Thursday, September 22, 2011


This is a GO Train, Ontario's regional commuter train. I spend in excess of three hours per day traveling by GO Train.

This kid lives at my house. This is a picture of her eating a hot dog in front of the Rogers Centre. She is now old enough to attend baseball games and tell elaborate lies and take ballet classes and ask interesting questions during walks in the woods.

She has a younger sister, still in the "wriggly loaf of bread" stage of life. Despite my best efforts, they both require constant care and attention. They refuse to do their own laundry and undercook the chana masala every single time.

They're pretty great.

This is what I do for work, some of the time. Most of the time I do this. Spoiler alert: I'm very lucky.

This isn't easy.

This wouldn't have been possible without the help of many, many people. If they don't already know who they are, I'll spend the rest of my life attempting to rectify that.

This is the final Ghostrunner on First post.

Thanks, friends.




  2. Promise a world series winning post somewhere?

  3. Thanks, Drew. Hope to keep seeing you at Getting Blanked.

  4. Wow, its finally come to this. Thanks for all the great writing, Drew, and continue to be awesome at Getting Blanked!

  5. Best Jays blog there was. Thanks, Drew, for keeping me infotained.

  6. I will be lost without the Ghostrunner in my head. Your considerable skills have obviously signed a free agent deal with Getting Blanked, and since I have moved with you to that pasture, I will continue to be the best Drew fan I can be.

    This was all about the way I like to think about baseball.

    Rest at Home Plate, Ghostrunner.

  7. Bummer. GROF is the first Jays blog I ever read, plus introduced me to being interested in the "advanced stats", plus you're a very engaging writer.

    But you're still going to write for Getting Blanked, so this is kind of like the work lunch I have tomorrow to say goodbye to two colleagues who are moving to a different branch 2 blocks away.

    Keep being awesome.

    Isaac in Ottawa

  8. Drew, I just want to say thanks for making the Blue Jays blogosphere that much better - you helped nudge me in the right direction on a few occasions and I've always enjoyed your unique perspective on the home team.

    I think from now on, we can supplant the GBOAT title from Scott Rolen and bestow it upon GROF. Congrats, and best of luck at Getting Blanked, sir!

  9. Fare thee well, ghostrunner! Cute kid, by the way. All the best, and we'll see you at Getting Blanked.

  10. While inclined to echo that first anon's "NOOOOOOOOO", I guess a huge, sincere thank you is more in order. Also I will defiantly like GROF on Facebook now that it's dearly departed since I didn't do so before. Maybe pour some of my beer on the curb tomorrow? The options are endless.

    Thank you, brilliant friend of mine. May your go-trains always run on schedule!

  11. Getting Blanked decided they were one free agent away from a playoff push and decided it was time to spend.

  12. Good on Getting Blanked for recognizing the market inefficiency and picking you up while they could.


  13. Thanks for the great work Drew. Look forward to continuing to read your stuff over at Getting Blanked.

  14. Sad face. Much respect, RIP GROF. I will join Sarah in pouring a portion of my malt liquor on the curb

  15. Sad times. GROF was the first Jays blog I followed regularly. I always enjoyed the posts and it's going to be missed. I'm looking forward to following you at getting blanked. Peace and much respect indeed.

  16. Keep moving up in the world. This blog was, and forever will be, nails.

  17. Not much else to say but: Thank you. This was the best Jays blog out there. All the best with The Score.

  18. Go train picture just gave me the shivers. Thanks for the reading Drew... now as long as the Tao doesnt pull the chute ill keep the razor blade down.

  19. Is this what it's like when your kids grow up and go to college? Well done mate. Keep on keepin on.

  20. Well done. An excellent blog now laid to rest, but the promise of more great work ahead. I'll continue to follow with interest.

    Have fun with those kids.


  21. Thanks for everything Drew, I've been reading your stuff religiously for the last season... I know i was late getting there.

    Best of luck with the family and all your future ventures and take care.

  22. Thanks for all you've done for me, Drew. You have a beautiful family.

  23. Congrats, Drew. You've built yourself quite an impressive home here. It was only natural that you'd eventually need bigger digs. Good luck.

  24. Drew, good luck. See you over at the WoW fantasy leagues. You have a beautiful daughter and I'm sure her sister is equally beautiful.

    p.s., I've got two daughters of my own and I've just added Getting Blanked to my baseball bookmarks

  25. From one League fan to another, thank you!

    I've always loved this blog.

  26. Wow, that was a real surprise emotional ending to this post.

    I'd go on and talk about how much I've enjoyed reading this blog, your thought, analysis, etc. However, since you are now pumping out several posts a day over at Getting Blanked the world is a much better place.

    I really think that you can be a star in this business, so I have no concerns or sadness whatsoever about the end of Ghostrunner On First.

    Congrats Drew!

    Oh and I hear you about having two little ones, I've got a 3 and a 1 year old and they take up pretty much all of my non-working time.

  27. Go Trains aren't all bad, turns out there a great place to choke back tears after an amazing group of people overwhelm you with kind words.

    You made my wife cry for real. The kid? She thinks you're a bunch bitches.

  28. Drew:

    Needless to say, I know exactly where you are coming from. Respect for making the tough decision and focusing on what matters (hint: not Getting Blanked).

    (Now when do we reveal that this is all a work and we come back to unleash a Jays supergroupblog? Oh wait, I suck. Never mind.)

    see you around the interweb....

    the ack.

  29. Shit, I just found this blog. Easy come easy go. Guess I will have to defect with you to Getting Blanked, no biggie. Where's my free agency offer sheet??

  30. Ghostrunner was/is incredible. I always read and laugh and feel cool to be a part of your site in some way. It’s no surprise that your goodbye post evoked this huge response. If there’s one thing I know about you, it’s that people in our AWESOME Internet community respect and look up to you. You make nerditry cool and bring an air of legitimacy to being a Jays fan.

    Congratulations on your family. If you impart a thimble full of the wisdom that you’ve passed on to the Interwebs (not just basebally wisdom either, wisdom in terms of general awesomeness and hilarity) to your kids, they’ll be great citizens. Children are our future!

    Thank you and thank goodness gracious for Getting Blanked

  31. Gonna miss this place - my favourite Jays blog, on an internet filled with amazing Jays blogs. It's like being named "douchiest Red Sox fan", in the best possible way.

    Best of luck in the future to you and yours, and like everyone else, I can't wait to see what you pump out over at Getting Blanked. Thanks for everything.

  32. Hope you won't be afraid to do real analysis on GB! This was the best jays blog since the mockingbird went away. Thanks for the good reads.

  33. I'm starting to wish it was April 1st today, this news sucks...thankfully it was on a Friday and I can drown my sorrows with a case of Steam Whistle...

  34. Aw man. Welp, good luck LtB. Glad to hear you're still pecking away at The Score.

  35. The end of an era. Ghostrunner on First: the best blue jay blogger on the interwebs.

    Best of luck at GB.

    P.S. Great-looking kid, Drew. Must've taken after her mom. =)

  36. I've always enjoyed reading your posts and respect your analysis look into the game. I wish you well in with your other future endeavors and a healthy family. Moving up the ladder!

  37. Drew,

    Being asked to write here felt like having the coolest kid in high school invite me to a house party after seeing me in a performance with the drama department. It didn't feel like it directly make sense but the level of respect and freedom given to me from you was insanely flattering. My own personal demons and a stupid night job with no TV's around prevented me from contributing in the way I fully wanted to, but even to see my name written in any capacity on my favourite site was a thrill beyond my wildest expectations.

    Looking back through this comment section I know I speak for quite a few people when I say thank you for holding our hands and walking us through the comprehension of a number of statistics and graphs that have now become household names and numbers years later. It never felt like you were forcing it down our throats or proving yourself right, you were simply saying "Hey, check this out. It explains stuff." and we all nodded along with you in unison. You didn't want us to mindlessly swallow everything you said, just to consider that there were other ways of looking at everything we thought we were seeing. The lessons learned here have been invaluable.

    More than the numbers and baseball, Drew, you provided us with humour, personality and an engaging spirit that made you always feel more like a friend than a faceless word processor. I think the switch from LtB to Drew was what really clinched this. You somehow managed to feed us advanced nerditry far beyond our own grasp and do so while maintain a wonderful sense of humanity, creativity and a sense of unique personal connection.

    I know it's supposed to be silly to say goodbye because you're still writing about baseball all the time, more frequently than ever, in fact, but I will miss this place all the same. It was the first stop in my daily routine of website surfing and a place I could absolutely always rely on to be entertaining and thought provoking.

    I will miss Ghostrunner On First dearly, and can't help but wonder if this is the beginning of the end for 'blogs'. I mean, if Ghostrunner folds up, what chance does anyone else have? I guess this is growing up.

    All the best to you and your wonderful family. May you continue collecting all the best things that life has to offer and imparting your baseball wisdom for the world to see, liberated fandom at last.

    GROF is missed already.


  38. Really nice work here, Drew! Looking forward to more of it!

  39. Okay, three things:

    1) Congratulations. On everything. GROF may be retired, but I'm glad to know that you'll still be around and that you'll be able to focus your daytime energy on your gig at the Score and your evening energy on your gals at home. If anyone deserves to get paid for doing this, and if anyone deserves to take some time off from baseball madness, it's you.

    2) Thank you, for being clever without resorting to condescension, witty without being sarcastic, and skeptical without being cynical. Also, informative without being pedantic. The tenor and tone of the conversations online can be rather ugly at times. You've done a lot to push in the other direction.

    3) Thank you once more for being excellent. And an excellent guy, to boot. You've done great work here, and you deserve all manner of success in the future.

    Ghostrunner on First was my favourite blog. I'll remember it fondly, and I look forward to your work in the future.



  40. Thanks for all the great work!!!

    your work was/is always "stop working immidiately to read the new post" material.

    Look forward to following you at getting blanked. I am glad you are making money doing this. you should be making more.

  41. Drew:
    Your blend of analysis,knowledge,killer sense of humour and love for the game was a treat to read day in and day out.
    Thanks for enlightening me in such a classy way.

  42. Drew,

    While it saddens me (and not surprisingly, a whole multitude of people as well) you have found a conclusion to this book of knowledge, I can't help but feel contentment.

    Your decision to figure out the 'plan' is a journey I can never begrudge someone from undertaking. Archi above me mentioned a humanity you brought to the interwebs and it couldn't be more true. Your presentation of acute, impartial intelligence was never condescending nor out of place. There was a purpose to them and you guided us to interpret them on our own without feeling like superior beings. That is an almost impossible task nowadays when our consumption of information is so instantaneous and accessible.

    Thanks for providing a corner of the web we can all visit and come out feeling smarter without being any less civilized and self-centred.


  43. Been reading the blog since Dave's wedding. Great job and best of luck on Getting Blanked. Time to go bookmark it. Rob.

  44. Wow. A surprise for sure.

    I'm sad to see the end of GROF, Drew, but I get that you have a path to follow.

    GROF was education, motivation, and inspiration to me, at different times. Thanks for all of those, and best of luck with Getting Blanked.

  45. I loved this blog. Wish you well, Drew.

  46. Best blog there was. The times, they are a-changin'.

  47. I know this is kind of weird because you're still writing at Getting Blanked but GROF itself deseves a goodbye I think.

    I learned a lot here (not only baseball wise) and I had an insane amount of laughs.

    Thank Mrs. Barber for us. I'm sure she's tried to have many conversations with you while you've typed away on Blogger. It was appreciated.


  48. There is no WAY she finished that Hot Dog.

    I'd like to echo everything Tao said, it's good to know you won't be going too far. I also second the call for a World Series post!

    Thanks for everything, Drew.

  49. great blog. It was time though...getting blanked is the future!

  50. Touch 'em all Ghostrunner.

  51. Bummer. Great work was done here, plus the name of the blog was just great. Commuting sucks. Good luck over at getting blanked.

  52. I want to join the chorus in thanking you for this excellent blog but I also want to give you a particular thanks for this post specifically. The typical blogger kills his blog through neglect, as the periods of inactivity grow longer, interest wanes until everyone comes to the inevitable conclusion that the party is over. Thank you for realizing that GROF deserved better than that.

  53. Yeah, I can't STAND it when bloggers do disrepectful to their fanbase. Nice to finally see someone go out with a little class. Thanks for all the great writing and crunching here, Drew -- it's a shame to see you've decided to throw your life away with those hacks.

  54. Hey, thanks for the blog. Maybe when your kids master the masala you'll be back. Or maybe your readers can start a microfund and buy you a place in the city!


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