December 9, 2013
Who is Shyster?
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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
Wonderful news. Congrats Ex-shyster.
Posted 11/03 at 05:47 PM
Kevin R said...
Well, wow! Congratulations. Guess I have to set up an RSS feed for the NBC site then.
Posted 11/03 at 05:48 PM
But what will we call ShysterBoy now? So many unintended consequences….
What a year. Posnanski gets a seat with SI, and you’re hooking up with NBC full time. Now if only Mauer wins the AL MVP, we’ll have hit the trifecta!
Sincerest congratulations, Craig.
When NBC asks you to sit for an official portrait, consider actually doing the unkempt hair, five o’clock shadow, and tattered bathrobe look.
Posted 11/03 at 05:53 PM
Be honest, Craig. You’re just doing this to spite the legions of Yankee fans who told you to “get a real job” or whatever over at NBC…
Seriously, congratulations. God knows we have more than enough baseball bloggers in the world, but Shyster has always a been smart, funny, and most importantly unique voice in the crowd. You absolutely deserve to be doing this full-time.
Posted 11/03 at 05:59 PM
As a fellow Markie Post fan, congratulations. What amazing, wonderful news!
PS I’d love if things stayed under the “Shysterball” moniker here, if only for RSS feed purposes… If you want to get rid of the name, perhaps consider keeping it active “under the hood”, so to speak?
Posted 11/03 at 06:04 PM
Aaron Moreno said...
Congrats. I hope to someday become a lawyer and then stop being a lawyer.
So, does this mean your gov’t gig is open now?
Posted 11/03 at 06:08 PM
Ain’t it cool- Gonna have to dig up some old Letterman GE bits for your first (fully-paid) day.
I happened upon ShysterBall in a I guess a silly way, judging by other’s remarks. Was setting up My Yahoo page and ventured far enough to pick out a bunch of feeds (BBTF, Ballbug, THT, NBC MLB) then found your stuff on the right column, now go there everyday first.
Believe it or not, with the season ending tomorrow night, was going to suggest a round robin post where we faithful commenters could kind of have a company picnic before the admittedly less than exciting Hot Stove Season. Some of the best ShysterBall came those afternoons when we’d go off on movies, music, corned beef sandwiches, ad infinitum (nauseum).
But…...onward and upward, Craig. The quality of your work has made it through the crowd. Kudos to your work, past, present, and future.(Gives secret handshake)
Posted 11/03 at 06:14 PM
Joyce in Michigan said...
What…..no Thanks to Mom and Dad!?
Posted 11/03 at 06:15 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
They get a personal thanks, Joyce. Although it’s going to be hard. For the past three years I’ve been telling the old man that I made partner at the old firm.
Thanks for all of the kinds words everyone—I’ve been overwhelmed with emails and comments and everything else this afternoon. Aplogies if I don’t keep up, but you all know how I feel.
Posted 11/03 at 06:19 PM
I’m really happy for you, Craig. I’ve been (mostly) lurking for the past two seasons, and it’s been incredibly satisfying watching you hollow out this niche for yourself and grow as a writer. I’m also happy for myself, of course, because this means more content for me to read.
So all in all, congratulations!
Posted 11/03 at 06:20 PM
congrats you won
Posted 11/03 at 06:21 PM
Sara K said...
Despite my English majoriness, I cannot summon words to adequately express the degree to which you deserve this and the degree to which I am thrilled for you. Brave that valley, my friend. No one blogger is better suited for the task of bringing snarky light to the CW-addled darkness. :D
Posted 11/03 at 06:33 PM
Paul McC said...
Well done! As has already been said, you have achieved most lawyer’s ambitions - to stop being one!
As I sit on the bus here in Scotland on the way to the office in the morning, I always get excited to see you having done a new post overnight - a far more fun way of keeping up with the baseball world than reading all the game reports oneself.
Where else can you get Star Wars, Hitch Hiker’s Guide, Monty Python and the glorious game of baseball, with a sprinkling of law thrown in?
Of course, the full time gig is really going to get the NBC commenters going, as, within a week, you will be accused of hating every team there is, including the minor league ones!
Just promise us at least one Cap’n Jetes post a week - those threads are priceless.
Well done - and I say that with the greatest of respect!
Posted 11/03 at 06:40 PM
Awesome news, Craig.
Posted 11/03 at 06:59 PM
Andy H said...
Congrats Craig. I’ve been lurking and reading your baseball thoughts since they were making jokes about your wife at baseball primer. It’s been obvious you’ve wanted this for a while and I am glad for you that you made it.
Posted 11/03 at 07:02 PM
Chris Simonds said...
Holy crap! That is great! Congratulations! We will follow you anywhere Craig, even unto the bowels of the Mainstream Media.
Posted 11/03 at 07:12 PM
Great news. The next time I’m filling in on radio in Champaign, I’ll be thrilled to introduce you as a full-time blogger with NBCSports.com. Outstanding work.
Posted 11/03 at 07:22 PM
The Rabbit said...
Posted 11/03 at 07:23 PM
Simon DelMonte said...
Much congrats to you, Craig. Looking forward to what comes next.
Posted 11/03 at 07:44 PM
As a full-fledged lurker I’m risking some serious guff next time I show my face at one of our clandestine meetings, but I figure this is as good a reason as any to commit lurker sin #1.
No back to my creepy vantage point in the tree just outside your blog.
Posted 11/03 at 07:58 PM