Cheers to all who've been with me, both new and old - been an excelent journey. (SawxBlog Photo)
"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story."
I type this final post through a haze of tears. Ending SawxBlog, something I've put so much of myself into, is not an easy decision. I'm confident in my choice to retire the site, but this confidence makes typing these words more hard than easy - and at times, impossible. SawxBlog has assisted in chronicling a personal journey for the better part of a decade, using baseball as a vehicle to touch on things greater than the greatest game. So much has happened since its inception on December 29, 2004: Eight very long years ago.
I've felt this way before, the first time being in the winter of 1997. The final buzzer resounded through a half-full High School Gym as a basketball shiftlessly bounced towards an unmanned corner. With that push of a button, a period was placed on the last sentence of my basketball career, and as the buzzing ascended towards the rafters, I walked to the end of our bench, placed my head in my hands, and cried - knowing a page had been turned. The second time was four years later in the Spring of 2001 while DJ-ing my last Radio show in college. I played "Good Night" by The Beatles, the final song off my favorite album, and again, this time on FM radio - I shed a tear, realizing another Chapter was over.
It doesn't surprise me that again I'm emotional - I've always been this way, the difference between then and now is that it's my choice this time, and frankly, that's empowering. I've been wrestling with doing this for some time now, but what really pushed me was an article I read regarding Jason Varitek and his future with the Red Sox and baseball.
Like any true Sox fan, I love Tek. He was the heart and soul of the Red Sox as they elevated from lovable losers, to perennial contenders. He had all the intangibles that made those Teams who they were. He hit, he caught, called a great game, led, and fought. But even wearing the rosiest colored glasses you couldn't deny his decline, and while flashes of Tek are there, he just isn't the same anymore. Father Time is relentless and cruel like that. The hardest thing for athletes to do is stop playing. Some have to in High School because their skill isn't there. Some throw in the towel because of an injury. Others simply quit because their time is up, and Tek's time is up, as is mine.
Comparing the writer of a blog to a professional athlete may seem ridiculous, but the analogy works for me. My passion isn't there on the day-to-day anymore, and I don't want to cheapen what I've worked so hard to build. Everything runs its course in life. I'm proud as hell of everything accomplished with SawxBlog, and appreciate the help and support I've received from everyone. It's given me more opportunities than I could have ever dreamed of. I was allowed to peak behind Oz's curtain, and the memories will be with me until my last breath.
I find the timing appropriate. Only David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, and the Red Sox Ownership are the same since when I began. The 2012 Red Sox are at the beginning of a new Chapter, which is why I think it's best to step aside.
During my time writing this blog I've gained friends and lost others. I went from dating a girl I liked, to marrying the woman I love. Have seen my Mother pass away far too early, and seen my family evolve as a result. This was a blog before most people even knew what that word meant. I've been able to take batting practice in Fenway, attend special events, meet Heroes and Mentors, and announce for the Jimmy Fund. I've been interviewed on ESPNews, Radio Stations, and televisions shows, while also being mentioned in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and USA Today. I've achieved dreams while realizing others, and through it all stayed true to myself.
Now it's time for my next chapter, whatever that may be. But know this, I'll be rooting as hard as ever for the Red Sox, and will also be sticking around on Twitter for a bit. There's obviously so much more than this game in life, but that makes it none-the-less beautiful, it truly is the Greatest Game. So as the SawxBlog buzzer sounds through the corners of my mind, I'm the one who's writing the final sentence, and I'd have it no other way.
Thank you for reading. Happy New Year. Go Red Sox, and see you at Fenway.
Good night Good night Everybody
The Beatles - "Good Night"