For the last 15 years -- which is like centuries in Internet time -- Rob Neyer has written about baseball for ESPN.com. Like Bill James, for whom Neyer once worked, Rob has been able to successfully marry solid analysis using advanced statistical methods with an intelligent way of writing about it, so as to help everyone understand what he meant.â†µâ†µYesterday, at the bottom of this piece about Bo Jackson, Rob announced his departure from ESPN, almost as an afterthought, with these words of gratitude for his readers:â†µâ†µ
Whether you've been reading my ramblings since 1996 or just since last week, you have my profound, impossible-to-express-in-words gratitude. There is not a working writer on Earth who's more grateful than I for his readers. Without you, I would have nothing.â†µâ†µ
I've been one of those reading his "ramblings". I've read all his books -- in fact, in 2001, when he was working on what became his Big Book of Baseball Lineups, he contacted me for some information and advice on who he should put in his Cubs chapter. I was flattered that he wanted my input.â†µâ†µ
Now, he's a co-worker here at SB Nation. In his first article for SBNation.com, Rob writes:â†µâ†µ
There are a lot of things to love about SB Nation, which is why I'm here. But among them is that they -- excuse me, we -- don't see us as us and you as them. We've got bloggers who most professional writers probably consider them ... but we know better. We know that some of our writers are every bit as talented and knowledgeable as anyone you'll find working for newspapers or the Big Boy websites. We also know that today's readers are tomorrow's writers, and that often the only difference is opportunity (one fantastic thing about the Web is that opportunity is everywhere).â†µâ†µ
That's definitely what we're all about here at SB Nation Chicago and all related SB Nation sites. A big "welcome" to you, Rob; happy to have you as "one of us". But then, you really always have been.