate forum-Birtlecom has already set up a beta blog, but the key isn't just us commenting, it's the primary content which has to be written by someone. It's the content (by Andy, John's, Steve, etc.) that drives the comment, and they all need to make a living at this.
    And writing good content just isn't easy. We commentators can whip off a snappy response in a few minutes. The authors have to conceive of the idea, research it, and compose it in a manner that's interesting and draws people in-and they have to do it fast. That so many people are lamenting the loss tells you just how good they were at it.

  69. I'm with all the other commenters. Too bad.

  70. Honestly, I had no idea anyone was actually making a living doing this?!? It doesn't seem to take all that long to come up with the topics given full use of the play index. I get ideas for posts constantly. JAs daily write-ups were great but obviously driven on whatever happened that day, and it seems like most posts are based on current happening around MLB. I guess checking in on all the comments would be a lot of work, but its not necessary.

  71. I must say I'm disappointed to hear this. I may not have agreed with everything that was posted on the blog, but I enjoyed coming and reading the comments that the posts brought on. And to be honest, the blog was what kept me coming to the site on a daily basis. Obviously I also stopped by if I wanted to look up a particular stat or player, but I did check out the site everyday just to read the new blog posts.

  72. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Holy kicked in the balls for no reason!
    I might have to take up crack to fill the void.
    I agree with Andy and others about setting up a site. Sort of like AA.
    For people who formerly had a Baseball problem; “Hi, my name is Duke and I’m a BBreflaholic…
    Thanx Johnny Twisto for the shout out, We should of saved some of our Timmy dialogues for posterity. Johnny, you will always be Mustachioed Repetition to me.
    A big thanks to John Autin, Neil L. Frank Clig, BSK, GadFly, Mike Felber and richard Chester… Sorry if I forgot anyone.
    It honestly felt like a bunch of regulars at a bar talking shop.

    I have a lot of experience setting up websites.
    If you ever wanted to continue, I’d be more than happy to help. John Autin would have to be included.

    Timmy P.
    Thank you for introducing me to the Corilois effect. You’re one hell of a pisser.
    Thanx everyone else.
    I have to now go talk to my wife for 3 hours a night.

  73. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. I completely second Frank @61. You guys tell me the site, and how much you want, I'm there.

  75. Wow, this is really sad news.

  76. Frank Clingenpeel Says:


    If you need some support in setting up a site PLEASE count me in! Andy has my e-mail address, if you think I can indeed be of assistance.

  77. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    And Andy, you have my permission to foreward my e-mail to Dukeofflatbush if this is indeed the case!

  78. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Topper/66, I don't think you have any idea how much traffic the blog gets compared to the rest of the site. I don't either, but I don't think Sean's an idiot. He turned this site into a fulltime living. If this blog was driving a significant percentage of site traffic, I'm sure it wouldn't be on the way out.

    Anyway, I think you're very wrong about being able to easily find everything here somewhere else. I'm sure a lot of it you can, but no other site is so well-organized and complete and intuitive. Fangraphs is a great site but it is more of a niche site. B-R is the Macmillan Encyclopedia on steroids. This is the only place to get all the important statistical data, brilliantly hyperlinked into a web of wasted hours.


    I also add that the Netflix comparison is misguided, not only because this won't affect B-R to the same extent, but because I think Netflix has fallen victim to terrible PR more than any actual mismanagement (that's partly its own fault, but I believe if it had "controlled the message" better, there wouldn't be this huge backlash. From my perspective, Netflix is as useful a service as it was 6 months ago.)

  79. Ouch...just ouch. This hurts. I remember back in the days when the "blog" was tucked away in some back corner of the site, back when it was more of a stat-of-the-day format. Slowly over time, it became the great place it is today with stats, commentary, polls, predictions, and user-generated content. I'm going to miss this blog. It was a daily aside. It was an afternoon break from work (back when I had a job). Like many others have said, without this blog, my visits to this site will drop a lot. But by no means will I stop coming here.

    Thank you to all of the writers who contributed over the years, and all the regulars for providing insightful comments. I didn't comment on here much, and when I did it was usually something pointless about how bad the Indians are as an organization, but this blog felt like a community I was a part of. I'm going to miss it.

    (Without this blog how will I know when the Phillies are done?)

  80. I am very disappointed with this decision. I check in on the blog everyday and learned a lot about slicing and dicing statistics over the years. The humor of the blogs and from the commentators was also greatly appreciated.

    The writers helped bring numbers to life, allowed us to pause and look at a set of stats before we ran off to the next set of numbers and the next.

    Good luck to all the bloggers. You will be missed.

  81. dukeofflatbush Says:

    I just sent Andy a few links to some sites I’ve begun…
    Hopefully he can pass them along to you.
    The content of the sites I linked are not quite baseball themed, but the form and arrangement is what I wanted to show Andy.
    I think if Sean can allow us an easier way to link to his site instead of just pasting links, ‘we’ (I use that liberally) could handle the dead weight of the traffic Sean is trying to shed, but still allow him to have the pages with advertising (player pages) experiencing the traffic a lively debate will surely stir up. So it could be win/win for BBref. Sean can sustain the interest the blog generates to the player (advertised) page, while not carrying the dead weight of a bunch of knuckle headed nerds like us.
    As I told Andy, the only cost is to buy a Domain name.
    Easy enough.
    Feel free to email me if Andy is good enough to pass along my info… I’d rather not post it here.

  82. Thanks to Andy, Steve, Neil and Sean for their great articles and comments.

    Thanks to Twisto for his excellent comments and his knowledge.

    Thanks to John A for his excellent comments and articles.

    Thanks to Mike Felber for his excellent comments.

    Thanks to everyone for making this place a great experience!

  83. Yes I have no idea, I just assumed the guys all worked for site as computer geeks and then posted on the blog occasionally. I didn't think Andy or others were paid primarily for blog work (maybe that is also not true). I guess it seems like a 1 hr a day job rather than 8 hrs a day, and any extra time was put in because who wouldn't love to run a baseball blog as a hobby?

  84. Johnny Twisto Says:
  85. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Topper, to my knowledge, none of the bloggers actually work on the site itself (except for Neil Paine, who only blogged here rarely).

  86. Love all the support I'm seeing from my fellow B-R fans. It gives me hope for humanity yet! Just want to reiterate that I'd be willing to help in any way I can to keep this alive.

  87. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Where is Timmy P when we need him most?

  88. Thanks to Robert Moyer, Dukeofflatbush, BSK, Richard Chester and David RF.

  89. Thanks to Nash Bruce, Double Diamond, Frank Clingenpeel and Jeff T.

  90. Thanks to Neil L, Socgadfly, Todd, Timmy P, Max, Topper, Adam Darowski, Tristram and Solace.

  91. Thanks to Lawrence Azrin, Michael Sullivan, Hartvig, Cyril, and Mike Gaber.

  92. Johnny Twisto:

    That was my understanding as well. Which in my mind makes the decision all the more puzzling. If the bloggers aren't getting paid for their work, where's the harm in letting them continue here?

  93. Thanks to Kahuna Tuna, Birelcorn and Ed.

  94. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I believe they were getting paid (how much, I don't know). Just that they are not full-time B-R/Sports-Ref employees. They only contribute to the blog.


    Where is Timmy P when we need him most?

    Seriously. He and I had our squabbles, but for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed him as a poster. He had a unique voice, to be sure, and I will greatly miss his posts.

    Keep that heart strong and those pants off, Timmy boy.

  95. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Ed and Twisto,
    To have a real time blog like this one, that handles tons of traffic, that also links to your ‘mother’ site, takes up a lot of space. Space means servers and servers means money. Since we have always had the privilege granted by Sean of not having to deal with ads, that meant more money spent for essentially a free service. Granted an argument can be made that our discussions generated hits back to the advertised (player) pages, I guess it was not enough to warrant continuation. It also could be the demographic we are in. You be surprised of how much info companies can skim off of something as simple as your email address. Not that I’m saying BBref does that, but some of their sponsors might. So the hits from ‘us’ might not be counted as ‘unique’ hits, which is what advertisers are looking for. We see the player pages so often, we are essentially blind or desensitized to an ad. Or like I said, the information accumulated by ad companies from your email address is unbelievable, and it could be guys who spend an hour a day on a baseball site, might not appeal to some advertisers.

    Thanx John Q. A pleasure on this side as well.

  96. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    This makes me so sad I can't even come up with a decent list! (-;þ

    Sean has given us a wonderful sandbox to play in these many years. I'm not going to protest his decision, but I do want to know where all you great posters go so I can keep talking baseball with you. Keep your B-Ref names if you can!

    Final story, I guess: I've been blessed recently to have a professor at seminary who is a SABR member. He must be one of very few people who can both discuss Hincmar and Bishop Meletius and reminisce about Emmett Ashford and Johnny Hodapp. Wonderful man.

    'Course, if there's anyone else who can do that, he probably posted here. Thanks, everyone, for your civility, intelligence, humor, and love of the game.

  97. Sean Forman Says:

    I'll clarify a couple of things since they've come up repeatedly. Neil is a full-time employee of Sports Reference (we have four including myself). If you've sent in a bug in the last two years, Neil has answered it.

    Andy, Steve, and Raphy were hired a couple of years ago to provide content in support of the Play Index, so we could sell more subs (and they've done a good job). And they get paid some money to provide the content.

    Overall, the blog accounts for around 1% of all of the traffic on, and about half of that is for archived posts. That is a nice amount of traffic for a site of this size, but as I said in the post above, we really want to focus on providing data and not editorial.

    Our goal is to allow anyone to look up whatever stats they want. So if you want to find something out and share it with others, you can do so on our site.

    We'll certainly link out from here to any future projects that arise out of folks who worked on the blog.

  98. dukeofflatbush Says:

    I still recall his Uncle, Big Mac, running amok with the ladies of europe and his possible connections to Rikalbert ‘Zeist”.

  99. Not only did this blog provide daily entertainment for hundreds of baseball fans, but it also taught us how to access the statistical data that you put so much effort into producing. Without the interesting searches your bloggers provided I never would have realized the potential power of this database.

    Thanks guys... In all my years of surfing the net this is the ONLY blog that I read on a regular basis.

  100. Thomas Court Says:

    Gosh, I don't know what to say...

    I came to this site alot before I even clicked on my first blog post. I enjoyed the blogs very much. You could actually read ALL of the comments on a thread, and actually get intelligent responses to your posts, It's a shame it has to end this way... especially if it was not a financial decision.

    I will still come here because of the wealth of information that is available here. But I will miss the commentary, humor and even feeling of family that could be found on the blog.

  101. As a fan, boo. BOO.

    As a businessman, I guess I understand: focus is key, especially for small businesses. However, what I don't understand: what could happen/change to reverse this decision? Not to get all "O Captain, My Captain" about it, but I think we'd all really appreciate the ability to at least make overtures to keep this going.

    So then, what would need to happen, even in a perfect world, to keep this blog running with minimal interruption?

    Whatever the case, I have nothing but an immeasurable level of thanks to the entire B-R crew, matched perhaps only by the level of sadness that I will no longer have a chance to read their daily offerings.

  102. Thanks to Raphy, Kahuna Tuna, Thomas Court, Devon, Mik, and Gerry.

  103. Thomas Court Says:

    Thank you John Q...

    and thank you to all of the "late night" posters... this blog, and this site gave me, and will continue to give me an outlet for downtime during my 11-7 shift.

  104. Richard Chester Says:


    And of course thanks to you John Q.

  105. So is the problem the blog size or paying Andy, Steve and Raphy?

    Were you paying John A? Could he stay on and provide his usual excellent work?

  106. Wow. I may not have posted on here often, but I definitely checked in often to see what people far more educated, or at least better at expressing their opinions, think and can interpret about a silly round ball being hit by a wooden stick.

    I don't read blogs, but I read this one. I especially don't comment on blogs or posts, but I did this one. And most of all, I don't enjoy either of those things. But I enjoyed the hell out of myself on this blog.

    Thanks for everything, and yes, please link whenever possible so I can follow the guys wherever they may go.

    Say it ain't so. Sure, I love all the stats here, but the blog is the reason I come by four, five, six times a day. The writers are amazing, the information is intriguing, and the commentors and discussions are lively and educated. Again, the whole site is awesome, but the blog is the best thing going, focus is good, but this is a mistake.

  108. SocraticGadfly Says:

    NOOOOOOOO is right!

    I second everybody else who mourns this decision while hoping all of you are doing plenty of writing elsewhere and posting links here.

  109. SocraticGadfly Says:

    Maybe you all could combine with the guy who runs Cot's Contracts? Get more data here and also maybe keep some posting going? (For those of you who aren't familiar, Cot's Contracts is a go-to site for team contract dollars info, not just in the current year, but each team's "encumbrances" for the next five out-years.)

  110. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I had the unexpected honor of being mentioned by some of the posters here. Mike L, #7, thanks for your kind words. As for I guess I'm back to reading and writing about politics, it's a real cry for help, and I hope you don't give in to the voice of despair. (-;þ

    Mike Gaber, #21, God bless you in your fight. I hope you'll see dozens more alums make it to the majors. We want you around for a long time to come.

  111. Gentlemen, I make several proposals below. The outpouring of Blog community interest & affection is unusual,overwhelming, ironic, & can be a spring board for a Hendrexian (sic) light return or full on reincarnation.

    1) Let's all keep checking this thread to exchange info, until a different thread or other locale is found to communicate: & tip each other off where that is.

    2) DukeOfFlatbush has some capital idea(l)s! So much so I upgraded him with some actual caps 😉 Lets have him take the lead on his proposed transplant of content with hyperlinks back here.

    3) If folks are comfortable, let's exchange info. DOF: why don't you give out an E-Mail to have folks send you THEIR addresses? You can send out regular notes &/or a newsletter re: just what we will do where. I'll start, Anyone is welcome to write me.

    4) Let's get the heavy hitters amongst the commenters to be a main source of articles. And all of us can be encouraged to submit content.

    5) Yes, let's keep those who created & sustained this as free range writers.

    6) We can brainstorm & implement ways to keep intact & benefit our civil, intelligent, eccentric & full of bonhomie venture. With traffic & money.

    I thank all who have been mentioned above as great contributors. "Lurkers" is an unfairly negative term for those good souls who remain mostly or all quiet-your interest is touching. But we need your involvement, at least to travel with us & keep things interesting.

    This kind of comradely bonding over matters both academic & emotional is a rare thing! So let us together let us create something even more inspiring & rewarding..

    Who is with my 6-ish (to begin) point plan above?

  112. Mike Felber, that sounds like a winner!!
    Sending you my e-mail......

  113. @87 Duke- I'd noticed that as well, where the hell is he?!?!

  114. John Q, thank you :)

  115. very said, I wish I would have found you guys earlier, always loved to read the blog.

    thanks for everything and please go on with your great baseball data source

  116. @ Sean (97),

    I am publisher/owner of a similar site to yours - an overview site with a blog on the side. Only, we operate in an entirely different realm: interior design.

    We make money off our overview pages, and have an editorial blog on the side to drive traffic and "deepen" our brand.

    Don't underestimate the value of this second point. BB-Ref without the blog is very shallow and "faceless". You may call this focusing, I would call it limiting and dangerous in the long run... Other sites will copy your non-original content and start to attract readers because they'll start an editorial blog themselves.

    Of course, as a regular reader of this blog, I have an incentive to not understand this decision. :)

  117. Ugh. This blog is not only the reason I'm interested in baseball stats, it's the primary reason I'm interested in baseball. No joke. I come from a stats background. I learned how to write by copying box scores from sports pages. But I've grown up in Canada, where baseball is fairly low on the radar screen, if you don't have a reason to follow it.

    Then a few years ago I remember reading a great newspaper article about how stats are approaching the level of religion in sports, but most especially baseball. Then I found this site. Fun to look at, but as a non-fan you get your interest filled and worn out quickly - after a few weeks I was following only a couple of players I had a soft spot for.

    Then I found this blog. It filled out so much for me, had so much great analysis from both a statistical and simply a fan perspective of players who I was aware of for years as a casual follower of sports in general. Last year, when my friend lent me Ken Burns' series, I became super interested in the game, and this blog was the most dynamic and lively way for me to learn about both obscure and famous people/incidents in baseball history. With the thrilling stretch run and playoffs of this year, I can certainly say that although I enjoyed watching games, there is no one here (physically, in my friend group in my city) that I watch with, so this place was what I looked forward to in terms of reading what intelligent baseball fans thought. I posted very, very rarely, if only because I feel like I have no idea what the hell I'm talking about. But I'm learning.

    Thank you all for teaching me about the game. It's been a pleasure. The usual suspects mentioned by many above are, of course, the most memorable contributors, but I appreciated many moments and personalities here.

    This is like a punch in the gut for me. I'm confident that someplace can be found on the broad expanse of the internet for these passionate baseball people to put forth their arguments, and I'm encouraged that Sean has mentioned that they will certainly support/link to any site for that.

    Still, goddamn. Sean, I appreciate what you've achieved with this site, and in the abstract, I understand your decision, and that the reduction in my personal visitations to this site from 5 times a day to once every two weeks is no big deal in the grand scheme of the website. So that's fine, much respect. But if I may espouse the best qualities of passionate, heart-driven baseball fans that have existed for a century and a half, who boldly and loudly tear down the ones who were their heroes the day before, let me say this: yer a lousy, good fer nothin' bum!

  118. i dare to say, that this site is(was) responsible for about 1/4 of my online-time(others are and To understand that it´s important to know that i´m from germany, first time subscriber to mlb-league pass this year and daily-reader of this blog.

    i don´t know, why to visit that side again without any suggestions from this blog, so my usage of this site will reduce to research after something strange happens in a game, i´ve seen on mlb-tv(consecutive HBP or something like that)

    I AM a subscriber to the site and to 99% use my subscription to further look at some posted results in this blog and therefor would like to cancel my subscription due to lack of usefulness

    hopefully there will be something continuing this blog

    @#66 and @#97
    for me it´s true that the most traffic i produce is from the statistical site, but that´s true only because i have to load the blog site once, while i have to load stats every time i´ve seen something interesting to look after. Given a list of 20 players doing something special means loading one list(addfree), but looking at 10 of these players pages means loading 10 player-pages(advertised) so the traffic of 1% for the blog seems to be miscalculated.

    after all i think this was my last subscription to this site unless there is a blog equal to this linking to this site, so that i would need subscription.

    Schöne Grüße aus Deutschland


  119. i just woke up at 4 am and opened my cpu to see if this decision has been reversed. didnt check my email or facebook or the state of the world. came here. cant sleep now.

  120. OK--I am in the process of figuring things out, and as of right now I expect to launch a new external blog later today. Please check back here for more information.

    As far as the decision to close the blog here, it's not going to be reversed. Sean is a very thoughtful, balanced, and passionate guy. I know this decision was NOT made in haste, nor in a vacuum, and was made specifically with the larger goals for Baseball-Reference and all of Sports-Reference in mind. Much of the speculation above about money and web site hits is totally wrong. The truth is that this blog represents a very small fraction of B-R's business, even though those of us who visit every day are quite passionate. For every time you looked at this blog, there were about 100 people looking at other pages on the site who never even read the blog.

    Anyway, please check back later today for more info on my new writing location.

  121. Thanks Andy. For clarifying, for planning the future and, of course, for the writing. :-)

  122. Joe Garrison Says:

    Andy, thanks for the clarification.

    The best site I have found for similar content is:

    Visitors can create their own threads and reply in others.

    I am passing this along as an FYI to the others.

    There are of course other sites, but that one and THIS one are the two I frequent most often.

    As a side note, the Sports Staff at the Williamsport Sun Gazette newspaper will often use the PI information posted here as part of their daily trivia question... as an example... name the pitcher who threw in all seven games of a World Series. The turnaround on "borrowing" such factoids is about three days.


    If time is the issue, why not let more people start topics?
    Or is this a control issue?
    Why not use a few volunteers to monitor the responses?

    If so many people care, then some of them can help, no?

  123. Whaaaa? In the words of Officer Candidate Zach Mayo "I got no place else to go". I've been kicked off almost all decent political blogs, and this is the only non-political place I go. I love the stats, but nothing can replace HoF debates and this was the place to go, the only place! All the writers here were great, and super smart, albeit sometimes a little too sensitive. I won't pretend to know another man's business, but I can't imagine the cost being that prohibitive. Well good luck to all and if you're ever in Wahoo Nebraska stop at the Wahoo Sam Crawford ball field. If your ever in Boys Town, behave and they'll let you out when you turn 18. Coriolis force, Jack Morris, Damon, Zambrano, Mike Young, the Milwaukee Police Department, guess I'll have bug someone else.

  124. Jacob (116) brings up a pretty good point. What this blog has done is allowed us to (at least feel like we) "know" some of the folks behind B-R. That's important. The blog isn't the only way to do that, of course (perhaps Twitter would be less of a burden). But it's certainly a point worth bringing up and repeating.

  125. Douglas Murphy Says:

    Thanks to all who contributed. This blog was great while it lived.

  126. @DOF. The br people have my email , obviously , and this post is my authorization to give it to you for your proposed new sit , which I WILL support. Not computer literate enough to know another way to give you my email, but willing to take instruction. let's keep it going.

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


  128. As usual I post before I read what everyone else has to say. Take care Duke, everyone knows Duke Snider was great and tax evasion is not a real crime, I've done worse. Twisto I could tell you're super smart because of the very short time it took you to spot my B.S., I couldn't get anything past you. Andy, besides being intelligent, I imagine you being a kind soul and thanks for not banning me. John Autin I doubt anybody loves baseball as much as you, and you're a fantastic writer, and thanks for not banning me. Nash take care, and I like your idea about selling t-shirts. Robert Moyer thanks for the kind words. Lawrence, Voomo, and Howard you always had great points worth reading. Sorry if I insulted anyone, I thought it was clear I was the one to be poked fun at. BSK remember, I grew up in Boys Town, and if you know anything about Boys Town you know I ate, roomed, played ball, showered, laughed, cried and did everything else with kids of every race. Everyone of those guys is considered my brother regardless of what color they are, remember our motto He ain't heavy, he's my brother .

  129. Me 128th.

    I've thought the stats on the Sports-Reference blogs were one of the greatest things the internet ever produced, but without the commentary they'll just be a bunch of numbers.

    That said I'm just a random and can't possibly know what's going on inside the machine. Maybe you're right that the thing has reached a natural jumping off point; I'll keep following some of the numbers but it won't be nearly as much fun, and I'm not particularly interested in scouting out all the other blogs.

    Thanks and good luck to all...

  130. E 129, apparently...

  131. bluejaysstatsgeek Says:

    As the French say, "au revoir".

    Let's just look at it this way: The bar, coffee shop or park bench where we have been hanging out and chatting is no longer there for us, so we find another place. I'll see you guys at the new place.

    But Timmy P? Sure, brother, pull up a seat and make me laugh!

    Sean: Thanks for hosting us for all this time. The best of luck with the refocused BR.

  132. A few things
    @97, Sean, thanks for the explanations and graciousness with regard to the data.
    @110, Tuna-baseball and politics are the great American past-times. I manage and write for a political blog, but I need the entertainment and greater degree of sanity you see on this one
    @111, Mike F., solid thoughts
    @120, Andy, I won't speak for everyone, but it's great you are starting up an alternate blog

    A couple of comments
    Sean and Andy-can we start a clean post with info about the external blog-there are nearly 130 posts on this one (many of them mournful), and a pure info one would be helpful
    Andy-I'm assuming you will be both the Administrator and first Author for your new blog. For those who don't do this, when one of us posts a comment, we are just commenting, not writing a new post. "Authors" write new posts, and by that, they define the perameters of the next discussion. Blogspot will allow you up to 100 "authors", but to have sanity/clarity, you have to have a more limited number to have coherent voices.

    Thanks to all for the enormous energy.

    keep going, guys

  133. Andy: Great to hear you are working on an alternative site. I'd be happy to help with doing some posting, on a totally volunteer basis, if that would help keep things going. There are lots of talented commenters (and readers) here who I'm sure would be willing to contribute posts from time to time. I'm also happy to chip in to help defray costs if needed.

  134. Not understanding how removing the best feature can add to the quality of a site. Can't we run a page sponsorship pledge drive if money is the issue? I'm sure there are some terrible 1980s players we'd all pay up for.

  135. I've written Sean and Andy, but I wanted to chime in here as well.

    I'd like to offer to transplant the B-R blog to a new home and let it continue effectively "as is" with minimal disruption. I run a hosting company that happens to have some resources just lying around in our Los Angeles data center, and I would love if they could be put to use to help out my all-time favorite blog. I realize that is a bit presumptive, as I suspect I don't necessarily understand the full extent of the blog's needs. Maybe this provides little more WPA (!) than an intentional walk when runners are already at 2nd and 3rd and we're only down by 1. Or maybe this might remove a rather thorny impediment to moving forward... so I just wanted to throw it out there.

    Sure, it would be possible to follow each of the writers to his new home. But if the problem is simply that B-R doesn't want to focus on editorial content, and I can pretty easily enable that editorial content, why shouldn't I at least try to do so and keep the B-R blog (rather than 4-5 similar yet distinct iterations) going?

    My email address is B-R peeps--anyone, really, who is interested in this sort of solution--please feel free to contact me.

  136. Long time reader, first post...

    Sorry to see this. Sounds like a bad idea to me. Blogs with good content, active readership, and the ability to make their parent site more useful to readers are damn near non-existent. And you guys have one that does all of those things and has an awesome community adding value on top of it.

    I can't imagine that the scant cost of posting editorial content every few days outweighs the benefits that much.

    Also hope this isn't going to affect the blog. Haven't been over there in awhile w/ the NBA lockout, but it looks like blog content isn't available over there either.

    Too bad.

  137. Pcg, I got your email and have responded. Update as of 11AM this morning, I have registered a new domain name and am setting up the new blog right now. I also have secured an agreement from one of our other writers here to come with me--just waiting for his approval to announce it. So don't worry, I think we'll get this thing set up elsewhere essentially intact.

  138. I am very saddened by this news. As a Brit who has been following baseball casually since 2002, the six months I have spent reading this blog have increased my knowledge of the game immeasurably. The blogs and comments on this site are among the most intelligent and informative I have come across on the internet. I will miss visiting this website every day, but look forward to following any new ventures Andy, John Autin et al may set up.

    Signed, a disappointed baseball fan.

  139. Update: John Autin has agreed to come with me to the new blog. I'm working on other folks as well.

  140. Chuck Hildebrandt Says:


    Andy, if the issue is not at all about money (budget, resource allocation, etc.), then the decision to shut down the blog makes less sense than ever. After all, if money is not an issue, what does it hurt to maintain the blog that, as you can see, has a substantial, passionate and devoted following? The only other reason I can imagine is that the blog either reflected badly on the rest of the site, or negatively impacted the performance of the other parts of the site, and I cannot see how that could possibly be the case.

    I'm struggling to make sense of this decision outside of reasons pertaining to budget or resource allocation. Maybe it doesn't have to make sense to me in the big scheme of things, but I have to say, absent a more specific explanation of exactly why the blog must be shut down, it feels a little strange.

  141. Chuck, I will have to let Sean address that if he chooses. When I say that it's not financial, what I really mean is that the blog is not meant to be a major financial component of the site--as far as I understand it, the site makes revenue in other ways. (I am not involved in any of that so my knowledge is only based on things I have been told by the powers-that-be.) So, it does not make sense for the blog to be invested in. I am sure there are costs associated with running the blog, so perhaps it can be looked at as a resource allocation issue, in fact.

    Just to put a bit of a finer point on it--the entire site has more than 100,000 visitors a day. (I do not know the exact stats so don't take that number as gospel--but I know the viewership is over 6 figures). The blog, on a great day, gets maybe 200 comments, and somewhat more views than that. It represents a very small fraction of the activity here.

    Anyway, lament no more--we'll be up and running elsewhere before the day is through.

  142. Richard Chester Says:


    That's great news!

  143. Apologies for not reading everything all the way through. Just a knee-jerk reaction on my part to a real "bummer." I'll still come here for the stats, of course.

  144. @141
    We are the 1%!

  145. @144 LOL, excellent

  146. Sean Forman Says:

    Chuck and others @140,

    I appreciate and I'm sorry for the disappointment over the demise for the blog, but this is a trade off I felt was needed. It's not in any way an indictment of the blog or the writers or the audience. We just have priorities that are higher on the list than operating a blog.

    The cost of the blogs, paying the writers, paying our sys admin to upgrade the blogging software, maintaining other code that interacts with the blog software is significant. Not huge, but significant.

    Also our company has been maintaining seven different blog installs two of which were active blogs so all of that effort is multiplied by 2-3x. I probably spend 20-30 hours a year on blog stuff. Getting hours and paying folks, handling requests for various word press plugins, modifying page templates, dealing with user moderations and general disgruntlement.

    Not a lot of time, but given that the blog generates about 0.5% of our overall revenue, it really doesn't make sense for it to be a point of emphasis for us. Additionally, there are a number of other behind the scenes changes we are also making to drop some other activities that we do not see as core to our business. Taken as a group, the change is significant. We do not intend to stop educating users about our features and offerings, but the form they take will change.

    Also, Andy and company have been coming to me with potential improvements and changes to the blog for years now and I've largely had to blow them off, because the payoff isn't there for SR to invest more time into it. So I'm excited to see what Andy and company come up with. Putting the blog into a situation where it is priority #1 instead of priority #20 will likely make for a much better product. IMO.

  147. @20 "Now where will I find out exactly how much people hate Joe Carter?"

    Go to Philly.
    Well, I hear they hate other things too

  148. @144


  149. Dam, I didnt post much in the comments, but I always enjoyed all the articles.
    I guess I'm relegated solely to fan graphs articles

  150. Wow, this is terrible news. I have learned so much from all the contributors and posters here.

    I felt like the blog brought the stats to life...the stories behind the numbers. I learned about so many players and/or situations that I never would have otherwise.

    Thanks to all who have made the blog what is was...please post something here if the blog is relocated somewhere else! I'm not really sure what else to say right about now...

  151. ummmmmm...what?!?

  152. Very sad...

    (I don't have much to say... I'm just subscribing to this thread, anxiously awaiting the URL where I can get Andy/Autin/maybe-others goodness...)

  153. Richard Chester Says:


    This reminds me of what once happened with Star Trek. A small but dedicated knot of enthusiastic people brought it back to life after it was first cancelled..

  154. This site always reminded me of the many hours of a mis spent
    youth, looking at the back of baseball cards.

    And then I discovered the blog about two years ago.

    Always enjoyed reading the comments and sometimes commenting.

    I look forward to Andy and John's new venture.

  155. I'm going to miss this blog. And you're going to get a lot less web traffic.

    But I'm sure you figured that into making your decision.

    Thanks for hosting it all these years.

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

    It's here:

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


  157. @156 Already top of the favourites list, Andy. Thanks. And with that, I will return to baseball reference about . . .April.

  158. I feel it necessary to reiterate that I agree with Sean's decision to close the blog here. He gave the blog a wonderful home for years, and it would never have been as successful as it was without the tremendous B-R platform to sit upon. I have branched out like this with Sean's blessing and have nothing but fond feelings towards him and this site.

  159. Good luck with the new blog, guys.

  160. @158: We can all see that, Andy. We can see there are no hard feelings, from you or any of the other contributors. You all seem effusive in your praise and appreciation, for both Sean and bbref. It speaks well of Sean.

    Nonetheless, Solace's point stands. (I won't speak for Solace, but for me, it stands without malice.) A baseball website with a statistic database and a blog -- particularly for us devoted followers -- can drive traffic to the site every day, even during the offseason. But one with just the stats, and no reading content? I'm not sure how much traffic it can generate. (I'm sure Sean's looked into this: I'm just speaking from my perspective.)

    And I'm a regular subcriber to P-I and a major stathead.

  161. Johnny Twisto Says:

    B-R got plenty of traffic before the blog began. It's got 10X as much information now as it did then. Honestly I can't even remember what my life was like before B-R existed. I'm sad the blog has been excised, but I assume (and hope) B-R will continue to thrive and be around forever. We'll see how Andy's new venture works out. It would be great if the Brefren community mostly migrated over there. Now, to take my first peek...

  162. Chuck Hildebrandt Says:


    Sean, thanks for the more detailed explanation. Now I see better where it makes more business sense, particularly the point in which improvements could not be made to the blog because of priorities.

    Looking forward to see what user improvements might come up at a post-blog S-R. Soccer-Reference, anyone? 😉

  163. I totally understand the decision, and I will pose no further argument against it, but from a personal standpoint, this is (and I say this literally and with great pains) the saddest news I've heard... at least this week, perhaps longer. This blog is one of my most-visited pages on the net, period. I am always intrigued and informed by your ("your" meaning "the entire b-r staff's") posts, and as a professional sports statistician, I certainly marvel at your methods of breaking down and deciphering the numbers behind the game. I will miss this blog terribly, and- when the money and time are there- I hope it returns. I honestly can't say I will check the site as a whole to the extent that I did before, but I can definitely say that it is an invaluable resource for which I am very thankful. Alas, life (or, at least, my time spend on the web) will not be the same without the blog.

  164. Great news & new look! Thanks for doing this Andy: though we all love it here, i know it is a demanding labor of love for you.

    OK, others here (& going to with us): want to have your articles in print? I have been talking to the guys at for years. They are set with administrators, but there is currently an opportunity to submit articles, & make 'em interesting & decent-like most all here do-you can get them up on the web site & see & join often loooong threads discussing them.

    Both these gentleman explicitly welcome articles. The Young (yet well tempered) Turk John Bowen, Many of you know Chuck, a highly experienced professional baseball man from playing to scouting, coaching writing-that Silverback is not a Saber supporter, but will post good pieces of any Provence:

    Andy, tell me if it is cool to also inquire on your new site if folks want to cross-pollinate/contribute to too.

  165. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Johnny Twisto,

    I got to know…
    I always surmised you were a New York area guy, but my best bet put you in Queens… my gut says Whitestone or Bayside. Am I warm? I was convinced for a while you were an alter ego for Phil Mushnick, then I saw you were not a whiny a-hole, but I still wouldn’t be surprised if you were a Post or News beat writer, just the perfect combo of cynicism, sarcasm, ego and the knowledge to back it all up. Either way, good to have known (not really) you...

    Timmy P.

    I say start an absurdist baseball site. Think of it as Foolishness of Dreams… ‘if you annoy, they will come…’
    In all seriousness, comedic, irreverent, absurdism seems to be in your veins (I already have suspicions you are a comedy writer, perhaps semi-famous -SNL), but write something akin to the ONION NEWS NETWORK, but for baseball. And do it with your pants off.

  166. I should clear something up. At Miller Park and at Metrodome, you can go to a baseball game while it's raining outside. Especially in the spring it can actually be raining pretty hard outside, and you go inside to watch the game. If it looked like it was going to rain I would put on some of those plastic looking athletic pants over a pair of golf shorts for the long walk into the ballpark. That way you don't have to sit in wet pants while the game is going on. So I would get to my seat and take the sweat pants off. I went to Metrodome often and always sat in the cheap seats up by the dirty roof. If it was raining or cold I would take my jacket or sweat pants and put them in the seat next to me. There were always plenty of empty seats near the rafters of Metrodome. On my first trip to Miller Park it was raining so I put on some of those plastic type sweat pants and walked inside. Well, I was late to the game because I screwed up the start time and by the time I get to my seat the games been going on for an hour. This seat is actually a pretty good seat, and I'm surrounded by regular citizens of Wisconsin instead of the bums and college kids section at Metrodome I usually sit in. Anyway I get to my seat at Miller Park and the games in the 4th inning and I'm soaking wet and dripping all over Brewers fans as I squeeze into my seat wearing a blue #38 Cubs Jersey. The Brewers fans are already crying about me getting them all wet, when I stand up to take off my sweat pants and water goes everywhere. We were off to a bad start in Milwaukee and things only got worse. Just wanted to let everyone know that despite my bad manners and poor judgement, even I would not remove my trousers during a baseball game, in the stadium.

  167. @165 - I'm just a regular guy Duke, self educated, curious, and love baseball. As I mentioned above I had a lot of brothers, and humor always got us through. Needless to say humor among brothers can get pretty rowdy. Take care!

  168. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Duke, that you considered for a even a split second I might be Phil Mushnick could be grounds for me to retract any compliments I've ever given you. I'm just glad you didn't say Mike Lupica.

    Instead, I'll just punish you by not yet revealing my location (or my secret identity) (if I have one). New York area is correct. It's not Whitestone, Bayside, or even Park Slope.

    I actually sent Mushnick an email once. He was complaining (of course) about how bad NBA foul shooting had become. I sent him the stats (from good old showing NBA foul shooting had been essentially unchanged for 40 years. He didn't respond.

    Anyway, no reason to give up on (not really) knowing me.....make the move to Andy's new site. At least until we all decide the scene ain't really happening over there.

  169. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Timmy/166, I'm rather disappointed in the somewhat mundane truth behind your pants removal. I'd rather have believed the legend.

    Regardless, you too should migrate to the new site!

  170. Well this sucks, this is the only blog Ive ever followed or wrote on, I could talk all day about baseball but have no one around me thats any where near the level of baseball nerd that I am, hopefully seeing all these posts here will make you guys reconsider. By the way thanks for having the most comprehensive stats and bios anywhere, I made all All-Time rosters on MVP 05 and never wouldve been able to do it as well without this site, having players numbers and the bios that included pitchers repertoires, awesome stuff you guys have here.

  171. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    This is terribly disappointing. I will follow the writers to highheatstats, but it will take a lot to get the kind of audience that this site has had where people who dropped in to look at some stats would see a blog to check on. That's how I got here a few years ago.

    This is one of the great blogs I've found, and I have always enjoyed the headline writers, and so many of the commenters. Thanks to everyone, and thanks for the shoutouts by JT and JQ, both of whom I always sought out in the comments section (along with many others) whenever I couldn't read everything.

  172. @164, I'm a Turk? Huh?

    But yeah, feel free to submit anything to me over at DC.

  173. WHY???

    This makes no sense.

    This is the best, most civilized, educated blog I read.

    Why do this?

  174. Sean from post 97:

    "Overall, the blog accounts for around 1% of all of the traffic on, and about half of that is for archived posts. That is a nice amount of traffic for a site of this size, but as I said in the post above, we really want to focus on providing data and not editorial.

    Our goal is to allow anyone to look up whatever stats they want. So if you want to find something out and share it with others, you can do so on our site."

    This blog is an amazing source of quality that costs you almost nothing. And I've yet to hear anything remotely resembling a compelling reason to eliminate it.

    This blog ADDS credence and perspective to your stats and numbers.

    This move would be akin to newspapers removing editorial pages because of limited readership. (A very small percentage of newspaper readers read the editorials. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15%.) But, these are the KEY readers. The people of sway and influence. The connectors of society. And the same can be said of your blog posters and readers.

    John Autin, for instance, is an amazing writer who apparently provides his perspective for the love of it. How in the world does a forum for his words impede BRs ability to "allow anyone to look up whatever stats they want"?

    Sean, I obviously have little to no idea of your business. But this is an unbelievably bad decision and one I hope you will reconsider within a wider context of your online baseball community.

  175. "Sean, I obviously have little to no idea of your business"

    Or, business in general.

    The blog takes time and space. Looking to increase stat content for individual or groups WHO WILL ACTUALLY PAY FOR IT means the blog goes.

    Andy made a great point the other day on one of these eulogy posts about his own realization the blog had run it's course when he read the responses to his David Freese WPA article.

    Rinse, Wash, Repeat.

    It's rare a blog has this loyal a following, but it's even rarer for a blog to last as long as this one did.

    Sean ended a blog, he didn't run over your dog.

    Respect his decision and move on.

  176. Sean Forman Says:

    This move would be akin to newspapers removing editorial pages because of limited readership. (A very small percentage of newspaper readers read the editorials. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15%.) But, these are the KEY readers. The people of sway and influence. The connectors of society. And the same can be said of your blog posters and readers.


    I appreciate your comments, but I obviously disagree with your assessment. We've gone down this same path in football and basketball and our growth numbers are very strong. It's entirely possible this is a mistake, and if traffic craters because of this we'll obviously reverse course next spring.

    I will say that I was amused that you chose a newspaper analogy as an example of a well-run business given that probably half of all American newspapers will be out of business or dramatically restructured in the next five years.

  177. My two cents....I think the "failure" of the blog was one of marketing. It clearly wasn't a content issue. Sean indicated that the blog only generated 1% of baseball reference page views. But I think that's because most baseball reference users had no idea that the blog even existed. Sure it's on the front page but it's also easy to overlook. Personally I used baseball reference for quite some time before I became aware of the blog. I'll bet that's true of lots of other users as well. With better marketing, I'll bet the blog could have generated upwards of 5% of page views (and that's not counting all the clicks to other baseball reference pages that blog commenters do while researching their comment).

  178. Re: 177...

    ... which could be an argument against AND FOR the blog's retirement. Marketing the blog is an additional expense, and blog-marketing, SEO, etc., is possibly (probably?) something Sean has no resources for, or expertise in. It's not an easy thing to drive traffic.

    The rest of the site needs relatively little marketing: bbref is the greatest baseball-statistics source in this quadrant of the galaxy.

    I wonder if Sean has any thoughts on replacing the blog. There's certainly precedent for providing non-original content from your site. (Google, anyone?) We already have "Player News" sections on player pages. Something similar from the home page, and other pages? Could still make bbref a regular-daily-routine kinda site.

    Also... 177+ posts? This has gotta be one of the longest-running threads in bbref-blog history. Sadly ironic...

  179. @146
    Sean, the blog may generate just 1% of your traffic and only 0.5% of your revenue, but you may be seriously underestimating the extent to which it drives trafffic to player pages. I can't tell you how many times I''ve read a blog post, clicked through to a player, which got me thinking about another player, and so on...An hour later and 30 player/team clicks later, I snap out of it and get back to work.

    At a minimum, your decision may make me a more productive employee.

  180. @179 "At a minimum, your decision may make me a more productive employee."

    I *HATE* it when that happens

  181. @178 True though perhaps it's more of a visibility issue than a marketing issue. Anyway, I think the blog could have been a fantastic money maker if it had been handled better/differently.

  182. @179

    I agree though I doubt Sean has any way of figuring that out so all he can go by is the visitors to the blog itself.

  183. bbref uses Google Analytics: I can see it in the page source.

    It's been a long time since I peeked into the GA console, but I'm pretty sure you can track users' travel across your site with that tool.

  184. The comments on this blog are some to the most reasonable, yet provocative commentary on the web. I doubt there are many other sights that have the collective brain power this one does as related to its subject material (baseball). Over the last several months there has been instances of folks straying off of baseball and on to other topics. That hasn't played into your decision making has it Sean?

  185. I'm torn as to whether the blogs would have benefitted from better marketing.

    I shared the experience Ed described @177. When I first discovered B-R a few years ago, I was so thrilled with the stats -- and then the Play Index -- that it was a long time before I even bothered to click on any of the ancillary stuff.

    Further, my limited experience of blogs in general did not lead me to seek participation; so much shouting, so much vitriol, so little interest in facts or in listening. When I did finally check out the B-R blogs, I found them to be one of the few that mainly featured meaningful discussion and debate.

    But there's the rub, as far as marketing goes: As you reach more people, you're bound to get more obnoxious screamers -- and for me, it only takes a few of those to sour the whole experience.

  186. In conclusion ...

    I'll always be grateful for the time I had as a writer on B-R. And no matter how smooth our community's transition to High Heat Stats, I'll miss being proudly affiliated with the best source of baseball information there ever has been. Although I've always written for the fun of the conversation, I'll admit feeling satisfaction when I saw my work quoted as "According to John Autin of Baseball-Reference..."; that won't feel the same with any other affiliation, if it even happens at all.

    But enough with the mourning, already -- now it's time to organize!

  187. dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ John Autin,

    Hope you will read this last one.
    I totally agree with you that any forum, especially a sports forum, attracts cretins, whose debating style is to say “X” sucks, because “Y” rules…
    Baseball Reference certainly did not have that, but I believe the chicken came before the egg on that one.
    Most meatheads couldn’t figure out complex metrics, so they tired of the usual fanboy attitude of other blogs. Even for me, a life long baseball enthusiast with a bit of self restraint and respect for opinions I may not agree with and the openness to hear out an argument, even I had trouble catching on to the lingo and the ‘hard-fact’ approach to this site. It’s regulars are so far and above standard fandom in not only knowledge of baseball but the application of those stats. I truly believe we had no (or few) idiots bickering, was the fact we went over the heads of people cut from that cloth.
    So as much as we advertise or generate a larger fan base, the BARROOM mentality will bore too easily and drop out of the discussions and eventually the blog itself. If you noticed while you were writing, it was basically the same 20 guys with 10-15 new posters, who seemed to have watched our style of talk before jumping in and contributed well.
    I guess a good analogy would be a high class bar. The owner might feel he’d attract a bad element and loose the ‘good’ customers, but keep prices high, keep pop music off the jukebox, take Bud and Coors light off the tap, and require some etiquette or manner based rules, and the knuckle heads will censor themselves.
    As for people who sneak in to just bust up a good talk; keep a strict three strikes and your out policy, based not on a screen name, but on the users email address, so the guy can’t just re-up with a new name. Say you Andy and Ralph can vote someone off the island and weed out the idiots, and I believe if the blog has or gets a reputation for intelligent no nonsense posts or trolls, you’d end up attracting more and more of the very people you’d want. Like you said, at first you were reticent (as I think most of us were to post here due to other blogs low IQ), so if the site has a reputation within the baseball community as being serious and smart, that’s who’ll come.
    Kinda, "if you build it, they will come.”
    Really looking forward to your stuff.
    Good luck

  188. Wow. Disappointed. Sad. Maybe even a little mad. But that's the way it goes...Thanks for everything writers. Enjoyed the heck out of your stuff.

  189. massively disappointing...the only laymans statistical analysis out there that i know of...

  190. Sean (@ 176),

    Firstly I want to apologize for my abruptness and rudeness. Please know that I value appreciate all the work that you and your staff invest in this site.

    I anticipated and understand your take on the newspapers. I debated as to whether to use the analogy because of how newspapers have changed, are evolving and disappearing. A weakened press hurts us, but that is a debate for another place and time.

    But that wasn't the point of the analogy, was it? The point is this blog participants are the exact people you want here. They build your community. They put a voice and flavor to your numbers. They are the "face" of BR.

    The other, more simple analogy I was going to use was New Coke. New Coke seemed to be a GREAT idea. Taste test after taste test proved that New Coke tasted better than old Coke. This was well thought out and considered. By a huge corporation. Had to make sense, right? Think about that.

    And yet, it was a complete, total failure. Because the Coke executives were not putting the decision in proper perspective. They gave little consideration to consumer loyalty (fierce loyalty). And the taste tests were flawed. They did not take into account how people drink soft drinks. The taste tests were just that. Just a taste. For such a small amount, the sweeter, flatter New Coke hit people more favorably. But, when you get to real world usage, where people drink 12 oz., 24 oz., 36 oz. and more at a time, the sweet taste became cloying and unappealing. How could the execs at Coca Cola miss that? It was a huge decision that had a devastating outcome.

    I don't think you will even notice the effect of eliminating this blog on B-R. I'm not saying that. But I am saying, this is a mistake on the order of New Coke. You are missing something that is huge, tremendously meaningful, and is right in front of you. If could just reframe the question, consider this in a larger picture outside of world of page views.

    Thank you for reading these responses and participating in this discussion. That is real stand-up thing to do.

  191. John A @ 185,

    Your writing is outstanding and I'm looking forward to following your efforts over at High Heat.

    I agree with you (and Ed) about the normal ignorant flaming input of the usual blog participants. Sound and the fury. It is extremely off-putting.

    I've seen those people here from time to time. But, they never are engaged. And go away soon enough. Takes two to sustain that. Does that methodology scale up to larger numbers of participants? I'm not sure. But there is something about decorum here that people sense. And they adapt themselves to it.

    I am certain that this was not a failure. This is the biggest success of Web 2.0 (quality user-generated content) that I can think of.

    While I don't think B-R will miss the loss of traffic, I am sure that the blog generates far more player stat page views than they realize.

  192. The last couple of posts here make sense. Perhaps even without a major stall in traffic a Blog can be reincarnated here in the future. But thanks for what he have had here & what is going on at the new High heat Web Site. A bunch have come over there: everyone else, migrate! And feel free to check out dugout

  193. @187, Duke (if you're still listening here) -- So, um ... maybe I really did kill the B-R blog with my snooty fact-based approach? :)

    But seriously, I think your analysis there was good. And maybe one reason for the hot-air quotient of so many comments on, say, ESPN's SweetSpot, is that the author rarely talks back; it becomes like a junior high schoolroom when the teacher steps out. I think the level of engagement of our writers, as well as the core commenters, usually keeps the conversation in a mode that we're happy with.

    P.S. My home computer is on the fritz, which is why I haven't actually written anything for High Heat yet. Hopefully I can get that fixed this weekend.

  194. It's sort of a vicious cycle. As an author, reading and responding to the comments here (and on High Heat Stats) is almost uniformly a pleasure, even if those comments are correctly my mistakes. On bigger forums (such as the NYT website) it's a lot less pleasant. When I wrote the piece about one game meaning little for Strasburg, their web site was littered with comments like "You'll see Andy's picture next to the word dumbass in the dictionary." There's not a lot you can do with that as an author...then when you don't respond, it just goes downhill from there. I saw Sean attempt to respond once and got flamed even more.

  195. What a big disappointment :(

    Though I only post here from time to time, I've been a regular reader of the blog for quite a while now. I'll miss it. Like many others who have posted, I'll still come to the site now and then...but it will be far, far less often. I guess I have room for another website to take over the first spot on my Favorites bar now, as there's no need for me to keep this as a featured site any longer unfortunately.

  196. I don't know about the rest of you, but the closing of this blog is probably the best thing that has ever happened to me.

    Since I started reading this blog, I have gotten divorced, received a "notice of discipline" at work, and spent hundreds if not thousands of hours reading blog posts when I should have been sleeping, mowing the lawn or perhaps cleaning out my gutters.

    So, I'm saddened by this news, but it's probably all for the best.


  197. I hope you will come over to High Heat Stats so we can further ruin your life. :)

  198. This is a terrible disappointment. If I knew what was replacing this wonderful blog, I might be somewhat mollified. But it's hard for me to imagine anything quite like the B-R blog for fun and enlightenment. Is it possible that popular acclaim and consternation might cause you to change your mind?

  199. Tom, that's not how Sean works...he's very thorough and methodical. This is an enterprise-wide decision. See my post 197 for a link to the replacement.

  200. Just checked out the replacement. High Heat Stats will certainly work for me. Thanks for the quick response, Andy. Best of luck to you all on this new venture.

  201. Mike Harris Says:

    I'm really disappointed to read this. Just want to say that this blog caused me to think about the game in ways that had never occurred to me before. Thank you guys for finding new reasons every day for me to love the game than I did the day before.

  202. Thank you for your blog.Really thank you! Much obliged.

  203. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    Hello, I am _VERY_ late to this discussion, as I went on vacation the day it was announced,and just got back to my normal life a short time ago. Let me echo many others here who lament the end of one of the most intelligent cyberspace locations ever for serious baseball talk. I am glad that Andy is moving this discussion forum over to "High Heat Stats".

    I would like to thank the following people for mentioning me by name in this post above:

    #24 (Robert Meyer)
    #32 (Johnny Twisto)
    #91 (John Q)
    #128 (Timmy P.)
    I also echo the thoughts in #128 (Kahuna Tuna)

    I am in awe of the accumulated baseball knowledge that was displayed daily on the blog.

    I would also like to thank Sean Forman for taking the time to answer our queries on the end of this blog, I am sure it was not an easy decision.

    I will be talking to many of you soon at High Heat Stats .