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Thursday, June 15, 2017

How Baseball Prospectus Stumbled Into Its Uncertain Future

Just before the 2016 MLB playoffs, Baseball Prospectus emailed its staff and contributors to tell them that they would not be paid for work they did in August and September until January 2017. The costs of a website redesign and the collapse of daily-fantasy ad spending, the email explained, led to the payment freeze.

Within the company, there was more than just frustration over the missed payments—there was fear that BP could be headed toward bankruptcy. The beloved baseball analysis and statistics company has always run on a shoestring budget, but two months of delayed payment was new territory for the company, according to many current and former BPers. And while pay for work done between August and October of last year was in fact added to checks that went out this past January and February, the delay did nothing to lessen BP employees’ deep distrust of ownership…..

It’s not a stretch to say that BP has totally altered the baseball landscape, and that its influence on the game, both in front offices and in the media, is bone-deep. It’s also fair to say that this influence has created the conditions for its own obsolescence.

The proliferation of BP’s values has made the site far less revolutionary than it once was. The use of statistics in both front offices and the press is now the norm, not a subversive approach to the sport. Not only does the site have a significant direct competitor in FanGraphs, which also offers projections and prospect coverage along with a statistical inventory similar to that of Baseball Reference, but every mainstream outlet at least nods in the direction of analytics.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 15, 2017 at 04:31 PM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, media

 

 

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