CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Prospectus Hit and Run... (12/06)
<< Previous Column
BP Unfiltered: Winter ... (12/07)
Next Column >>
BP Unfiltered: Best of... (12/14)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/07)

December 7, 2011

BP Unfiltered

Doubling BP's BBWAA Body Count

by Ben Lindbergh

I can’t help feeling like I jumped the line.

In the superb eighth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David added another useful term to the pop culture lexicon: the “chat-and-cut,” a delicate social maneuver wherein an intrepid line-cutter establishes some sort of rapport with someone standing near the front and casually joins the queue, thereby avoiding a long wait. Here’s what it looks like in action:

On a day highlighted by the Mets’ wholesale bullpen buying, a peculiar beginning to Chicago’s rebuilding movement, and wild rumors about the Marlins’ ongoing spending spree, the news out of Dallas that will stick with me for many Winter Meetings to come was Jay Jaffe’s announcement that Steven Goldman and I had joined him and John Perrotto as Baseball Prospectus’ representatives in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

When the BBWAA opened its virtual doors to internet-based writers four years ago, and to Baseball Prospectus in 2008, both moves came as the culmination of years of credibility-building. Steven, Jay, Christina Kahrl, and the other internet writers who have since been inducted have been covering baseball professionally roughly since I started collecting cards, if not earlier. They spent most of those years waiting in line for access—in the process proving that having that access wasn’t the only way one could say something useful about the game.

Eventually, the door opened. And how did I get through it? I was lucky enough to know the people at the front of the line, and they let me walk in with them. Basically, I pulled a chat-and-cut. Don't get me wrong—as far as I can tell, I meet the requirements for BBWAA eligibility, and I aim to do the organization proud. Still, getting in now says less about me than it does the people who spared me the wait. Where once an association with Baseball Prospectus was the mark of an informed outsider, a distinction that closed doors, it's now one that unlocks them.

When I worked for Yankees Magazine in college, I spent enough time in the clubhouse to know that merely getting inside doesn’t guarantee a great story—or any story, for that matter. If you want to come out with something useful instead of an empty voice recorder or the usual clichés, you have to go in with a goal and be willing to outwait your quarry, all the while pretending to be unfazed by the sight of Jose Molina’s ample belly. Similarly, while simply belonging to the BBWAA is a feather in BP's cap, our membership would mean little if we didn't use it to produce a better product.

Over the past year, BP’s BBWAA memberships have given us Jay’s game stories and on-the-spot playoff reporting and John’s regular updates from clubhouses around the league. With twice as many credentialed boots on the ground next season, we’d like to bring you more of the same while also experimenting with new ways of supplementing our stories with an up-close perspective. As always, we're open to suggestions. We're happy to be here, but now the real work begins.

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

6 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Prospectus Hit and Run... (12/06)
<< Previous Column
BP Unfiltered: Winter ... (12/07)
Next Column >>
BP Unfiltered: Best of... (12/14)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/07)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article My Model Portfolio: Three-and-a-Half Months ...
Notes About Baseball, 7/22
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Boston Gives 'Em A Li...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Monday, July 2...
Premium Article Moonshot: Accounting for Count
Premium Article Prospects Will Break Your Heart: What Did I ...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Headley Chased

MORE FROM DECEMBER 7, 2011
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Three's Company in Mia...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A Two Buc Gamble
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Sweeping Street From T...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Mets Build a Bullp...

MORE BY BEN LINDBERGH
2011-12-09 - Transaction Analysis: Wrapping Up the Winter...
2011-12-09 - Premium Article Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Sus...
2011-12-08 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Boston Brings Back Ort...
2011-12-07 - BP Unfiltered: Doubling BP's BBWAA Body Coun...
2011-12-07 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Mets Build a Bullp...
2011-12-05 - Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Sus...
2011-12-02 - Baseball Prospectus News: Introducing Best o...
More...

MORE BP UNFILTERED
2012-01-03 - BP Unfiltered: Quentin Trade Thoughts
2011-12-19 - BP Unfiltered: Best of Baseball Prospectus C...
2011-12-14 - BP Unfiltered: Best of Baseball Prospectus B...
2011-12-07 - BP Unfiltered: Doubling BP's BBWAA Body Coun...
2011-12-07 - BP Unfiltered: Winter Meetings Dispatch: The...
2011-12-07 - BP Unfiltered: Winter Meetings Dispatch: Gio...
2011-12-07 - BP Unfiltered: Winter Meetings Dispatch: It'...
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2012-12-04 - BP Announcements: BP's New BBWAA Members