Victor Caratini Interview and Personal News

The Cubs Convention was a success this past weekend thanks to the work of the Cubs' organizational staff and the participation of the players, both past and present. It really is a special opportunity for fans to see their favorite team in a very different kind of context.

My Facebook Live interview with Victor Caratini on Saturday went nicely, and I want to thank the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for setting that up. I've seen him around the clubhouse at Wrigley, but this was the first time we had spoken.

 

There were a couple of other quality interviews with Dillon Maples and Mark Zagunis done by Evan Altman of Cubs Insider, and I'd encourage you to check those out as well.

Now, at risk of burying the lede too badly, I have some personal news to share. It's not easy, and to be honest I've spent several days already putting this off, but I'll get to it: The time has come for me to say goodbye to Cubs Den. When I was first hired to contribute on freelance by Sporting News last May, I shared the news with John, and he was extremely excited for me. I also shared then that I felt like it would be right for me to move on after the season ended. I didn't want to leave my fellow game recappers hanging, but I also knew that having the kind of media access that being a part of Sporting News would grant me would also mean that continuing to write for a team-centric blog would be hard to maintain. John agreed, and was very supportive. Obviously, things changed significantly just a few months later. John's passing meant that I wasn't quite ready to step away immediately following the end of the season like I had originally intended, but now with spring training about a month away, it's time.

I am nothing but confident in the future of Cubs Den. The growth of the site has not slowed, and that has a lot to do with the dedicated readership. You guys are a remarkable group. The other writers here are doing spectacular work, and I'm happy about what the site can be going forward.

I am excited about pushing myself even further at Sporting News (and places like 2080 Baseball and Chicago Magazine when the opportunity arises), and I'm thankful for the opportunities that have already come through writing for SN. I was credentialed for quite a few games in 2017 at Wrigley, Guaranteed Rate, and at Miller Park, and I had the amazing opportunity to be credentialed to cover the postseason. I look forward to continuing to spend time in the clubhouse and in the press box this year. I learned a lot from these experiences last season, but I have a great deal more to learn going forward.

So I am very excited about the upcoming season, but at the same time I'm very sad, to be honest. This is a part of why I've just put off being public about it. I'm sad because I will always recognize Cubs Den as my first real break. I will never forget where I was when I saw the email from John congratulating me back in December 2015. I will never forget scheduling my first article to post, especially because of how nervous I was. Between then and now, I've written a handful of pieces I'm really proud of, a few I'm embarrassed by, and many I've forgotten, but what will always stick with me will be how much fun I had writing game recaps, interacting with the readers and other writers here, and most of all, being a part of what John had created. He was a uniquely remarkable man, and if I live twice, I'm still not sure I'll hold a candle to him.

That's it then. Bye for now.

Comments

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  • Jared, you have done very well by Cubs Den and I always looked forward to your articles. Your articles helped ease the loss of John and yet kept his influence here alive. I wish you the best for the coming years. We will miss you. Maybe you can comment from time to time. I would enjoy that. God bless.

  • In reply to cubster:

    Thanks cubster. I'll definitely still float around in the comments section. I started out as a reader of Cubs Den, and that won't change just because I don't write here anymore.

  • Best of luck on the new chapter. Your work has been appreciated.

  • Thank you!

  • What sad and wonderful news! Congratulations on your new horizons. You're right, the other writers here at Cubs Den are doing spectacular work, but their work is multiplied in filling the void created by your leaving. Best of luck to you in all of your writing endeavors. Perhaps, someday soon, someone will link to one of your articles and we'll all remember when...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Thank you Cliff!

  • Good luck, Jared! Thanks for all of your contributions to the Den.

    Looks like Hendricks is the pitcher to watch. I’ve liked Hendricks from the beginning. One of the best Theo/Jed/Ryan trades pulled off by them. Did Demp have any input into the Arrieta-Strop trade...? Ha Ha :o)

  • Congratulations on your new gig! I can imagine John being most proud of your career trajectory! All the Best.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Thank you!

  • Great for you Jared! I will miss your articles here but am happy for you.

  • In reply to stevec2:

    Thank you Steve!

  • Congratulations Jared. I know you are sad to leave but your path has been laid before you and you must take it to reach your full potential as a writer. You will be missed and now it is time for someone else to take your place. Onward!

  • In reply to cubbybear7753:

    Thank you!

  • No shame in what you’re doing. The blog has remained great through your contributions. Congrats.

  • In reply to John Chatz:

    Thanks John!

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    Wait is Caratini saying report, but with a Spanish accent so it sounds like rapport. Then Jared keeps asking him about the rapport he's building with the pitchers and Caratini keeps thinking they're talking about reports.

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    In reply to Chris Lattier:

    Love all the fun questions at the end! Nice work!

  • In reply to Chris Lattier:

    Haha, I'm not sure. He was great. I think he felt a little uncertain because of the slight language barrier, and there were a lot of people around, so it was sort of hard to hear each other.

  • Congratulations Jared. Thanks for all of your contributions to the Den. Good luck.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Thank you!

  • Good luck and thank you Jared......one thing about work......it definitely is easier and more rewarding when you are doing something you actually enjoy.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Thanks Wick! I am fortunate in that I like my day job, but writing is something that has always made me feel fulfilled in a very special kind of way.

  • Give 'em hell. Thanks for all your work here.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Thank you!

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    Congratulations, Jared. Hope to see even bigger things from you going forward. You did a great job during the transition from John.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thank you, Mike!

  • Jared - congratulations, and you writing here will be missed. Thanks for everything you have contributed here over the last couple of years. Our loss is their decided gain.

    One thing anybody who has been a good teacher or mentor knows is that - if you are doing your job (as mentor) well, one of your goals is to see your students/mentees move on to bigger and better things. John would indeed be the proudest among us to see your success.

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    John did that a lot more than people realized. Mauricio working for the Cardinals is another good example.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That John loved working with you all and wanted you all to be his peers, rather than him being some kind of unquestioned leader, has always been obvious Mike.

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    I could go on for days about John, but this Jared's thread so I will defer ;)

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Thank you! When I first talked to John about it, he was very excited for me. That was one of his best qualities; he never begrudged anyone anything. He genuinely wanted to see us do well.

  • Jared,
    Congratulations & we wish you nothing but the best!!
    Thank you for all of your hard work!!!

  • In reply to Rusty Becker:

    Thanks Rusty!

  • Congratulations, Jared! I've really enjoyed your thoughtful insights and writing, which seems to get better and better. We're all going to miss you, but this sounds like a great opportunity. You have a bright future ahead of you!

  • In reply to October:

    Thank you!

  • Jared,

    First and foremost, congratulations! From your first article on the Den, I felt that "this is a guy who has a future doing this professionally." Also, "Man, John sure has upgraded his writing staff!" It's one reason why I felt completely comfortable with my decision to move on after 2015, and also why I was a little bit intimidated returning last year for a small role (this is meant as a compliment!).

    That is meant as a compliment. Your writing, knowledge, and voice are all a credit to Cubs Den and the community. It's been really cool to see your career take off, and I think for all of us at the Den, it's been something that we've lived vicariously through you. Where you've appeared on camera, we've been able to say "I know that guy!," and "He's one of us!"

    I was excited for you (and I'll be perfectly honest), and jealous of you when you were credentialed for playoff games. In many ways, you're getting to live the fantasy that we've joked about amongst ourselves about the benefits of writing for Cubs Den. Side note: I have to admit that if a Cubs Den private jet does indeed exist, I've never been in it.

    All this is to say, congratulations. It is well deserved. Thank you for your professionalism and excellent coverage that you've provided here. John would be very proud of you right now, as are all of us.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Sean, these words really mean a lot. Thank you.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    You could always get your ass back here more often ya know.......you were always my favorite but Jared was really getting equally as close.....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    The plan for now is to be back again in the same capacity that I was at the end of last season - on a part-time basis. Things are still kinda hectic in Casa de Urge, but I really did miss the interaction that I had with everyone here.

    Jared is leaving some pretty substantial shoes to fill, here!

  • That happened really fast for you. You have a good head and a gift talent. I will miss your writing here. My best to you.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Thank you!

  • Jared, wish you continued success at Sporting News, thats a pretty good outlet, Bleacher Report before Bleacher Report.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Thanks!

  • Thanks for all of your good work here at Cubs Den, Jared. The Sporting News is getting a good reporter. Happy Trails!

  • Well done, Jared. You've been a fine writer for Cubs Den. Best of luck with SN. Thanks for the effort.

  • In reply to JB55:

    Thank you!

  • Congratulations, Jared. Well-earned!!

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Thanks!

  • Jared, Thank you! All the best.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Thank you!

  • Thanks for all the great work and best of luck. Congratulations!

  • In reply to Floyd Sullivan:

    Thanks Floyd!

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    I echo all who have said congratulations Jared. Not to anyway downplay Cubs Den, but you've made it to the Show! I loved to read you here and hope to continue, and maybe occasionally we'll have a comment from you as well. John must have been a great mentor--and it's hard to find those. All the best.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Thank you Jonathan!

  • Jared, congrats! leave a comment once in a while, wouldya?

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I'll always be floating around the comments section!

  • Jared,

    The one constant we can count on in this life is change.
    It is always with some regret when people move on to other opportunities, but it is a natural and logical process in this life.

    In the all the years that I have followed the Cubs, it still amazes me how I have gone from gaining tidbits of information about the Cubs in the sports section box score and watching them when they were the game of the week on NBC (hosted by Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek) to almost feeling overwhelmed by the amount of content that is freely available in today's digital world, if one knows where to look.

    Anyway, congrats and may the wind always be at your back.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    Thank you sir. It's an exciting and bittersweet time for me.

  • Best of luck, brother. Thanks for all you did for us after John’s untimely passing. And thank you for all the great winter articles. You brought a lot to the table in a short time. You are appreciated and will be missed on a daily basis.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Thank you, that means a lot.

  • Thanks for everything you did for us readers. It was great to be able to come to the site and read your contributions. Best of luck wherever you end up!

  • In reply to Peredonov:

    Thank you!

  • Congratulations, Jared! I have greatly enjoyed your writing, particularly over the last several months. Some of John’s best work was in the off-season, and I am very appreciative that you stayed on with the Den this winter to help fill the void. Your articles were always interesting and thought provoking. Best to you in your career as a writer!

  • In reply to Yuji Fukunaga:

    Thank you, Yuji!

  • Congrats and well done, Jared! Our loss is the greater baseball world's gain. I look forward to seeing your pieces in other places and wish you all the best as your career in baseball journalism continues to blossom. Thanks for your hard work and your writing.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Thank you!

  • Congratulations, Jared! Thanks for all your work on Cubs Den especially during the tough transition stages, and best of luck with your new adventures.

  • In reply to seattlecub:

    Thank you!

  • Congratulations Jared, you will be sorely missed. John left a huge hole and while it can never be fully filled you did more than your share in doing so. Best of luck!

  • In reply to TC154:

    Thank you!

  • Jared...........Thank you for your immense contributions to Cubs Den. Your articles were always thoughtful and well written. Congratulations on your new role on a larger stage. I hope you continue to grow within sports journalism. I look forward to reading your articles in your new role at SN.

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