NOTE: I will not be leaving Amazin' Avenue, in spite of everything. I wrote this post when I was feeling a bit down, but things have since changed. (I made some significant revisions, as indicated by the omissions in strikethrough, and the additions in bold-italic.)
My friends, as you may or may not have been aware, I used to post quite frequently on this site (I went by the handle 'sj10689' before using my name); however, I have been almost entirely inactive the last three or four months, and I'm sure a few have wondered about my absence. Before I get into specifics, I would like to say one thing before I continue: it has been a pleasure (for the most part) being a part of the Amazin' Avenue community, through good times and even through bad times.
Now, it is with considerable sadness that I announce I will no longer be contributing to the site. I will contribute, from time to time, but on a more limited basis. As much as I would have liked to continue, my recent battle with depression (which I recently won, but perhaps only temporarily), in addition to the fact that I am now in dire financial straits, has left me with other responsibilities to tend to, and if when I do were to contribute to this site at all, such occasions would will be few and far between. Also, a close friend of mine recently "stabbed me in the back", and I am still very devastated by that. I will continue to read through Amazin' Avenue as my principal source of Mets news, rumors, humor and other related material, however; but right now, my mind is somewhere else. Ever since Hurricane Sandy (of which I sustained no property damage, but was still greatly affected), my life has gone downhill; but, I will recover from this. It could be worse.
I originally joined this site on an otherwise uneventful day on September 9, 2009; I have read through many Mets sites, but they all seemed to be lacking in some way. When I happened to stumble into Amazin' Avenue by some happenstance, I discovered a truly great and amazing site with considerable input from well-informed Mets fans. I considered the experience even more amazing than when I first explored Wikipedia back in c. 2006 with its dearth of encyclopedic content. Amazin' Avenue was a perfect blend of fan input, insider analysis, and to my amazement, even humor - particularly, within the posts and the FanShots/images/MS Paints, and the like. I knew this was where I wanted to be.
Back then, getting acclimated to the community was definitely a bit of a trial, at first. As is the case with entering a fraternity, there's always some kind of rite of passage upon entry, before you're well-established. It took a while, but by April 2010, I pretty much became a part of the general community. I immediately took up the study and importance of advanced statistical analysis (sabermetrics), and made some contributions to that area on this site (nothing of considerable note), as well as adding some humorous posts of my own. I've always kept an open mind to new ideas, provided that they make sense and can be proven. In addition, I've had some fun slaying my fair share of trolls and throwing flags at 'em. On some occasions, I also seemed out of touch with everyone at times, and I have had some "off days", where my attempts at humor fell (completely) flat, and where I didn't know what the hell anybody was talking about. (I've had a few terrible cold spells at times, which would last for an entire month.) But I persevered through those moments, at times taking leaves of absence.
In sum, I enjoyed my time here, and I have come to notice that the community is now more welcoming to new members while also keeping trolls in line, which is a major plus. I liken Amazin' Avenue to a Mets version of Starbucks Coffee establishments, but with more dimensionality and more facets. During my time here, I have 156 posts (ok, 157 now) and 14,828+ comments; of those, 6 in particular stand out, as truly my greatest works of all time:
1. The Amazin' Avenue Rec-ord Book - as of 2011.04.17; no newer edition was ever posted
2. fxcarden's Nightly Rant! collection - permanently ruined due to the site's reformatting - more on that later
3. The Terrible Kingdom - my greatest piece of artwork on the site
4. Mets 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft analysis: Rounds 1 – 40 - read it now, or read it later, and then wonder where they are then. In conjunction with Alex Nelson's scouting reports, it is THE most comprehensive draft analysis of the Mets 2012 draft, period.
Honorable mentions: HOME COOKIN' WITH R.A. DICKEY, Coeur's Light, 1884 Game Thread (Open Dialogue), Finding Nimmo, The Dickey Chronicles (Seinfeld spoof), Guess Nick Evans (just barely made this list)
With that said, I have gave the decision to leave this site an enormous amount of thought, basically since this past September. But after coming back later on and seeing this site reformatted in this ugly, apathetic and decidedly uncolorful manner, whose design reeks of implicit smugness and elitist cachet, it was pretty much inevitable... or so I thought. (But hey, at least the 'Z' key still works!) After some further thought, still, I have once again reconsidered, and decided not to actually leave; just to post on a more limited basis. This new design basically ruined/destroyed the layout for the fxcarden rantopedia, which I have worked too hard on and have decided to no longer publish. I was considering continuing the series, but this whole new site redesign ruined any possibility of that ever happening. (My sincerest apologies to fxcarden, who is a much valued member of this community.) This was the worst thing SBNation has ever done, in robbing the individual blogs of their character (did you notice the number of blogs actually decreased, from 322 to 312!? I've never seen a decrease like that before.); now, every blog looks like a cookie-cutter imitation that was mass-produced in some industrial assembly line. Inside, I'm crying at just the thought of this. In addition, the new layout resemble Windows 8's design a little too much, except it's actually much worse. The user interface isn't even fan-friendly anymore. SBNation ought to consider handing in their credentials* as a blog network, by the fans and for the fans - it now looks like a corporate-run entity instead of a democratic one. Shameful and appalling, is how I'd describe it.
* If someone could find that comment where ThankGoodnessForHowieRose officially revoked Sam Page's editor's credentials, I would enthusiastically appreciate it. The search engine now, I should add, is completely fucked! This is another reason why continuing the rantopedia is virtually impossible.
UPDATE: Steve Sypa found it! Great job.
With all that said, I wish all of you (and the New York Mets) the best of luck going forward, and may the force/schwartz be with you!** It has been a great pleasure to serve and socialize (with) all of you through the few years that I have, and I will continue to do so, but on a more limited basis.
** Oh, and if you could find the FanShot with Darth Dickey on the mound at Citi Field and with the Death Star in the background (by The Apple, I think), that'd be super-awesome.
Thanks for all the memories.
sj10689 (a.k.a. Adam Halverson)