clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Off Topic: What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

If you came for the fantasy analysis, this time it is sorely lacking. You should read it anyway.

To be honest, this isn’t a post that I necessarily thought I’d be writing. Granted, when I started writing, I didn’t know that I’d be writing for particularly long in the first place. Writing was something that I started doing simply because I had free time, and an interest.

Shortly after getting married in August 2009, my wife and I packed up our stuff, put most of it in storage, and set off on an adventure. The salary and benefits that came along with her new job as a traveling physical therapist would a) pay her enough for me not to have to work and b) allow us to travel around the country based on those assignments. It was an amazing experience, but while the ability to not have to have a job was interesting, it also left me with a lot of time to fill while she was at work.

Baseball had interested me for a long time, and I needed some kind of outlet for the things I had been reading and learning about. My wife, a pretty big Cubs fan, eventually reached the point where she didn’t really want to hear all that much about how I thought Cole Hamels might do, or really anything all that in depth with regard to baseball. She suggested that maybe writing would provide me an outlet (and a different audience) which might appreciate the information more.

So I set out with my little bit of knowledge, created a wimpy little Wordpress blog, and started pushing out posts. One of the things that was suggested to me early on was the fact that the best way to get better at writing was to just keep plugging away and writing. So I did. I wrote about my thoughts on the Hall of Fame candidates, how the MLB roster rules worked, and really anything else that I thought might be interesting. In a bit of a harbinger, I wrote about prospects. Not all that surprisingly, some of these posts were not so great. However, I also thought after playing fantasy baseball for eight years, I might know enough to spout off my opinions on that as well.

In an effort to try to get more exposure for my work at that Wordpress blog, I decided to try to cross-promote them by putting a snippet into a FanPost here at Fake Teams. I did this a few more times, and eventually Ray asked me if I would be interested in doing some writing for the site directly. That was in February 2010.

One of the things which motivated me as time progressed was actually one of my own fantasy baseball leagues. The league was a true dynasty league, and every year it had a three round minor league draft. Inevitably, I would try to do my research each offseason into which prospects would be the most interesting for my team, and pretty consistently I would struggle to find information that was specific to fantasy baseball. The big sites which cover prospects like Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus were primarily covering prospects in the way they always had: their value to major league organizations, and not to fantasy baseball.

Over time, this led me into covering the minor leagues from a fantasy baseball perspective here at Fake Teams. I’ve been writing about the minors now for almost five years, with the aim of trying to provide information that would be more useful in that particular league. In that time, I’ve been a part of one of the best fantasy sites out there, and watched as a number of writers have come, written here for a while, and in many cases, moved onto bigger and better things. If you’re interested in getting a start with writing, this is a great place to do it.

The coverage across the industry has shifted to include the dynasty audience as well. You see many of those same major sites now include fantasy impact on prospect call-ups, as well as an overall push to provide more in-depth content for leagues beyond your standard redraft league. As someone who looks for that kind of information in my own leagues, it’s been a welcome change.

A lot has changed in that time for me as well. We stopped traveling and got permanently located jobs after about 15 months. We moved back to my wife’s hometown of Sacramento. I’ve had three jobs, and my wife and I have been blessed with two sons. Through all of that, one thing that has remained constant has been the writing.

However, as these things have changed in my life, the demands on my free time have as well, and the time for a change has come for me as well. About a month ago, I notified our fearless leader, Ray Guilfoyle, that I would that I would be stepping away from writing at this time.

One of the things I have always aimed to do with my writing is provide solid and complete analysis, because I understand that everyone is busy, and if you’re going to spend the time to read what I’ve written, I want to make sure it is as complete as it can be. However, that takes time, and I have always told myself that if I can’t allocate the time needed to do my writing to the level I expect, it’s time to stop.

The site and the coverage remain in good hands, as they have since before I arrived here. The writers may change, but Ray continues to build and develop an excellent group of writers each and every year. The minor league coverage will continue with Domenic and Michael, and things will go on. I will still be on the site, reading and adding to the discussion when I feel the desire to do so. I can’t finish up this post without expressing my gratitude, so you’ll forgive me for this part being a bit long.

While I know that the quality of the writing I produced allowed me to continue to write for six years, it was Ray who gave me the first opportunity here, and I thank him immensely for that. It’s been a lot of fun throughout, and I could not have done it without your support.

I’ve worked and interacted here with a number of excellent writers who have helped me to develop both my writing style and my analytical skills with regard to how prospects are scouted, valued, and developed. I am so excited to see how many of them continue to work within the baseball universe, and cannot wait to see how each of them continues to grow.

Finally, thank you to all the readers. Without you, I’m just a guy posting things to no one in particular. The discussions and comments over the years have pushed me to think things through in different ways, evaluate my own processes, and reminded me that there are still more things to learn about. Knowing that you value the writing, and expect a high level of quality analysis has made me push to meet that standard every time out.