A Brief Note

Hi there. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been directed here by Twitter, in which case you know what this is about. If not, let me fill you in. Earlier today, and with my approval, Matt Trueblood—who’s written for this site since its inception—published a piece in which he argued that the Cubs should consider not extending Theo Epstein.

This is an opinion which I disagree with. It is, as it turns out, also an opinion which many, many of you disagree with. I published it nonetheless, because I believed (and still believe) that it would generate compelling discussion. And that it did.

90 percent of the pieces we publish on this site make claims that most reasonable, intelligent baseball fans agree with. 10 percent make claims that they don’t agree with, at least not right away, because those claims challenge conventional wisdom in some way.

Some of the pieces in that 10 percent category change minds, and move baseball knowledge forward, and some don’t. This piece, as far as I can tell, didn’t change many minds. That’s on Matt, and he has to take responsibility for that.

But the decision to publish a piece that could possibly change minds? That’s on me, and I stand by it. This one didn’t land. Others will. But I will always support my writers in their attempts to widen the scope of subjects under discussion, even on occasions, like this one, where I personally disagree with their conclusions.

There’s a limit to that, of course, but I don’t think any Editor could go any other way in supporting their staff and creating a culture where ideas are shared and discussed openly.

I hope that perspective makes sense to you, our readers. We’ve loved creating this community for you, and I hope we’ve had other days, in the past, when we brought you joy and understanding. I assure you, there are more of those to come. Thank you, as always, for reading. — Rian Watt, Editor-in-Chief

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15 comments on “A Brief Note”

Guancous Armore

I disagree wholeheartedly with that article and I’m glad that I read it.

It had a clear thesis, supporting evidence and a passionate defense. It was just wrong.

I’d much rather read articles like these than “Kris Bryant is good” over and over again.

Keep them coming.

I agree with the previous comment a hundred percent. If someone takes the time to write carefully, present their thoughts coherently and back them up, right or wrong, that’s journalism. Most of what you see on sports blogs is people parroting the same old projections, re-posting things the big name journalists have posted, or breaking down tired old statistics. When you get a post that generates discussion, even if everyone hates it, you help keep things vital.


I read the article. It was interesting idea that I hope doesn’t happen, but not bad journalism. I enjoy challenges to the conventional wisdom, or even challenges to unconventional wisdom. When BP first started, I enjoyed most of their ideas, then for a time they mocked anyone who disagreed with their new wave thinking. They were just as wrong as those who mocked their new age thinking. Bring on the challenges, make people think!


I disagree with the author, but the writing and reasoning are refreshing. I’m guessing Twitter must have exploded over this, but I say keep it coming.


Why was this “A Brief Note” even necessary? Was there THAT much opposition to that article? Trueblood’s “case” was a well written, well supported and respectfully submitted piece. This “Note” comes off as apologetic — in the sense of saying, “I’m sorry we offended so many of you.” Such an apology is unnecessary on a piece like this. There was nothing offensive here. Trueblood’s article stimulated and interested me. On the other hand, I’m a little bothered that this “apology” was even written. Really?

Matt Caesar

Joe- there were a lot of people who went fairly overboard in their denouncing Matt’s article as if he had ripped down the ivy, blown up the scoreboard, and burned the rest of Wrigley Field to ash. I don’t see this as Rian apologizing for them being offended. He’s telling them “this is what we do.” He’s not going to silence a writer on his staff because an opinion, which the writer clearly put thought into and brought us into his thought process, may not be mainstream or popular. Without directly saying it, I interpret his note to be saying “if you don’t like an opinion, that’s fine, but don’t shout down my writers for not catering to your pre-determined ideas.” To me, that’s not an apology at all, it’s standing up for his staff. I’m sure they appreciate it.

Jared Wyllys

The Twitter reaction from a lot of people felt a little over the top, in my opinion, so I can see why this felt necessary.


“Trueblood’s “case” was a well written, well supported and respectfully submitted piece. ”

No, no, and yes.


I was really excited about this site when Sahadev Sharma was at the helm. Him and Stan Croussett were 2 of my favorite writers to read on this site and follow on twitter. I’m not happy that Shadev’s moved on, rather I do wish him success on his next endeavor. I won’t be following him to The Athletic Chi, mainly because it’s ran by a Pirates fanboy troll named Jon Greenberg who’s snark is tiresome and unoriginal. If i could give my $10 directly to Sahdev I would, but I’m not paying for anything on that site when it’s owned by Greenberg. He’s a clickbait troll and that seems to be what Trueblood’s aspiring to be. I had Trueblood blocked on twitter (along w. Greenberg) from last summer when he sent out ridiculous tweets just to troll and it’s really unsurprising that he’s managed to do it on a larger audience.

Whatever great reputation this site had that Sahadev helped build up with great articles, has been completely destroyed by the publishing of such a stupid and unnecessary article that it absolutely serves no other purpose that to generate clicks and attention.

And that’s why I’m done with this site. Adios.

Clark addison

It was obviously click bait on a slow news day. If Tom and Theo had nothing better to do, they would have had a good laugh. The biggest blow was to the writer”s credibility.


While I disagree with the conclusion, it was an excellent article and is why I come to this sight, to look at things a different way. Excellent decision to publish it and excellent article, even if I disagree with the conclusion.

John Faker

You are kind of missing the whole point here. You published what is known in the Twitter world as a “Hot Take.” This is akin to what the Skip Bayless’ and Stephen A Smith’s of the world like to do. Just say something to either troll or be contrarian.

The article would not have been the problem if the author wasn’t a known troll in the Cubs twitter world. I’m sure Matt is a smart and or nice guy. But he constantly says some of the dumbest things that have ever come out of a human’s mouth. (That he is a better tactician than Joe Maddon is very high on that long list).

The fact that you employ this idiot and had to write this garbage should tell you what you need to do next.

I love Baseball prospectus and what you stand for. But Matt Trueblood does not stand for any of the same things.


The twitter reaction occurred because Trueblood has a history of being Al Yellon Jr. In the right hands, that article would go over fine. In his hands, it is yet another reminder that BP employs him not to make any actual baseball arguments but to generate clicks.


This brief note was almost as embarrassing as the original article. Just stop giving Trueblood a platform.


you should always feel free to post what you feel like, Rian. and i have no issue with you posting that article. it’s just that it was a bad article. a bad, bad, BAD article. one arguing for an outcome that would set this franchise back to where it was before Theo: in complete chaos. and that’s bad. and it’s on you and Matt to own all that. and you are.

and Matt, you are a very insane man for trying to argue for getting rid of Theo. may God have mercy on your soul.

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