I’ve been at Over the Monster since April of 2011. I didn’t have a byline until a month later, but I came in behind the scenes and worked with Ben Buchanan to figure out what the new direction of the site was going to be. There was resistance at first, of course — people don’t love change! — but eventually, everyone settled in (or got lost) and all we did was grow and grow.
That growth wasn’t just about traffic, though, that was part of it — I’ve been here for six seasons for a reason, he writes with the ego he feels he’s allowed at this time — but also because the OTM community — writers, readers, commenters, all of us — grew in our knowledge of our favorite team and the game itself. I joined OTM the season everything fell apart in September. Our coverage of the 2012 season was basically a group therapy session. A championship in 2013 was maybe the sweetest of my Red Sox fandom, even if it didn’t come 86 years after the previous one, and part of that was because of my time here writing to this community.
I’ve also been lucky to work with a tremendous and talented group over the years here. Ben Buchanan carried this site through the good times and the tortuous ones with his recaps and features. You got used to seeing Matt Collins first thing in the morning on a regular basis. Brendan O’Toole always knew what to say, whether it was about our love of Mike Napoli or the importance of sports in our lives following the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing. I’m so proud to have worked with the people on our masthead, past and present, and I’m always happy to see a former writer like Joon Lee or Matthew Kory out succeeding elsewhere in the writing world.
I’m not going to name everyone who has written here, because over the course of nearly six years, well, that’s a pretty big list. Y’all know who you are, though, and so does this community, and in all but a couple of instances, things ended on good terms. That’s one more thing I consider myself lucky for during my stay here.
I haven’t actually said the words yet, but I’ll be leaving Over the Monster in the hands of... someone else. I’m not being coy about the who, either: the truth is, I don’t know who is filling my spot on the roster just yet, but I trust SB Nation’s Baseball Manager Justin Bopp enough to know that whoever it is will be up to the task. It’s a big job — there’s that ego again — so someone needs to be hired to fill it.
Hey, maybe it’ll even be you.
You might be a little used to hearing less from me already, as I stepped back into more of an editorial/management role after the 2016 draft. That’s been my primary focus the whole time I’ve been here — bringing in writers, figuring out just what it is we’re doing and trying to say here — but all through that time, I was also writing news hits and daily features. As I started to look for something new in my career, the non-management stuff slowed down, and now we’re in a place where even the management stuff is wrapping, too.
Don’t worry, my bosses didn’t get mad at me and push me out or anything. This was my call. It was time for something new — which is why I stepped back months ago in the first place — and that something new will be revealed in a few weeks after I’ve officially left Over the Monster and had a little pre-winter meetings vacation to decompress.
I’ll still be working for SB Nation MLB in my current role as MLB Editor, and said something new will also be somewhere on the network. Writing specifically about the Red Sox, though, will be someone else’s job going forward. I know you will all welcome them at least as well as you welcomed me back in 2011, and that’s part of why I know that it’s okay for me to step away.
With that, I leave you with my favorite gif out of the many, many gifs we made here during my run as OTM’s manager. Here’s hoping we get an updated version sooner than later.