Something something deep, something something anecdote, something something lede. People who have read farewell columns know the drill for the opening paragraph, so I’ll spare you. We’ll get into the self-indulgence soon. This will be my last post at Pinstripe Alley.
There’s a chance that the eagle-eyed among you have already noticed that I’ve branched out a little bit over the past few years from just thinking about the Yankees by writing for BP Mets with occasional guest posts at Baseball Prospectus as well. Earlier this week, I began a new job writing for Cut4 at MLB.com. It’s a tremendous opportunity to focus on baseball as a whole for a terrific website, and I’m very excited to dive into it. In all seriousness, it is a dream of spring (I’m not just trolling George R.R. Martin).
That being said, it wasn’t a slam-dunk decision. I’ve lived and breathed Pinstripe Alley for more than five years now while writing well over a thousand articles, and even longer as a member of the community. I remember discovering PSA in 2009 via Yahoo Sports’ recommended blogs. It was the beginning of my sophomore year of college in the middle of Pennsylvania, and while I had some friends who were Yankees fans, it was something else entirely to follow along that enthralling postseason run with other absolute diehards.
I only lurked in the comments section during the playoffs that year, but in 2010, I made an account and got involved. I was so invested in PSA that when I studied abroad in Brisbane in spring 2011, I still made an attempt to watch Yankees games while in the PSA game threads during the middle of the night or early morning. It helped keep me connected to the game, as weird as it might have been.
In 2012, I was lucky enough to be chosen to join the PSA writing staff. It was funny to me because while reading in the seasons beforehand, I had thought about how cool it would be to appear on the masthead and write here. The fact that I could somehow make it onto the front page was incredible to me.
So what has happened since then? Life has happened. I graduated college, moved back home to New Jersey for five months, got a full-time job in Baltimore, lived there for three years, earned a master’s degree, got a new job in Atlanta a year and a half ago, and have resided there ever since. (Yes, I do live very close to SunTrust Park, and yes, traffic is going to be a sheer nightmare. It’ll be a grand ol’ time.) Some friendships have strengthened, and some friendships have faded. I became an uncle for the first time, and I’m already waging war against my Mets fan brother-in-law over his allegiance.
Throughout it all, one of the few everyday constants in my life has been the blog, especially after I became an editor in late 2012. Even on the occasional weekend away, there has been the blog. I’ve posted from Wisconsin, North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Niagara Falls. One time, I even had to post on my old iPhone while in the upper deck at Yankee Stadium during a freezing playoff game. (No, that was not fun, but thanks to CC, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment too much.) I tried to stay away for a little bit when I went to Europe for a week and a half in 2015, but I still did some social media work while in Copenhagen, Berlin, and Warsaw.
There’s a reason that I was so invested though. The Yankees fans on the writing staff who I’ve gotten the pleasure to know over the past five years have been incredible. I’m obviously not going to be able to name them all (check the PSA history post for that), but I have to say a few things.
The current writing staff is the best that PSA has ever had, and I’m not just saying that. Given everything I’ve read since 2012, the quality of their work stands alone. The other editors would agree.
The people who have been on the masthead the longest deserve special mention, too. It’s been amazing watching Matt Provenzano and Matt Ferenchick develop in their writing, and the former’s insight and the latter’s humor are always present. Kunj Shah and Greg Kirkland have been absolute champs handling the daily news posts, embracing them head-on. Greg has also, of course, made for a hilarious fellow Pinstripe Alley Podcast host, too, and I’ll miss doing the show with him, Tanya, and everyone else who joined (check out episode 100).
On a related note though, it still boggles my mind how Jason Cohen essentially did the news by himself every single day for over a year and a half on his way to putting up a ridiculous 2,373 articles since the start of 2013. He’s a machine and continues to post more than anyone. At the end of 2013, Caitlin Rogers stepped straight into an editorial role after an absence from the PSA community and didn’t miss a beat. She has patiently gone through so many articles and certainly written her fair share since then, never missing a beat. She even somehow managed to not make all her posts about Mark Teixeira!
Then there’s Tanya Bondurant, the ultimate Greg Bird superfan. I don’t think that I can adequately express how important she is to Pinstripe Alley. She is the lifeblood of this site, devoting countless hours of her time keeping it going, even while she was a full-time student in law school. Tanya, Greg, and I were all hired at the same time, and it has been remarkable watching her ascend to the managerial role and tackle any assigned task with intelligence, diligence, and organization. She has had so much crap thrown her way by various challenges (not the least of which includes people upset that someone who isn’t a dude runs a top Yankees site), and she has remained committed to the job.
It’s damn impressive, and Tanya rarely gets enough credit. The site has grown so much exponentially in terms of viewership that it’s hard to believe at times, and she has simply done masterful work. We have been through so much together in the many days since February 2012, and I’ve only grown more impressed with her since then. She is fantastic and working with her has been a privilege. Thank you, Tanya.
I’m disappointed that I was only able to get through half of the long-lasting Top 100 Yankees project, but hey, that’s life. I made sure that every single one of those posts was meticulously detailed and didn’t just provide a few paragraphs on each member. I’d estimate that over 150,000 words have been written on the back 50, and it’s packed full of cool stories. Researching the back 50 has probably been even better than the front 50 would be since most Yankees fans know the stories of, say, Derek Jeter and Babe Ruth. It’s been fascinating reading about the likes of Orlando Hernandez and Ray Caldwell. Maybe one day I’ll finish the list, but getting this far has been a blast.
That’s more than enough from me. You can find my writing at Cut4 and follow me on Twitter, where I’ll continue to be @MearnsPSA. As I said on the podcast, it’s a multi-faceted acronym, so that’s good enough for me. Speaking of podcasting, I won’t be entirely leaving airwaves either, as I recently started a Game of Thrones scene-by-scene podcast with an even bigger GoT fan from baseball Twitter, so definitely feel free to check that out sometime if you’re curious.
Thank you so much for reading, whether it’s been one post or a thousand. It has honestly meant the world to me.
All the best.
PS: Just for old times’ sake...