May 17, 2009
Meet the Finalists
It is our privilege to present the slate of competitors in the first-ever edition of Prospectus Idol. The objective of this competition is to find a new Baseball Prospectus columnist, but it is also an exercise in learning, from the authors for the benefit of the audience (ideally), as well as by the authors and judges from one another. As Kevin Goldstein initially laid out in his introducing the competition and explaining the basic rules for entry, this also represents a potential gateway to work within the baseball industry itself, given the increasing number of former contributors who have already landed jobs with the various clubs.
Clearly, there's the potential for plenty to be at stake for the contestants; there's also going to be a lot of opportunities for Baseball Prospectus subscribers in general to make a significant difference. By using your power as the voting public to evaluate and vote for the competitors themselves, you will help shape the future content on the site. In the weeks to come, starting with next week's first round of competition, we want to encourage you, the voters, to participate actively by commenting on the articles themselves, making a case for which ones you like and why, and helping sustain a debate on the questions these articles will inevitably raise.
Among the hundreds upon hundreds of entries which we ended up reading, there was surprisingly easy agreement on a slate of competitors. However, that is not to say that the process didn't lead to at least one complication: Jeremy Greenhouse withdrew from the competition due to a previous commitment, the outcome of which he was not aware of when he entered. The Tufts student's work was deserving and an early pick of the panel of judges, so we felt he was deserving of seeing his work and getting the title of "Finalist." Greenhouse will not be continuing on in the competition and was replaced in the field (although we're declining to publicly identify the alternate). We want to congratulate Jeremy and wish him the best of luck with that other things he's doing
Without more ado, here are the initial competitors, with a little information about them, as well as their winning entries. [Ed. Note: As with all of subsequent Idol articles, these are published with nothing more than formatting of the tables and graphics, but without any corrections or editing.]
Finally, having picked our slate of finalists, we communicated the rules for their first competition:
Greetings finalists! Again, congrats on being one of the final ten. Now, the real work begins. You have to prove yourself to the judges and the voters week in, week out. The winner will have done it ten times, so push yourself, do your best work, and leave it all on the page.