Baseball is sentimental. It’s nostalgic. It makes the little moments into big ones.
So am I.
I think that’s one of the many reasons I’ve been drawn to it.
This post is going to be in that same vein, so it’s okay if you want to skip down to the meat of it all.
Like most kids obsessed with baseball, I wanted to be on the field. I wanted to be the next Scott Rolen or Eric Chavez.
That obviously didn’t pan out.
A love of the game doesn’t fade when those expectations dissolve, it just shifts. I loved the tradition, the connection, the pageantry. The way I could bond with my dad. The way I could connect with people I couldn’t normally.
It’s instinctual and ritualistic, yet analytical and mechanical at the same time. A momentum shift can make the best matchup go out the window. A late-game, two-out triple can reinvigorate the hopes of a team and city.
After getting my undergraduate degree in marketing and working in that field, I realized it wasn’t for me. I wanted to make baseball more than a hobby.
I got a little taste running the MLBTradeRumors Facebook community for the Cardinals in 2017, but when that project was cancelled it just left me with a hunger for more.
I absorbed a lot of Cardinals coverage, but I lived on this site. It was easily the top page on my work computer’s browser. I wrote fanposts. I wanted to be here.
Right before the start of the 2018, Josey Curtis and VEB gave me that chance.
The caliber of writers at VEB was impressive. Reading the work of site manager emeritus Craig Edwards, past writers Andy Schrag and John Fleming, and current writers A.E. Schafer, Tyler Kinzy and Scooter Simon always inspired me.
The pedigree persists. Ben Clemens splits his time between here and FanGraphs, and we’re lucky to have him. John LaRue’s work is always wonderfully data-driven and insightful. Mix in the rest of the staff and the minor league coverage and I guarantee there’s no better Cardinals blog on the internet than VEB.
Which is why I’m sad to say I’m leaving the site.
VEB kept furthering the hunger, and I enrolled as a master’s student in Sports Journalism at Arizona State’s Cronkite School in the fall of 2018.
I wanted to get into the clubhouse and do stories that combine analytical trends with interviews and first-hand experiences.
As much as I’ve lived focusing on this team, I want to branch out. Not just to other MLB teams, but to other levels and approaches to the sport.
This program has been demanding, and I feel like the content I’ve produced at VEB has suffered alongside it.
I’ve felt the quality of my work slipping, and that isn’t fair to you. This site has a history of excellent writers, but the community is what makes it so strong. There’s a standard here.
You all deserve more than I’ve been able to give. Not just in what I write, but in comments and interactions as well, which I’ve failed to do.
I’m heading into my final semester, where I’ll be reporting full-time for Cronkite News out of the Phoenix Sports Bureau. While I’m excited to do some original written and visual reporting on things like the Arizona Fall League, it only leaves less time for VEB.
I can’t thank the site leadership and the community for welcoming me. For the chance, the support, the critical eye.
You all have been a crucial part of this journey for me, and my time at Viva El Birdos has been one of the best experiences of my life.
Plans change and things are fluid, so I hope this isn’t my very last post ever at VEB. Any time I have the content, and you all will have me, I’ll be back. Until then, I’d love if you followed along with me on Twitter.
It’s less of a “goodbye” and more of a “see you around.”