January 21st, 2011. That’s the day I got a phone call from David Appelman that changed my life.
I’d moved to California and was trying to make a full-time go of writing about fantasy baseball for a living, but my wife — as amazingly supportive as she’s been — had been wondering when I might be able to contribute more to the household. David’s call was a lifeline, a rope to a sinking writer, and I’ll never forget it. A job. Writing about baseball. Amazing.
Other than giving me a chance to do this for a living, David also gave me a chance to connect with you readers here at FanGraphs, readers I count as probably the best of the internet, and sometimes I feel like I’ve written for all of the internet. Maybe I have some authority on the matter. You guys are awesome, believe me.
This will be my last post for FanGraphs for now, post number 2,202 when you add them all up. Details to come, but I’m excited for this new chapter, and I will still see you around, but not on these pages.
My first post for RotoGraphs was about batting average on balls in play, and I’m horrified to see that I referenced Chris Iannetta’s early-year line-drive rate. A few posts later, though, maybe I hit my stride while wondering if 2009 would be Jorge de la Rosa’s best year because he was throwing his curveball less. My last post was a set of pitching ranks for last year, which were a culmination of my study into pitch-type peripherals and a growing affinity for pitching analysis in general.
There’s a pattern, here, though. At least, I hope there is.
My first post over at the main site, meanwhile, was an analysis of the Padres’ 2010 midseason acquisition of Miguel Tejada. Do you remember that the Padres led the National League West for 148 days that year? And that Tejada played well for them, and regularly, after the trade? I got that one wrong. Maybe I hit my stride a little bit more later on when I wrote about free-swingers who whiffed a ton but had okay strikeout rates because they were so aggressive they made contact before they struck out. I ended up writing about that topic a few times as I tried to pry loose some knowledge.
Nowhere did I make more missteps than at NotGraphs. I’m amazed that Carson Cistulli allowed me to write there at all. I don’t know if there’s a worse post associated with FanGraphs than this one or this one. I found a zone within my capabilities by writing about my children in the end. It me, Facebook Dad NotGraphs poster.
Anyway, the pattern I hope to paint here is this: y’all have been great and have helped me grow by being great commenters. I’ve been trying to ask better questions, and you’ve been guiding me all along.
Of course, I couldn’t have done it without Carson and David and Paul Swydan and Jeff Sullivan. I’m literally crying right now, because I’d lie down on the tracks for those four, and this was a dream job, making great content along side great people. What a place this is.
Thanks to Dave Cameron for giving me a chance on the front page and for challenging me to grow. Kiley McDaniel is the best, and I look forward to seeing him write about baseball as a whole, even though he knows his prospects. Paul Sporer means RotoGraphs is in good hands; make sure to read your Mike Podhorzer and Brad Johnson, too. Travis Sawchik and Craig Edwards I count as great friends in the industry now. David Laurila is like my clubhouse dad, pretty much. Maybe August Fagerstrom will return my last text someday. Jeff Zimmerman has practically taught me all that I know about SQL and has put up with me as a roommate, so he’s suffered through a lot of pain for my benefit, and I’ll love him forever for it. Sean Dolinar has done so much for the look and feel of the site, I’m sure it’ll keep getting better. I fully expect Alex Chamberlain and Andrew Perpetua to write something must-read tomorrow or the next day, that’s what they do.
You’re in good hands still, but more importantly: they’ve got you. And you’re the best.
Thanks for reading.
With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.