I was hoping to keep this quiet another day or two so I could compose my thoughts. But that’s not possible these days.
So here it is: I’m leaving The Journal News after nearly 10 years and going to work for The Boston Globe.
I’ll be covering baseball — yes, the Red Sox — and blogging for Boston.com. The Globe approached me in August, right around the time my newspaper was going through some painful restructuring that you all heard about.
But that was incidental. For many years now, my life has been my job. I covered the UConn basketball team for 13 seasons for The Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin and then the Mets and Yankees for the The Journal News. It was tremendous fun to work for a small paper and then to move up a step on the chain.
Now I get a chance to move up again and live closer to my family. I’m the oldest child in my family and my mom and dad are retired. It means a lot to me to be around them and other members of my family. For years, they’ve been imploring me to come home and now seems like a good time.
But it wasn’t an easy call. I have literally not slept for 48 hours pondering this decision. The Journal News has treated me better than I had any right to expect and tried very hard to convince me to stay. I also really, really love covering the Yankees. It has been the highlight of my professional career. I’m close friends with several other beat writers, too. We try to beat each other’s brains out in the paper, but it always has been with a sense of camaraderie and great respect.
Then there are you guys. This blog was the first by a beat writer in the New York market when it started in 2006 and it’s here today because of your loyalty and your passion for the Yankees. I sort of feel like a circus ringmaster at times, trying to hold it all together. It has been a tremendous ride and I thank you for letting me part of your baseball experience. If I find an audience half as good in Boston, I’ll be thrilled.
If there was a way to work for a larger paper and to advance professionally while still covering the Yankees, I would have really had a dilemma. But you don’t need me to tell you what is going on in the newspaper business. The Globe offered me a great opportunity and, frankly, I would have been foolish not to take it.
I’m sure some of you will accuse me of being a traitor because I’ll be covering the Red Sox. But I consider the regulars here to be my friends. Some of you I have met, some not. Regardless, I hope you can understand why I’m doing this and — who knows? — maybe someday I’ll be back covering the Yankees.
Whether you care to believe this or not, beat writers don’t root for teams. Our teams are our papers. We root for good stories and perhaps for certain people we meet along the way. This is a decision that I made for personal and professional reasons and I hope you can understand that.
I have two weeks left and I’m not going to waver in my commitment to get you as much news as I can on the Yankees.
As always, thanks for reading.
I have been assured by my bosses at The Journal News that they remain committed to Yankees coverage. They are already compiling a list of candidates to replace me. The only thing that will change here is the loss of my ugly mug, and that’s an upgrade. So don’t worry about that.
UPDATE, 8:40 p.m.: Holy cats, thanks for all the e-mails and good wishes posted on the blog. It means a lot to me that I have your support in this. Trust me, it was not an easy decision..
Meanwhile, I’ll be around for two more weeks and I promise one more reader Q&A. We’re going to have some fun. Plus I get a feeling I’ll be blogging the Yankees and Sox in the ALCS and that’ll will be a blast.