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Stoeten’s Farewell to Blue Jays Nation

It was just about this time two years ago that I began a new job, helping the Nation Network launch Blue Jays Nation — this very site you’re reading right now.

At the time I was about sixteen months removed from working full-time for theScore, during which time I’d started my own site, done a bunch of freelance work for the National Post and VICE Sports, and began a fresh, Patreon-supported version of the old DJF podcast with my co-host and friend, Drew Fairservice. For the time it worked well enough, thanks to editors who believed in me and a loyal readership that had been willing to follow me from one project to the next. But that winter, with Postmedia killing its sports department after a merger with Sun Media, and Google Ads offering continually diminishing returns, my future in this industry felt daunting. Until this amazing opportunity came along.

A budget for freelancers. A team out in Edmonton constantly working to make the site look and function better. Ownership dedicated to getting the best out of the whole network. Outstanding people to work under — in particular, Thomas Drance, and later Mike Gagnon — who were willing to give me all the creative freedom I could ever want. The chance to hire John Lott and Stacey May Fowles!

It was the perfect situation at exactly the right time for me, and I cannot say thank you enough everyone over there who made it happen. It’s been a great two years.

Today, once again my strange journey though the sports media business is taking a turn. As some of you may have already seen on Twitter, I am joining the Athletic full time to provide coverage of the Blue Jays over there. (My first piece as a full-timer is here. You can get a 30% discount on your first year’s subscription here.)

It’s my hope that you’ll all come along and join me there. But it’s also my hope that you keep on coming back to Blue Jays Nation, as well. I know that I will be. The site is in great hands now, as Cam Lewis will be taking over as the managing editor, with Richard Lee-Sam joining as an associate editor as well! You all know the terrific stuff Cam does on the site, and you may also be familiar with Richard’s excellent work from over at BP Toronto.

Before this new opportunity came up for me I was privy what these two have been working on for coverage of the upcoming season, and I can assure you that it’s going to be awesome (and free *COUGH*). Those guys are smart, hilarious, fresh voices providing Jays coverage, and I know that pure content will continue to flow — frankly, it’ll probably flow even thicker than it did on some days under my watch — and the comments will only continue to grow and get more vibrant.

I look forward to watching what Cam does to build off of what I helped start here, and I know it’s going to be a great success.

So… yeah. My apologies to those who might not be ready to join me behind the Athletic’s paywall. You’ll still be able to find me making dumb tweets on Twitter (@AndrewStoeten), and you’ll still be able to hear me every week on the Birds All Day podcast. Once again, thank you to everyone at the Nation Network, and… I guess that about does it.

Stoeten out, motherfuckers.

  • GrumblePup

    Thanks Stoeten. I’ve been following you since the early days of DJF and you made following the Jays even more enjoyable than it was already. If I manage to get my finances in order (I know you understand how freelance work doesn’t always leave much room for spending) I’ll be following you over to the athletic.

    Best of luck and congratulations!

  • TorontoBaseballGuy

    To Stoeten, thank you for Drunk Jays Fans, DJF, Andrewstoeten.com, and now the Blue Jays Nation. Your work has always struck the perfect balance of knowledge, intelligence and passion without getting pretentious. Your site (whatever it was at the time) has always been the first one I check when looking for my Jays fill. Congratulations on the new gig. Keep up the great work.

  • Barry

    I’m already an Athletic subscriber, ever since they hired Lott, so I’ll be able to read your stuff there. I hope they let you swear and “*COUGH*”.

    I’m glad Birds All Day will continue, because I would have been up in arms if it had been axed in the deal!

    Thanks for the sites you’ve run over the years. I’ve run online journals (non-sports) so I know how tough it is to maintain a stream of quality content.

  • Manny Lee's Butler

    Massive fan since the DJF days. Love your insights, sense of humour and excellent usage of swearing at the appropriate time! I’ll be following you over to the Athletic

    • Barry

      Freegans get what they paid for. There’s a lot of superior writing behind paywalls, and it’s behind paywalls for a reason: good writers want to be paid, and need to be paid to earn a living. So, the best writers are sought after, and while freegans might think they should say no to such opportunities for some sort of altruistic reasons (or, laughably, earn a living through ad sales — which doesn’t work well, by the way) the reality is that people often want to be paid for hard work and quality work. Just as many of us expect to be paid for the work we do, writers expect to be paid for their work.

      That doesn’t mean that there isn’t excellent writing on free sites. It does mean, though, that many excellent writers are going behind paywalls, and, as time goes on and it proves to be a good model — and it IS proving to be a good model for places like The Athletic — we’ll likely see more of it.

      There is some exceptional writing on The Athletic and I would miss it if I ever went on a Freegan diet.

  • Steve-O

    I already did this on twitter but for posterity’s sake (??) a heartfelt congratulations.

    I already have an Athletic subscription so this is just delicious icing on the already excellent Blue Jays/baseball coverage cake. (I think that sentence makes sense.)

    Anyway, for anyone on the fence about it, an Athletic subscription is very affordable and they’ve a fantastic site with an impressive stable of writers. Go subscribe – and pay for that sweet content!

    Stoeten, thanks for everything you’ve given us over the years and I look forward to reading your work at your new home.

  • Player to Be Named Later

    Very best of luck, Andrew. I’ve been debating subscribing to The Athletic, and now you’ve tipped the balance. Happy to have a reason to plunk my shekels down. Keep up the good work, Cam. Congratulations to you both!

  • KBussey

    I remember years ago (gonna say 2009 or 2010) as I settled into my career and the end of my life as a student, I was searching for a Jays blog that I would find enjoyable and informative. I was a long time Blue Jays fan, but did find the tie to follow the team like I knew. Luckily for me, I then found DJF and loved Stoeten’s work.

    Thank you for the hours and hours of enjoyment I have taken from your work. (I learned a lot too !)
    Best of luck with the new fulltime gig with the Athletic !

  • Matty

    Sad for me that I’ll have to pay for my favourite Jays content. Happy for Stoeten that he get’s a gig he’s happy with.

    But $10/mth? That’s Netflix territory

  • lukewarmwater

    Andrew, thank you for an always entertaining site. I truly enjoyed your taking no prisoners attitude and your fiesty and sometimes contentious style of journalism. You pissed me off at times as I’m sure I pissed you off. But journalism needs more Andrew Stoeten’s covering sports. All the best Andrew. Remember to keep staying in hot water although there is nothing wrong with lukewarmwater.

    • Torquemada

      Now that you’re making that sweet Athletic coin, I’m going to have reconsider whether to continue my Patreon contribution. Just kidding. Glad to hear that BAD is continuing (and writing that I finally get why the extra episodes are called SuperBAD). I’d say I’d be suscribing to the Athletic but Robothal already convinced me to join.

  • RADAR

    A sincere heartfelt congratulations Stoeten.
    I’m sure I’ll see you at around town at some point.
    The little blog that grew. Who da thunk it?
    All the best.

  • mktoronto

    Congratulations on the Athletic gig. You’re joining an amazing stable of writers. And congratulations for what you built here. You came into a situation that was optimized for hockey and had to work with clunky interfaces for a long while until you could get it where you wanted it. You’ve put a team in place that will keep this site vibrant and alive, which is the best thing any founder could wish for. And now you can just write without the burden of running a site. This is a great thing and I wish you all the best.

  • Jonathan Reimer

    Andrew, I have followed you since the JP/Ricciardi days of DJF. There is no site I have visited more frequently or passionately than yours. You have enriched my fanship, thank you for your writing prowess.

    I was on the fence about an Athletic membership and this pushed me over the top. I’m now a paying member. BJN – I’ll still be here, but you’ll also see me on the other side of the paywall.

    THANK YOU

  • Holly Wood

    Not going to miss this chump at all. Any journalist that relies on dropping F bombs in every column is an immature little punk. Get on your skateboard and F@ck off

  • Oz Rob

    Ah this is very bittersweet. All good things must come to an end it seems and I have loved following your efforts from the DJF days…always my first port of call for Blue Jay news. But congrats to you for moving on into hopefully better pastures and thanks so much for your efforts here all these years. The output and time invested was prodigious and much appreciated. Look forward to reading your stuff at the Athletic. Personally, I think your rant last year about Gibby not using Devon Travis to pinch hit (which involved a lot of ‘horse-cocking’) should have won some sort of literary award, although I’m not sure what category.