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Minor league baseball season preview (help)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by NDub, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. NDub

    NDub Guest

    I've been tasked with writing a season preview for the local minor league baseball team. I'm a youngster so I don't have experience doing this. The difficulty I can see right now is that I can't focus on "last year they were close to winning it all so this year they're doing this to win it" because 99 percent of the players have moved on. With the player movement it's hard to write something that builds upon last season. I know I've got to focus on this year's crop of prospects.

    I've got some minor league experience. I covered an independent team in the summer of 2005, but jumped in a few games into the season and after the previews. I mostly did gamers and a few features.

    I guess I'm curious what ideas ya'll have for an angle that covers the entire team and season? Thanks, in advance.
     
  2. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    If it's an Independent League team, I'm not sure what to tell you.

    If it's an affiliated team and its AA or AAA there are several angles you can take. You can write about:
    - how the team will do as a whole
    - who can make the jump to the next level this season
    - where the players are ranked in the Baseball America prospectus (any of the organization's top prospects at this level this season?)

    Although this is a column on the team's website it's being written by a guy who took a buyout at newspaper last season. Look at the first section of the March 9 column. Something like it could work in the newspaper for your preview as well...
    http://www.trentonthunder.com/HTML/Display_HTML.asp?Page=1
     
  3. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    Think of the best reason to go out to the ballpark on opening day and focus your preview on that. It might be that the big club's top draft pick is making his professional debut or it might be a goofball promotion, but there's got to something on opening day.
     
  4. melock

    melock Active Member

    What about a meet and greet with the fans? I covered a Rookie ball team that did that and I was able to talk to the manager and pitching coach about the new players. If they don't have that try to get out to the workouts the team is probably having in the days leading up to their first game. Just be assertive. If you act like you belong there you'll get plenty of material for your preview.
     
  5. ColbertNation

    ColbertNation Member

    Check out their colleges. If some of them were in the same conference, maybe they played against each other before, and now they're teammates, etc ...
     
  6. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    If it's an affiliated minor league team, get yourself the Baseball America Prospect Handbook..
    http://www.baseballamerica.com/store/store.cgi

    also on that page, the Baseball America Directory will come in very handy during the course of the season.
     
  7. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    google them and look them up in lexis to see if they have interesting pasts. maybe carl catcher beat leukemia in 10th grade or sam shortstop's mom was horrifically murdered the night before the state championship game in 11th grade (but let's hope not). that kind of thing is what gets readers interested. i don't think most fans/readers care that the shortstop has great range but can't hit for power.
     
  8. NDub

    NDub Guest

    Thanks for the ideas. Lots of interesting stuff.

    The manager is new this year and apparently he's entering his second year of managing (at least the press release implies it). I think that's something to poke into. Is it OK if I talk mostly about the new manager and only a bit about the players? I mean, I would guess fans care more about players than the new manager....
     
  9. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Depends on your space. If you have the space, you could make the preview a feature on a player or the manager and a sidebar talking about the roster (how the kids did last year, what kind of prospect they are, a comment from the manager on each, etc.)
     
  10. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    I disagree. If they care about that on the major league level, they'll care about it in their local minor league team. If its an affiliated team, the players on the team have a shot at making the majors. The fans not only want to go out to the park to have fun and watch a competitive team, but be able to say about the best players "I saw him when he was in the minors and I could see his potential then".
    Talking about the potential of the players in the preview is important to help hook the fans in for the season. If they are casual fans and just care about having fun at the ballpark, they'll just check the headline to see who won. If they're fans of the team and baseball fans, they'll want more. They'll want to know the stuff I spoke about in previous posts here.
    Then again, I'm speaking as a copy editor in a city with a AA team that has competing daily newspapers. Only advice I can give is based on what I've seen the papers in my city do in the past and observations from talking to the beat writers.
     
  11. PhilaYank36

    PhilaYank36 Guest

    Check out MiLB.com. You can look up potential players, schedule and the archives go pretty deep. But like EStreetJoe said, if it's an Indy, you're S.O.L. If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me.
     
  12. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Geez Leo. Think happy thoughts. :D
     
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