No headline this time, just read the post

I’m not a big believer in beating around the bush. I’ve always felt it was much better to just rip off the band-aid and be done with it. And so, I’m just going to tell you — in case you haven’t already figured it out based on the lack of recent posting — that I have decided to shut down this blog. Well, not shut it down completely. It will still exist, and I still will provide occasional content for it. But it won’t be Dodgers content or baseball content or anything of that nature. Unlike four years ago when I was laid off by the Los Angeles Daily News, and unlike a year and a half ago when I parted ways with ESPNLosAngeles.com, this time, I really mean it: I am absolutely, positively done covering baseball. It was a great ride, something I did for almost 20 years, but it’s finally time to move on and do something else.

I suppose I owe you an explanation. Well, there are a few reasons for my decision.

The first was that even though I never got around to installing the pay wall, it became clear from the traffic this site was getting that we never were going to get enough paid subscribers to keep this thing afloat. Oh, with the right nurturing and marketing and planning, it might have turned profitable four or five years down the road. But honestly, I don’t want to keep pouring money down a hole for that long, especially when there are no guarantees that it will EVER be a successful venture.

The second reason is that after all these years, I simply have had my fill of covering baseball. I used to think I wanted to do it until I dropped dead of old age. But it isn’t fun anymore, and to be honest with you (and with myself), it really hasn’t been for the past several years. To the outsider, this probably looks like a glamorous job, and you know, to some extent, it is. But it’s also an exhausting, all-encompassing job, one from which you can never quite break free, even in the offseason. With another birthday coming up in a few weeks, I have decided that I want to spend the rest of my life, well, having a life, and that is a luxury you don’t really enjoy on the baseball beat. Too many 6 a.m. flights after night games, too many late-night meals, too many airport meals, too many hotel meals, too many days when I dragged myself to the ballpark in a zombie-like state, too many pounds packed on seemingly every season because there usually isn’t enough time to go to the gym and even when there is time, there is almost NEVER enough energy. It catches up with you after a while, especially as you get older, and it can make you get older more quickly than you’re supposed to.

And finally, there is this: on the two previous occasions that I stopped covering baseball, I was OK with the possibility of never doing it again, but the problem was I had no idea what else I wanted to do. This time, I have a lot of things I want to do, and while I won’t bore you with too many details about them, let’s just say I’m excited about all of them. The reality of today’s economy is that the old idea of having that one job that you go to every day, that job that is the centerpiece of your life and around which the rest of your life is planned and arranged, is no longer viable for a lot of us. For an increasing segment of the population, the future will involve doing a little of this, a little of that and a few other things on the side, generating various income streams. It’s an idea I have only recently begun to consider, much less embrace, and as someone with a short attention span and a tendency to bore easily, I think it might be perfect for me. And so that is what I’m planning to do. For now, at least.

So that’s what I wanted to tell you. And now, I want to hand out some thank-yous.

First, to those of you who have followed this blog and who have followed me throughout the years. Some of you, I have had the privilege of getting to know personally. Some have even become friends, and I hope will remain so going forward. But just know that I truly appreciate every single one of you, the positive feedback and kind thoughts you have sent my way.

I want to thank some of the great colleagues whom I have had the pleasure of working alongside. I won’t name all of them here because there are just too many of them and I’m afraid I would leave somebody out, but they know who they are.

I want to thank Kristen Wair for designing this site, for being there to provide support both technical and emotional and for not charging me very much for any of it. Without her, this thing might never have gotten off the ground, because I ain’t no web designer.

And I want to thank Phil Stone, who took such an interest in this blog that he became an active participant and contributor even though he knew I couldn’t pay him. His daily pregame numbers posts during the season and the playoffs was a fantastic addition to dodgerscribe, especially given that I’m not much of a numbers guy — I’m much more comfortable weaving a narrative. And for those of you who enjoyed the podcasts that Phil and I recorded, well, you have him to thank for them, because I wouldn’t have the first clue how to edit and post one of those things. Those were Phil’s baby, and he did a fantastic job with them. I know he had some ambitious ideas for this blog, and there is a part of me that wishes we could have seen some of them through.

Even as I bring the curtain down on what this blog originally was supposed to be, I WILL maintain a presence on Twitter (@dodgerscribe), even though my tweeting habits probably will continue to drift farther away from baseball and more into the random (and sometimes-sarcastic) thoughts that often find their way into my brain. As for this blog, I’m probably going to change the name — to what, I don’t know yet, but as soon as I do, I will alert you on Twitter. One thing for which I haven’t lost my passion is writing, and this blog will continue to provide me with an outlet for that. However, it will become more of a personal-journal type of blog, with no real structure or schedule that says I have to write every day or X number of days a week. Again, there will be a lot of randomly selected topics, rants, thoughts, opinions, gripes, etc. And I can almost promise you there will be heavy doses of politics, a subject I have been passionate about since high school — and believe me, high school was a LONG time ago.

A lot of you won’t be interested in reading any of what I’ll be posting here, and I don’t blame you. But for those of you who are, feel free to visit anytime and, as always, to comment on anything that I write.

Thanks again for your friendship, your participation and your kindness. This is not the end, but merely a new beginning.

I’ll see you soon.

Tony

14 comments

  1. Well thanks for the explanation, I was worried about your health. Many posters @ LADodger talk which coincidently closed shop yesterday, have also been wondering about you.
    The best thing you can do is make yourself happy, so follow your bliss.

    • Tony, I am also glad that you are okay but now I’m not. I was definitely ready to pay for your site. The amount of Dodger information, insight and great writing would have been worth it. You did a great job. I do totally understand about being away from home and family. But do know that I appreciate what you tried to do here and I appreciate your writing and reporting. I do however think the site would have been successful but it really isn’t worth it if you’re not happy.

      Best Wishes in whatever you do next. And Thanks.

      Go Dodgers!

      • Tony,
        Count me as another one that would have been happy to pay for the content. I pay for the “insider” edition on the ESPN site so it is not that unusual for me to pay for good content and that was something that you clearly provided. I’m sure to do the job right you have to have a passion and it sounds like you no longer have that for baseball, in general. I definitely will miss the straight forward approach to your writing and your willingness to provide your opinion on Dodger topics. Good luck with the new ventures and I’m sure I speak for everyone that has used this site for our daily Dodger fix if the current changes please come back.

  2. Tony, from a reader’s perspective, this is sad (but understandable) news. Very quickly your blog had become (again) the go-to source for info on the Dodgers. That definitely will be missed, and I’m glad I had a chance to meet you during this time.

    Best wishes as you move on to new opportunities, and I hope you find them very fulfilling.

  3. I figured you were taking a well-deserved break. I’m sorry (selfishly) to read this, but excited for you. It’s been a pleasure reading and being with you and I hope we can meet again somewhere/sometime. I look forward to your tweets and whatever you post to your blog. You’re always an interesting and thought-provokoing read, and I understand and applaud your decision which I know couldn’t have been easy for you. Leaving your comfort zone never is, but as a wise man once said, “Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.”
    Keep on keeping on and keep in touch.

  4. I recently switched jobs after 12 years of service to one company. It was hard to leave, even though I knew I was heading for greener pastures. So I can relate to that part of what you’re going through. Appreciate all the great information you’ve shared with us all over the years. There will definitely be a hole in my Dodgers circle of knowledge now. Blogs and websites in general are extremely difficult to monetize. I don’t envy anyone who has to try and make that work…especially with how easy the majority of people seem to think it is to do, because it’s not. Wish you all the best Tony and good luck with all of your new ventures! Thank you for all those years of great coverage and especially this past seasons’ behind the scenes look at the team. It was some wonderful insight for us fans to get a glimpse into what goes on with the team behind the scenes.

  5. I have thoroughly enjoyed your work over the years covering the Dodgers. You were one of the best. Well, actually, you still will be even if you’re not doing it.

    I’ve been in transition, career-wise, as well and it has helped me re-focus on life. I truly hope you do the same. I look forward to reading whatever you put up here.

  6. I read a couple other Dodgers blogs (as a lifelong Dodgers fan living in South Dakota, blogs are my go-to for Dodgers news–I’m too cheap for an LAT internet sub). I was considering dropping at least one of them, but your news has made me reconsider…unfortunately.

    Tony, yours was the best writing, bar none, on the Dodgers throughout the season, and that (almost as much as the team’s success) made last season one of the most enjoyable ever. Sorry to see you leave the baseball beat, but you’re a good enough writer that I’m sure you’ll succeed in whatever future endeavors are in store for you.

    For certain, I’ll keep this blog in my rotation. Best wishes, and hope to hear more from you soon.

  7. We’ll always have the striped blue polo……

  8. Sad but completely understandable. I did plan to pay when the paywall went up, but I can understand the economics just not being there for a few good fans. Thanks for the summer and best of wishes going forward Tony.

  9. Well, this certainly sucks. I’ve never paid for access to a blog before, but I was willing to do so for yours. You were the ONLY complete source of daily news from inside the Dodgers’ clubhouse and press rooms. I understand how tough a life it is to be a beat reporter — esp. one not on anyone’s payroll — and I wish you well. But dammit, this sucks. And to top it off, Jon Weisman’s blog is going dark, too. True, he’ll still be writing, but now he’s working for the Dodgers; maybe he’ll have more access, but maybe he’ll be more tempered in what he says.

  10. Tony, I too would have paid to enjoy your site. Although we’ll miss your daily updates and well thought out commentary I understand your need to move on. I wish you the very best and hope you’ll keep us updated on your new ventures.

  11. I agree with the comments above. This is a big loss for the Dodger community, and that’s a reflection on just how good your writing was; you’re the very best writer on the Dodger beat, IMHO. But you have to do what makes sense for your life, your finances, and your peace of mind. I wish you all the best success in your endeavors.

  12. Tony, I would like to also echo many of the sentiments stated here; we will miss your very insightful and detailed behind the scenes perspective in traveling with our beloved LA Dodgers on a daily basis. There isn’t another beat writer out there who invested so much of himself into a project like this one, and that’s what made this such a unique and fresh read. Perspective is everything and you gave us a great look into the inner workings of the Dodgers.

    I look forward to your next chapter and wish you the best of luck with the turn of the page. Thank you for putting forth your best Dodger site while it lasted! It was the best.