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The last Minor Lines of 2019

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It’s almost certain this isn’t the end, but for now let’s say goodbye.

Aguilas de Mexicali v. Scottsdale Scorpions Photo by Jill Weisleder/MLB Photos via Getty Images

There’s a reason why Roger Munter has been on the site’s masthead all these years: he’s as important to it as Grant. He did more than carry the torch that had been passed to him by steve S in 2015 and turned what had been a passion project into a de facto primary source for Giants fans wanting an answer to the seemingly unanswerable: “Do the Giants have any interesting prospects on the horizon?”

They rarely ever do, but that wasn’t the point of Minor Lines. Sure, most of the team sites have their own versions of a farm system report, but few of them take you through each game like it was as significant as a major league game.

Roger made sure that the morning digest of last night’s farm system exploits weren’t boiled down to an assessment of the system’s quality. He led us into the wilderness and helped us get lost in every tree and shrub, to really steep ourselves in a different way of obsessing over our favorite baseball team.

And Kevin Cunningham’s contributions were equally immersive. They both eyed the business of baseball with the suspicion it deserved, but didn’t allow that to interfere with their passion for prospects and the hope sewed into every farm system.

Their work has helped fans and beat writers alike stay up to date on all things happening in the Giants’ farm system, nearly by the minute, and selfishly, Minor Lines has been a reliable block of daily page views during the regular season — which brings me back to the point.

Grant put McCovey Chronicles on the map, the community far surpassed anything SB Nation could’ve ever imagined when it somehow perfected commenting software, and the community birthed the site’s third heat; but without everything Roger and Kevin did to evolve Minor Lines into what it became, this place might’ve fallen away as soon as Grant picked up more time on SB Nation’s national desk.

He trusted Roger enough to hand him the keys to the place in the event he couldn’t manage his baby. There was no onboarding process when I took over, but it very quickly became clear that there was a part of the site working beautifully without my involvement. Leaving it alone was one of maybe only a few successes I had in my brief time as managing editor.

This won’t be the last post of Minor Lines, of course — Roger and Kevin are still guiding the community through a ranking of the top 44 prospects — but the future is uncertain while the present is known. Our contributor agreements expire March 31st or upon our 35th post submitted in 2020. I wanted to get in one last thank you to this pair and give the community another opportunity to express its appreciation.

I had scheduled one last Untitled Prospects Podcast with Roger before the end of the year, but on the night of the record, operator error on my part lost the entire thing. In it, you would’ve heard Kevin’s fantastic voice (he really should consider doing a podcast of his own) as well as broad discussion about the state of baseball, MLB’s radical minor league revision plan, and just where the Giants’ new development program might augment what seems like a successful system reboot that happened before Farhan Zaidi came aboard.

You would’ve also heard about the prospects to watch in 2020. It’s not just Joey Bart who figures to make waves. Marco Luciano and Alexander Canario figure to see their respective stock rise, the former on a national level and the latter within the system. A bummer that I totally blew it on the recording.

That would’ve been a much more proper goodbye to Minor Lines, even if I’m not 100% on board with saying goodbye. I see this situation more like “a see you later” sort of thing. Brady & co. might very well have plans to continue this section. Roger and Kevin won’t stop caring about the Giants minor leagues, either.

Thank you for reading.