I want to again thank everyone. The idea that anyone cares what I did or what I’m doing next still dumbfounds me. I’m still mostly the guy who couldn’t believe a hundred people read my email about injuries and nearly died when Peter Gammons mentioned me. Nine years later, Gammons said UTK was "the most important column of the decade.” I don’t think so, but you can only imagine how that makes me feel. So what’s next?
I don’t know.
I left Baseball Prospectus - and let me be very clear: I left - for a number of reasons, but the most significant is that I have impossibly high standards for my work. I’m wrong a lot. It’s the nature of what I do, but each instance burns me. There was an episode this summer where it was clear the goals of the organization and the goals I had didn’t mesh any more. I can’t say any more about that, but it was the final straw for me and at that point, I began the process of leaving. In the end, I bought myself out of the contract and sold back the equity I had earned in the company. It was a better option for me not to write at all than continue to write there.
I didn’t leave because I had a better offer … or any offer. I’ve spoken with several outlets and there were no offers. Just a lot of “wow, we love your work, but …” I get that. It’s a tough economy. There’s a lot of cost cutting. There’s people better than me writing for next to nothing, but there’s also a lot of people making a lot more (I mean factors of 100x more) that aren’t as good. I’m okay with that - this isn’t a meritocracy - and the idea that my days as a columnist are done. (Well, not yet. I’m doing football for SI and that’s not going to change.)
There won’t be a return to the email days. I won’t run my own web site. I’d much rather have this run end when I was at the top of my game than compromise. The haters will have plenty of time to dance on my grave, but you know? Let them. I didn’t expect any of this and for every moment it lasted, I drank it up. It brought out the best in me and the worst in me. I did it in full public view, mistakes and all, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, not much.
I’d love to keep doing this and I’ll listen to offers, but if this is the end of the ride, I’m okay with that. If someone would like to help me continue it, I’m listening. I’d think some site out there would like “the most important column of the decade” on their site, but maybe not. There’s not many columnists that come with an audience, my track record, and no one else that covers this niche the way I do in any sport, let alone two in full and more available.
My time at Baseball Prospectus is over. Under The Knife is over. But you never know.
I have a “45” jersey hanging in the closet.
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