Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sobering reality facing beat writers

After reading this, one can only wonder how many people will be voting on the HOF a few years from now, before the online guys (Neyer, Law, etc.) are eligible:

"I certainly recognize where things are going," says Jack O'Connell, secretary of the Baseball Writers Association of America, the venerable 101-year-old membership organization for the profession. "I certainly see the dark clouds."
The changing world was on vivid display recently at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla., the spring home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Opened in 1923 during the golden age of sportswriting, it held its first-ever night game last March -- 20 years after the lights first went on over Chicago's Wrigley Field. At a March 22 game between the Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds two writers from Pittsburgh papers were in attendance, along with two reporters from Major League Baseball's Web site. The Pittsburgh chapter of the BBWAA is down to nine members, an all time low, from 20 in 1988.
Sad times, interesting times. Crises create opportunities. The internet has become the medium of choice, cheaper, faster, better (sometimes), worse (sometimes, too).

We're witnessing a tectonic shift. Hell, friends of ours, like Craig from Shysterball (and his partner in crime Aaron Gleeman, as well as many others) have moved from the blogosphere like this, to a larger platform, and now writes for NBC. That's pretty darned cool. Guys (and gals) with the talent and passion to perform will be elevated where once there was no entry into the "good old boys club" that was the BBWAA. Now, if we can only figure out the financial side of the model for the small fish...

I find this fascinating.

1 comment:

bcrespi said...

If I'm not mistaken, I think BBWAA members retain their voting rights like a Supreme Court seat, until they die. However, I'm not 100% sure about this. If I am correct, we won't have to worry about the numbers voting, though the quality certainly won't get any better.