I begged Will not to be epic in his farewell. Pleaded. Got down on my knees while I wrote the emails...
Now I have to follow that.
When I started blogging about the Royals in 2005, there was one site that updated daily and was dedicated to the Royals. It was called Royals Nightly. The blog was written by this guy Will McDonald who blended the right amount of passion, snark and skepticism. I read his stuff and for some strange reason, felt motivated to start writing. I know I wrote to him for advice, but I can't remember the details. It was a lifetime ago. We touch base every now and again as Royal bloggers do, and I've always felt him to be a kindred spirit. Something has to be wrong with guys who write about pathetic baseball teams on the internet.
When I heard from the powers at SB Nation that Will was stepping down and he was onboard with me taking over the site, I was honored.
From afar, I have watched Royals Review grow and thrive. The community here is truly exceptional. The level of discourse is so high, I didn't think it was possible for the internet. When I was invited to contribute here, that was really my first thought: The commenters. I hope you guys stick around, continue to read and post like hell. I'd be naive to think there won't be a few stumbles along the way. A growing pain, here or there. But you have my word that I'm going to do the best I can to continue to make this the best Royals site on the interwebs.
Some of you may know me from Royals Authority. Others may not know me at all. Perhaps a brief introduction is in order...
I've been a fan since '76. Amos Otis has always been my favorite player. The bastards broke my heart in '77 and '78 devastated me. The World Series in '80 was special, but I'll always despise the Phillies. They deserve nothing. The '85 post season was glorious. I figured it couldn't get better than that. It would seem I was correct. Twenty-seven years of being correct about that. I drifted away from the team in high school and college, because that's what you're supposed to do when beer and girls take over your life. I interned for the radio rights holders in '93 and saw Hal McRae lose his sh*t and toss the tape recorder I was responsible for across the room. I was also dressed down several times that season by Royals PR. Little did I know I was just getting started. Kevin McReynolds is my least favorite Royal of all time along with just about everyone who played for the 2005 team. I want to buy into The Process, but with poor major league talent evaluation and a lack of roster savvy, it's not going to work. Bunts drive me crazy and Polk Points give me nightsweats. I would eat more Pop Tarts, but my wife cut me off.
Thanks for indulging me.
So the new guy is here... I'm sure you're asking yourselves what this means for the site. I'm asking myself why make crazy changes just for the sake of change? To that end, we're going to stay the course... Jeff, Duggan and Retro have all agreed to remain on board as contributors. Scott is still moderating the comments and I'll try to talk him into doing a post or several. This is huge. Huge. There's no way I'm getting into this without those guys by my side. Likewise, there's no way I'm coming over here without my long time partners in Royal crimes, Clark and Nick. Clark and I have been doing this together for a long time. Back to when Tony Pena was taking showers in his uniform and Ken Harvey was taking relay throws between the shoulder blades.
Will's voice was unique. Nobody is replacing him. Nobody should try.
What we're attempting to do here is continue to grow as a community and build this site to be the place for informative and entertaining Royals news and opinion. I can't (and won't) promise you a Carl Crawford Bookstore, but I think with the seven writers now on site, we have a great foundation in place for the future. Change is never easy, but I'm excited. I hope you are, too.
Tonight, I will watch the game, hang in the game thread and raise a glass to Will.
Thank you. Godspeed, my friend.