(Reprinted from pressconnects.com). This has been one of the hardest sentences I've ever had to type. I've spent the last couple days starting, stopping, starting again. I've worn out the backspace key on three computers. It's been a challenge to find the right notes, to get the words right.
Saying good-bye is never easy. It’s not supposed to be. If it is, something’s wrong.
First, the facts: This is my last day as a full-time employee of the Press & Sun-Bulletin, my last post as Binghamton Mets/Binghamton University beat writer. A new opportunity has arisen, a chance to study at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Opportunities like this don't come around too often, and when they do, you've got to take them.
But moving forward also means you're leaving something behind. I'm leaving what was, in many ways, my dream job, the gig I've wanted since I was old enough to read. They pay me to go to baseball games, basketball games, and write about them afterwards? Seriously? How great is that?
I'll miss the games - the great ones, the lousy ones, the meh ones. As he usually does, Charles Pierce wrote it best: Thousands of actors have played Hamlet, but Hamlet always dies. Every game is a unique piece of theater.
I'll leave with the memories. Of snowy trips to Orono, Maine and sweltering afternoons at En-Joie. Of Shea Stadium and Greensboro Coliseum. Of Mike Gordon winning the game with the single coolest play I've ever seen. Of Daniel Murphy's swing, Mike Pelfrey's fastball, Jon Niese's curveball, Carlos Gomez's speed around the bases. Of that Saturday morning in March, when the Events Center floor shook and they cut down the nets. Of the night the coaches fought at the Events Center, and the night the managers brawled at NYSEG Stadium, of Tony Bernazard's meltdown and the story that raised so many questions about the Bearcats.
I'll miss Scotty Brown's incurable friendliness, Steve Kraly's old-school wisdom, the insights of Sebastian Hermenier and the singular grace and class of hall-of-famer Roger Neel. I'll miss talking baseball with Juan Samuel and Mako Oliveras, hoops with Kevin Broadus and Al Walker. I'll miss everyone I've had the privilege of shared press row, press box or media tent with.
I'll miss the room. The newsroom on the Parkway. It's no secret that this is a tough time for our business. But this room is still filled with some of the best and brightest - particularly the guys the sports department who don’t get a byline but saved me from looking stupid on a nightly basis. It’s a room that, when the day is right, still cackles with the kind of energy that reminds you how this is still a business that gets into your blood.
It’s the room where I met my wife.
And l’ll miss all of you, who've read the paper and the Web site, who've let me into your lives and your kids’ lives and trusted me with your stories. All of you who've followed me on Twitter, and all of you who've answered the question, what's everyone else think?
Thanks. It's been an honor writing for you.
(originally posted on pressconnects.com, Aug. 29, 2009)