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Baseball coverage

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by -Scoop-, May 3, 2008.

  1. -Scoop-

    -Scoop- Member

    I'm about to embark on my first season of covering minor league baseball. We're a relatively small paper (26K) so we go all out even for spring training, having a story every day. I know the basic ideas for story ideas in the first week -- longshots to make the team, new manager, rookies, players coming back, etc., but I was wondering if there are better topic ideas I may be missing.

    Ideas?
     
  2. -Scoop-

    -Scoop- Member

    Independent minor league baseball.
     
  3. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    Read Baseball America religiously, in print and online. Get a subscription (and, hopefully, put it on your expense account).

    At this level, frankly, the games don't matter as much as the stories the players tell. Why are they playing independent ball? College kid with better stats than tools? Major league organization done him wrong? Summer job before real world starts? Can't quit at 33 even though the future has long since passed him by? Has he played in Mexico, Taiwan, Italy, the Dominican Republic, Japan?

    Also, don't forget to write about the promotions. Best part of minor league ball.
     
  4. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Don't get too carried away with the wins and losses, which are not important in the grand scheme of minor league baseball and even less so in independent ball. Guys will probably feed you a good quote or two about how they're there to win, but they're there to get the hell out.

    It sounds like you're on the right track re: going beyond the surface for good stories. The most interestign stories are usually told by the guys who had a cup of coffee (singular, not plural) in the bigs or, as noted by screwball, those who played overseas in countries not exactly known for their baseball (Italy, etc).
     
  5. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    These are all good suggestions. Also, make sure you're in tune to the business end of the operation, the financial stability of the franchise, etc.
     
  6. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    in that vein, try and do some research on other indy teams and leagues, and not wins and losses. see who's successful, see who has failed and who's failing, so when you write about the off-the-field stuff (like if the team's going out of business or not paying its bills) you can put it in context.

    also do your research on your team's owner or owners. lot of crooks in that racket.
     
  7. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Actually, wins and losses are somewhat more important in independent league ball, where the teams are:

    a) not dependent on the parent club to send them talent;

    b) not subservient to the whims of the parent club on how to use the players (i.e. pitch limits, playing guys out of position to see if they can handle another position);

    c) pretty much entirely dependent on gate receipts, unlike farm-system teams which are subsidized by the parent club; even in the minors, winning teams draw better;

    d) left to their own devices to make trades, sign free agents, etc.

    The on-field success of the team is still not overwhelmingly important in indy leagues, but it's much more important than with farm-system teams, for which it means virtually nothing.

    And as awriter and Jeffrey point out, usually independent-league owners are borderline con artists. They're usually operating on a bag of nickels and a prayer.
     
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