In step one of the "How to land a job in baseball" series I discussed how cultivating sources can be huge for anyone attempting to break into the business. A well-established source can generally go a long way toward helping one reach his or her goals but, clearly, it’s not the only way. Here we are, finally, at step two which is a primer on how bloggers and other members of media outlets can obtain a job in baseball by writing and analyzing baseball on the interwebs.
The blogosphere is constantly flooded with advanced analysis on hundreds of different sites and blogs. When a really good article is published on whatever blog it may have been posted on readers use Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms to share or promote to their readers/followers. And what pushes most bloggers to keep on writing, especially myself, is the notion that at least a few of the readers browsing through their blog are front office executives and other important baseball people.
Aside from simply loving to write, I think most bloggers write to increase their chances of one day having their career be baseball related. Although the chances aren't superb, bloggers and online baseball analysts do occasionally get hired by baseball teams. But clearly, you need to someway attract the scouts and execs to your blog, or at least your articles on a shared blog, such as Beyond the Box Score. When I cover Minor League Baseball I'm always surrounded by scouts and baseball execs. I don't purposely try to be, but sitting in the press box and the scout section will inevitably have one surrounded by them.
If you author a blog, live near a minor league baseball park and have aspirations of working in baseball, I would suggest applying for a daily credential. Minor League credentials are easy to acquire and can benefit anyone a ton simply by being at the park. Credentials give you access to clubhouses, the field, the press box and any seat in the park. Bloggers with a reason to be at the park (i.e. need to speak to a certain player for a story, blog is of the minor league team's parent club, etc.) will generally be approved but, of course, every minor league front office is different. I can't even begin to discuss the amount of contacts I've made in the past just by having a media pass around my neck and sitting in the press box or scout section.That's one way to make baseball contacts with the benefits of a blog. Now, let's discuss how Twitter can land you a job in a front office (believe it or not).
Although not directly, there are several people I know who have used the powers of Twitter to make enough contacts (who know others who also know others) to have landed a job in a major league front office. People with large followings on Twitter don't necessarily have a better shot at creating valuable contacts. Obviously, those with large followings have done at least something right and, subsequently, have business and important baseball contacts as followers. However, it really doesn't matter. Having followers does matter, but it depends on what you do with them. Keeping in mind that the people who follow you obviously are following you for a reason, you should scope their Twitter profiles out and, if they appear to be someone who could offer something to your potential baseball career, follow them back.
I've followed back many people in the past but it was mutual and I was never someone who has paid attention to follow/follower ratios. If you make Twitter friends with someone on the site try and pick their brains a bit. See if they can offer anything to your baseball life. Who knows? Maybe that contact will get you one step closer to your baseball career. Last and most importantly, let's discuss the topic we talked about first in this article, the blogs.
Mike Fast, the former Baseball Prospectus author who was recently hired by the Houston Astros, started a blog a few years back from scratch. He updated his blog regularly with Pitch f/x analysis and kept on doing so for over a year. He initially had no more credibility than any other blogger on the internet. He would eventually get hired by Baseball Prospectus and then the Astros a few years later. What's important for every aspiring executive to keep in mind is that Fast literally went from writing on a blog that he created to working in a major league organization. Jason Parks, who will undoubtedly become a scout for a major league club one day was the Baseball Time in Arlington prospect writer for a time before establishing himself as one of baseball's best prospect writers and eventually getting hired by Baseball Prospectus as well.
Guys, that can be you.
The last thing I would suggest is to not be afraid to promote your work and to also always attempt to write at a higher level than where you are currently. When I was writing for Royals Prospects back in the fall of 2010 I was constantly reaching out to higher platformed blogs, mostly because I felt I was ready but also because I wanted so badly to have my work read. That's one of the reasons I got brought onto Beyond the Box Score in January of 2011. Make yourself and your stuff seen as much as possible and that'll definitely help enhance your credibility and image. Obviously, you need to be a good writer and know your stuff, but getting a job is certainly possible and it can happen to anybody.