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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

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