I am looking to assemble a squad of capable writers who can step in on the occasional MLBTR post when I’m not available. I tried the "team representative" approach, and I’ve decided that’s not the best way to do it. Instead I want to put together a crack team of 5-10 people who can blog about any rumor intelligently. Here’s what I’m looking for:
- Lack of bias. I get some flack for being a Cubs fan but I honestly don’t think it affects objectivity here at MLBTR. I can happily compliment a good Cardinals move and rip on a bad Cubs one. You need to be able to check your bias at the door.
- Strong writing skills. Obviously I need excellent writers. That means grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, brevity, style, and possibly sportswriting experience of some kind. One optional way to demonstrate this would be to write some kind of mock MLBTR post and include it in your email. A voice similar to my own would be good.
- Attention to detail. If Buster Olney speculates on a trade he’d like to see and you report it as actual trade discussions, that’s bad. If two teams are "making progress" and you say the trade is done, that’s a problem. Not everyone on MLBTR clicks through to read the source material, so you have to be very careful about your choice of words.
- Baseball knowledge. You need to be able to write about all 30 teams without the fanbases calling you out for mistakes or ignorance. Can you name each team’s rotation off the top of your head? Can you name five prospects from each club? Which ones have a bad history with Scott Boras? If there are teams you know nothing about or don’t care to cover then you don’t fit the bill. Also, an understanding of modern stats is important – we can do better than talking about a guy’s batting average and RBI total.
- Know your way around the web. Do you know some places to look for rumors? Where will you get contract info? What’s the best site for stats? Are you subscribed to ESPN, BP, and sites like that? Do you know how to quickly dig through the MLBTR archives and find older rumors you need to reference?
- On the computer often; usually available. I need people who are constantly connected to the Internet, checking baseball stuff throughout the day just because they love to. People who reply to most emails within a few minutes. I might ask you to write a post without advance notice, and timing will be of the essence.
I know I am asking for a lot, and it’s not a paid position. But the actual work might only be a post or two a week. If we expand to larger things – say, you covering eight hours on a Saturday – that would be paid. Here are the benefits of joining the MLBTR team:
- Huge audience. This month we’ve had about 20,000 absolute unique visitors per day. It’s pretty cool to have that kind of readership.
- Resume builder. If you are trying to break into sportswriting without spending four years covering youth field hockey, this might help. You can use me (Tim Dierkes) as a reference, for what it’s worth.
- Learn about blogging. You get to use the TypePad blogging platform for free, and see exactly what goes into an MLBTR post.
If this appeals to you, write me an email at [email protected]. Unfortunately I won’t be able to reply to all. Tell me why you’re perfect for the gig and what you bring to the table.