How the M’s Can Win the World Series @ BP
My contribution to BP’s Hope and Faith series is up. Unfortunately for the teeming masses (unless you don’t like my writing, then I’d be curious why you were here), it’s subscriber-only. Check it out if you can.
This offers an opportunity to say a couple of things. I don’t think I’ve ever really said more about leaving BP than “we had a difference in the direction of the business” and I don’t think I’m going to ever say more. I’ve contributed after I left, I’m still friends with some of the guys, and I’m proud of the work I did there, both writing for the book projects and on the site. I grew as a baseball writer immensely while I was part of that group, and I owe them a lot, no matter how it turned out.
Which is why I read a comment in the new book (Raul Ibanez) and flipped out, because it seemed like there were two things there intended to knife me specifically, to reduce all the contributions I made to one comment and then use that comment as a reason for to fire me.
And now there are two things:
– Many other people who read it thought that too
– That is not what it was even if many other people who read it thought that too
I railed in private on Steve Goldman for letting it through (Steve, to his credit, was great through this whole thing, and I would do well to try and be as calm and understanding). Goldman told me that it was totally a joke, he probably put it there in editing, it wasn’t a slight, and as much as I respect Steve, I was so angry that I thought that someone else put the dig in there and he didn’t catch the meaning because he didn’t know the history.
I am (obviously) not proud of this, but I was entirely livid for almost a day, and it wasn’t at all helped by having other people react the same way, or pick the book up and flip out on my behalf, or hearing from people even in BP that had the same reaction.
Dave, as you may have seen, took up the cause publicly while I, trying to calm down, finished the article which runs on Prospectus today. At the time, I was determined that I’d polish it up and submit it to fulfill my promise to Christina Kahrl, and figure out what, if anything I’d do later. I know, it seems a little nutty now. But it helped.
Later, of course, research and clearer heads prevailed: the comment being mocked wasn’t even mine, Goldman did the insert during editing, that author’s still there, so even as a joke it’s not true. Goldman even apologized for the unintentional consequence that it could and was being read as.
So there’s a thing, and if you look at it knowing I wrote the M’s chapters for most of my time there, and especially if you know something about my exit, it looks like someone I disagreed with made a really nasty cut. If you’re me, you might see red for a day before you can calm down, because it read like a mockery and dismissal of my work there combined with a break in the cordial post-departure relations we’ve had.
I had my problems with BP – obviously, since I left – but that’s that. I continue to read their stuff, I point people to good research published there, I love PECOTA, and my friends there are still (I hope) my friends. I don’t criticize them for their failings because I figure you can get that elsewhere and, really, I don’t want to. Leaving was painful, and I want to be on good terms more than I want to continue fights I conceded years ago and moved on from.
That said, and I realize I haven’t said this publicly – I’ve apologized to Dave repeatedly about the whole thing, because I feel like I let him pick the public fight, and you saw the results. I rehashed that in an earlier post, but I’m sorry about how things went. While I regret almost everything that happened that day, we should all be so blessed to have such concerned and loyal friends.
To sum up:
– The M’s have to be pretty lucky to win the World Series
– That Ibanez comment isn’t intended as a dig at me
– My reaction reveals I can be ridiculously sensitive about my time at BP and my departure
I hope that I have an article up there testifies to the state of relations.