Some Changes At USSM
With Derek off to take over the fiction writing world, obviously USSM has lost a pretty big asset. We’re not going to be able to replace him, nor are we really going to try. But that doesn’t mean that we’re just folding up our tent and going home. To offset his loss, we’ve made some changes behind the scenes, and this post will hopefully help clarify what the site will look like going forward.
1. Remember that server move from a few weeks ago? Well, that was the first step in a partnership we have entered into with FanGraphs. USSM is now a partner site with FanGraphs, and David Appelman has agreed to host the site for us as part of the agreement. For you guys, the biggest change is that the site should hopefully never go down again, even on trade deadline day, and we should have more ability to resolve technical issues when they arise.
You’ll see some other minor tweaks as well. We’re going to make it a habit out of linking our player names in the posts to the player pages at FanGraphs, and we’ll be able to add some pretty neat Fangraphs-style things to the site as we go forward. Overall, we expect that this partnership will be nothing but a huge benefit to the site, and the effects you see will all be positive.
However, as we shift to being hosted by FanGraphs, we have to pause and give a massive thank you to the folks at Digital Forest. For the last few years, they went way above and beyond to help the site, allowing us to stick a server on their rack and keep the site alive. When we needed a hand, they offered one, and for this, we are exceedingly grateful. We are not switching hosts because we were unhappy with them – the exact opposite is true. We felt bad taking advantage of them in the way that we did, and it was time for us to no longer be an undue burden on their good graces. But, yeah, the guys at Digital Forest deserve a massive thank you, and if you need local web hosting, we can’t recommend them highly enough.
2. Why did we choose to partner with FanGraphs? Well, there’s one pretty obvious reason, and you may have seen it announced over there earlier today. I have agreed to take on a full-time position with the site, and when I graduate in May, I will officially make my living as a baseball writer. Partnering USSM with FanGraphs solidifies a relationship that is already strong to begin with, and there are quite a few natural advantages that we should be able to take advantage of.
There is probably no job I could have landed that could be a better fit for allowing me to write for USSM in a similar way to how it has been in the past. As part of my employment with FanGraphs, I have retained my ability to write here just as often as I have in the past, and that was pretty important to me. By taking this position, I should be able to bring some continuity to the site in a time where we’re going through some pretty significant changes.
That doesn’t mean that all will continue exactly like it has, and there will be some changes in where I write different kinds of pieces. In the past, I’ve posted both Mariner specific content and general baseball theory stuff here, because this was my primary outlet to place my thoughts. Going forward, it’s pretty likely that any future pieces like the Evaluating Pitcher Talent piece would be written over at FanGraphs, and most of my writing here will be mostly about the local team. Hopefully, you’ll just make both sites a regular part of your reading schedule, but we’ll also work to make the content from over there easily accessible from this site, so that you won’t miss out on those types of baseball theory articles.
3. Additionally, as we’ve brought on some other bright minds to write here recently, I won’t be having to hold down the fort by myself. We’ve been lucky enough to keep Jay Yencich and his prodigious minor league information, but also have added Marc Webster, who will be contributing both major league and minor league information, and JH, another frequent commenter whose voice I respect, and will be chipping in from time to time as well.
There’s no way I’d be able to keep this place going by myself, but I’m lucky that I don’t have to. With three great co-authors, we should be able to keep the site loaded with similar content to what you’ve become accustomed to over the years. It won’t be exactly the same, as none of us can copy Derek’s unique style, and the type of writing I do here has changed a bit, but we’ll try our best to still make this a place where you can get great information about the team and the game as a whole.
We’ll have some more announcements in the future, but we believe that those will all be improvements to the blog. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or email us, and we’ll answer them as well as we can.