I didn’t know Martin Manley. I was vaguely aware of who he was. He contributed to a sports blog for the Kansas City Star for a few years. He maintained the Sports in Review blog, which I’d looked at a few times. There are a lot of people like that who have floated around the sabermetric universe over the past 20 or 30 years: acquaintances of acquaintances whose name rings a bell and who, if you Google a bit or jog your memory some you can place.
I don’t think I’ll forget him now. He killed himself on Thursday. It was his 60th birthday. And before doing it he wrote up an insanely-detailed website setting forth his reasons for it and his life story. The most notable thing about it: he was not sick. He was not poor or in trouble or, on the surface anyway, depressed or in distress of any kind. He simply decided that 60 years was enough and that he wanted to do it.
The website — which I have been reading for a couple of hours now — reads like someone working out a simple problem of logic. Instead of concluding something mundane, however, it concludes with Manley killing himself for reasons stated.
I know it has nothing to do with baseball, but Manley sounds like a lot of people who comment around here or who frequent Baseball Think Factory or who hang around on Twitter. Older than most web-based folks, but imbued with a certain perspective and politeness about them as a result.
I have no idea what to make of it, but it seems like more than anything else, Manley wanted his story to be shared, so I am sharing it. And I am simultaneously remembering that we don’t know a hell of a lot about anyone or about this world for that matter.