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Thank You Ray

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Our fearless leader and guy who made this site what it is, Ray Guilfoyle, is leaving us for greener pastures. We want to just say thanks.

Dear Fake Teams readers,

As many of you may already know, Ray Guilfoyle, the managing editor of Fake Teams for the past eight years, will be leaving us at the end of the year. Sad face.

Despite how much he did for this site, believe it or not, he had a day job in addition to doing all his work here. His day job involves a big commute and lots of his time, so he made the tough decision to leave.

We, the writers of Fake Teams, just want to say thank you, Ray, for all that you’ve done over these past eight years to help out so many writers like ourselves.

I encourage all of you readers out there in the Interwebs to post your thanks for Ray’s work in taking a site with one other writer covering basically one sport (baseball) to what it is today. Let’s fill the comments section with our gratitude. Or fantasy sports talk, that works too. Also funny .gifs since this is the Internet, after all.

What follows are individual notes of thanks from the lowly writers of this corner of the Internet. Please enjoy. Also, don’t worry, the site isn’t dying and your fantasy content will be uninterrupted. We will simply have a new leader with clown-sized shoes to fill.

Rob Parker

I guess since I wrote the intro I should kick things off. I have to regularly pinch myself to make sure I’m awake because I get to write about fantasy baseball on a real, well-known website. In spring of 2014 I was just a guy that fell in love with baseball again. I played it as a kid until I was 15, but to this day, regret not playing it more. In 2014, my co-worker and avid Tigers fan, Joe, gave me the nudge I needed and began to read everything I could about baseball and specifically fantasy baseball.

I had played fantasy baseball two previous times, but this year was different. I wanted to know every little detail. I learned what OBP was, why it was better than batting average (now is not the time to debate this, however), how xFIP is used, why K/9 favors relievers, and so much more.

This excitement combined with my creative kick and my love of writing into looking for opportunities to take what I’d learned and studied about fantasy baseball and share it with others. I came across Keith Lott through the fantasy baseball subreddit and his site, We Talk Fantasy Sports, gave me my first opportunity. I am, of course, grateful for that first shot and got my feet wet there. I remember that was the season that Mookie Betts made his debut and I got to write an article about his call-up. The first of many gushing Mookie articles for me.

After the season was over, I saw a post on FakeTeams.com looking for baseball writers. I submitted my Fan Post test piece (I’d like to think I’ve come a long way since then) and Ray said “welcome aboard”, although not those exact words. Since then, it has been a great two years of working alongside the talented writers at this great site. Ray has done a lot behind the scenes, in addition to all his own posts and rankings, to keep this site rolling.

As my readers already know, I tend to use a lot of words, so my thank you is getting long and I’ll wrap this up. Thanks for taking a chance on a guy with one season of baseball writing experience, Ray, you will be missed. —Rob Parker

Tim Finnegan

I love Ray’s website. Ray giving me the freedom to write about whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, was huge for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better managing editor to start under. I will be forever grateful to Ray for giving me my first opportunity.

The quality of a team is a reflection of its leader. Our fantasy baseball team put out a lot of high quality content over the years, and that reflects wonderfully on Ray. He took on the largest workload of everyone and consistently put out quality content week to week, which is not easy.

Fake Teams will never be the same without Ray, and I hope he continues to occasionally write here and host fantasy chats in his free time. The fantasy industry is better with him in it. —Tim Finnegan

Alex Kantecki

Ray welcomed me to Fake Teams in August 2012 after I submitted a FanPost on why I thought Starlin Castro would be the top fantasy shortstop in 2013. Castro hit .245 and finished with the worst season of his career, but Ray continued to support my work. He gave me a voice in the fantasy baseball community and the chance to do some really cool things, like mock, draft and compete against “experts” I looked up to. It also opened the door to other writing opportunities, none of which would have been possible without Fake Teams. If I was stuck on ideas, Ray offered his. If I missed a day of writing, Ray picked up the slack. So thanks, Ray. Thank you for taking a chance on me, helping me grow as a writer, and being one of the most honest voices in the industry today. —Alex Kantecki, @rotodealer

Garrett Atkins

My journey to Fake Teams is pretty crazy. I started fantasy sports back in 2007, when I was 15. I got more into the research and data side of it year by year. Around 4 years ago I started doing fantasy baseball rankings. I didn’t have anywhere, or frankly any confidence, to publish them. My path to this site was actually through another SB Nation site called Cageside Seats. This site is for pro wrestling. If I never got back into WWE, I would have never found that site which led me here. I’ve always wanted to write sports articles, namely fantasy sports articles. It is work I thoroughly enjoy. I began writing fanposts for Fake Teams back in June of this year. I notice a few of them front paging the site.

This made me more confident and also gave me motivation to continue posting them. Finally, after a few months, I summoned up the courage to email Ray directly asking for a spot on the team. Not knowing what to expect, I waited patiently and eagerly for a reply. Months past by and I began to think it wasn’t going to happen. Still, I continued to post my fanposts and do what I love to do. This community is one that encourages this more than any other site I’m aware of. I got a reply back from Ray, which I almost dismissed as junk mail, and he told me yes... Several days later, the Fake Teams site looked different to me. I saw the little gear emblem in the top left corner and again in the articles I moved my cursor over.

I began to realize what this meant and I was overcome with joy. It may seem simple, it may seem trite, but to the 15 year old kid who still very much lives inside me, this was a highlight, a milestone, towards something I have wanted for nearly a decade. A platform to share my work. A platform, with little to no judgment or negativity. A platform of acceptance and support. Although I am new to the site, I feel part of the team, even more now than days before. This team is full of those same kids who just wanted a platform to do what they love. THANK YOU RAY, for letting us all be a part of that platform.
— Garrett Atkins aka Punk is Dead

Jason Hunt

I started writing at Fake Teams back in February 2010, and wrote here for six and a half years. Ray suggested that I start writing for the site after seeing one of my fanposts here, and over time, my role at the site grew. I went from providing my own opinions and writeups to leading the prospect coverage, helping with the overall fantasy baseball coverage, and generally would help out whenever I could with some of the operational tasks related.

As noted above, Ray has been consistent in his desire to find good writers, give them an opportunity and a platform, and, when bigger opportunities inevitably arose, celebrate their success with them. While it has always been a nice selling point to potential writers, he truly enjoyed seeing those same people he had helped out moving on to sites like Baseball Prospectus, Pro Football Focus, and many more.

Inevitably, we would lose writers for these reasons as well as the burnout that can come with trying to write multiple times a week on a regular basis for months at a time. The loyal readers have undoubtedly seen writers come and go, and yet, for Ray, having to find new writers was always one of the more exciting things he was tasked with as managing editor. You never knew who would respond to one of his ads for writers, and he was always looking forward to seeing the writing that interested parties would send in.

This place has grown into one of the more vibrant communities to discuss fantasy sports over the past six years, and it’s a testament to Ray both in terms of his vision for the site as well as his ability to continue to put together an excellent writing staff across multiple sports and grow in a consistent manner. The place won’t be quite the same without him in charge, but I know that with the staff in place, they are in good hands. Thank you Ray for helping to bring this together and keep it moving in this direction. —Jason Hunt

Heath Capps

Ray took me on at FakeTeams over a year ago and it has been a really positive experience. I have had some negative experiences on the “fanalyst” circuit but Ray has always been supportive of my real life and how that occasionally impacts my ability to hit deadlines and be consistent. We would obviously all have an easier time of producing content without our 9 to 5s, and my crazy life can get in the way sometimes. I most appreciate Ray’s understanding in those moments....which is why I understand why he is moving on. Best of luck to you, Ray! —Heath Capps