Bomber Bites: Good-Byes Are Always Tough…


I think we’ve all been there at one point or another. We find ourselves in a dream job, and something happens, good or bad, that leads us down a path where that dream job no longer is the dream job, or if it still is the dream job, life just gets in the way. That is the position I find myself in today, as this marks my final day as one-half of the co-editing team here at Yanks Go Yard. Life has stepped up, and required more of my time and attention, and that has caused me to submit my resignation. Not only am I leaving one dream gig behind with this site, I’m also leaving dream gig 1-B as co-editor of Friars On Base, the San Diego Padres site in the Fansided network. Please bear with me, as I shed some light on the past 14 months. 

More from Yankees News

In November of 2013, I made contact with Aaron Somers, who is in charge of recruiting and placement for the network. He stated that he had a New York Yankees site that was in severe need of repair, recharging, and some direction. I was hesitant at first, because, after all, what would the motivation be for me to lead a staff of writers, and help turn around a site that was in direct competition with my own personal Yankees’ blog, WestCoastYankees-The Blog, that had and remains highly successful over the past decade? I had helped turn around other sites before, not Yankees’ specific sites, but general sports sites. I’ve been down this road before, and I knew the time and energy it would take to do it one more time.

I accepted the position and began t the start of December, 2013. Yanks Go Yard already had a sitting editor in Jason Evans, and from what I understood, he wasn’t thrilled with an outsider coming in to share the pie. My goal was simple: win Jason over, establish a great working relationship, and go from there. In the 11 months prior to my arrival in 2013, the site had pulled just over 444,000 page views. Completely unacceptable for a New York Yankees’ site with the resources and funding behind it. The mission was simple: turn it around by any means necessary, and make the site one of the big boys in the network again. One of my first contacts outside the site, was division editorial director, Kyle Franzoni.

I laid my blueprint out, and while he allowed me to do as I saw fit, he told me I would have to tread lightly, because these writers were not used to an in your face type of editor. Jason was the good cop. Now we had the bad cop. Within a month, we had replaced and recruited some of the best writers we could find, who were passionate about the Yankees, and passionate about writing.

Our blueprint was simple. We cover EVERYTHING even remotely related to the New York Yankees. On the field stories, off the field stories, rumors, minor leagues, you name it, we started covering it. We needed to increase our social media presence. We did that. We had to continue to recruit and build a virtual Army of Yankees’ writers. We did that. And we saw immediate results. For December of 2013, the site pulled 103,627 views. Not bad, and Yanks Go Yard was back on the map within our own network division.

One of our goals, was to expand our coverage and continue to build our brand through our podcast, the Yanks Go Yard Radio Show. We couldn’t do that without expanding the length of the show, and we couldn’t do that without a sponsor. Myself, along with senior writer Ricky Keeler, began pounding the pavement, reaching out to bat companies, mitt companies, video game makers, tickets sellers, you name it, we tried it, and came up empty. We didn’t give up.

Jason, Ricky and myself, set out to build a senior brain trust: a group of senior level writers that would consistently exchange ideas for the site to progress forward. Enter Scott Alfano. He was the last original hire at Yanks Go Yard that I had zero say on. Then came several others including Joe Vitulli, the original author of this very column, then Wayne Cavadi, Jacob Winters, and Matt Mirro. This core group along with mainstays Brendan Fitzgerald and Dan Dechenaux, became the backbone of a mission that was never-ending. Additional pieces like Shawn Maguire, Grant Graulich, Mike Montrone, and so many others helped build this site from a fledgling Yankees blog, to one of the dominant Yankees’ blogs on the planet, bar none.

Ricky and I, we got that sponsor. Our friends James Flexman and Kyle Rogers at, took a chance on a small podcast, and helped us turn into a legitimate player in the podcast world of Yankees’ baseball. We were able to have guests on the show like Jim Leyritz, Peter Golenbock, Billy Sample, Brendan Kuty, and so many more industry names and former Yankees’ players, not to mention current players such as Chris Martin, along with prospects Ian Clarkin and Nick Goody. James and Kyle allowed for that to happen, and I am forever thankful to both for taking the chance on us.

The page views continued to roll in as personal came and went. Jason and I sometimes had itchy trigger fingers in our pursuit of excellence. It was work or get gone. It’s the same mentality and approach we take to this very day. If you’re not improving, you’re going backwards. By the close of 2014, we increased our viewership by more than 1.2 million viewers. That’s because of YOU, our loyal fan base. To that, I say thank you a million times over. Without you, the plan would never work, and we’d still just be a ho-hum Yankees blog scraping by.

We’ve built strong relationships with our fellow Yankees blog brethren: Robert Pimpsner at Pinstriped, Robert Casey at Bleeding Yankee Blue, Delia Enriquez at Bronx Baseball Daily, and several others. While we are all after the same eyes, the pie is big enough for everyone to share, and we have a common respect and sense of caring for one another. After all, it’s just baseball, and we all love the Yankees don’t we?

The goal for us this year, is 2 million views for 2015. We are well on our way, and again, it’s because of you, our readers. You don’t always agree with us, and sometimes, we get a chuckle with some of the names you have for each of us, and the comments you leave regarding our thoughts and work. We wouldn’t want it any other way. Yankees’ fans are the greatest in the world, and it’s because of that, I LOVE this job. I love the staff I have, and they are family to me. Even as I leave the site to Jason, and he auditions a solid group of young writers in search of my replacement, my goal with this site, as with every other site I’ve ever written or edited for, has been to leave it in better shape than when I arrived. I feel I have done that.

To my brother, my partner in crime, my good cop to my bad cop, Jason, thank you for making this ride something I will never forget, and I will always cherish. To my senior guys: Ricky, Scotty, Wayne, Jacob, Matty, Brendan and Dan…while we had some crazy discussions over the past year plus, and you often frustrated me, you made my life easier as your editor and as your teammate. Thank you for always having my back, and for believing in the model and the blueprint. You didn’t always understand the method behind my madness, but you served as perfect soldiers to make this thing work. Without complete buy-in from the entire staff, no matter how long or how short their tenure with Yanks Go Yard was, this wouldn’t have worked.

To the three men who allowed me to come in, sight unseen, and allowed Jason and I to turn this ship around: Aaron Somers, Kyle Franzoni, and Dave Hill: your advice, your friendship, and your mentoring has made me a better leader, a better writer, and a better editor for having known each of you. Thank you for the opportunity. To the rest of the editors, writers, and colleagues I’ve come to know from my experience at Fansided, I wish you continued success with your respective sites, and know that the MLB division of the network as a whole, is on the upswing, and that is a complete team effort, top to bottom. We each may go about our business in a different way, imparting different methods and approaches, each of you have my utmost respect. Until we meet again…

Next: Yankees Spring Profile: Luis Severino

More from Yanks Go Yard