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.
Thank you for reading
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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.
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?
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.
(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.
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.
*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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
I hate to mention other sites, but if a redesign was necessary, I'd hope it went more towards Fangraphs and less towards ESPN.
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.
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.
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.
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!
And, obviously, it turned out great.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Also, you'd only have to do six of em.
Looking forward to see what else changes with the new ownership. Thanks, Jim.
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.
The Dodgers and Giants and A's will get sites. The Mets and ChiSox - maybe, but not likely.
Fix the site that got you here to begin with.