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Hello BP Readers,

It’s a new season not just for baseball, but for us here at Baseball Prospectus. Today we are extremely excited to announce the launch of three local Baseball Prospectus sites: BP Boston, BP Bronx, and BP Wrigleyville.

Sports are innately local, and the idea behind these new Baseball Prospectus pages is to take all the writing, research, thought, and analysis that make BP great, and present it through a local lens. While the national page will continue to provide the innovative content you’ve come to expect, we now also have an amazing group of writers covering these teams. We are just getting started, but we believe these BP sites will become the best source of local baseball commentary, discussion, and analysis in each market.

These are the first of many new enhancements to the BP experience. I hope you come along for the ride. We are incredibly excited to have you.

Thanks,

Jim Walsh

jwalsh@baseballprospectus.com

@JimWalshBP

Thank you for reading

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warclub
4/08
Once again, small market teams are left out. Just like ESPN.
morro089
4/08
Let's not blame BP for picking teams with the largest fanbases so it can reach the most people. Could you imagine a site dedicated towards the Reds? It would literally have 10x less people visit it. (no offense to Reds fans, there are just less people in that half of Ohio compared to the entire region of New England) Have you seen any other content on here that is heavily tilted towards big market teams? I mean, in the last two days they've had articles titles pertaining to the Rockies. Small sample size, but lower your pitch fork a little bit.
morro089
4/08
And if you dislike the content...don't go there? You have to make a conscious choice to go there. It's like reading the comments on ESPN articles, you chose to make that terrible decision.
colonel
4/09
I am curious about your knowledge of populations the U.S. Per Wikipedia, the population density of New England is 200 people per square mile. The population density of Ohio is 282 per square mile. These facts don't seem to support your supposition that there are more people in New England, especially when you consider its small relative geographic size. What source did you use to substantiate your statement about the relative populations? Thanks!
morro089
4/09
Yeah, I probably shouldn't have used population as my argument and then gotten lazy and just thrown out a number I made up (because god forbid I open a second tab on my phone). I should have made the argument for number of fans based on FB and Twitter followers. And I should have used the Yankees because I still have trouble fathoming how much larger the NY fanbase is. http://fanpagelist.com/category/sports-teams/mlb/view/list/sort/fans/page1 (1) Yankees - 8.2M on FB, 1.4M on Twitter (2) Red Sox - 5M on FB, 1M on Twitter (6) Cubs - 2.3M on FB, .5M on Twitter (15) Reds - 1.1M on FB, .4M on Twitter I had no idea the Reds were middle of the pack for "popularity", I figured around 20th. And that it's only a 4:1 or 5:1 fan ratio between the Reds and Red Sox, but it's close with the Yankees. What's real fun is this graphic, which shows how sporadic Yankee fandom is http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2014/3/31/5567664/facebook-baseball-popularity-royals-probably-spamming-timeline-with-candy-crush-updates And the site is starting with the big teams (and the biggest team with the most big-name prospects who probably were attracted to this site over the past few years scrounging for hope) and then, Jim Walsh says, will spread to smaller teams. Basic ROI stuff, fix the big problems then work on the smaller ones.
Schaffpa71
4/09
Reds fans are not just in "that half of Ohio." They are also in Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia along the Reds radio network. And the Reds generally rank among the top teams in MLB in TV and radio ratings within its market. BP should be focusing its limited resources on covering all of baseball, not just the bandwagon teams that already get too much coverage. Like I commented further down, unless there is a huge investment in talent and money, these microsites will not work without the main product suffering.
morro089
4/09
I guess I'm just hoping they bring on new people for the micro-sites. But I see the concern that it's a money grab and they're making the decision to benefit themselves*, not the reader. *Which, I mean, I make selfish decisions every day. Luckily it only effects people I don't ever meet or have to respond to via internet blog comments.
butzbach
4/09
Yeah, but won't siloing Sox/Yanks/Cubs fans into their own verticals leave more for the rest of the BP staff to cover?
jimwalsh77
4/09
No. There is still going to be coverage of these teams on the main site with the same type of regularity there always has been. We have brought on new writers to work on the local sites, some new writers have already been added to the national site, and we have not taken away any national site responsibility from people that are going to be appearing in both places.
butzbach
4/09
Awesome!
morro089
4/09
How does someone -1 this? It's like frowning at someone who responds to "How's your day going?" with "good." It's just an acknowledgement that the other person is there. It means almost nothing. The internet is a fickle place.
consumerchad
4/08
FINALLY some Red Sox/Yankees coverage in this cold, cruel world.
digmyearth
4/08
Giants please
Grasul
4/08
Seems like a very clumsily conceived idea. These new sites aren't integrated at all into the flagship site, not even permanent links? Was any consideration given to user experience navigating between the flagship site and these new sites? Not even a token discussion of when/how us customers are going to start paying for this content? Love BP; might want to work a little on change management with your subscriber base.
jimwalsh77
4/08
Thanks for the feedback. We are just getting started with these local sites, so there will be a lot more to come with them over the course of the season. They will ultimately be completely integrated into the BP experience, but we are trying to learn what works and what doesn't during the overall integration. As for paying for this content, the local sites are not going to be part of the Premium subscriptions - they will remain open and free.
Grasul
4/08
Thanks for the reply. I'd suggest some kind of streaming section on the flagship homepage somewhere showing new articles on the sub-sites. You know your customers are baseballaholics, they're going to want to consume most anything you publish.
Grasul
4/08
Basically like a Twitter feed for all BP content; you could even probably use Twitter for it, though you might want more control.
jimwalsh77
4/08
Thanks. I like this idea.
fawcettb
4/09
Ah. The Free Heroin marketing technique. Give it away for a while, and when the addicts start lining up, make them pay. That's acceptable, I suppose. But as a main site subscriber, I'm wondering how much that's going to cut down on the volume of content to the main site.
huztlers
4/09
It's not too late to scrap them either!
mhmosher
5/24
I agree 100%.
briankopec
4/08
Because fans of these teams are woefully under-served. Is this included as part of the premium or whatever it's called now subscription? Will there be a separate staff of writers for the local sites or will the great writers that provide content for the 'national' site be siphoned off to produce articles for the team-centric sites?
briankopec
4/08
Sorry...I see we cross-posted and you noted that the new sites will not be subscription based.
jimwalsh77
4/08
A little bit of both on the writers. There will be a group that will be creating the great content at the sub-sites, some names will be new some will be familiar. The national site will continue to publish the same great content it always has. There will now just be incrementally more BP content out there on a daily basis.
briankopec
4/08
Thanks for responding.
tylersnotes
4/08
these sites are gorgeous and i hope a bp redesign is coming soon
jimwalsh77
4/08
Thanks! Stay tuned ...
gweedoh565
4/09
Keep the site the way it is! If it ain't broke, don't make me have to lose an afternoon relearning where PECOTA is hiding.
BarryR
4/09
I agree. I'm here for the content, not video and flashy graphics. If you want to make a change, enable me to go back to previous days content chronologically. Now if something doesn't fit on the front page, it's effectively hidden.
oneilljm
4/09
I'm with Gweed and Barry on this, The internet does enough shouting at me, I don't need it here too.
briankopec
4/09
Yes. I hate to mention other sites, but if a redesign was necessary, I'd hope it went more towards Fangraphs and less towards ESPN.
lipitorkid
4/08
Highest attendance average and attendance total: Dodgers, will be patiently waiting you perfecting your approach while we stare at a blank TV screen.
alfredeinstein
4/08
this is awesome. i've been dreaming about a BP—Red Sox marriage for about a decade.
NightmareRec0n
4/08
My only issue with this is I am afraid how this will work with the main site. Whether we like it or not, these three teams are a significant percent of baseball fans, which typically would be catered to on the main site. Is this content being moved off the main site or on top of it for things that wouldn't matter for a greater readership?
randolph3030
4/08
Was there a determined need for these sites? I don't think I've ever seen a BP comment stating a wish for a team specific site - and certainly none that wanted more Sox or Yankees coverage. I'd much rather you put these resources into the main site. There are plenty of team-centric micro sites available, I don't see what gap in the market is being filled by these sites. Especially since most team-centric sites are written by young fans who are already steeped in BP-ness. I don't get it, just make the main site the best you can. BP hemorrhages talent, why not use whatever money and effort went into these sites and use it on retention? I hope it works, but I can't see myself going there - even as someone with a rooting interest in the NYY.
jimwalsh77
4/08
We hope you will give it a shot. We are all very excited about what they can grow into, and think there will be some fantastic insight to each team that is not currently being produced. The main site will continue to produce content of the same style and caliber everyone has come to love. These are just additional, not any kind of replacement. More BP content seems like it's a win for anyone that likes to read the site.
Worthing
4/08
It's all fine and dandy and I don't begrudge any efforts to expand your reach. Until one of my favorite writers from BP gets pulled over to BP Suckees. Then I either go to yet another site to get content (and it'll be Yankees content so we'll lose them writing about broad issues anyway) or I lose that writer. Frankly I need yet another site to visit like another hole in the head, there are already too many. As someone who's been a BP fanboi for a long long time and have watched as alot of very talented people have left...if we lose talent to subsites...well that'll just suck. My subscription gets harder to renew each year. Please don't give me the final straw.
BrettLarter
4/08
Is your problem with talent being hired by big league teams, or poached by other sites? I've never been annoyed when someone goes to a team, but I can see the allure of going to 538 or ESPN.
Worthing
4/08
Poached by sites primarily. Teams picking them up is them living out their dream and good for them. It doesn't create more work for me to follow them as they're just gone from the internet at that point. Sheehan...whatever went down there, Carroll, Kahrl, Normandin and others, they aren't here anymore but they're still out there and it's a lot of extra work to read their stuff. I pay an extra $40 a year to read Sheehan's newsletter but at least it is delivered and I don't have to hunt it down. Way rather have that here than paying it outside. Carroll, Kahrl and others I just don't read anymore and it makes me sad. There's only so much time in the day and surfing 5 different sites to read 7 different people is too inefficient. Now I just sound like a grumpy old man!
jimwalsh77
4/08
I assure you writers and content are not going to be removed from the national site to populate the local sites. Everything you love about reading BaseballProspectus.com is going to remain unchanged. We are not going to put out Cubs, Red Sox, or Yankees content (or whatever teams in the future) at the expense of content for the national site. This is really an addition, not a redeployment of resources.
Worthing
4/08
That's really good to hear Jim. Thank you for the follow-up and clear statement regarding the matter.
mhmosher
4/11
The only thing I will add is this. I don't like BP losing its talent either. But I remember when Kevin Goldstein left I was very disappointed. I remember thinking "great... now the prospect department is run by some unknown named Jason Parks. This will stink." And, obviously, it turned out great.
mhmosher
5/24
And yet the main site format still sucks.
lipitorkid
4/09
Advertising. It's got to be hard to sell national advertising on this site, but this type of content is perfect for local advertising. I'm also waiting for a "forums" or discussion feature on BP so I can see just how smart the readers of BP really are. Heck a forums discussion board is a great place to find new potential writing talent.
lawluke
4/08
Awesome!
Worm51
4/08
Three of the top 5 teams in attendance reside in California, but we couldnt even get a BP-West Coast. Good to see the rumored east coast bias is only a myth.
jimwalsh77
4/08
Be patient, these are just the beginning!
Worm51
4/09
Sweet! Thanks!
jcalixte
4/08
Man way to ruin the joy paying for this site. Some baseball america like decisions right here. This is absurd
sbnirish77
4/08
This would only be a good idea only if BP sends all of its writers with a Boston bias who picked Boston incorrectly seven times in the last 10 years to win the AL East to BP Boston.
mkvallely
4/09
Maybe they'll make a special site for you where every article is about how overrated Boston is, how overrated their prospects always are, and they can even have a comments section where everyone tries to get as many downvotes as possible.
Behemoth
4/09
And there's a daily article demanding the death penalty for steroid users.
jfranco77
4/09
Isn't the Yankees site going to be a site where every article is about how overrated Boston prospects and players are?
gweedoh565
4/09
And the byline for every article is "BPHiveMind".
batts40
4/08
As a Cub fan, I'm ecstatic for this news. It's just gravy that most of the writers working there I'm already a fan of. Removing my fandom, I can't fathom why anyone would be upset with the creation of more content that you're not under any obligation to read if you don't want to. Keep up the great work, and the Wrigleyville site looks fantastic.
quackman
4/09
As a fellow Cubs fan, I'm also looking forward to the new content. I can, however, understand the fear that the creation of this content will lead to less content on the national site. I recall back in the pre-internet days that USA Today's Baseball Weekly was the best source of baseball news I could find. When they added football coverage and changed the name to Sports Weekly they repeatedly claimed that the baseball coverage would not be lessened, they'd just add football coverage. Within a year the number of column inches dedicated to baseball had been reduced by about 40%. I hope that Mr. Walsh's assurances are accurate, but some of us have been burned on this path before.
jimwalsh77
4/09
I understand we have to prove it to readers, and we fully intend to do that. I have also been burned on this type of thing in the past, and we are going to learn from the mistakes made by the ones that came before us, not repeat them. The national site as everyone knows it will remain unchanged and produce the same great content it always has. What we are trying to do is provide that same great research and insight, but on a team-specific level. Hopefully we will become your destination for analysis on both your favorite team and MLB as a whole. We are not going to only cover big market teams, nor East Coast teams. We wanted to take this slow at the beginning in order to work out the kinks, garner feedback from readers, and these three teams were the ones we felt we could do the best at the outset. All we are asking is that you give us a chance to show what we think this can be, and provide feedback along the way to let us know how we are doing.
Schaffpa71
4/09
Terrible. Focus should be on making the main website BETTER, not "unchanged." As a BP subscriber, I can say for sure the national site has not always produced great content. There were some lean years there that made me question my subscription many times. Now I do think you guys are getting back on track, and I'm reading a lot more of the BP content than in the last couple years. But unless there is a major investment in talent and money, I can't foresee these micro sites succeeding without the main product suffering.
jimwalsh77
4/09
Of course. Improving is always the goal. What I am saying is the amount of content, the writers, the attention paid to research and new ideas is not going to change. As I said, we know we have to prove this, but I think it's only fair for readers to give us the chance to do so.
shepleffel
4/10
Can you explain this article then? http://boston.locals.baseballprospectus.com/2015/04/09/ask-bp-boston-what-sea-creature-would-xander-bogaerts-be/ Other than the "buzzfeedification" of BP that appears to be looming, I also see some name brand BP writers involved in that article. For example, I have to imagine the folks paying for the premium fantasy services (which in full disclosure, I do not, I am merely a premium paying member), might want to see fewer clickbait headlines from Ben Carsley and more fantasy pieces?
mhmosher
5/24
I am with you. I have been here since 03 and I'm out after this year if the main site hasn't been redesigned. From the mass exodus of writers to this latest development, it's becoming less and less worth it.
KansasCityAstro
4/09
Jim, I really appreciate, and oh so want to encourage, people and organizations that are willing to spend the energy and take the risk to expand and innovate, to foster growth and positive change. As an avid baseball fan with an analytical nature, BP has long been my source of choice when I want to "feed" on baseball writing, and even though I have no connection to the three teams that are the focus of these initial ventures, I wish you great fruitfulness as you move boldly forward!
BarryR
4/09
You guys do know that there are more than one team in NY and Chicago, right? As a Met fan, I sort of feel pissed on by BP Bronx. It's one thing to appeal to Red Sox nation and all that, but splitting up two cities seems like an intentional slap in the face to an awful lot of fans. I've been a paying customer at this site since you started charging and I am not happy about this.
therealn0d
4/09
What if you're a fan of one of the other 27 teams? It's going to be a long slap in the face for those fans. BP Cleveland ain't happening...that's not where the money is.
dpc1178
4/09
As a White Sox fan, I feel your pain. At least ESPN has ESPN Chicago and not ESPN Wrigleyville. I'll sit patiently for BP Bridgeport or will it be BP South Side?
Gotribe31
4/09
Gotta be honest, I'm disappointed that Yankee Prospectus is a thing and yet Sandwich Prospectus is still just a dream. Maybe we can get Craij Prospectus, where Goldstein has free reign to educate us all on the dangers of infused water and whatever else catches his fancy on a given day? I'd renew my subscription for that alone.
TwinsfanTravis
4/09
Must be nice to be a fan of these teams. Just once I'd like to see dedicated professional analysis and material on my Twins. You guys have decide which dedicated site to go to first! I guess that's what a large bandwagon gets you.
SenatorsGuy
4/09
Twins Daily may not be BP quality - but it is pretty damn good. And it is free.
BaseballFuries
4/09
Divisions would be a better breakdown, I bet. That way you get a microscope on your favorite team and their rivals. More nuanced discussion about the most important thing - the competition. Also, you'd only have to do six of em.
matteckstein
4/09
Lots of negativity here, but the way I see it, this is a gateway drug into BP. People unfamiliar with BP or uncomfortable sitting at the stat table can get a local site to see how not-scary it really is. That's another reason why it makes the most sense to pick the markets with the most fans first. Looking forward to see what else changes with the new ownership. Thanks, Jim.
wauzer
4/09
Well yeah, New York and Chicago are big markets, but why not cover the whole market by including Mets and White Sox? I'm in Milwaukee. Not much of a chance of anything extra in this tiny market. Maybe we'll get some expansion of coverage in a Midwest Market with the Twins and Tigers. Maybe this will all work out for the best over time, but I definitely understand the frustration expressed by the "ignored" markets.
jimwalsh77
4/09
The reason they are called Wrigleyville and Bronx is because we want to devote dedicated sites to each team, not split one site to cover two different teams/fan bases. But we have to walk before we can run. If we released all teams at once, we would be opening ourselves up to a lot of issues as problems are uncovered and we are getting our feet wet. There will be small market teams covered just as there are large market ones. It has as much to do with finding the right people for the site(s) as it does market size. For the people looking for coverage of "their team," we will get there, but in the interim your BP experience is going to be lessened in any way. It's just going to take us a little longer until we can augment it in the way we have for Red Sox, Cubs, and Yankees fans this week.
jimwalsh77
4/09
*is not going to be lesseneed
jcutiger
4/09
What about the rest of us that pay for this site?. Most chats (pretty few and far between) are usually all about the Red Sox and Cubs already.
mhmosher
5/24
Rest assured, not every team is getting a dedicated site. Too small a company to do it and even if they did, they would dilute the talent pool of the contributing writers. The Dodgers and Giants and A's will get sites. The Mets and ChiSox - maybe, but not likely.
mhmosher
5/24
The biggest negative is for about 10 years, BP has needed a site redesign. Now they launch these market exclusive sites with formats far superior to the main site. Come on BP - that's bush league. Fix the site that got you here to begin with.
markpadden
6/01
Is the local site format any better? It just looks like font changes to me. I'm with you, though, that BP was the worst site design of any sport site. What on earth is with the tons of wasted white space on each side of every page?
mhmosher
12/31
Unfortunately, I think BP is entering a slow death-spiral. Too much talent is gone and this new management prioritizes click bait over anything else.