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April 12, 2009

BP Idol

Want to Work in Baseball?

by Kevin Goldstein

"Hey, I'm trying to land of job in baseball, I really want to have a career doing this. Any advice?"
"Hey, are you hiring? I'm really good and I'd love to write for Baseball Prospectus."

As far as the first question, I tend to try to talk people out of it, if anything just to help separate the wheat from the chaff as a public service to teams everywhere. Passion is one thing, but 18-hour days for what are usually mediocre-check that, pretty damn bad-wages takes it to another step. It's also a difficult question because I have no one piece of advice. I know a lot of people working for teams, and there is absolutely no roadmap that they all followed; every path is somewhat different. About a week ago, Will Carroll mentioned to me that yet another BP intern had landed a gig with a big-league team, and I realized that I certainly do know of one way to get a job in baseball-work for BP. Counting writers, researchers, programmers, interns (and those that dabbled in multiple categories), the number of people with Baseball Prospectus on their resume who now work within the game is well into double digits. It's something we're proud of, even though it often creates some temporary resource issues around here.

So, here's the question: Do you want to be one of those people? Well, maybe you can be. Which brings me to question number two: Are we hiring? Kind of. More accurately, our subscribers are hiring, because this is time to announce the launch of BP Idol.

Yes, it's almost exactly what you think it is. Do you want to write for BP? Now is your chance. We'll be accepting any and all submissions, and anyone is eligible providing they can accept the prize, which is a contract to write once a week for Baseball Prospectus from the time of your victory through the final out of the World Series in October. And just for fun, we'll throw in $1,000 for the winner as well.

It's going to work much like one would expect. We'll have a two-week open submission call, and then the three judges-myself, Will Carroll, and Christina Kahrl-will whittle that list down to a final ten. Don't worry, you won't have Will speaking with a British accent and calling everyone "boring," I will refer to nobody as "my dog," and Christina won't avoid the subject and simply ramble about how good you look.

Once we get down to the ten finalists (all of whom receive a one-year subscription to baseballprospectus.com or a one-year extension for existing subscribers), we will ask each of them to submit a piece once a week around a baseball-related theme of our choosing. We will publish all of the contestants' articles for the perusal of the subscribers with the comments of the three judges, and then the voting will begin. In order to avoid ballot stuffing, and to serve our customers better, only BP subscribers will be voting for who they want to read going forward. We'll cut one writer a week based on the lowest vote total, and we'll eventually get down to a winner.

We're excited about this, and we wouldn't be doing it if we didn't think the next great baseball analyst is out there... somewhere. We're quite sure we're going to find that person. Are you up for the competition?

The rules are as follows:

Initial Entry

Eligibility: All are welcome, including existing writers, bloggers, etc., providing that they can accept the grand prize, which is $1,000 and a contract to write for us once per week at the rate of $75/article.

To Enter: Send an email to idol@baseballprospectus.com with the following by the deadline of April 15th 22nd at 11:59 PM PT:

  1. A one-paragraph introduction of yourself, and why you think you should win.

  2. A piece about baseball, with a length of up to 1,500 words. It can be hard-core analysis, scouting, humor, or really just about anything that you think would work well as a column. Prospectus Entertainment Ventures has the right to reproduce anything you submit, but you do retain publishing rights to your initial entry.

  3. A headshot. Don't worry about the quality, something along the lines of your Facebook profile picture will do just fine, we just want to put a face with the name.

Finalists will be given the rules for the second round prior to acceptance.

So, if your dream has been to write about baseball professionally, or to work in professional baseball, this could be your chance. Start writing, and give it a shot.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

37 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links


This is fantastic. I look forward to reading this. Beats the heck out of those warblers my wife makes me listen to.

Apr 08, 2009 12:43 PM
rating: 0


Apr 08, 2009 12:56 PM
rating: 0

Great idea.

Apr 08, 2009 13:23 PM
rating: 0

awesome...great idea BP

Apr 08, 2009 13:25 PM
rating: 0

Two weeks from April 8th ought to be April 22, not April 15th...do we have 2 weeks or 1 week to get our stuff together?

Apr 08, 2009 13:25 PM
rating: 3
Richard Bergstrom

Did we ever get a response on this?

Apr 12, 2009 05:52 AM
rating: 0

No, and I emailed the author directly as well. I'll try again.

Apr 12, 2009 09:15 AM
rating: 0

It'd be very hard for Christina not talk about how good I look. Most girls won't stop talking about it. However, lots of girls have called me boring, mostly because I wont' shut up about the Pirates or baseball in general...

Apr 08, 2009 13:44 PM
rating: 0

I'd be bored if you talked about the Pirates too.

Apr 08, 2009 13:46 PM
rating: 11

I recall reading about some business using the American Idol theme and being sued for using it.

Apr 08, 2009 13:53 PM
rating: 0

let me chime in: this is a great idea.

One of the many things I like about BP is that the comment section is overwhelmingly positive and productive, a perfect atmosphere for a competition that could otherwise make people feel pretty vulnerable (I'm not sure if I have the stomach to put my writing in front of so many people!).

I'm looking forward to reading the new columns.

Apr 08, 2009 15:01 PM
rating: 1

!!!!!! excited !!!!!!

Apr 08, 2009 15:03 PM
rating: 0

If Christina's not gonna tell me how good I look, forget it.

Apr 08, 2009 15:18 PM
rating: 0
Justin Miller

I wonder why this comment section is overrun with Pirates fans. My comment makes at least 3 that I can see. Perhaps we all feel the need to vent...

Apr 08, 2009 15:18 PM
rating: 0
Peter Benedict

I think this is excellent. Thank you.

Apr 08, 2009 15:34 PM
rating: 0
Brian Cartwright

I'm a Pirates fan too.

Apr 08, 2009 18:35 PM
rating: -1

Add one more to the tally for Bucco fans. When you are waiting 'til next year before the season even starts, you need someplace like BP to take your mind off the current team. That said, I'm optimistic about what Neal Huntington and BP alum Dan Fox can do with this club.

Apr 08, 2009 19:22 PM
rating: 0

The phrase "---- Idol" is a copyright of the Idol company, but as long as it is not used to generate profit, it should be fine. To play it safe, just change it to something else. Like Prospectus Stud, or Prospectus Pujols.

Apr 08, 2009 22:49 PM
rating: 0
BP staff member Eric Seidman
BP staff

I guess Billy Idol is screwed! Eric Idle will be safe.

Apr 09, 2009 07:15 AM
Richard Bergstrom

What about false idol? Is that copyrighted?

Can't wait for American Idol to send Simon after the Ten Commandments for copyright infringement.

Apr 09, 2009 07:18 AM
rating: 0

Prospectus Idle would be my choice.

Apr 09, 2009 11:34 AM
rating: 0

BP, don't go getting yourselves into legal trouble. Some other suggestions for your consideration:

The Gong BP
Extreme Baseball - BP Edition
Project BP
BP Eye for the Straight Fan
Dancing with the BPers
Who Wants to be a BPionaire?

Apr 09, 2009 07:39 AM
rating: 0
Richard Bergstrom

Another suggestion...

Prospecting Prospectus Prospectors

Apr 09, 2009 14:27 PM
rating: 1
Richard Bergstrom

Sweet stuff.

*gets out his writing inspiration*

Apr 09, 2009 06:11 AM
rating: 0

Does the April 15th deadline not lend itself to people just submitting their old works?

Apr 09, 2009 10:37 AM
rating: 0

Yes. I'll probably just submit my 1040. If that doesn't get me a sympathy job, nothing will.

Apr 12, 2009 10:59 AM
rating: 1
Brian Cartwright

April 15th? I still have to do my taxes!

Apr 10, 2009 16:00 PM
rating: -1
BP staff member Will Carroll
BP staff

I'm not going to offer much in the way of substance here, so that no one has an advantage. I just wanted to update people on how I'm judging. I'm reading each and every submission, often multiple times, and then noting it in a file with a score between 0 and 10. Pretty simple.

This morning I went through and found what would be my "Final 10" based on current submissions. I know there will be more, but I wanted to get a sense of where the cutoff would be. Right now, it would take a 7 to get in, and even with that, you'd need to be a high among the 7's. I haven't ranked any as more than an 8, but the bar is set pretty high.

Apr 12, 2009 11:17 AM
Richard Bergstrom

I do realize it'd be hard to provide feedback on every submission, but is it possible to get an email back just to know our submissions were received? Also, there is some confusion as to whether the open submission was a one-week or two-week period.

Apr 12, 2009 17:07 PM
rating: 1
Rob Miller

You're scoring 0-10? Not 20-80?

Apr 15, 2009 10:55 AM
rating: 0

Great idea, but... this article is dated April 12, and I am just noticing it today and I think I've been scanning the site pretty much daily. So... your goal is to find the most promising writers from amongst the tiny sliver of the BP-reading population that is not overwhelmed with other things (including taxes and many fantasy baseball drafts) over a small window of 3 days? This, from a site that (correctly) stresses reliance on a representative statistical sample in analysis? Hmm.

I guess it's one way of keeping the submission pool manageable in terms of quantity -- even while driving down quality... just sayin'. Good luck with it, in any case.

Apr 12, 2009 20:42 PM
rating: -3
Matt Hunter

It was posted before. This is a repost. And if you can't be here to read something like this, then get together something, you probably do not have enough time to write here every week for 6 months.

Apr 12, 2009 21:13 PM
rating: 2
BP staff member Dave Pease
BP staff

Sorry for the confusion. The deadline is April 22, not April 15.

Apr 13, 2009 09:58 AM
John Carter

Is 75 words over 1,500 OK - if 280 of the words are in the form of a list?

Apr 21, 2009 18:23 PM
rating: -1
BP staff member Will Carroll
BP staff

Rules are clear.

Apr 22, 2009 16:22 PM

I submitted my article (finally). Best of luck to everyone.

Apr 22, 2009 21:34 PM
rating: 1

Any ideas when the lucky ten will be contacted? Or is my question simply an indication that I'm not among them?

Apr 28, 2009 22:37 PM
rating: 0
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<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: Week One ... (04/12)
Next Article >>
The Week in Quotes: Ap... (04/13)

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BP Wrigleyville

Premium Article On the Beat: Week One Wrap
Premium Article Prospectus Q&A: Rob Deer

2009-04-20 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack
2009-04-15 - Premium Article Future Shock: Beyond Number One
2009-04-13 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack
2009-04-12 - BP Idol
2009-04-10 - Premium Article Future Shock: Friday's Monday Ten Pack
2009-04-09 - Premium Article Future Shock: Assignment Oddities
2009-04-08 - Premium Article Future Shock: Future Top Dogs, NL

2009-07-16 - Unfiltered: Prospectus Idol: We Have a Winne...
2009-05-25 - Prospectus Idol: Round One - The Basics
2009-05-17 - Prospectus Idol: Meet the Finalists
2009-05-09 - Unfiltered: BP Idol Update (5/9)
2009-05-01 - Unfiltered: This Is ... Wait, Not Yet
2009-04-21 - Unfiltered: BP Idol Update
2009-04-10 - Unfiltered: Intern Update