Five-and-a-half years ago, Alex plucked me from relative obscurity to co-author this esteemed blog, and not a day has gone by that I haven’t been grateful to him for bestowing that honor upon me or thankful to all of our readers for their passion, conversation, and surprising interest in what have likely been the millions of words I have spilled into this space, first at the late, lamented Baseball Toaster, and for the last two seasons here at SNY.
It is not without a great deal of emotion that I depart Bronx Banter today to take advantage of an opportunity that has opened up for me over at YESnetwork.com, and while it is an opportunity that I cannot afford to pass up, for both myself and my family, it is one that I am very much aware might very well not have come to pass had it not been for the previous opportunity given to me by Alex and the strength of this platform. The same is true of my increasing presence on SI.com, the door to which Alex was even more directly involved in opening. Yet, in departing Bronx Banter, I thank Alex not only for helping me gain ground on my aspirations, but for providing constant motivation and inspiration, for his boundless enthusiasm for life outside of baseball, for his endless support, even when that support pushes me in directions opposite to his own interests, and most importantly for being a good and trusted friend.
A lot of life happens in five and a half years. Alex and I both got married, Will Weiss and I both became fathers, and we lost some people very close to us, Alex’s father and Todd Drew among them. Bronx Banter has been part of our lives throughout all of that, it is a virtual home, but a home nonetheless, one that I have found very comfortable and welcoming. That makes it all the more unsettling to leave, but I’m comforted by the fact that I’m leaving Alex and all of you in good hands with the vastly expanded stable of Bronx Banter contributers, Will, Emma, Diane, Bruce, Hank, Jon, and Matt, and by the fact that I am leaving the side of one good friend and supporter to join another (YES’s official announcement of my new gig has yet to drop, but it’s not hard to connect the dots).
As for what you can expect from me over at YES, well, life may happen, but I don’t change all that much. I’ll be doing the same things for YES that I’ve been doing here at Bronx Banter, which were essentially the same things I was doing on my own blog prior to that (though I hope seven years in I’m doing them better by now). I’m hoping you will all make the few extra clicks to continue reading me at YES and SI.com, or to follow my twitter feed. Check out my analysis and series previews on YES, then click back to Banter for the game threads and recaps and for all of the other things Alex and the crew will continue to do so well. As I said to Alex last night, I don’t see this as a splintering of the Bronx Banter family, but as another step in its expansion. I hope you all come to feel the same way.
This, then, is my penultimate post as co-author of Bronx Banter. I’ll bow out tonight with my preview of the quickie two-game series with the Texas Rangers and then reemerge in the morning over on YESnetwork.com. Thanks to everyone involved with Bronx Banter on every level, to Ken Arneson and the good people at SNY, to every last reader, but above and beyond all else, to Alex Belth, without whom, to paraphrase Yogi, none of this would be necessary.