Sorting Things Out: A Note to Our Readers


Way way back in March of 2010, my life took a strange turn. It was my day off, a Thursday, and I was running around town with a friend. We grabbed breakfast, stopped by an outdoor store, watched people. A good day. I got a call from my boss asking if it was a good time to talk.

Long story short, I was laid off. My position was eliminated. As a means of distraction, I decided to go find every Royals-related resource I could find online and plugged site after site into my Google Reader. One of those sites was this one, Kings of Kauffman. A couple of weeks after finding the site, there was a call for additional writers.

I’d never written about baseball short of a few rants after bad losses on my Facebook page or while discussing during games the season before on Twitter. I’d lurked a bit on Royalboard, but rarely posted. I’d thought about writing some, but never thought I could do so with the time left to me after my day job. But now I had time. So I tossed a sample this way and shortly after, I was brought on board. You can read that first post – written in support of Kyle Farnsworth as the fifth starter – here.

About a month later, the then-editor of Kings of Kauffman, Wally Fish, was moving to set up Call to the Pen, FanSided’s general MLB site. I stepped in to be the lead writer on the site and ended up covering the Royals nearly daily from this spot.

I’m burying the lede, though, and I don’t want to use up too much time indulging my own story, so I’ll just let everyone know now that what started back in March 2010 will end for the forseeable future for me after tonight. After a few months of deliberation, I’ve decided to step away from baseball blogging.

It’s been a fun run, but for a number of reasons, it’s time to make a change. I’ll still write, but it won’t be about baseball for a while, and it won’t really be publicized so much. It’ll just be for me, and if people stumble upon it, so be it.

This was not an easy decision to make. Writing on this site has been a significant part of my life for the last three and a half years. I’ve covered four full Royals seasons, written hundreds of posts, gotten a lot of things right (and probably much more wrong). I’ve learned so much about the Royals organization, the game of baseball, and about myself over this time that I’m grateful just for the opportunity to have had the experience.

I hope that, in that time, you’ve learned something, or at least thought about the game in a different way, even if just for a second. Discussion is good, and blogs are a unique means of starting that discussion. There’s some information we’re not able to get to, and the constraints of real life get in the way as well. Very few baseball bloggers out there do this for a living, and most of the time, we’re doing it for the enjoyment of the game and talking about it. And I really can’t thank you enough for reading my little part of that discussion.

Now, even though I won’t be around here anymore, that doesn’t mean the coverage on Kings of Kauffman will stop. I’m proud of what we’ve done here over the years, and I want to see things continue in the future, so to that end, I made my decision with ample time to discuss succession options and I’m glad to announce that one of those options will be carrying the torch from within our own ranks.

Hunter Samuels joined Kings of Kauffman in March 2013 and since, he’s shown the ability to share his opinions and back them up in creative and unique ways. He’s been an important voice on the site since he started, and I’m pleased that he’s able and willing to step up and keep a similar vision and approach going forward.

We also wanted to bulk up the ranks, so also joining Hunter in my spot will be David Hill. David has been writing for FanSided’s Tampa Bay Rays site RaysColoredGlasses.com as a co-editor, but he’s a fellow Royals fan like you and I. He’s shown the ability to help line up a group of writers and produce his own strong work, and I know that he’ll be a great help to Hunter in the transition. The two of them start the next phase of Kings of Kauffman tomorrow. If you want a preview of David’s work, you can find his author page on RCG here.

When this all started, I didn’t know how far things would go. Over the last four seasons, I’ve been fortunate to take a hobby and turn it into a collection of experiences I’d have never expected to take part in. I’ve been able to talk to big league and minor league players, to ask a few questions of Ned Yost and Dayton Moore and other front office personnel. I’ve ended up on the field to throw out a first pitch. I’ve been invited to talk to a few radio stations. I’ve gotten to start and develop a fun podcast with a good group of people. I’ve had a shot to break a story or two. I was able to tour the All-Star FanFest setup before it opened, steal a base, and end up within feet of my favorite player growing up, George Brett. Best of all, I’ve met and talked to some amazing people.

It’s been a blast. It really has. I’ll still be watching, still be following everything this offseason. I’m ready for Dayton’s annual post-World Series trade. I’ll still be on Twitter, contributing to the nonsense. And next year, hopefully I’ll be able to share in the joy of a World Championship with every other Royals fan.

Thank you for reading my ramblings, arguing with me, keeping me on my toes, and being great fans of this team.

Go Royals.

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  • Ben Nielsen

    :(

  • Joel Wagler

    You will be sorely missed but I wish you all the best…Stay in touch and we will grab a beer some night and watch the Jayhawks at the Yacht Club!

  • Dave Hill

    Best of luck to you going forward Michael! If you ever want to post something about the Royals going forward, you are more than welcome to do so.

    Looking forward to interacting with all of you here at KoK as well and helping to keep building a great site.

  • Josh Duggan

    Engel,

    I’ll miss you. I have no idea how you managed to churn out as much content as you did on a day-in/day-out basis. You were awesome. You probably still will continue to be.

    RIP Engel.

  • jimfetterolf

    You’re a good one, Mike, which is why this has become my primary commentation site. I’ll miss you, but expect you back. We need you, you need us, you can check out but don’t think you can leave for long. All the best. I’ll see you around.

    • Michael Engel

      Thanks Jim. You and I haven’t always agreed, but I think in the big picture, we probably agreed on more than we really noticed. Thanks for reading over the months and years, and I hope you continue to do so. Hunter and David are going to do good stuff in my place, I promise.

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  • Eric Akers

    Great job on this site and I’ll miss reading your work. I don’t comment a lot, but like Jim, this is the only site I have cared to. You have helped to make this site a great space.

    • Michael Engel

      Thanks Eric. My biggest reason for doing this in the first place was to have a bigger part of the discussion, and I’m glad you felt like joining in.

  • goatlockerlifer

    I’m thinking of naming a minor character in my next self-published novel (that nobody will read) in your honor, as long as you promise not to sue.

    Your choice: Either a jolly fat bartender, or an alcoholic loser / small-time criminal. It’s the very least I can do.

    • Michael Engel

      ……..

      I’ll take the bartender option.

      • goatlockerlifer

        Excellent choice.

        I’ll miss reading your articles. You did good work here.

  • Dave Lowe

    Mike, does this mean you also are quitting the KC Baseball Vault podcast?

  • Dave Lowe

    Mike, what will your new blog be about?

    • Michael Engel

      Sorry Dave, I changed my notifications for comments so I didn’t get an email notification about your questions.

      But yes, still doing the podcast (because all I have to do is ramble and talk to a couple of friends that way), and the new blog is just a personal blog I started to try some short fiction stuff and other nonsense about five years ago. It’ll be about nothing in particular, just writing for myself, mostly.