I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. There has never been a moment — not once — where I felt like I deserved the recognition or praise that came my way for RAB. I’m not oblivious to the site’s success and to this day I have a hard time wrapping my head around it, but I don’t feel I’ve earned it.
To me, I’m just a guy who had an internet connection and met the right people at the right time, has a love of dingers and Mariano Rivera frontdoor cutters …
… and has a curiosity about baseball. When we launched RAB, it started as a passion project, and I did my best to keep up with Joe and Ben. We’ve added writers over the years to reduce my workload and also to bring different perspectives to the site, and I felt the same way. I’ve just been trying to keep up.
I never expected RAB to become what it did or last as long as it did or lead to where it did, and I feel I played only a small part in that. RAB was at its best with multiple voices and different opinions, and I am only one person. Everyone here made me better. So did all the other baseball bloggers out there, Yankees or otherwise, though they may not know it.
No one pushed me to be better more than you folks though. Through mailbag questions, emails, social media, and our comments (RIP), RAB readers pushed me to be better. You helped me broaden my horizons, helped me come up with post ideas — I couldn’t possibly tell you how many topics I “stole” from the comments or random Twitter interactions over the years — and kept me on my toes.
The Yankees provide great subject matter and a dedicated fan base, and that made RAB all the more fun. More demanding, but also more fun. Building a successful blog is almost impossible nowadays. Building one in the New York media market about this team? I look back and wonder how we managed to do it, and I know I couldn’t have done it without everyone who read. Your passion pushed me.
RAB has led to some pretty cool things, including my current spot with CBS Sports. Eventually I became credentialed — I am forever grateful to Marc Carig for showing an overwhelmed blogger the ropes in a big league clubhouse (you can all Marc thank for talking me into keeping RAB alive as long as I did) — and now I’m in the BBWAA and halfway to a Hall of Fame vote. This was not the plan, but here I am.
The best part of RAB has been the friendships, both the new ones I’ve made and the existing ones that grew stronger. I’ve put a lot of time into RAB and the friendships make it all worth it. There are things I would change if we could go back and do it again — we were jerks to people unnecessarily in the early going, which I blame on youthful know-it-all-ness — but not that. I have friends for life because of RAB.
RAB started as a hobby and evolved into a life-changing journey. I’m sad the site is shutting down but I also know it’s time. Part of me is sad to see RAB go and the rest of me is excited to figure out what’s next. Whatever it is, I know it won’t be as rewarding. Even though I never met most of you, you were part of my life for 12 years, and you helped me get to where I am today.
Thank you for reading, thank you for the thank yous and the stories about what RAB meant to you, and thank you for pushing me to make RAB the best it could possibly be.