I wanted to take the time to address what's been a weird, difficult, unexpected baseball season, and where things stand with this blog and Minor League Ball.
First of all, this blog will continue as it has for five years, so Heels is still on the field! Just not...technically, a whole lot this summer. I've mentioned a few things on Twitter, but revealing anything too personal isn't my way and that hasn't changed. I've mentioned that 'family issues' brought me back from Durham, North Carolina, where I'd relocated to cover the Bulls and local sports. Let me clarify a little bit.
When I left Durham in May, after being there only a few weeks, it was only supposed to be for two weeks, three tops. But several things happened along the way that changed that. One, the work that I'd been expecting to return to for MaxPreps wasn't what I'd anticipated. Without going too much into this, respectfully, I believe there was a miscommunication. I'll leave it at that. I still had the work for the Durham-Herald lined up and was looking forward to that and anything else I picked up. I was really excited about everything still and not at all worried.
Then, the personal stuff happened. Some of that I'm not going to go into, but I did share that my Grandfather had a heart attack. Part of me feels I need to stay a bit longer for that reason. It just began to feel right, to be close should anything happen.
As the time's gone on, it's never quite lined up right for me return, and part of that was finding where to live. I like to tune into my instincts as much as possible, and something always kept me from going. Nothing ever quite fit.
What this has meant is that more focus has been put on my personal, non-work life and that's taken me away from what I love, and how I earn income. Not an easy decision, but one I'm blessed to be able to make.
However, I was also hired by Minor League Ball and the tremendous John Sickels, and that blessing has also been huge. I feel I've let him down, but I know through our conversations, those circumstances are understood. Still...I haven't done the consistent work I'd been expected to, that I expect from myself, and that readers have come to expect from me. For the first time in a few years of non-stop work, I slowed down. I don't love it, but I've embraced it. Letting people down, especially when I'm being paid, is another story and one with different rules. If I don't produce, I don't keep the job.
So here's where things truly stand. I'm not sure when or if I'm returning to Durham. I'm regrouping on a personal and professional level, and don't have the answers right now. I can't even describe how hard that decision was for me. I'd been planning that move for almost a year. Sometimes, you just don't know how things are going to turn and you have to go with it.
That means that I'm staying in the Philly/Jersey area, and continuing to do Eastern League coverage, and a lot of stories on the Trenton Thunder, where I'd spent almost four years. I began to do a bit of that last week and will have more in the next few weeks, including the Eastern League All Star Game next week, with live updates and coverage from the two-day event. That also means that, obviously, I won't be attending the Triple-A ASG as planned, and 'Hitting The Bull', a weekly notebook on the Bulls, won't be happening at this time. However, my decision to focus a lot of my attention to Rays prospects hasn't changed. You'll see that both here and on Minor League Ball. And, with both sites, there will continue to be a variety of coverage, same as always.
I'll continue to contribute weekly to Minor League Ball and the blog, as I re-think my future plans and see where the road leads.
I appreciate my readers so much for their constant support and devotion to my work. That respect means a lot to me. A huge thank you to John Sickels, my one and only HOTF staff writer Matt Kardos (who contributes outstanding EL coverage here), and, if I could sky write this thank you, I would: Thank you to the amazing people in North Carolina (I might be getting emotional on this part...I said might). I have never in my life felt so welcomed and so happy around any other people, not since leaving my home in the Delaware County area (Philly, if it's easier). The Durham/Raleigh area is a place where I felt so comfortable, ate great food (I gained five pounds in two weeks), and connected on a spiritual level. After living in New York City for two years, that was a nice change. Finally, a gigantic thank you to the Durham Bulls and Scott Carter. The players, coach's, and team staff, particularly Scott, welcomed me in the most amazing way. I truly hope to return before the end of this season.
I'm looking forward to whatever lies ahead. hanks readers!