Rounding third and heading for home
There are a handful of diehards who read my site for Shorebird of the Week and one of them asked if I was going to once again take my stab at predicting the 25-man Delmarva Shorebird roster this year as I have the last couple. Alas, the answer is no.
That request and the lack of time and effort I could spare to put into that research is the driver behind an announcement I’m here to make: the 2016 season will be the retirement tour for the Shorebird of the Week. After 11 seasons, circumstances that have already changed are going to lead to more changes which bring me to the point where I don’t think I can do the concept justice anymore. Simply put, it’s an easier job to do when you’re at 40 to 50 games a season and roll in about 6:20 so you have good light for photos than it is to be at 15 to 20 games and show up right at 7:00 as it’s getting dark. It’s not the statistics that are the issue, but the photos and the player availability as the pitchers in the starting rotation only appear every fifth game. In recent years pitchers have come and gone before I ever saw them in a game, and that is a problem when you have standards such as I do. I was dissatisfied with my 2015 product, but the prospects for improvement are becoming more and more limited.
Now I have asked before for player photos, but my appeal fell on deaf ears. This has always been both a DIY project and a labor of love, anyway, so to that end the SotW Tracker and SotW Hall of Fame will continue on as long as the players remain active. But this will be my last season having the Shorebird of the Week as a feature.
I know I’m going to miss doing it, which is why I didn’t just not begin the SotW season come April 7. Hopefully the weather will hold out and I can get some photos of the 2016 Shorebirds at next week’s Salisbury University exhibition game; otherwise I will see what holdovers from 2015 return to the team and hope I have photos of them someplace.
But the time is right to move on, so it appears that I will be closing the curtain on Shorebird of the Week come Thursday, September 1. At that point, there will be close to 200 players with the distinction, of which 23 have made the major leagues so far. I’ll still have my camera when I go to the games, but it’s time for me to be less of a photographer and more of a spectator.