Athletics Nation: The Past, Present and Future

I started this humble site in November of 2003.  It started as a simple typepad blog and at the time I didn't really know how to use the typepad format so I accidentally wound up titling the blog, Athletics Nation: Baseball Country.  I'm assuming not many remember those days, but we've come a long way since then.  Athletics Nation has been used as the blueprint for a company called SportsBlogs Nation, which I'm proud to say is now the largest independent sports blogging network on the Web.  Sort of the anti-ESPN in that the company was born from a frustrated fan who didn't feel like he was getting what he needed as an Oakland Athletics fan from the traditional media.

Still AN became my baby.  Although as AN has grown into a teenager in blog years and I've had to get it ready for college, I've had to seek the help of great people like Nico and baseballgirl.  Only then I found that I needed even more help because SB Nation was becoming a mammoth network with lots of bloggers and lots of things to do every day.  That's when monkeyball, louismg, Taj and notsellingjeans came on board.  More recently, Nico and I talked and decided we wanted a more stats focused column and that's when we brought grover, salb and devo to write Staturdays.  I personally think that AN has become a lot more than just a blog.  It's more of an Athletics community now with a variety of powerful voices and opinions. 

But as AN has grown, I've had to step back more and more.  SB Nation now has more than 180 blogs and is rapidly approaching 200 which is amazing to think about.  That has meant a lot of backend support and efforts needed from me.  The business side of things has kind of taken over my life although I'm now much more focused on the editorial across the network more than anything.  This job has pulled me away from AN more and more and I haven't been the good blogfather than I should be.  With that thought in mind, I asked Nico if he'd be willing to take over at AN as the lead blogger.  He graciously agreed to do so.

Now don't think that this means that I'm leaving AN.  I'm around AN more often than you'd think but I just don't have the time to comment like I used to.  I don't have the time to write the posts that I used to.  And this community deserves a lead blogger who is living in the community all the time not just temporarily.  I trust both Nico and baseballgirl so very much.  They both have such a passion for this community and it's why they were my first two choices to write on the front page (I had a very tough time making the decision to bring anyone on board) when I finally decided to make that initial change.

As many of you may have already noticed, I haven't been around the blog much basically the last four months any way (some of you would probably argue that's been for the best!).  Nico has been running things since then.  I just figured that it was time that people hear that it's more official now.

Ultimately, you are still going to get interviews from me (I think I have a couple coming in the next couple of weeks) and I'm not disappearing.  Basically the site will be running identically as to how it's been running over the past four months.

And finally I don't know about you, but I'm incredibly fired up about the A's season this year.  Not merely because the offense should be a significant upgrade over last year, but I think there's a good chance we could see some of the A's young starting pitchers soon rather than later, especially if they perform well in spring.  I think it's why Billy Beane has been building such a strong relief staff.  That way you try and squeeze five or maybe six decent innings out of the starters and then lean on a strength in the pen.

The reason I said all that is that there is no way in hell you're going to get rid of me around here.  Not this season.  No way, no how.  But I hope you'll join me in welcoming Nico as the lead blogger on AN.  And please give the same support for him and the rest of the front page crew led by baseballgirl.  Oh and I also love the addition of 67MARQUEZ.  He brings something that AN has lacked in years past and that's some deep historical perspective to AN.

Thanks for continuing to love AN.  This will still be the place to be for Oakland A's fanatics throughout 2009 and for many years to come.  Looking forward to seeing a bunch of you in person at the upcoming AN So Cal Day against the Angels and many more of you at AN day later in the summer at the Coliseum.  LET'S GO OAK-LAND!!!!

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