When Spencer Bingol approached me in December about joining Crashburn Alley, I was extremely honored to both join a site with a writing crew of Ben Harris, Tim Guenther, Michael Schickling, Dave Tomar, Adam Dembowitz (emeritus), and Brad Engler (emeritus) as well as a site that once hosted the writings of Bill Baer, Michael Baumann, Eric Longenhagen, and Corinne Landrey. I stumbled upon Crashburn Alley during the Great Phillies Blog Explosion of the mid-aughts and immediately was taken by, what seemed to me at the time, a new and different approach to baseball. While there were enough Phillies blogs around at the time to fill a full NCAA Tournament-style bracket, it was Crashburn Alley alone that captured the intellectual and emotional attention of this Phillies fan. To be asked to become managing editor of that same site that fueled my fandom during the Phillies most recent glory years was the greatest honor of my writing career.
This week, I will start a new writing job with MLB.com‘s Cut4 site, which means–like it did for Corinne before–that I will no longer be able to remain as managing editor at Crashburn Alley. The list of Crashburn Alley alumni who have gone on to full-time jobs with both Major League Baseball teams and baseball writing, speaks unmistakable volumes about the quality of work that has appeared and continues to appear at this site.
It has been a pleasure to write here for the past three months and interact with you, the reader, through the comment sections of various posts as well as through questions to the Crash Bag. I remember well my first time reading a Michael Baumann Crash Bag and thinking,” I want to do that.” Crashburn Alley, then, was not only the source that sparked the intensity of my Phillies fandom, but my love of baseball writing. I don’t exaggerate when I say that I owe much of where I am now as a writer and baseball fan to this very site.
As Corinne noted in her farewell post in September, Crashburn Alley is truly a tremendous place to write not only because of the other fantastic writers I get to share the masthead with, but because of the community established by you, the readers. It is not easy to step away from that, but I am happy that my stepping away allows someone else to step up. Bill, Corinne, Spencer, and I are excited to announce that, starting today, Matt Winkelman is the new Managing Editor of Crashburn Alley.
You are undoubtedly familiar with Matt’s work. He started his own website a couple years back–Phillies Minor Thoughts–that, as its name suggests, focuses primarily on the Phillies minor league system and prospects. Most recently, he has also been writing at The Good Phight, where, among other things, he hosts a fantastic weekly prospect mailbag. His knowledge of the Phillies minor league system is unrivaled in the public realm and, in addition, his fluency in analytics provides a strong undercurrent in his writing. I have admired his writing–and, admittedly, been jealous of it–for years now. I have absolutely no doubt that he will do a fantastic job here. I unequivocally believe that Crashburn Alley could not be in better hands.
I want to thank Spencer, Corinne, and Bill for giving me the opportunity to write here for the last three months and Tim, Michael, Dave, Ben, Brad, and Adam for their contributions to the site during my brief tenure here. I’ll still be around on Twitter (@CF_Larue) and, if you want to keep reading my baseball-specific work, you can do so at Cut4. In the meantime, enjoy Matt’s always-excellent work here at Crashburn Alley.