In the most recent issue of USA Today Sports Weekly by , Maury Brown’s Biz of Baseball is featured in what is called Bloggin’ baseball: Keeping up with baseball as a business. The article runs on page 11 of this week’s edition of USA Today Sports Weekly, the entire interview runs today via USA Today’s website on their MLB page.
The article discusses, the economics of the game of baseball, the state of the game, interviews on the website, and the current contributors to the site; Maury Brown, Jordan Korbitz, Peter Toms and Devon Teeple.
Find below an excerpt from the article;
Some of those names feel fortunate, too.
“Sometimes it seems like you need a business degree to understand Major League Baseball, but not to worry,” says Fox Sports writer and analyst Ken Rosenthal. “The Biz of Baseball explains things more clearly than any professor could.”
We caught up with Brown.
Before launching the site, what was your baseball background?
In 2001 I was extremely fortunate to work with former Indiana Pacers General Manager, David Kahn on the key documents that would become a submission to Major League Baseball for the relocation of the Montreal Expos. Portland, of course, did not get the team, but it allowed for an extensive analysis on the market to see if MLB would work there. I also was the co-chair of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Business of Baseball committee and a columnist for both The Hardball Times and Baseball Prospectus before focusing heavily on The Biz of Baseball.
When did you come up with the idea for your site and how and when did it launch?
The idea was really an extension of some of the work that I had been doing for SABR. I had created a site dedicated primarily for researchers, but for the most part, when the word “business” is attached to most anything, it causes the average person’s eyes to glaze over –sports economics is beyond boring. The concept we have is simple: sports is influenced as much by what happens off the field as what happens on it; help fans understand that. The site launched in September of 2006 and traffic, and media interest in what we are doing has tripled in just the last year, alone. The site is much like a house that never has enough rooms – we keep building on to it.
What type of baseball fan do you cater to?
Since the direction has always been to cover all aspects of baseball outside the lines, the readership runs the gamut. Since we cover how contracts and salaries influence the game, there are a lot of fantasy sports fans, as well as agents. We are also visited heavily by members of the media due to how we report on television, radio and internet. And finally, each of the 30 clubs, the Commissioner’s Office, and the MLBPA read us almost daily.
You do some of your own reporting in addition to commentary. Why do you feel it’s necessary to go beyond traditional blogging?
I guess in some senses, it was a logical extension of being a researcher. I would get frustrated with being limited by the information being presented by other reporters in the media, and wanted to be able to go directly to the source to ask my own questions. Reporting news, or being able to quote individuals directly that others may not be covering helps BizofBaseball.com straddle the blogging and mainstream media platforms.
Do you run your site for a living or do you have a “day” job?
For the moment, the Business of Sports Network, of which BizofBaseball.com is a member, along with some sports business consulting and freelancing is my sole focus.
How many full- and part-time contributors do you have? How many are on the payroll?
Besides myself, we three outstanding fulltime contributors in Jordan Kobritz, Peter Toms, and Devon Teeple, with part-time contributors fluctuating depending on interest. Since we strive exceptionally hard to make all content on BizofBaseball.com free – no subscriber fees – the ability to offer steady salaries has not been available. So, for the moment, the authors write for the passion, and exposure.
To view the full artice click here.
Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.