An official introduction of Jeff Aberle, new managing editor of Purple Row.
So the stupid Giants won the World Series last night, meaning that the 2012 baseball season is over...and the 2012 Hot Stove season can officially begin. There will be plenty of time to discuss all of that during the next 4-5 months (Spring Training is but 120 or so days away), but today I'd like to introduce myself officially as the new managing editor of Purple Row. That means you'll have to read a short story (or not, it's a free country).
The Rockies have been my obsession for a long time now -- I think that's a commonality that most of us share. I was five years old when I attended one of the first home games in Colorado's history, the perfect age for me to get hooked on the team and on baseball. Baseball became the avenue through which I was taught many important lessons.
I learned how to read in large part because I wanted to understand how the Rockies had done in the Sports section every morning. Math was only interesting if it involved baseball statistics. Listening to broadcasts on the radio was my reward for doing household chores. Baseball history instantly (and later regular history) became one of my greatest interests, leading to a life-long infatuation with the genre. I think you get the picture.
As I grew older, the childhood fascination developed into a deeper fandom, trading some of that passion for a deeper understanding of the game. My childhood desire to become a professional ballplayer was looking more and more like an impossibility, so my focus shifted to wanting to be a part of Colorado's baseball operations staff. In order to be qualified for a position like that though, I needed to bone up on my baseball knowledge.
Enter Purple Row. In college, I had seen the promising 2006 team and followed the 2007 squad with great anticipation, but it was not until Rocktober that I first discovered this great community when I absolutely could not get enough Rockies news and analysis. I lurked for much of the 2008 season (under the Jabberwocky pseudonym), posting only occasionally (and tentatively at that), but I was encouraged by the consistent quality of not only the writing but of the commentary from the site's members.
When Russ and Rox Girl announced the Purple Row Writer search, I saw that the opportunity had come for me to finally put some of the baseball knowledge I had acquired to the test in front of some of the most passionate and knowledgeable Rockies fans on the internet. As those of you who read my first entry might remember, I had quite a bit to learn (and still do). It's an opportunity that I hope to impart to others who were in my shoes in the future.
During my first few months in particular I became much more knowledgeable about baseball statistics and the business of baseball because I had to stay one step ahead of the community. The MLB transactions series on Purple Row Academy was written by a professor who had read only a chapter or two ahead of the class. As time went on I became more and more confident in my ability to get that Rockpile up in less than an hour on 4 hours sleep, which has in turn helped my communications skills in my real job.
Writing for Purple Row has been such a blessing for me, first giving me something to do with my idle college hours and then giving me a break from the working world a few times a week. I've corresponded with Keith Law, got a shout-out from Bill Simmons, name dropped by Dave Krieger in the Denver Post, and I've even been on the radio on a couple of occasions. I've made some new friends with the wonderful community members and have a great staff to lean on. I might not be on the front office track, but I feel like I'm right where I was meant to be.
And now it's time for me to take on some more responsibilities to make sure that Purple Row can continue to bring you daily the best Rockies analysis on the web, by fans and for fans. It's been more than a little strange how the Rockies' manager situation has mirrored our own -- though at least Colorado gave an interview to a few outsiders unlike here on Purple Row!
Andrew Martin was a phenomenal blog manager and great evangelist for Rockies baseball and Purple Row. I thank him so much for the opportunity to take on this new challenge and hope that I am up to the task.
As many of you may have gleaned from my writing, I consider myself to be an unsentimental pragmatist, rooting for the laundry more than the individual players, but I've been known to have a soft spot for the under-appreciated talents (I see you Chris Iannetta and Dexter Fowler). I ground much of what I write on statistics and/or economics, though I certainly won't claim to know more than the people who get paid to do this. Also, I make guarantees that have been more and more incorrect as time has gone on, so there's that.
The site will run much as it did under Andrew, with Rockpiles every day during the off-season as well as some semi-regular features (he 2012 Player Reviews are scheduled to begin sometime next week, for instance). That's not to say that I don't have a few new ideas to grow the site and improve the content (hey new tagline and masthead). They just aren't ready for public consumption yet. Much as I did when I first made it on staff in early 2009, I have much to learn about this new position. I only ask for your patience and your continued support of Purple Row and the Rockies.
In actual Rockies news, Terri Frei wrote that Walt Weiss is a good compromise manager candidate given his ties to the team (but not the 2012 team).