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Dear Camden Chat: It's not you, it's me

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This is the 2,710th post I've published on Camden Chat, and my last for awhile.

When I write a story for which I have no appropriate pictures, I like to use this picture of JJ.
When I write a story for which I have no appropriate pictures, I like to use this picture of JJ.
Al Bello

On a slow day in the summer of 2005, I sat in my cubicle at work, bored and thinking about the Orioles. I pulled up my web browser and Googled "Orioles blog" and found a site that looked like this. I didn't know it at the time, but that Google search would end up changing my life. It was awhile before I commented, and awhile longer before I wrote anything. I wrote seven FanPosts in 2006 before becoming a pretty regular FanPost'er in 2007, and after I had 69 FanPosts and FanShots under my belt, I wrote my first story for the front page of this site: Adam Loewen, Reliever. It included the sentence, "[T]hat leaves us with a rotation of Guthrie, Cabrera, Olson, Burres, and Liz, with a contingency plan of Albers swapping places with any of the last three should the need arise."  Man, those were dark days.

Why am I taking this trip down memory lane? It's because I am, with a bit of sadness, telling you all that I am stepping down from my position at Camden Chat. I'm not leaving you all to become a Cubs fan, or taking a job in the Pirates front office, or anything like that. I just find myself at a place in life where I can no longer provide what Camden Chat needs to be the best place on the internet to go for Orioles information and analysis, not to mention for the smartest and sassiest community of O's fans around.  To stay on when I know I can't give it my all isn't fair to anyone.

When I officially took over Camden Chat on October 1, 2009, I had a lot of ideas for the site. Ways to make it bigger, better, and more awesome than it was at the time (and it was pretty awesome already). I love this place so much and want it to continue to grow, which is why we're all very lucky that Mark Brown exists. It's easier for me step down knowing that he is here to keep going. I don't think that anyone loves Camden Chat more than I do, but if anyone does, it's Mark. In addition to his outstanding skills as a writer, Mark is creative and innovative enough to keep this site moving forward. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he does with the place now that I won't be there to stifle him.

I've been trying to fit a paragraph into this that thanks Mark as well as Bill Duck, Zachary Knower, and Andrew Gibson for all of the support and friendship they have given me, but I can't figure out how to do it without sounding like 1) I'm accepting an Academy Award, or 2) I think I'm much more important than I am. But I do want to thank them. For at least the last five years, I have woken up every single day thinking about what needs to be done for Camden Chat. And those guys have all been with me at some point to do what needs to be done to keep the site running, or to act as a sounding board or therapist as needed. So thanks, boys!

I never set out to be a baseball writer, it just kind of happened. And I've gotten to do a lot of really cool things as a result of my time here. I've interviewed Cal Ripken and gone on the radio with Brady Anderson. I once asked Adam Jones a question about outfield hugs while standing on the field at Camden Yards. I got to be on a panel at FanFest and I've met so many new friends that I otherwise would never have crossed paths with. The Orioles even let me into the press box, which is where I met my husband. It's been a really good time, I'd say.

Anyway, this isn't the last that you'll see of me. I'll still be part of the community and I may even write a few things from time to time. I just won't be running the show.