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Thread: Paying for Baseball Content

  1. #1
    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Paying for Baseball Content

    A conversation with my brother about how we both only pay for content on the web if it's baseball related sparked a thought.

    Beyond what is essentially 'free' content (newspapers, basic news & sports websites, cable sports news) - what sort of baseball content is everyone willing to dish out cash for?

    This ranges from Baseball Prospectus, Rivals.com, Scout.com, Baseball America, ESPN.com Insider, SABR memberships, etc etc.

    This is kind of two fold - a chance to offer your opinions on what you pay for and what it includes, and offer a chance for those who are not paying for it, to hear what it includes and chime in on something we may want to take advantage of. I've always been curious about the perks of SABR membership, and perhaps there are other memberships/websites out there worth paying for.

    I'll start this train off. I pay for two sources of Baseball news - Baseball Prospectus & Baseball America.

    BA includes it's web membership with the price of a magazine subscription. To be honest, I don't use the website very much at all. I enjoy reading the magazine when it comes, and for the most part - everything on the web ends up in the magazine. The only web functions I use that are subscriptions based are around Draft time, and around College World Series time, when their coverage is excellent.

    BP however, I read every day. I just bought a subscription this last April, and it has more than paid for itself. The sortable stat database has more information in it than I could ever use, and I've used it to build up some cheat sheets to use come fantasy baseball draft time in a few weeks. I've also made it a point this winter to come up to speed on some more advanced stat concepts so I can use them every day, stats like VORP, WX & WARP - and there are tons of sources to help explain that on the site. They update every day with new articles - Will Carroll's injury report might be worth it alone, but it keeps you tuning in every day, no doubt. Subscription also includes the vast PECOTA database that is released in the spring.

    My brother is a die hard Indians fan, and swears by the Scout.com Indians site as the best Indians site on the web.

    Anyone else?

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  3. #2
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    I pay for content every year from:

    BP, MLB (I have their off season video pack)

    Annual Baseball Encyclopedia Update ($25)

    I Purchase the Bill James handbook and The Baseball Prospectus Book every season and a Reds Media Guide.

    I have a SABR membership to get their content and access to other members.

    I have a subscription to Paper of Record to access The Sporting News from 1885-2000.

    Voice and Viewing, I make a point to listen to the podcast of BP Radio and I have the MLB Package with Direct TV and I get the Fox Sports package to watch NESN and the YES network amongst all the others to see more pregame and post game stuff from other markets.

  4. #3
    Member Wheelhouse's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    I pay for content every year from:

    BP, MLB (I have their off season video pack)

    Annual Baseball Encyclopedia Update ($25)

    I Purchase the Bill James handbook and The Baseball Prospectus Book every season and a Reds Media Guide.

    I have a SABR membership to get their content and access to other members.

    I have a subscription to Paper of Record to access The Sporting News from 1885-2000.

    Voice and Viewing, I make a point to listen to the podcast of BP Radio and I have the MLB Package with Direct TV and I get the Fox Sports package to watch NESN and the YES network amongst all the others to see more pregame and post game stuff from other markets.
    Wow. How much would you say you spend total per year?
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

  5. #4
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    I have a subscription to baseball prospectus and I buy their book each year.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

  6. #5
    Oy Vey! Red in Chicago's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    hey, before everyone starts rattling off sites, can you also include the prices you're paying, if it's not too personal?

  7. #6
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    Quote Originally Posted by Red in Chicago View Post
    hey, before everyone starts rattling off sites, can you also include the prices you're paying, if it's not too personal?
    I’m actually a bit miffed…i’m a premium subscriber to BP but since I pay monthly (4.99-for many moons-I know it makes no sense but it works with my wife so I guess it makes perfect sense) those dirty rat dogs won’t let me access the Pecota projections yet….


    BP is absolutely worth it IMHO. Lots of hours of enjoyment.
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  8. #7
    Little Reds BandWagon Reds Nd2's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    On the web:
    Baseball Prospectus
    Baseball America
    MLB's All Access Package
    Donations to RedsZone

    All of it, money well spent IMO.

    I'd be willing to purchase the ESPN INsider, but I really don't want to receive the monthly magazine. If and when, ESPN offers that option I'll subscribe. And don't tell Maury Brown, but if www.bizofbaseball.com ever starts charging for it's content, I'll pony up for that as well.

    Not really web related but for the past three years, I've also purchased the Bill James Handbooks, BA's Prospect Handbooks, the Reds media guide, and the annual BP book, along with two of their other books.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19
    BA includes it's web membership with the price of a magazine subscription. To be honest, I don't use the website very much at all.
    Maybe it's just me, but I find that website rather difficult to navigate. Anything I want to find, usually entails a search and then sorting through the responses. Jim Callis is timely with the updates, it just seems to me the info is harder to find than is really neccesary.
    Quote Originally Posted by jojo
    …i’m a premium subscriber to BP but since I pay monthly (4.99-for many moons-
    Have you seen any of the new ads they are putting on their site? My current subscription hasn't expired yet, so I haven't seen any but I'm a bit concerned with it. I've always enjoyed the fact the site was ad free.
    "...You just have a wider lens than one game."
    --Former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky, on why he didn't fly Josh Hamilton to Colorado for one game.

    "...its money well-spent. Don't screw around with your freedom."
    --Roy Tucker, on why you need to lawyer up when you find yourself swimming with sharks.

  9. #8
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    I pay for content every year from:

    BP, MLB (I have their off season video pack)

    Annual Baseball Encyclopedia Update ($25)

    I Purchase the Bill James handbook and The Baseball Prospectus Book every season and a Reds Media Guide.

    I have a SABR membership to get their content and access to other members.

    I have a subscription to Paper of Record to access The Sporting News from 1885-2000.

    Voice and Viewing, I make a point to listen to the podcast of BP Radio and I have the MLB Package with Direct TV and I get the Fox Sports package to watch NESN and the YES network amongst all the others to see more pregame and post game stuff from other markets.
    What, that's it?
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  10. #9
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis View Post
    What, that's it?
    Other stuff.

    I pay for Yahoo Score Tracker for Fantasy. Pay for Strat-o-matic numbers to play in a league. Plus non web based I have several routines, I have about 3 used book stores I hit up every month and I have a short list of baseball book dealers whose catalogs are pretty good for the hard to get stuff.

    Two of the best tools are still free.

    www.retrosheet.org and baseball reference.com.

    And don't tell Maury Brown, but if www.bizofbaseball.com ever starts charging for it's content, I'll pony up for that as well.
    Maury's a great guy, I'm going to have to tell him that next time I see him. I'll suggest he doesn't do it though. Chances are Neyer will be in the room (NW Sabr meeting) I'll use him as an example why.

  11. #10
    Little Reds BandWagon Reds Nd2's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    Two of the best tools are still free.

    www.retrosheet.org and baseball reference.com.
    I also like http://www.baseball-almanac.com/.
    Maury's a great guy, I'm going to have to tell him that next time I see him. I'll suggest he doesn't do it though. Chances are Neyer will be in the room (NW Sabr meeting) I'll use him as an example why.
    At least I'll know who to blame if he starts charging for his content.
    "...You just have a wider lens than one game."
    --Former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky, on why he didn't fly Josh Hamilton to Colorado for one game.

    "...its money well-spent. Don't screw around with your freedom."
    --Roy Tucker, on why you need to lawyer up when you find yourself swimming with sharks.

  12. #11
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    There's an article today called "The Myth of the Golden Age" by Dan Fox on BP. If you want to learn more about baseball, more about objective analysis, and read great writers, BUY A BP SUBSCRIPTION. For the value I get from it, it is the best 40 bucks a year I spend. I've become a much smarter baseball fan for having access to these great minds. A quick excerpt, a quote by Stephen Jay Gould as reported by Dan Fox, regarding why we don't see any .400 hitters anymore:

    ...In essence the argument is that baseball has been around long enough that strategies for everything from defensive positioning and turning the double play and fielding the bunt to pitching mechanics and pitch selection to batting stances and swings have been refined to the point where they are increasingly becoming optimal, and therefore essentially standardized. In short, an elite player like Tony Gwynn "lacks the space for taking advantage of the suboptimality in others."
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 01-18-2007 at 12:30 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  13. #12
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    There's an article today called "The Myth of the Golden Age" by Dan Fox on BP. If you want to learn more about baseball, more about objective analysis, and read great writers, BUY A BP SUBSCRIPTION. For the value I get from it, it is the best 40 bucks a year I spend. I've become a much smarter baseball fan for having access to these great minds.

    Absolutely. It truly is money well spent...
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  14. #13
    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    I'm cheap I guess. I get most of my baseball news here and on XM. The quality on XM is hit or miss, but it's nice to have it while I'm driving around all day. I just don't have enough free time to mess with much else.

  15. #14
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    I pay for MLB.radio so I can listen to the Reds when I'm on the road and can't pick up FSN on the hotel TV or WLW on the crappy alarm radio.

    Most of the baseball info I want I can get for free.

    I'd like to delve more into BP this year. I've looked at it a few times but frankly it's a bit overwhelming. So I've been pecking around here and there. I don't mind paying for content once I decide (1) the content is worthy and (2) that I would actually read said content regularly
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  16. #15
    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Re: Paying for Baseball Content

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Nd2 View Post
    On the web:
    Baseball Prospectus
    Baseball America
    MLB's All Access Package
    Donations to RedsZone

    All of it, money well spent IMO.

    I'd be willing to purchase the ESPN INsider, but I really don't want to receive the monthly magazine. If and when, ESPN offers that option I'll subscribe. And don't tell Maury Brown, but if www.bizofbaseball.com ever starts charging for it's content, I'll pony up for that as well.

    Not really web related but for the past three years, I've also purchased the Bill James Handbooks, BA's Prospect Handbooks, the Reds media guide, and the annual BP book, along with two of their other books.


    Maybe it's just me, but I find that website rather difficult to navigate. Anything I want to find, usually entails a search and then sorting through the responses. Jim Callis is timely with the updates, it just seems to me the info is harder to find than is really neccesary.

    Have you seen any of the new ads they are putting on their site? My current subscription hasn't expired yet, so I haven't seen any but I'm a bit concerned with it. I've always enjoyed the fact the site was ad free.

    Thanks for the bizofbaseball link Reds Nd2 - that's another to add to the stable.

    And BA's site is a royal pain in the you know what to dig up old stuff. The new design, while cleaner, made it even more difficult to do searches and the like. I've just bookmarked a batch of stuff I think I may want to refer to later rather than go thru the pain of finding it again.


    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    BP is absolutely worth it IMHO. Lots of hours of enjoyment.
    I totally agree. For most of the year that's a website I check every day and read most of what's been posted. I'll happily re-up this spring training.


    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    I pay for content every year from:

    BP, MLB (I have their off season video pack)

    Annual Baseball Encyclopedia Update ($25)

    I Purchase the Bill James handbook and The Baseball Prospectus Book every season and a Reds Media Guide.

    I have a SABR membership to get their content and access to other members.

    I have a subscription to Paper of Record to access The Sporting News from 1885-2000.

    Voice and Viewing, I make a point to listen to the podcast of BP Radio and I have the MLB Package with Direct TV and I get the Fox Sports package to watch NESN and the YES network amongst all the others to see more pregame and post game stuff from other markets.
    I totally forgot about the books. I've bought the Hardball Times & BP Annual each year the last three, and the BA Prospect Handbook every year for I can't remember how long.

    And I buy the Extra Innings Package.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red in Chicago View Post
    hey, before everyone starts rattling off sites, can you also include the prices you're paying, if it's not too personal?
    Sure - I just bought a two year BA subscription, I think I paid in the neighborhood of $120 for that - and the print subscription includes all the web stuff. I've gotten stuff from them that states that you can also just buy a web only subscription in the $40 per year range.

    Baseball Prospectus was $30-35 if memory serves for the whole year, and the subscription removes all the ads on the site, and you get to download the 2007 PECOTA files among others.

    The Hardball Times Annual & the Baseball Prospectus Annual are $20-25 every year, as is the Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

    And usually there is a deal the first week of the season where you can get the Extra Innings package for $129.

    Rivals is $100 a year and Scout is $80 a year.

    Man that's a lot of dough for baseball. And that doesn't include the 10-12 games I see in person every year. Interesting when you lay it all out like that.


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