Ackert: FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus feel weight of coronavirus shutdown

From Kristie Ackert at the New York Daily News on April 18, 2020:

About a month ago, Meg Rowley was wondering if maybe they had over-reacted just a little. The managing editor of FanGraphs and Hardball Times, Rowley and her colleagues were scheduled to do a spring training meet-and-greet with their readers in Phoenix. These are considered a fun way to get the FanGraphs community excited and ready for the upcoming season.

But, with the news about the coronavirus growing more and more concerning in early March, Rowley and the leadership at FanGraphs decided that maybe a gathering at a bar to talk baseball was not the best idea.

“It felt like we were being sort of overly cautious and we actually had a couple of commenters in the post announcing the cancellation of that event, thinking that we were being kind of reactionary,” Rowley said. “Then a week later, baseball’s Opening Day was postponed. So it’s been a really strange month because things have moved so quickly. We were sort of in ramp up to Opening Day mode getting our positional power rankings posts ready and, taking staff predictions for what the season was going to look like and who was going to win the World Series. And not long after that we were in a position where we realized that we were going to unfortunately have to let most of our freelance contributors go and the site was in sort of rough shape.”

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Originally published: April 23, 2020. Last Updated: April 23, 2020.