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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

MLB.com seeking stats stringers - 2015

I’m sure this might interest a few of you.

MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball, is seeking stats stringers to cover these clubs in 2015 and beyond:

Anaheim/Los Angeles
Atlanta
Chicago (both teams)
Cleveland
Detroit
Miami
Oakland/San Francisco
Seattle
St. Louis

Stats stringers are responsible for digitally scoring games from the MLB ballparks, which provides the data used in the live content applications on MLB.com, including At-Bat, Gameday and MLB.TV, real-time highlights and text alerts, and by our business partners. This is a perfect part-time job for a responsible, computer-savvy person who happens to be a big baseball fan.

Responsibilities include:

• Double-check and verify all pre-game information: rosters, umpires, weather conditions, etc.;
• During the game, enter the results of every pitch and game event (plays, substitutions, etc.) using our proprietary software and coding language;
• Work closely with our game-night support staff (via AOL Instant Messenger) to ensure proper scoring of all game events and accuracy of data;
• After the game, enter all post-game information: winning and losing pitcher, saves, holds, time and attendance;
• Validate all stats and data in our scoring software against the official box score provided by the Official Scorer.

Qualifications include:

• Exceptional (and demonstrable) knowledge of baseball and how to score a baseball game;
• Strong computer proficiency (Windows OS and Windows-based software) and the ability to quickly learn and operate new software;
• Previous experience (including pressbox exposure) with a professional or college sports team, preferably baseball;
• Regular availability to attend games in-person as required by the schedule: weekdays, nights and weekends;
• A “team player” with a great attitude, including but not limited to a willingness to make and learn from mistakes and the ability to work closely and cooperatively (and take direction from) our game-night staff;
• Professionalism. It’s a fun job and we pay people to watch baseball, but it’s also an important job and we want people who will take the responsibility seriously.

(New stringers undergo an 8-10 week correspondence training program, and co-score several practice games in the ballpark with a returning stringer, before scoring any games solo in the ballpark.)

Those interested in applying should send a resume and cover later, addressing the above-listed qualifications, to stats@website.mlb.com.

ONLY those who reply to this e-mail address will be considered, and due to volume, we may be unable to respond to all applicants.

Thanks and good luck!

jimfurtado Posted: December 02, 2014 at 12:16 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: job posting

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: December 02, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4852764)
The link just goes back to BTF?
   2. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 02, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4852775)
There is no link, just the post -- all the information is in the post.

I have this job, if you have question I'll try to answer it.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: December 02, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4852795)
Is it fun?
   4. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 02, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4852806)
Yes. You are being paid to watch a Major League Baseball game from the press box. If the team makes the playoffs you're very likely going to be paid to watch a playoff game.

You will meet famous people, and become friendly with many of them. You will see some great games, but you'll also have to watch the entirety of some lousy games that go on for almost four hours. It is hard work, is often stressful, requires a time commitment that is a deal-breaker for some, but it is undoubtedly fun.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: December 02, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4852808)
What's the wackiest play you ever had to code?
   6. Lassus Posted: December 02, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4852813)
Can you give a general pay range?
   7. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 02, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4852831)
Work closely with our game-night support staff (via AOL Instant Messenger)


Is...is that still around?

   8. PreservedFish Posted: December 02, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4852833)
How many hot babes in the pressroom?
   9. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 02, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4852835)
I worked for Baseball Info Solutions for a couple years doing this kind of thing in Altoona (AA)--keeping score and also tracking the positions and rough trajectories of batted balls and subjectively marking down Great Plays and Catcher Blocks. Back then you had to keep it all on paper and then input all the data into their program after the game, which took about 45-60 minutes once you were used to the program. The pay was $25 a game plus a $3 parking stipend, so below minimum wage for around 4-5 hours of "work." (Or as I like to think of it, you get to attend a ballgame for free PLUS make $20 an hour for data entry--not a bad gig at all!) 2010 was the last year I did that; I imagine nowadays you can input the data directly on a tablet or smartphone.

It was really a blast. Attending every game is a lot of fun, and though no famous people are involved I did get friendly with most of the team staff and mutually acquainted with some of the players.

The only drag was when it rained (which it does a lot in Altoona) and trying to keep your paper dry in the rain and wind while still having a vantage point to watch the game from (you were seated in the stands, not in the press box), and the couple nights a year when there's a long rain delay and the game goes 14 innings and ends at 2:00 AM and you're one of about 25 people left in the stands by the time it finally ends (most of which, like you, are there because they're being paid to be).
   10. The Bob Apodaca Fan Club Posted: December 02, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4852852)
Yes. You are being paid to watch a Major League Baseball game from the press box. If the team makes the playoffs you're very likely going to be paid to watch a playoff game.


How much are you being paid? Like, full-time job paid or enough for a beer after the game paid?
   11. Bote Man Posted: December 02, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4852874)
If the team makes the playoffs you're very likely going to be paid to watch a playoff game.

So...no chance of that in Miami in 2015. At least I could calculate how much each of Stanton's home runs costs.

Ever since yous guys started asking him about pay he became very scarce.

Aside from that, I'd do this if the job is shared among 2 or 3 people such that if one can't make it, another can. I can't guarantee I'll be available for each and every home game.
   12. Bote Man Posted: December 02, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4852885)
Q1: Is the software intuitive and easy to use?

I know a LOT of custom software packages are quirky, poorly designed, not thoroughly tested, so I would be cussing up a storm if their software has those attributes. The description mentions familiarity with Windows, but I would expect these days for it to be a web application since that is where things are moving and is one of the specialties of MLBAM.

Q2: If you're stumped, can you ask the Official Scorer? I'd rather HE be the most hated man in the ballpark.
   13. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 02, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4852888)
I have every confidence the software works well, because the integrity of the data is EXTREMELY valuable and so effort (read: money) doubtless has been put into making sure the integrity of the data isn't compromised by the program being buggy or unintuitive.
   14. Itchy Row Posted: December 02, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4852889)
A 2002 Wall Street Journal article said the stringers were getting paid about $85 a game, but I would guess that's changed in 13 years. Somebody on hardballtimes last year wrote that he was getting about $150 a game, but I think that includes the value of the free ticket to the game.
   15. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 02, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4852928)
Can you give a general pay range?


I don't feel that it is my place to say what we're paid, but this is not a job that you can live off of. This is a second job.

What's the wackiest play you ever had to code?


A few years ago against the Nats the Mets had a runner on first, there was a line drive to right that the runner went back to first on, the batter passed the runner, and then the runner was thrown out trying to go to second. It was a bit tricky to figure out exactly what the code on that should be so it would assign everything to the right people in the right order. That's why we have support.

Is...is that still around?


Yep.

How many hot babes in the pressroom?


You'll see television reporters around, many of whom are very attractive. Also, if you're me, you get to chat with Joe Posnanski throughout the first two games of the ALCS when he's sitting right behind you, and while he isn't a hot babe, that's an awesome experience to have.

Q1: Is the software intuitive and easy to use?


It was okay, but I think they're going to use something new this next season that should be much easier to use, allowing us to do more. No, I don't have details on any of that.

Q2: If you're stumped, can you ask the Official Scorer? I'd rather HE be the most hated man in the ballpark.


We're in touch with a support person who will help you out with any codes you are stumped on. Don't bother the Official Scorer. But you'll have a good working relationship with the Official Scorer, and when there's information you need from them (which run was unearned, the first or second?) they're very helpful in my experience. The OS's in DC and Baltimore are some of my best friends at the ballpark.
   16. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: December 02, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4852950)
I remember following the Brewer game online a couple of years ago where a runner (Weeks?) was on second base and stole first base. The update delay must have been a half an hour while they figured out how to code it. I remember thinking the poor guy doing the coding must have been flipping out. I'm a bit surprised there isn't something on the order of a \"#### happened" button that just moves everything forward and lets the coder go back to the play later.

Found it! It was Segura and it broke Baseball Reference too. For those not interested in clicking on it here is the note they include.


Friday, April 19, 2013, 7:11PM
, Miller Park
In the Bottom of the 8th, Jean Segura became very, very confused. Segura reached and then stole second. Ryan Braun then walked. Segura was picked off second and in the process of the rundown both baserunners ended up on second. Braun is out automatically. Segura had been tagged while safely on the base and started towards the first base dugout thinking he was out. After he realized his gaffe, he ran and stood on first base safely. Rules do not permit intentional returns to first, but mistakes like this are allowed. Segura was then caught trying to steal second for a second time in the inning. Our software (having never seen this play before) is currently incapable of scoring this as a single play, so we show Segura at 2nd after the play, then "advancing" to first base, and then caught stealing at second (C-2B).
   17. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: December 02, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4853001)
• Strong computer proficiency (Windows OS and Windows-based software) and the ability to quickly learn and operate new software;

I'm out, unless MLB is still using Windows 95.
   18. Bote Man Posted: December 02, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4853009)
Exceptional (and demonstrable) knowledge of baseball and how to score a baseball game;

Boy, I wish I could find my copy of the Baseball Field Guide. Too bad it hasn't been published since 2008.
   19. TR_Sullivan Posted: December 02, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4853050)
You get to sit in the same press box as a 55-year-old broken down baseball writer
   20. Bote Man Posted: December 02, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4853085)
I know, the perks just keep adding up!!
   21. Eddo Posted: December 02, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4853115)
I have every confidence the software works well, because the integrity of the data is EXTREMELY valuable and so effort (read: money) doubtless has been put into making sure the integrity of the data isn't compromised by the program being buggy or unintuitive.

I'm not sure if this is tongue-in-cheek, but as someone in the software industry... ha, ha, ha.

LEGAL NOTE: The software my company writes is very reliable and intuitive!
   22. Bote Man Posted: December 02, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4853130)
I'm seriously considering throwing my hat in the ring along with the thousands of others vying to watch Marlins games, but the thought occurred to me: what happens if (when) the Nationals are charging towards another pennant and I'm stuck watching the Marlins stink it up? I live in Marlins territory, but I grew up in D.C. and follow the Nats.

I'm required to watch the game unfolding in front of me, but I really, REALLY want to watch the Nats game and can't or else I risk missing key plays of the local game which would likely allow me all the time in the world to watch the Nats thereafter. This is what we call a conundrum.
   23. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: December 02, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4853185)
I'm required to watch the game unfolding in front of me, but I really, REALLY want to watch the Nats game and can't or else I risk missing key plays of the local game which would likely allow me all the time in the world to watch the Nats thereafter. This is what we call a conundrum.

This is a problem that DVRs were invented to solve, or the MLB internet package.
   24. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 02, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4853198)
I know, the perks just keep adding up!!

Free parking? Press box buffet privileges? Groupies? Still sounds like real work that doesn't pay well (or pays so well it can't be mentioned?).
   25. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 02, 2014 at 10:24 PM (#4853238)
Still sounds like real work that doesn't pay well (or pays so well it can't be mentioned?).


It is real work. But the real work revolves around watching a baseball game. It involves working with and hanging out with people who like baseball just as much as you do. But if you're not willing to put the effort in to do the job perfectly every game, then don't bother applying.
   26. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 02, 2014 at 10:27 PM (#4853244)
I'm required to watch the game unfolding in front of me, but I really, REALLY want to watch the Nats game and can't or else I risk missing key plays of the local game which would likely allow me all the time in the world to watch the Nats thereafter. This is what we call a conundrum.


As a Yankees fan covering Orioles and Nationals games, I know those feels. But the experience of being paid to be at the ballpark is amazing. I still come to work sometimes and can't believe I get to do this.

And as a Nationals fan, there's a good chance the other stringer in the market will be willing to let you cover most or all of the Nats games in Miami, so you'll get paid to watch several Nats games.
   27. All In The Guetterman, Looking Up At The Stargell Posted: December 02, 2014 at 11:34 PM (#4853286)
It's really awesome that you got that job, Larry. Maybe you'll get dibs on the same job with NYY if it comes up, since you already have experience?
   28. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4853316)
Still sounds like real work that doesn't pay well (or pays so well it can't be mentioned?)

The former, although I can't say for absolute sure. Similar and varied work at MLBAM (three seasons) in the city pays like absolute shit and banks on folks just being there as being worth something to them. I don't think this is Larry's mindset or many of the stringers, but I think that's many of the execs' mindsets. I still can't figure out why MLBAM (and MLB) - making more money than god - pays like they're going bankrupt next week. Although I suppose that's normal.
   29. Bote Man Posted: December 03, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4853322)
I still can't figure out why MLBAM (and MLB) - making more money than god - pays like they're going bankrupt next week. Although I suppose that's normal.

That's normal for the overwhelming majority of employers these days, the way I hear it. MLB knows that it has a desirable "product" and people will take a serious discount to be around it; that has to be at work here.

Larry answered another pending question that I had not yet asked, and that is that the job is shared among 2 people. That makes sense, illness and other duties could call you away.

I hope ALL the requirements and responsibilities are spelled out from the start so that the prospective stringer can make an informed decision. I might find one or more of their terms unacceptable; better to find that out at the start than later on, a la Bryce Harper.
   30. Cargo Cultist Posted: December 03, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4853433)
I used to do this. It's rewarding, but it requires dedication and can get tedious. Also, telling your gf and family that you can't attend some big social or family event or party because you have to go score the baseball game will get you some really odd looks.
   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 03, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4853443)
I still can't figure out why MLBAM (and MLB) - making more money than god - pays like they're going bankrupt next week.


Just to hazard a guess here - is it because corporations, and especially monopolies, will do absolutely anything they can get away with to pocket more profits?
   32. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 03, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4853669)
I hope ALL the requirements and responsibilities are spelled out from the start so that the prospective stringer can make an informed decision.


Yes. We will try to scare you out of taking the job. It is better for someone who could probably handle the job to decide they don't want to do it than for someone who *can't* handle the job to take a crack at it, and wash out mid-season.

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