Sunday, February 03, 2013

End of the Line

I have been offered and accepted a position at Baseball Prospectus as a Senior Writer with their Fantasy Department. BP will be announcing their new fantasy schedule during the week of February 11-17, but I have already engaged in discussions with Joe Hamrahi, Jason Collette and Paul Sporer on the direction of the fantasy side of things and am extremely excited just to be part of the team.

The other part of this news is probably obvious, but while I hope Roto Think Tank doesn't become a complete thing of the past, it simply won't be possible to provide the quality and quantity of content that I have been providing since I started this blog in 2007 - and wouldn't be fair to either BP or to my readers in this space to try and do so. I haven't thought too far ahead yet, but the most likely use of this space will be for the extremely esoteric piece that doesn't belong at BP (think: stuff about my home leagues).

It's a shopworn cliché, but while I'm ecstatic to be joining Baseball Prospectus, I'm sad that this is the end of Roto Think Tank as we know it. When I started this blog, all I really wanted out of it was an outlet for a decade's worth of thoughts that I had about my primary home league and some ideas that I had put together on auction theory, strategy, tactics, etc. I didn't spend too much time thinking about readers or what my audience would look like. If no one read Roto Think Tank or had any interest, then so be it.

Not only did people come, but they stayed. The audience grew, then started speaking up, and the blog evolved from a personal sounding board into a forum worthy of the smart, savvy readers who blew me away almost every day I did this. More often than not, you were the ones that drove the content. The FAAB log - one of the most popular pieces on the site - was created because of a reader's request. The blog became much more of a conversation than a monologue and listening to your feedback made me into a better writer. I started this project in part because I thought that I was better than a lot of the experts out there. I found out quickly how difficult it is to generate high quality content day after day, week after week, and month after month. It's easy to sit back and say other people suck. It's hard to go out and actually do it.

Another cliché is you look back at your writing at the beginning of a project and think, "man, some of my early stuff was bad." Every winter when I have time to catch my breath I go back and look at my early pieces and can't believe I got there from here. It took practice, practice, practice, but without you guys as a sounding board I wouldn't have made the progress that I did.

This isn't the first opportunity I have had in the industry, but most of those prior opportunities revolved primarily around the idea of adding someone with expert cachet to the staff to churn out the kind of generic stuff that I have always avoided. While the opportunity to make a little money was tempting, I never would have walked away or compromised this space in exchange for easy money.

This is obviously different. I would never leave this blog behind simply for money or to make a bigger name for myself; this is far too important to me to ever do that. I'm obviously going to gain more exposure joining Baseball Prospectus, but Paul and Jason put out terrific content, know what they're talking about, and are excellent fantasy players. I don't know Josh Shepardson as well, but enjoy his work. When you have an opportunity where you're hoping to live up to the people you're about to work with - as well as the history that's a pretty great opportunity.

I can't thank you all enough for reading, responding, and making this blog what it has been the last six years. I hope to see you all over at Baseball Prospectus and on Twitter at MikeGianella.

Happy trails everyone.


Rodger A. Payne said...

Good luck Mike. I've really enjoyed reading the blog all these years.

Rob said...

Best of luck Mike... I've only commented a handful of times, but I've read most of your stuff. I'll continue to follow you on twitter and look forward to your new work at BP.

Slippy said...

Congratulations, Mike. Your site has always been one of my "go to" sites regarding fantasy baseball. I'll miss it.