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