The long and short of it is this: it’s come time for me to move on, and make way for a new head honcho here at Fish Stripes.
When I joined the staff in early 2015, I had no online publishing experience to speak of, no writing samples to offer up, nothing to point to except that I was an old hand in the Lookout Landing commentariat. I applied on a whim, looking for a chance to write for a public audience on a topic I loved (baseball).
Michael Jong and Scott Gelman took a chance on me despite my inexperience and somehow, over three years later I am bowing out as the managing editor. I’ve made podcast appearances, radio appearances, interviewed tv personalities, talked with players, coaches and members of the Miami Marlins organization, all while writing close to 400 articles on these pages. Let’s just say that I wasn’t planning on all that when I signed up, but I’m thrilled that it took place.
The Marlins were kind enough to provide some on-the-field highlights of their own over my years here: Dee Gordon’s batting title in 2015, Jose Fernandez’s triumphant return from Tommy John surgery, Edinson Volquez’s no-hitter, Justin Bour in the home run derby, hosting the All-Star game, Stanton’s amazing second half home run tear in 2017. Strong individual performances too numerous to recall.
And, of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there were a few lows, too: the predictable demise of Dan Jennings, manager/GM, Gordon’s PED suspension, the early PR missteps of the Jeter/Sherman group, and the lowest low of losing Jose Fernandez.
Through it all, I’ve come to greatly admire the Marlins fan base, the guys who float around twitter (both Fish Family and Marlins Party), the diehards over at r/letsgofish, the people who continue to show up to games. I’m particularly thankful to those who read us, and those who frequented the Fish Stripes comment sections over the years. I don’t believe there is a fan base in baseball that has the dual “distinction” of having been treated so poorly by the team’s ownership groups over the years and simultaneously getting dumped on by the national media. They say you don’t care. They say you don’t exist. Well, I’m here to say that I see you, and more then anything, I want to see the Marlins win for you, the ever-faithful.
I want to give thanks to my staff, without whom this place would be but an empty shell. I’ve worked with so many great writers, some of whom have gone on to work for teams, and some of whom may yet go on to do great things of their own accord. Would that I could name them all, but much like an academy award speech, I’m on a strict word count...sorry fellas. You know who you are and you know I appreciate ya.
I will thank my wife Jessica by name, who has tolerated many an evening of me pounding furiously away at a keyboard recounting yet another Marlins’ loss in another Marlins’ lost season. We were married back in February of 2015; I started writing for Fish Stripes two weeks later. It’s not hyperbole to say that she’s had to share me with this blog.
A few months back, we lost her father unexpectedly. A great baseball fan in his own right, I was looking forward to attending a few games with him this year. We can logically know that time is passing, day in and day out, but we don’t always feel it, and losing Cody made me realize that I can’t sit on my goals and dreams forever.
I need the time I’ve been giving this place.
The good news is, there is always someone hungry to step up and take the reigns. I don’t know who my successor will be, but I am sure that SB Nation will leave you in capable hands.
While I’m taking a little break, I’m not done writing about baseball entirely. With Ryan Romano’s good graces I’ll still be appearing on the pages of Beyond the Box Score from time to time...and I’ll be kicking around here for a bit longer while the powers that be look for my replacement, but for all intents and purposes I’ve written my final piece for Fish Stripes.
So thanks for having me, and a few years down the road, when the process finally comes to it’s glorious, inevitable conclusion, know that there’ll be at least one fan as far as you can possibly get from Miami in the contiguous United States jumping up and down alongside you.