Schilling photo courtesy of redperm on Flickr
Today, the buzz around Red Sox nation was that second year phenom Jonathan Papelbon would indeed not be moving the starting rotation, as Sox management had been saying all winter and spring. Instead, he’ll give an encore in the closer role that he dominated last season. Of course, none of this was confirmed… until Sox starting pitcher Curt Schilling blogged about it.
Schilling doesn’t even give an introduction to the issue at hand (the change in plans that involved Papelbon returning to the closer’s role). He just jumped right in:
No it wasn’t a rash decision brought about by uncertainty. I can promise you there were many meetings involving many people that occurred before this took place.
Curt Schilling is outspoken. This rubs a lot of people the wrong way. The traditional role for a baseball player is to shut up and play the game. But you know what? That was the traditional role for businesses as well. Things are changing. Pat Neshek gets it. And now Curt Schilling gets it.
On March 7th, Curt Schilling kicked off 38Pitches, his personal blog hosted at WordPress.com. He posts such topics as “Rest in Peace, Vuk” (in memory of John Vukovich), “Answering Random Questions”, and the classic “Why the media sucks“. While this may give some members of the front office headaches, I applaud this move.
The members of a baseball team blogging is not all that much different of the employees of a company blogging. When people are into something, they want to find out more about it. They don’t want the marketing stuff you’ll find on 37signals.com or Redsox.com. Well, they want that stuff too, but they want to dig deeper. 37signals (gotta bring up the Web 2.0 darlings) has their Signal vs. Noise blog that the employees contribute to. It gives an inside perspective of what their day to day jobs are like. It lets you know what is on their minds as they create great software.
Similarly, fans of a baseball team inevitably want to find out more about their favorite players. While there are some baseball gossip blogs out there, it is in players’ best interests to go ahead and start sharing what the fans want to hear. In fact, it is in the team’s best interest too, even if the content exposes some of the ugliness of contract situations and the like.
Boston Dirt Dogs archived bits of a Curt Schilling chat with Dennis & Callahan on WEEI. Schilling said there were half a million visitors in the first 11 days. He will no doubt find ways to monetize this traffic to help his noble charities: Curt’s Pitch for ALS and Shade.