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The Two Baseball Writers Who Are Must-Reads
2005-12-14 20:15
by Scott Long

Just like there is a division between old school and new school GM's, the same goes for baseball writers. For the most part internet writers, be it at Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Toaster, Baseball Primer, etc. take the sabermetric angle, while newspaper writers follow the scout's route. While I'm more in the sabermetric camp, I respect most the baseball people who are not too strident on either view. This is why Ken Rosenthal is my favorite baseball scribe.

Rosenthal, who writes for Sporting News and is as prolific as Joe Sheehan and Will Carroll, while seemingly having even more inside sources than Peter Gammons. Sure the ESPN guys have the powerful platform that Bristol offers, but with so much content hidden behind pay per view (see Rob Neyer), Rosenthal is consistently the number 1 source for baseball info. He seems to have a solid understanding of sabermetrics, but isn't so far in the stats camp that he can't acknowledge how less measurable qualities can lead to wins.

I would be curious who is the first person you (Juice Readers) go to for information on MLB. To make it more interesting, list magazine or newspaper writers as one category and internet writers/bloggers as a second category.
For example, my choices would be Old Media: Rosenthal. New Media: Will Carroll
(And for those of you that are slamming me for being a homer, I'm a big fantasy baseball guy and he's the injury guru, plus I want to know the behind the scene rumors, so Will's my guy.)


A quick note: In case you might have missed it, the Toaster has added some new voices. I recommend checking them out, as they're bringing some new points of view to the parent company. I would like to recognize Bob Timmerman, who has taken over THE GRIDDLE. The guy has been slamming out links like he's Jimmy Dean. Man of Timmer has become my go-to site for all news baseball. Great work, though I doubt I will ever be at the top of the Toaster story list again (see titles on top right), because Professor Prolific will have find something to offer up to kick it back down the pipeline.
A small price to pay as The (new and improved) Griddle is making our world a better place to live.

2005-12-14 20:25:13
1.   Bob Timmermann

You're no longer at the top! ;-)

2005-12-14 20:37:52
2.   Suffering Bruin
Nice job recognizing Timmerman, a man who I read with no small amount of envy at Dodger Thoughts. If I thought I had a good point of view, Bob would come up with something better and sooner. I entertained myself by trying to beat him to the punch on an issue both in quality of writing and research. I gave it up pretty fast.

For many months, I've thought Jon Weisman should be writing at the Los Angeles Times. I now believe he should have some company.

2005-12-14 20:45:43
3.   Jon Weisman
Two Ns!
2005-12-15 09:45:33
4.   Ken Arneson
If there's anyone who I would have thought was a must-read, it was Gammons. But I still haven't forked over the $40 to pay to read him. Not that I don't think Gammons is worth it, but is bombarding its readers these days with noisy video ads and popups and popovers, and I see no reason that I would pay $40 to be subjected to that kind of crap, and I don't want to encourage them. If they were paying me to sit through that garbage, it would make more sense. I avoid as much as I can these days.

So I pay my $40 to read Will over at BP (ad free with payment, thank goodness), and I would pay $40 to read my fellow Toastermates if I had to (actually, come to think of it, with the ISP fees, I actually do pay to read you guys).

2005-12-15 10:23:04
5.   Eric L
Neyer and Gammons used to be must-reads, but then I had to start paying for them (and I didn't mind it for a while).

Now, I think Jon Weisman (being the Dodger Fan Boy that I am) in combination with the contributors at Dodger Thoughts are must-read.

The various links posted at BTF tend to be must-read as well (including the Rosenthal stuff).

2005-12-15 10:41:45
6.   chris in illinois
I haven't read Gammons or Neyer since they disappeared behind the 'wall'. I pay for BP, but that and the books are their only business. The quality of the product is worth it.

I haven't been on ESPN's site in probably a year...haven't missed it at all.

2005-12-15 10:56:22
7.   NellieFox Fan
Conventional media:

I like Rosenthal and Gammons both must reads for me. Also Paul White with Pro Sports Weekly (Nightengale not so much)

UnMainline Media:

Amen to Will Carroll, plus I live for Chris/Christina Kahrl Transaction Analysis pieces. Her insights into both players and roster construction and balance are very intriguing and interesting.

2005-12-15 11:37:44
8.   chris in illinois
Paul White lost me completely last year when he declared that the Raoul Mondesi signing was the worst free agent signing of the offseason. As a Braves' fan, I groaned when he was signed, but I thought a million bucks, big deal, if by some miracle he's decent, he'll be worth the money...if not, one of the kids gets to play without having the pressure of being the "opening day starter".

In short, a million dollar signing these days by definition can not be the worst free agent signing of any off-season anymore. The Blue Jays would regret less a one-year one million dollar contract for Twins Fan Dan to pitch than they will the AJ Burnett deal (one caveat: if AJ goes all Cris Carpenter on the AL and the Jays beat the Yankees and Sox, Red, it really won't matter what he does from '07-'10).

Anyway, I thought that was a stupid thing for Paul White to say.

2005-12-19 16:25:02
9.   sparky
A little off topic, but why do people keep citing the $40 figure for Insider. Use some ingenuity people! Do a search on-line for cheap ESPN the Magazine subscriptions (mine was 1 year for $5). You get Insider access along with your subscription. As long as you remember to cancle before your subscription is up, you pay nothing more. Five bucks a year is well worth it to read Gammons and Neyer alone. Plus, the magazine may suck, but you'll save money on TP.

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