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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

frJohn Manuel - Leaves BA and Joins the Twins Organization

BA loses one of its best prospect gurus.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2017 at 08:27 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: scouting, twins

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   1. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 17, 2017 at 08:50 AM (#5555567)
Wow, that's a shocker.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: October 17, 2017 at 08:59 AM (#5555573)
Headline typo indicates he'd be a better fit with Padres...
   3. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:08 AM (#5555580)
Interesting. You wonder what his role will be. As his own comment states, he's a journalism guy, not a scouting guy. Would he toss aside a great career in order to start as a junior scout? Or does he have professional scouting ability already? Will he have a unique, independent set of responsibilities?
   4. Rally Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:11 AM (#5555583)
Would he toss aside a great career in order to start as a junior scout?


I have no idea what BA pays but a lot of what seem like great media careers are shockingly low on the pay scale.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:15 AM (#5555586)
I have no idea what BA pays but a lot of what seem like great media careers are shockingly low on the pay scale.


I believe that, but that's what they say about scouts, too. Although I'm sure that at a certain point you're making bank and you get to set your own travel schedule to some extent, and it turns into a totally awesome job. Maybe Manuel is already there.

But I think that the big drive for most of the writers making the switch, clearly, is being able to live the fantasy. Sitting in the draft room, that's goosebumps!
   6. Jon W Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:50 AM (#5555615)
Here's a piece I wrote on Alan Matthews' journey from BA to scouting ...
   7. DL from MN Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:52 AM (#5555617)
Very interesting. Who better to work in that role than someone who wants to spend all day long looking over prospect reports.
   8. asinwreck Posted: October 17, 2017 at 11:41 AM (#5555752)
Really doubt he's coming in as a junior scout. From his description, the job looks comparable to what Kevin Goldstein got from the Astros - focus on surveying the minors, with input on who to take in trades, Rule 5, etc. His background gives him good perspective on how minor leaguers across the industry compare, so it is a logical hire from the Twins' perspective.
   9. fra paolo Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:32 PM (#5555824)
I can't help but wonder if this is a sign BA is in trouble.
   10. winnipegwhip Posted: October 17, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5555896)
I can't help but wonder if this is a sign BA is in trouble.


I have been a long time subscriber and have read the magazine faithfully for 32 years. The content in the last year and a half has dropped miserably. They recently sent out a smaller issue and it is noted as a double issue. (This would happen once a year and was an enlarged edition around the winter meetings - never in mid-season.)

Not only has the size of the issues become noticeably smaller but they have also enlarged their print size and added large pictures which has reduced content greatly. I understand the challenges of the print magazine and their desire to have loyal followers to use the website and its subscriber content. But the website is difficult to navigate and its format hasn't changed in a long time.

There was a time when The Sporting News discarded Baseball America but the magazine surpassed The Bible of Baseball in its coverage. Now when it comes to covering college and amateur baseball it has now been surpassed by the coverage of D1Baseball.com.

While I am still a subscriber, whenever I sit and read each issue I remind myself why I still am paying good money for less and less.
   11. winnipegwhip Posted: October 17, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5556188)
Subscription Numbers have dropped 24% over the last 6 years.

2012 - 13561
2013 - 13385
2014 - 13479
2015 - 12190
2016 - 10792
2017 - 10218

And each year they make the magazine less informative. I would guess that providing hardcore information and less "puff" pieces would serve their readership thereby holding if not increasing the subscription line. Their media package states that their typical reader is a 44 year old male. Are they trying to find a new market? And if so is it to hell with the current reader?
   12. philly Posted: October 17, 2017 at 04:50 PM (#5556202)
I was going to make just about the same post as #10. It's been a shocking decline of late. I would only add that I think there have been a couple ownership changes in the last few years. The most recent one was probably at a pretty crappy valuation given those subscriber numbers and they are cutting content to try and staunch the bleeding of their bottom line.

This feels a bit like the public just getting wind of what had been the quiet beginnings of a print publication's death spiral. I've got 20+ years of readership behind me, it's sad to think of BA slipping away into nothingness.
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 17, 2017 at 05:02 PM (#5556217)
Not only has the size of the issues become noticeably smaller but they have also enlarged their print size and added large pictures which has reduced content greatly.

Really? Did they remember that trick from the time they hadn't done the research for their report in 7th grade geography class?
   14. fra paolo Posted: October 17, 2017 at 05:06 PM (#5556221)
I would guess that providing hardcore information and less "puff" pieces would serve their readership thereby holding if not increasing the subscription line.

The problem confronting all media is that hardcore information is more labour-intensive that 'puff' pieces. It takes longer to produce, and often requires a degree of nuance most people aren't really interested in. There's just not the revenue to support that sort of thing any longer. Higher-paid people (and Manuel's been there a long time and was probably paid accordingly) are very vulnerable in this environment.

I hope we still have JJ Cooper.
   15. Lonnie Smith for president Posted: October 17, 2017 at 05:13 PM (#5556227)
Also a long-time BA reader, I'm saddened but not surprised by this announcement. Good luck to Manuel, a fine writer and very passionate about the topic. The Twins are getting a bargain.

Before the death spiral is concluded, you may wish to solicit their publications. The Ultimate Draft Book is the kind of WABAC ride that's worth every bit of the ticket price. When it was good, Baseball America was very good.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2017 at 05:20 PM (#5556235)
Wow, 10,000. That's nuthin.

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