And Now for Something Completely Different...
We had fun, we had laughs, we had Mark Prior's shoulder, Dusty Baker's lineup card, Mike Quade's awful nicknames and now we shall have goodbye's.
With a heavy heart and far more hours of contemplation than I expected, I'll be stepping down from my reign of terror here at The Cub Reporter. I imagine many of you know the history of the site, but here's a quick recap. The very talented Christian Ruzich began this beauty a long time ago in 2001 back when blogs and the Internet were still a dirty word. He did an incredible job of finding talented writers and eventually had a nice group of team specific blogs at all-baseball.com. Somewhere around 2003 I stumbled across the site, I think from some mention in a Baseball Prospectus article. I sort of hung around the edges of the comments for the next year and started doing my own writing at a site called Most Valuable Network (or MVN for short). Around that time (say late 2004-early 2005), many of the all-baseball.com writers broke off into their own group and started Baseball Toaster and at that time the owner of MVN made an offer to Christian. There were only a few Cubs blogs at that time, and in my personal opinion, The Cub Reporter was the very best, the site I would just hope to be able to write for one day. But because of that purchase, I was sort of thrust upon Christian and as he was slowly backing out of his duties, he found some writers amongst the talented commentators to take over the bulk of the writing and myself, Arizona Phil, John Hill and Transmission began writing for the site. And oh, what a fun few years we had.
We had recaps, previews, satirical write-ups, April Fool's jokes, minor league coverage, stupid Internet arguments, parachat and just hours and hours of endless entertainment.
Somewhere in that time period, Christian backed away completely and I seemed to be the only fool willing to pick up the flag and lead the troops. We picked up some talented free agents along the way like Dr. Joseph Hecht aka Cubster, Don Nelson aka Cubnut, Mike Wellman, CubbyBlue's amazing artwork and most recently WISCGRAD. We migrated to our own site here so we could drop f-bombs freely and lived through the surprise of 2007, the miserable ending of 2008, the lean years of 2009-2011, the surprise Theo Epstein hire that offseason and even leaner years from 2012-2014.
And now it's 2015, the team is a legit playoff contender and shall be one for years to come. And it's still fun, but it's also a bit monotonous and obviously my writing output has slowed to a trickle. I was hoping once the winning began that my writing flame would be re-ignited, but it just hasn't happened. And if this team can't get me to write, nothing will. On top of that, my personal life has had many of the ups and downs that the Cubs franchise has endured. My twins were born 5 days before Mark Prior took a comeback off his elbow (they just turned 10 this last weekend and I still can't get them to sit through a half inning of baseball). My Dad suffered an aortic dissection around the time Michael Barrett was traded (don't worry my Dad is somehow still kicking and letting me know on each and every phone call how dumb the Cubs are). The AngelFan Wife and I bought a house, bought a business, lost a business, lost a house and went through some major health scares and very unfortunately are very much still in the midst of the lean, rebuilding years and any hopes of us being a contender again will require my focus on matters more important than goofing on the Cubs and settling Internet arguments.
So I shall miss all of you (most of you) and I will certainly miss this site. Unfortunately none of the other writers have the time either nor the desire to take over the day-to-day duties so I'm afraid that this might be it for The Cub Reporter. If I can find someone else to take over the daily duties, maybe it will survive, but I can't say for sure. If you know of anyone or have some interest yourself, please contact me through the contact form by clicking the envelope icon on the upper right and I'll happily answer any of your questions. My understanding is that the rest of the writers will continue to write as long as there is a place to write. Arizona Phil said he'd like to at the very least keep writing through the amateur draft and the rest of extended spring training through the end of June, so we'll stay open through then at least. Cubnut will continue to run the twitter account as well. I do have my own twitter account that I'll publish in the near future, although it will be far more than my thoughts on the Cubs, so follow at your own risk. I will be taking down the game chat for now as I won't be around to reset it every night.
So thank you for the laughs, for keeping me honest in the comments, for some dear friendships formed over the years, and for being a part of this rather eclectic and unique point in time and space where we all could commiserate and occasionaly celebrate over this one oddly shared interest that is Chicago Cubs baseball.