Stepping aside

July 17th marked the 9th anniversary for this little old website. It has been a huge part of my life for nearly a decade which is what makes any decision to step away both a liberating and heartbreaking exercise.

I started to have these pangs in the offseason, and took some time away from the blog to sort things out. When the season started I gave it my all, but in the last couple months there just hasn’t been any passion on my part to go through the daily grind of maintaining the site on a regular basis.

I’ve been pressed for time lately, but I’ve been pressed for time before. I just always chose to make time for the blog in the past, but the energy just isn’t there anymore. My labor of love became purely labor and that is my primary reason for largely stepping aside. The first iteration of this post was titled “The End” and had me shutting down the site completely. I can’t bring myself to do it though so we’ll call it a semi-retirement. I will likely still post things on occasion, but it will be on my schedule and on topics that I want to explore. I’m not going to be beholden to the Tigers schedule or the baseball news cycle.

The future of the site is undetermined at this point, but it isn’t going away. “Kevin in Dallas” is going to start posting game threads for the time being. I greatly appreciate his willingness to step up and keep the community together. Beyond that we’ll play it by ear as I don’t want to over promise anything and certainly don’t want to speak for Kevin.

It has been a great ride and I’m thankful for so much. I’m proud of what this humble little website became and it has served as a tremendous growth experience for me. Over the years I think my analysis skills improved, my data mining skills developed, I learned about web development and servers and php and mysql and css and it even led to a web job.

Along the way I hope that I helped to advance the notion that a blog could be a credible source of information and analysis, and that I helped in  some small way to dispel the notion that bloggers are guys working out of their parents basement. I tried to do this with a focus on being right, responsible, and respectful. I think I did okay on this front.

I had opportunities to write for real books. I had the chance to go in the Fox Sports production truck and to see batting practice from the field. I’ve been interviewed as a Tigers expert. I mingled with Hall of Famers at The Henry Ford, interviewed a Michigan treasure, and got to connect with so many class individuals associated with the Tigers organization. Not bad for a guy who started a website on a whim with no knowledge of web development.

Most importantly I had the opportunity through DTW to meet so many wonderful online friends. Whether it is my fellow Tigers bloggers and DIBS members, or other long time bloggers like Geoff Young or Seth Stohs, or those of you who took the time to comment or email, thanks so much for making this a fulfilling experience.

Thanks to all of you who came here on a regular basis. Thank you to those who donated money. Thank you to those who donated their time. I’m flattered and humbled that you made the site a part of your lives as well.

Thank you to Roger DeWitt and Wendy Smith who were responsible for so many of the pictures that appeared on this site, royalty free.

Thanks to everyone who told their friends about the site and invited them aboard.  Thanks to all the bloggers and writers who have linked to my site or posts over the years.

Thanks to the Tigers organization who always treated me with respect and let me interview the CEO, President, and GM back when blog was still a dirty word.

Thanks to everyone who passed me information so that I could look smart a time or two.

Thank you to Dan Dickerson, Rod Allen, Curtis Granderson, Adam Wilk, James Robbins, Dave Dombrowski, and Ernie Harwell who were so gracious with their time.

Thank you to the mainstream media folks who helped promote the site. You helped make it relevant and credible.

Finally, thank you to Mrs. Billfer and the kids for all of your patience while “daddy needed to work on his dot com.” I love you guys.

68 thoughts on “Stepping aside”

  1. Thank you for all of the time and effort you put into this site. There are hundreds – or thousands – of us who truly appreciate all of your work!

    1. I should also add that I’m sure everyone wishes you the best of luck in the future. I also hope that you get to sit back and enjoy the games without thinking about what to put in a blogpost!

  2. Good Luck. I have enjoyed your insite over the last couple of years. Your passion as a Tiger fan is shared by me! I will forward to your posts from time to time.

  3. You’ve been a pioneer and a leader in the field, sir–the guy who got we me started as a sports blogger. Kudos for a job well done and best of luck with whatever endeavors you choose to pursue going forward.

  4. This is a sad day for the Tigers blogosphere but I totally understand your decision.

    Thanks for everything you’ve done for guys like me who came after you!

    Be well,
    Greg Eno and family

  5. Echoing what KJ said, you were one of the three or four bloggers that really inspired me to get into the field (along with guys like Henry Abbott, Brian Cook, and John Gasaway). You do/did a tremendous job and will be missed. I completely understand how rigorous of a job this can become and don’t blame you in the least for stepping away. Thanks for everything and good luck wherever things take you.

  6. Thanks for everything, Billfer, and thanks for giving us an update. That the site will live on after you step aside is a testament to what you’ve built here. Wishing you the best both online and off.

  7. Understood. Life just gets in the way sometimes. Funny how that happens.

    Anyway, thanks for providing a site which contained so much in-depth information. The forum somehow encouraged the intelligent discussion of baseball and over the years the quality just seemed to get better and better. By the way, the layout is superb and definitely contributed greatly to the ease of engagement for visitors. Compared to other blogs…. well, there isn’t any comparison – a complete success. Hopefully others will steal your ideas and put them to use, since IMHO the model you developed is 5-star.

    Good show and good luck.

  8. Thank you, Billfer. You have taught me so much through your analysis and statistics, something I really didn’t pay that much attention to until reading this blog. I regularly go to Fangraphs and other sites to check on stats…..and that’s all because of you.

    I like the people on this blog and hopefully Kevin in Dallas can continue the game threads. Eventually, someone will probably have to start up a new one. There are other blogs that are very popular, but they are not for me. Oh, God, I could cry.

    I would have given just about anything to be at that game last night!

    1. One other thing. The content of this blog is an encyclopedia of knowledge. All the in’s and outs of trades, waivers. options, rosters. That can’t all disappear, can it. I still refer to some of the posts Billfer wrote from several years ago.

  9. Bill,

    I think we all sensed this was coming, and, at least speaking for myself, am in total support.

    Shortly before the season started, I began my own little Tigers blog. I quickly discovered how difficult of a task it is to keep up with the never ending news/game cycle. Quite frankly, sir, I’m in awe that you did it so well for so long. DTW is the Gold Standard by which all other Tigers’ blogs should be measured.

    I’m very glad that you decided not to totally abandon the site. I think you’ll find, perhaps in six months or a year, some of your passion will return. I went through something similar after working as a sportswriter for several years. What started off as fun ended up being a job.

    Good luck, Bill. You are a fine gentleman!

  10. Bill, I can only echo the others here in my thanks for your efforts. It’s been a pleasure to read your work regularly, and I hope you will continue to make occasional posts. I’ll keep checking back, just in case.

  11. Thanks for everything, Bill. I’ve gone from newbie to regular reader and sometimes commenter to infrequent reader and everything in between over the years. The community of folks here has to be one of the best I’ve ever seen on any website and your analysis was always top-notch. Sometimes moving along is the right thing to do and I’m sure you made the right decision for yourself. Best of luck in the future!

  12. I am very sad to see you go, this is by far the most interesting Tigers blog out there. Its where I turned to when I wanted analysis, as opposed to just reporting the news. You’ve left a big hole out in the blogosphere. I hope someone else can pick up the torch and carry on.

  13. Thanks, Bill. Yours was the first Tigers blog I bookmarked/commented regularly on. I always enjoyed stopping by. Best of luck.

  14. Thanks Bill, this site made me a better fan of both the Tigers and baseball in general. This is one of the best blog-communities I’ve ever run across, hopefully I’ll see y’all on some other boards.

    Enjoy the break Bill, you’ve earned it. Thanks again.

  15. as a tigers fan living in western canada i never had enough news on the team until the internet and this site came along. i always came here first, even before the media sites and like many others i learned a lot about the game from your insights. i will always appreciate that.


  16. Bilfer–thanks for a great blog that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I have seldom posted, but have read on an almost daily basis throught the past few years. Your professionalism and unique insight will certainly be missed, but you need a life too! Good luck to you and thank-you so much again for your dedication to all of us and the Tigers.

  17. Billfer, I don’t think I can say what anyone else hasn’t already expressed. You did a great job with the site, and I’m sad to see it go. Oh, and, you’re the man. Enjoy life.

  18. Thank you for all of the years you put in, graciously given to all of us. When I, a former Michigander who moved halfway across the country in the ’90s, began searching for news of the Tigers, there was mostly the newspapers. Then your voice came along, and your blog quickly became my number one source because of the high quality of the writing and analysis. In those days before RSS feeds, yours became the first site I would check every day at lunch to see what was happening in the Tigers world. I became a more knowledgeable and passionate fan of baseball in the process. You’ve given more than you know, and I am grateful for all 9 years. Thank you.

    Good luck to you and all the best to your family.

  19. Sorry to see this great blog slow down just as our paths crossed, though with Kevin in Dallas keeping the flame alive I will check in from time to time. Good show and the best of luck to you, Bill.


  20. I’ll echoe what everyone else has said. Thanks for everything.

    Perhaps you can get a couple guys (or gals) to keep the site running for awhile. Don’t quit completely, as we’ll all miss your analysis and level headed outlook.

    It’s been fun lurking and occasionally commenting.

    See you on twitter! 😉

  21. Thanks for helping all of out here in virtualtigerland. You were the first Tiger blog I read, and for years were at the top of the growing number (now at 24) of tiger blogs that i read every day. I’ll miss your insight, knowledge, and humor. Best of luck in the future, and I hope we see you once in a while pop into a gamethread with a comment or two, just so we can re-connect.

  22. Thanks Bill–from a Tiger fan in Alabama who doesn’t have time to watch Extra Innings, this blog was/is my main way of checking up on my team. I stumbled across it in early 2006, and have made it a daily stop since then. I rarely post, but enjoy the game threads, so I am glad these will continue on–

    I appreciate the work you did. Many thanks and good luck to you and your family.

  23. Thanks billfer for all the great analysis over the years. This blog was always my first read on the Tigers and one of the only blogs that became a daily read for me. It’s because of the great articles you wrote and the community you brought together. It’s good to hear Kevin in Dallas will keep the game threads going, and while that will be fun, it won’t be the same. Best of luck to you and your (very patient) family. If you’re ever at US Cellular to catch a Tigers-Sox game let me know, I’d like to buy you a beer.

    Mark in Chicago

  24. Thanks Bilfer. I’ve been an avid reader for years and will miss your blog. Over the years, I’ve come to trust your analysis and predictions much more so than those of the “print journalists.” Thanks for the great site. We will surely miss it.

  25. Thanks, Bilfer. I’ll miss your even-keeled, yet heartfelt comments on the Tigers. It was always clear that this was a fans’ site with a sabermetric edge, not the other way around. And that’s what made it so cool to me.

    Best of luck.

  26. Best of luck, Bilfer. You’ve set a high bar for the rest of the Tigers blogosphere.

  27. Bill,

    You will be sorely missed. Your site was the first blog I found when my Tigers fix could not be satiated by mainstream media alone. You have always provided stellar analysis and a great voice of a true Tigers devotee. Thanks for the mentorship, too.


  28. Billfer — It’s been a pleasure reading your work these past several years. Thanks for all the time you’ve put in, for linking to me back in the Ace of Sports days, and for putting out so much great content on our beloved Tigers. Nine years is an unbelievable accomplishment, and you deserve every second of free time you can find now.

  29. Thanks Billfer, I really enjoyed having somewhere to read insightful article and updates on the Tigers that I can’t really find in Baltimore.

    I doubt you remember me but I spent the summer of 08 as an intern and had a desk a little ways down the hall from your office. Anyway best of luck in your future pursuits.

  30. Thanks, Bill. You will be missed in the Tigers blogosphere, but that pales in comparison to how your kids & Mrs. Billfer must miss you when you are working on this site.

    Enjoy life!

  31. Thanks man, it was a pleasure reading the blog. A lot of Tigers’ bloggers could learn from your personality.

    You’re the last of a dying breed for the Tigers, Bill. Good job dude.

  32. Zumaya, Inge, Ordonez, Guillen, and now Billfer. Maybe we are just rooting for laundry, but Billfer, you will be missed the most. Tiger players will come and go, but you have been the rock for many Tiger fans for the past several years. If there ever is a Detroit Tiger’s blogger HOF, you’ll be the 1st guy voted in.

  33. Thanks for taking the time to share your insights and knowledge with fellow Tigers fans, Billfer.

  34. Detroittigersweblog was the first web site I checked in the morning and the last I checked before going to sleep. Bill, I can’t begin to express how much I appreciate everything you have done here. Well done, well done!

  35. As somebody who stumbled upon the blog last season and began to love the postings, message boards and game threads, I am very saddened to see the postings be diminished. It is selfish of me to want more, especially as a Tigers fan, but I must say that the past two years have allowed me to express my thoughts, joy, frustration and complete heartbreak to other sympathetic Tigers fans.

    But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

    Good luck and thanks!

  36. Thanks Bilfer, I rarely post but appreciate everything you did with this site.


  37. Thanks Billfer, once I moved to Houston, I needed more Tigers’ analysis and intelligent people to talk about the Tigers with. This site provided both in spades.

    This was by far the best site out there and you should feel proud of the site you built and the collection of people you managed to enthrall with this site.

    Best of Luck

  38. Like many others here, this was my first (and favorite) site for the current scoop on my Tigers.

    Especially as an out of state fan, your articles and editorials were basically all I had as far as tiger fan conversations go.

    Im fine with you walking away from this after all your years of effort…as long as you walk away knowing how much we all cherished your work 🙂

  39. Frequent reader, infrequent poster here. Always enjoyed your site. Especially loved the hotstove webcasts that you did. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

  40. I’m mostly disappointed that the first time I discovered the site was last year, so I missed out on 8 years of good stuff.

    Thanks for all of your efforts.

  41. Bill-

    Congrats on a great run. From humble beginnings, your work has evolved to be a first rate resource for all things Tigers. Hope to see continued posting, even on a limited basis.

    Your former neighbor-

    Sean Madden

  42. From way out here in San Francisco, where you’ve been my lifeline to Comerica Park, thank you for your time and effort. And good luck Kevin in Dallas.

  43. The internet has made following a team from afar so much easier. And this blog was where I started doing that.

    It’s been said one hundred times above, but this blog was the gold standard for Tigers blogs. Thanks, Bill.

  44. Always came here for the past 4 to 5 years to get your insight into the Tigers, game summaries, stats, etc. Will continue to come back as this site is the best as far as reasonable Tiger fans who like to debate the Tigers with a healthly attitude most of the time. Understand your decision. Your family and enjoyment of your time here on Earth always comes first. Enjoy your retirement and hope that you come back occasionally.

  45. Yeah thanks Bilfer, loved the blog and will still always watch and monitor as this is a great site for interesting comments. It’s a real shame that the Tigers are so slow at getting on track but hopefully one day they will and baseball will be exciting again.

  46. Thank you for all your years of keeping us Tigers fans informed. I have truely loved your blog over the years. It was always my first stop for Tiger news.

    Ypsilanti, mi

  47. Thanks for the good work, Billfer. I found your blog more interesting and informative than the Free Press. Best of luck in your new job, and “time out” period. Perhaps you will blog again some season in the future.


  48. Bill,

    It has been a pleasure coaching the next generation of kids playing ball in the burbs. With your help, I have finally learned to really, really throw a ball and helped my kid to start swinging a bat with more control. I am always willing to learn, and you have had quite a few things to teach.

    Can’t wait until next season…


  49. Billfer – A very much belated thanks for helping me keep my passion for the Tigers alive from 12 time zones away. I think I have been tuning in for at least 5 or 6 years and have learned much about modern statistical analysis from you and your site. I truely hope you refind your energy and enthusiasm for this site.

  50. Been out of the country since Monday and just seeing this now. This has been great forum to discuss the team and to follow the ups and downs on a daily basis for 8 months of the year. Thanks Bilfer for your hard work in creating this community.

  51. thank you for all you hard work. Also thanks for trying to keep most of us in line when we needed it….your work was greatly appreciated by all of us……………………..

  52. Thanks for your site. I’ve only known about it for about four years, but it is hands-down the best Tiger blog site by a country mile. Take care and thanks again for all the great content provided here.

  53. Bill thank you, you are a wonderful guy and I’m glad we had a chance to meet in person! See you at the Park Bar one of these days!

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