I recently dreamt that the Giants were playing on Opening Day, and I wasn’t watching it. I was with some friends, realized the game was on, and checked my phone to find out that Brandon Belt had given the Giants an 8-7 lead with a grand slam off Clayton Kershaw. I panicked because I knew this was going to be a game worth writing about, and I wasn’t watching.
When I got to AT&T Park, it was covered in snow, and Hunter Pence rode a snowboard down a ramp to get to the plate for his at-bat. Except it wasn’t baseball, but a game of kickball, and every position was filled with a kid under the age of 10. I got to sit on the field, in the snow, and watch. Then it was in my living room. Also, don’t forget the surreal part where the Giants got four baserunners against Kershaw and Belt hit a home run.
None of that last paragraph was important, but they were all actual parts of this dream, and I had to get them out of my brain. Focus on the first paragraph, though. The one where I had a dream about missing a Giants game. I have these dreams a lot. For most of November, I have dreams about not knowing who’s in the World Series. For the rest of the offseason, I dream about Giants games. It’s not my favorite.
It’s a sign that what I’ve been doing — running a Giants-themed site and being a lead writer for SB Nation — is untenable. I could keep going the way I’ve been going for the last seven years, I guess, but not in a way that would make me proud of what I’m publishing.
Every August, I realize that a player on another team is having a fantastic season, and I’m completely taken aback.
YONDER ALONSO: [has been excellent for three or four months]
ME, A NATIONAL BASEBALL WRITER: Wait, Yonder Alonso is on a major league roster? Someone needs to tell me this stuff.
It’s a horrible feeling. And I’m missing what’s happening in baseball because I’m deeply engaged in Reyes Moronta news. Except when it’s time to write about a Giants game or Moronta’s debut, I’m mentally exhausted from writing about Yonder Alonso. It’s been a vicious circle for years, and while I’ve made it work, I’ve always realized that my split role made me objectively worse at both Giants coverage and national coverage. It also made me worse at being a dad, but kids are resilient little buggers, ha ha, aren’t they?
I always wondered if I would choose to follow the Giants full time or if I would do national baseball full time if I had the choice. Recently, I got that choice, and it made me realize just how much I wasn’t looking forward to covering the Giants more than I already was. I’m running out of jokes, insight, and creativity. I’m running out of different ways to say a team stinks or that relievers are unpredictable. I’m running out of ways to gloat about three championships in five years. I’m sick of my own voice when it comes to the Giants, and I’m living in constant fear that everyone else has, too.
I’m not leaving the site. This reads like a buildup to me saying, “Aaaaand I’m out of here. Later, nerds,” but I promise that’s not how this ends. I’m just not going to do nearly as much as I’ve been doing.
Consider the great Spencer Hall at Every Day Should Be Saturday. That was/is his baby, and it is covered in the glorious placenta of college football. Eventually, his responsibilities for SB Nation grew and grew, and he couldn’t write for the site every day. Except he never left. He just writes there when he’s inspired, not because he has to fulfill a posting quota. Every year, he still writes an ode to the opening Saturday of college football that I’ll read three times even though I couldn’t give a single crap about college football. He’s inspired to do that every 365 days, but he also writes every week. Several times a week, even.
I want to feel that inspiration again. I want to write about the Giants because I have something that I absolutely have to say, and not because they’ve signed Chaz Pimento to a minor-league deal. I want to watch a meaningless August game with fresh eyes because, dammit, this is the game that I’m covering, and I’m excited to have that chance.
At the same time, I want to do more stuff like this and this. I have that opportunity. I have the support of a company that will let me be as creative as I want to be. And I’d be a fool to pass that chance up.
There will be a new site manager. I will be involved in the transition. You can apply here. I’m very interested in keeping the voice of the site the same, just as I’m interested in making sure the community is still just as vibrant. There will still be daily posts and recaps, and silly posts and serious posts. There will be several of them every day, hopefully.
One of the reasons I waited so long is that I wanted to make sure that the person taking over was paid fairly. Not full-time money, but enough to where I wouldn’t feel like a fraud for passing all the responsibility for this site to a college kid making $200 a month because that’s the only shitty model that today’s media environment allows. I’ve spent 13 years building this site — yes, this site is a surly teenager — and you’d better believe that I care about how it evolves and changes.
It’ll be great, I promise. Note that this won’t be like when Jeff Sullivan left Baseball Nation but still pretended like he was going to write for Lookout Landing forever. That’s because he’s a fraud who claimed that he cared about his readers. I, for the record, have never claimed that. And I’m planning to stick around and write about the Giants.
Just not, you know, every damned day. Several times a day. Seven days a week.
Because, friends, that was kinda breaking me.
Thanks for reading, and I look forward to the new, improved McCovey Chronicles.
(And don’t forget to watch Giants Outsiders on NBC Sports Bay Area after every 7:00 p.m. game! Now with thoughts that aren’t necessarily regurgitated directly from a recap!)