Covering Minor League Baseball
If you're a sports journalist, or you want to become one and you're tired of major league baseball, minor league might just be your ticket to inspiration and motivation. Great players, entertaining games and far more accessible stars make for some significant differences between covering the two. But what changes will you have to make in order to make it work?
Firstly, you'll need to put your research hat on, because this isn't going to be as easy as tapping into a major sports site and sourcing your info from them instead of doing things the old fashioned way. This will involve a lot of research, and potentially a lot of travel to areas you might not be as familiar with, but are generally a lot easier to access.
Minor league baseball has the advantage of that accessibility. Players will talk to you, managers will talk to you, because there's none of the bureaucracy that surrounds major-league icons that makes sports journalism harder. But bear in mind that you'll still need to get in touch, network, find out whether the player's ideal pre-match ritual is a session at www.partypoker.com; or a team chant, and be switched on and aware at all times.
Secondly, you're also going to be hitting a niche, as for obvious reasons minor league baseball lacks the power and budget of large-scale major-league sites. The number of minor-league sites is rising, and if you want to really capture the attention of people turning their sights away from the norm, then it's a good idea to sell your commentary in a unique way - whether you live-stream game footage and commentary or do daily interviews (or even a podcast) with those working in minor league baseball, it's a battlefield out there, so sharpen your sword.
Journalists, true journalists, enjoy a challenge, and covering minor league baseball is definitely not for those who expect an easier ride because there's no mob of photographers surrounding every player and manager the moment they're in public. It's something you need to have a passion for, and a great sports writer will capture the hearts and minds of minor-league fans across the globe if they embody that passion and put it to work.