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From David Luciani, President of Baseball Notebook
October 30, 2012

After twenty years in business and almost three quarters of that on the Internet, I regret to inform you that Baseball Notebook is permanently concluding business operations, effective immediately.

Compared to the truly significant events in the news in recent days, our matter here is quite clearly a trivial one but I did want to pay readers the courtesy of a brief explanation. Just over a year ago, I wrote here of my great desire to return to doing the kind of research that originally built Baseball Notebook, a decision that caused the conversion of our site from being a full season publication to a pre-season publication. As expected, I did spend much of this past summer investigating ways to improve the forecasting methods. Much of that work remains incomplete but I very much enjoyed regaining the time that would have otherwise been spent on publishing revised forecasts throughout the season. There are many new developments in available statistics and record-keeping in baseball performance that were unavailable to us just a few years ago and these breakthroughs will serve future generations of forecasters.

The more time I had to consider the state of what we do here, the more I realized just how much things have changed since we first arrived on the Internet in April of 1998. It's not just that there's more data we can consider. The publishing landscape is entirely different. We are certainly in the era of live and mobile information. The environment now outright demands compatibility with wireless devices and more compact platforms and new browsers. What is clear is that for Baseball Notebook to continue as a viable and self-sustaining business, it would require a massive overhaul of our organization, our business model and even the primary forecasting methods and software that make the site operate. If it were to remain rooted in my own forecasting methods, it would also require a greater commitment on my own part than ever before.

Personally, I am anxious to move on to new activities and challenges. My baseball passion remains open-ended experimentation and research, this rather than the constraints of a fixed publishing cycle added to the reasonable expectation that forecasts require explanation and context by way of accompanying commentary.

Some may recall that I almost retired from writing and publishing six years ago and only at the last minute decided to reverse that decision. This announcement is different.  At that time, the company could very well have continued without me. Today's news is that Baseball Notebook itself will end as a company and this does not necessarily mean a permanent departure on my part from writing about baseball elsewhere. Should I choose to ever publish any new thoughts in another forum, whether that be in print or elsewhere online, I hope that readers will take interest in such work. I have also frequently expressed my great desire to document the forecasting methods we have already used. Unfortunately, it has been a process constantly impeded by the undeniable reality that the methods evolve so quickly that ideas too often become the "old methods" even before I can document them.

Let me also make clear that no one at Baseball Notebook (other than me, as the owner, of course) has lost a job as a result of this decision. This announcement and the finality of the decision was foreseen and timed so that we have ensured that anyone who worked for us this year has already secured other future employment.

So, as I have often done in these pages but wish to do one more time, let me express my most heartfelt appreciation for all the support and interest readers have shown to us over the years. I hope that I have to at least some small degree increased your enjoyment of baseball. It's hard to believe that what started as a hobby more than twenty years ago ended up as a business that continued until 2012. For that, I will remain grateful to all who supported our vision and our work and I extend my sincere thanks to each of you.

Best,

DL