May 24, 2013
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Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Programming NoteWhen I started writing ShysterBall in the spring of 2007, the idea was to give myself a place to be where I could escape the stress and unpleasantness of my legal career, if only for the briefest of moments. As time went on, it began to consume more and more of my waking hours and, in all honesty, interfering pretty significantly with that legal career. No, I never dropped the ball on a case, but it has been a struggle. I mean really, how is someone supposed to prepare for an oral argument when Roger Clemens is testifying before Congress? I'd like to say that I eventually managed to find balance with all of this, but that would be a lie. My life hasn't been in balance since at least 2006. Maybe earlier. Something has to be done. So I'm doing it:
I'm quitting the law. Starting November 30th I will be writing about baseball full time for NBC Sports.com.
Obviously this wasn't a unilateral decision on my part. NBC has decided that they want me all-in on Circling the Bases, and that's not the kind of thing you have to ask me twice. The people over there have been fantastic to me since I started moonlighting back in April. They've never censored a word I've written. They've never declared a topic off-limits. Their instructions to me when I started were to make some f*cking noise, and they've allowed me to do that non-stop since. When they asked me to do it full time, it was a complete no-brainer. I don't yet know how it's going to all work out -- the enormity of this is just starting to sink in -- but to say I'm excited would be something of an understatement.
Q: But Craig! Where am I going to go for my daily ATH fix come April?!
A: Right here. Well, to THT at least, because NBC has been good enough to allow me to keep doing ATH and posting it at The Hardball Times (see above about NBC being totally cool). It likely won't be in ShysterBall, because the ShysterBall name is going to go into mothballs. Right now the smart money is on it appearing as a daily post at THT Live, but we'll give you lots of advanced notice once the good Mr. Studeman and I figure it out. The upshot, though, is that everyone involved realizes just how valuable an outlet and how outstanding the readership and community is at THT, and no one wants to mess with a good thing. Day-to-day blogging will be at NBC, but ATH will continue to appear at The Hardball Times.
Q: But Craig! How can you subject yourself to the kind of abuse you get from the commenters over there every day?
A: I've learned a lot in a short period of time. I've also noticed a slight uptick in commenter quality as time has gone on. I credit many of you for that, as I have been seeing a lot of familiar commenting handles migrate over to NBC as the year has progressed. I hope that continues. And I'm sure that it can. None of you are the type who can't handle more baseball in your lives, so I'm sure you can make a point to be good boys and girls and read your THT, and then come over to NBC to see what I'm up to.
Q: So, like, what does this all mean for you?
A: I don't know. No shaving. Pants optional. Walking kids to the bus stop. Cheaper coffee. More time to go to the gym. Occasional cushion forts in the living room. I'm sure it's going to be an adjustment process. I'll ask Neyer what he does with his days.
OK, enough self-indulgent crap, we have almost a month to get all of that in. In the meantime, let me offer some thanks to some people.
Thanks ShysterBall readers of both the commenting and the lurking persuasion. I could bring more bloggy noise than anyone, but it's worthless if there's no one there to read it. I'm not the statcounter obsessive I used to be, but whenever I've lost the will to write, I've checked in to look at the numbers. When I see people who have way better things to do with their lives click and click and click like you've been doing for so damn long, I'm reinvigorated.
And away we go . . .
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 1:52pm
Jason @ IIATMS said...
There shall be no finer news today than this.
Mazel, as they say, Craig.
Posted 11/03 at 03:54 PM
Moshe Mandel said...
Congrats. I’ve been a reader since the beginning, so it’s really great to see you “make it big.” Good luck with the new gig.
Posted 11/03 at 03:59 PM
Jon Weisman said...
Wow - you quit your day job. That’s the stuff of greatness.
Posted 11/03 at 04:02 PM
Congrats, Craig. Fantastic news.
Posted 11/03 at 04:05 PM
Way to go, man. Living the dream. Just do me a favor and make sure you post some of the smart stuff you’d post here along with the totally inflammatory stuff you tend to post over there. Because it would be a shame to see the smart stuff fall by the wayside. It’s the best part.
Also, is that a BASEketball reference?
Posted 11/03 at 04:10 PM
Jason @ IIATMS said...
Because you mentioned it, I have to share my Craig-related story:
Back in November of 2007, Neyer was having an online chat when someone asked him what non-mainstream blogs he read. He listed Shysterball. As Craig’s link above notes, I wasn’t the only one to discover Craig that way.
I emailed Craig to let him know that I liked his site and to pester him about holding down a job while blogging. I had developed a pretty serious itch to launch my own blog and this was my tipping point. He answered every email, being as helpful to a total stranger as he would to a lifelong friend, I suppose.
A month later, I went live. Like most new blogs, double digit visits were the norm in the first early days. Then came triple digits. Then came the first Shysterball link and soon after that, quadruple digits. Wow.
I had to ask Craig how to hyperlink, for Pete’s sake! I mean, if that’s not as basic a thing as there is… yet he took the time to answer every question as my technical skills began to develop.
Since late 2007, Craig and I have emailed hundreds of times, sometimes about nothing special, sometimes to feed each other stories, sometimes to share life’s moments, both good and bad. It’s odd to consider someone I’ve never met a good friend, but Craig’s become one.
Craig, in 2008, was linking to my Josh Hamilton/Matt Sosnick articles & interviews and that eventually resulted in my first Neyer/ESPN link. I have that and every other Neyer/ESPN posting up on my office wall at work. It’s out of sight for most, but not for me.
And in an odd twist of fate, showing how Karma works, Rob Neyer selected my blog to be the Yankees representative for his new SweetSpot blog in his network for the 2009 post-season. In November of 2007, I would have done a backflip just to get Rob’s attention in a chat and now, I’m working with him daily. Craig’s at least partially responsible for this.
The commenters here are as good as anywhere I have seen online. Sure we have our slap-fights and pissy bickering, but overall, this is a great group of loyal and smart readers. There’s no doubt we’ll all follow you to NBC.
Thank you, Craig. And again, mazel.
Posted 11/03 at 04:11 PM
Now I just have three wishes:
1) Use some sort of identifier in your column titles at CTB so I know which columns are yours.
Also, in case I didn’t mention it, congratulations.
Posted 11/03 at 04:12 PM
Eric Solomon said...
Kudos, Craig. I am insanely jealous, but it is well-deserved on your part. And great news for us (your readers). Keep up the good work.
Posted 11/03 at 04:14 PM
The Common Man said...
Count me among those who found you via Rob’s keen recommendations, Craig. This couldn’t happen to a better guy and I wish you and your family all the best. Will Mrs. Shyster be able to handle the unprecedented level of baseball-centricness in the Shyster house? Because it’s been a struggle to convince my wife that I should get to keep watching baseball even after the Twins have been eliminated.
Posted 11/03 at 04:16 PM
Incredibly great new ... one less lawyer in the world.
Seriously, big congrats on the new gig as it appears you have not only found your true calling but it has found you.
Next time I’m in Columbus I’m taking you out for a feast at the Chef-o-nette.
Posted 11/03 at 04:17 PM
Wow, many congrats, Craig! That’s some big and exciting news!
When I saw the first few words on the post, I started to get a little bummed because I thought you were going to say that the state lawyering job just wasn’t leaving you enough time to blog anymore and that you would have to retire the site. I’m dang glad I was wrong.
So now you get to buy your MLB Extra Innings package. How excited are you for that? And just how long did it take you to get there? 2.5 years? Not too shabby.
Posted 11/03 at 04:20 PM
Adam Adkins said...
Congrats, Craig. What you are doing and what you have done is exactly what I want to become.
Posted 11/03 at 04:21 PM
Detroit Michael said...
Congratulations, Craig. Although, you know, you might want to keep paying those bar association dues for awhile just to keep your options open!
Posted 11/03 at 04:22 PM
Incredibly awesome, Craig. You fought the law and… you won.
Posted 11/03 at 04:28 PM
Zach Sanders said...
Just goes to show that great content gets noticed, eventually.
Congrats, Craig! I look forward to seeing more of you at CTB.
I was one of the few who didn’t find Craig from Neyer. I didn’t find this blog until after he moved to THT, but have read everything from Shysterball in my RSS reader since. Better late than never, right?
Posted 11/03 at 04:31 PM
Jack Marshall said...
Congratulations, sir. Thanks for showing that if you follow your passion and do so with skill,determination, humility, humor and integrity,you can indeed make a living doing what you love…and then, of course, it isn’t work an more. I’m so happy for you, and wish you all the success imaginable. And you’ll have it, too.
Posted 11/03 at 04:34 PM
Dan Friedman said...
Many congratulations, sir! I only started reading recently, but I’ve been constantly and consistently delighted, and it’s heart-warming to see a good, smart guy get rewarded for once.
Posted 11/03 at 04:36 PM
Josh Fisher said...
Kudos and congrats, Craig. You’ve been more help then you know in getting me started.
Posted 11/03 at 04:36 PM
Josh Fisher said...
Kudos and congrats, Craig. You’ve been more help than you know in getting me started.
Posted 11/03 at 04:36 PM
Dan in Philly said...
I am incredibly jealous. You are living the dream the rest of us have. Congrats, man.
Posted 11/03 at 04:38 PM