This photo of my wife and I was snapped during the summer of 2005, back when I was an intern getting my feet wet with MLB.com. Man, what a summer that was.
We lived in a studio apartment on Yonge St., about a mile or so north of the Finch subway stop. Our TV quit working midway through the summer, our air conditioner followed suit around the same time and we slept on an air mattress.
It was basically the ultimate test to see if my lovely wife, Kelly, would stick with me. For some reason, she stayed — and gave me a lift to and from the subway station every day — allowing me the chance to follow my goal of becoming a baseball writer.
Why do I bring this up?
Well, after parts of six seasons as an MLB.com reporter for the Blue Jays in Toronto, the time has come for me to start a new chapter in my life. As first reported by the New York Daily News (kidding, Mark), I will be taking over as MLB.com’s reporter for the Cleveland Indians. The move will be official later this week.
For those of you who have followed along over the past few years, you’ll no doubt realize why I’m making this transition. As a native of Chicagoland, and a grad of Michigan State, I have a large base of family and friends back in the Midwest. With a son now, being closer to family has never been so important for us.
This move to Ohio allows me the opportunity to continue to do what I love, but puts my wife and I a lot closer to family in the process. We enjoyed our time in Toronto and leave with so many great memories. After that first summer, we moved across the street from the ballpark (literally) and loved checking “live downtown in a big city” off our life list.
As a runner, I already miss the lakefront and the Don Valley path. I can’t tell you how many miles I’ve logged along both and I plan on returning to Toronto to complete a marathon in the future (keep it up, Mal). We’ll also miss our trips to the Beaches, the great food all over the city and all the great people we met along the way.
As a reporter, I’ll miss covering a group of players that I watched grow over the past few years. Shoot, I covered Casey Janssen when he was with the Lansing Lugnuts and I was a reporter for the Lansing State Journal while at MSU. I saw a lot of those players go from Minor Leaguers to established big leaguers, and formed some great relationships in that clubhouse as a result.
I also learned a lot from some great reporters north of the border. I’ll miss the late-night pizza hunts with Griffin in New York, stops in Baltimore record shops with Blair, comparing photos with Mr. Lott, making fun of Northwestern to Morgan and quoting the Simpsons with Sandler. Shi, Wilner, Ian, Zoro, Rob, Mr. Elliott, Ruts, Kenny, Cathal, and everyone else in the Rogers Centre pressbox, thanks for everything, guys.
I’ve also enjoyed the bond that was created with readers via this blog and Twitter. It has been fun seeing how interaction with fans has grown in the past few years and I was thrilled to be a part of that with the Blue Jays fan base. There is great passion among the Blue Jays’ loyal fans and social media and blogs has allowed that show.
All this said, you will still see my byline on MLB.com and I’m keeping my same handle on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MLBastian). One small difference is I will be moving my blog — still called “Major League Bastian” — to a new URL. You will be able to find my new blog at bastian.mlblogs.com.
You’ll also continue to see my byline some on bluejays.com in the coming days and weeks, but soon I’ll will be moving camp entirely to indians.com, and passing the torch to a new Blue Jays reporter in Toronto in the process.
Thanks for everything, Blue Jays fans.