The time came to talk of many things, for me, 6 years ago or at least that's what I consider my first real contribution to the main page of the site. It was a defense of re-signing ... David Eckstein using the ... VORP metric. We're all young once, right?
I don't know when I started back at Future Redbirds. At one time it was on Wordpress and then Erik moved it to a non-native Wordpress host. Then I moved it to VEB. The dates aren't important. Needless to say I wrote a lot about the minors. (And I'd be remiss to not thank everyone who helped me write about the minors -- but I'd feel terrible if I tried to list them all because I know I'll forget someone. I'll confine myself to thanks for this past season: Andy, Jeff and Derek.)
I enjoyed the minors immensely. It's how I first met bgh -- we went to a weekend's worth of Quad Cities games. I spent a lot of time at the minors after I graduated from college. At least one trip to QC, Springfield and Memphis club each season. On top of that I spent time watching what archived video I could get from MiLB or other sources. I felt an obligation to be informed about my writing. I never just wanted to put words to a page. Words aren't my gift. Information is. I'm an information junkie.
I think that's another part of why I'm content to leave now also. When I started writing, sabremetrics in the public sphere was new. Things like VORP and WARP were cutting edge. I remember the emergence of wOBA, Marcels and regression to the mean as it hit the blogosphere. The flip side to that is the objective measures raised the caliber of writing on the internet for baseball. It was rewarding to see but it also left me with a nagging doubt that I wasn't sure how long my insights would be perceived as insights. Eventually, they felt like they became common place but that's a good thing.
I've often wondered when was the right time for me to go. As much as writing has been a pleasure, it's always felt like a responsibility. Lboros and Erik took a risk on me early. I'm deeply grateful for those opportunities. The chance to write on a regular basis made me better. The critical feedback from the community helped hone my skills.
And this site wouldn't be much without its community. I hope that the community finds a way to continue to thrive even though I won't be a part of leading it. And so, as a thank you, I have parting gift to the community.
In 2009, Viva el Birdos scooped the world with the trade of Chris Duncan. Only a handful of people know how that happened. Hardcore Legend got a tip. A very good tip. That tip was from me.
At my old place of work, Chris Duncan had informed someone close to him that he was being traded. That person shared it with their family. Their family talked about it in my place of work. I overheard the whole conversation. Some of it was still conjecture -- the individual telling the story at work couldn't have named Julio Lugo to save their life -- but I knew enough about the rumors and what this person was certain of to put two and two together.
I was reasonably new to my position at that time, however, and the conversation was not one I was directly involved in. Rather it happened one cubicle over. I was concerned about the post getting back to me so I tried to feed it to a couple journalists online. They wouldn't run it. So I reached out to someone I knew in the organization who was working in the analytics group. They had been asked to study Julio Lugo recently and the scuttlebutt was that the Cardinals were going to make a move for him.
That was enough for me. Some furious e-mails to Hardcore Legend explaining why I didn't want to post the information and the next thing you know, Viva el Birdos got the credit. It certainly wasn't rigorous reporting but I'd done my due diligence to have a clear conscience and, in the end, was spot on.
That was a fun moment. It was an exhilarating morning as Duncan was optioned to the minors and the professional journalists questioned the veracity of the trade VEB was reporting as a certainty. I doubt I accomplished anything at my day job that day.
That was my favorite moment at VEB, I think. I'm more proud of my other writing (the Anthony Reyes Saga or Lance Lynn narrative busting come to mind) but I have to say that the Chris Duncan trade was an indelible VEB moment for me.
So, this is it. I won't have a top 20 list for you on this site. I won't have any more posts here. I don't have any insight into whether Future Redbirds will stick around. I'm signing off. It's been fun but now is the right moment for me to say "thank you".
Thank you and good bye.