MLBTR: Why did you create MurrayChass.com? Given that there is no revenue source, is it the sheer enjoyment of writing? What is it like to be free of editors?
Chass: You are right about there being no revenue source, although that might be a reason not too many people would follow. In my case, I decided to take the attractive buyout the Times offered because I figured it might not be offered again. I also didn’t like the direction in which the sports editor was going. But I wasn’t prepared to quit writing. I enjoyed writing baseball columns my last four plus years at the Times and I wasn’t ready to stop. Rather than try to hook on with an existing Web site, I decided to start my own site so I could write the kind of columns I wanted to write. Most of the columns on existing sites are geared to where this player or that is going, and that’s not what I wanted to do.
As for editors, I don’t miss them. They can serve a purpose, saving a writer from mistakes, for example. But I see enough mistakes in the Times, which is heavily edited, so editors aren’t the answer.
MLBTR: Has it affected your access, not being affiliated with the New York Times anymore?
Chass: Not at all. The people who know me still take and return my calls, and others who don’t know me but are aware of my name and reputation do the same. The only thing I have changed is if I call someone I have never talked to I identify myself as Murray Chass from murraychass.com and formerly of the Times. I don’t presume that everybody knows my name.