The Athletic - Sports content with an actual budget

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
7,949
Jayson Stark is definitely worth a follow.

If you're interested in sports media, Richard Deitsch has a great weekly column - he also puts links in there for interesting reads from other sites.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
20,680
Does anyone know how to get to the deep archives of certain writers?

I know that last year Joe Posnanski did a write up of every player on the 2019 BBHoF ballot and I'd like to read them. It was one of my favorite series of his when he wrote them on his blog.

I can't seem to get too deep into the archives though.
 

jungleboy

lurker
Mar 1, 2016
153
You guys finally convinced me to subscribe.
I don't think you'll regret it, there's a lot of great stuff on there. A few baseball things I've enjoyed recently:

Realignment, robots and the universal DH — how baseball will change during this decade (Jayson Stark)
‘So leave a like, subscribe, all that good stuff’: Phil Hughes on going from MLB pitcher to YouTube trading-card star (Andy McCullough)
Sign language: The week that shook baseball (Rustin Dodd and Andy McCullough)

And of course:

The Baseball 100 (Joe Posnanski)
 

LogansDad

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
19,963
Alamogordo
Like CarolinaBeerGuy, I finally broke down and subbed last night. Anyone who is on the fence.... just do it if you can stomach the $36. The site is really, really good.
 

ColdSoxPack

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
1,227
Simi Valley, CA
There is a stupendous article posted today in The Athletic about Ben Cherington and his semester teaching at Columbia in 2016. Makes me wonder if the Red Sox regret letting him leave. Probably not.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
20,680
There is a stupendous article posted today in The Athletic about Ben Cherington and his semester teaching at Columbia in 2016. Makes me wonder if the Red Sox regret letting him leave. Probably not.
It's a great article and it made me like the guy a lot, but as a general manager, Ben was a better professor.
 

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
7,949
Fantastic read - it's hard not to admire Ben after reading this.

Cherington would have made a great GM if Red Sox ownership hadn't foolishly micromanaged Theo Epstein and drove him away - they should have created the President of Baseball Operations position for him and given him the same freedom that Dave Dombrowski would get four years later. If they didn't trust Theo, they certainly had the shackles on Ben during his time in the GM's chair.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
So they finally got me to subscribe, with 50% off. The rate at which I was getting frustrated by people on SoSH posting snippets of articles that sounded really interesting - but which I couldn't read - had really accelerated.

Looking at their areas of coverage, it's a little strange to me how they have explicit coverage and ability to follow their content on the English Premier League, Champions League, EFL (tiers 2-4 of english footblal), German Bundesliga, Major League Soccer, UK Women's Football, the National Women's Soccer League, and even the Scottish Premiership... but there's no coverage of Liga MX, which is by far the most popular soccer league in this country (or Spain's La Liga, for that matter).

The easy inference to make is not particularly flattering to an otherwise forward-thinking media platform.
 

johnmd20

mad dog
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Dec 30, 2003
49,949
New York City
The easy inference to make is not particularly flattering to an otherwise forward-thinking media platform.
Why is it not flattering? If there was demand for Liga MX content, they would probably provide it. I would guess there isn't demand. Do you think it's some nefarious plot to ignore Mexican or Spanish soccer?

Weird take, bro. You're saying they are racist but not saying they are racist.
 

Vinho Tinto

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 9, 2003
6,431
Auburn, MA
Weird take, bro.
I think it’s far more likely that racial prejudice within the Athletic is clouding their football coverage; over clear market demand for coverage for English lower division clubs with names like
King’s Lynn Club and Spennymoor Town FC.

It’s weird blind spot to have when Liga Mx is the most watched league in the United States - and it’s not close.
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
49,949
New York City
I think it’s far more likely that racial prejudice within the Athletic is clouding their football coverage; over clear market demand for coverage for English lower division clubs with names like
King’s Lynn Club and Spennymoor Town FC.

It’s weird blind spot to have when Liga Mx is the most watched league in the United States - and it’s not close.
But are those viewers subscribing to the Atlantic? It being the most watched league in the United States is meaningless if those watchers are not reading The Atlantic. When you subscribe to The Atlantic, you can note what your favorite sports leagues and teams are. It's the first thing you do. The Atlantic has all that info, from 1000s of subscribers. It's fair to assume not many people put Liga as their favorite.

The Atlantic's goal is to not go out of business. If they dismiss what customers want, they will go out of business. Especially because covering Mexican soccer is presumably easier than covering Scottish soccer.
 

Vinho Tinto

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 9, 2003
6,431
Auburn, MA
I don’t know who subs to the Athletic. I know that they are ignoring the most watched league in this country. I don’t think doing that, while covering leagues that people who live in the UK don’t care about, is what is going to keep the site alive. Frankly, it sounds like a company run by idiots who will eventually go away.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
57,290
I don’t pay any attention to the soccer coverage there but it’s worth keeping in mind that The Athletic is more individual writer driven than print publications have been, and I think they’d rather not cover something than cover it via writers they don’t think up to their standard.

So is it possible the best Liga Mx writers are all under more lucrative contracts elsewhere for now (The Athletic is still only a couple years old)? Just a thought...
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
thanks for sharing that article LvC, I kinda figured going in that it was all related to building subscriber base in the UK, and that confirms it. I have less question with their choice to cover leagues of local (but not much global) appeal in the UK, than I do about not covering Liga MX here in the US. Certainly explains the lack of La Liga coverage, since without a specific country launch into Spain it would just be a me-too move.

(this is a good breakdown of the viewership numbers of MLS vs EPL vs Liga MX)

Poking around the site, it appears they don't have any sort of internationalization (translations, ways to view the site itself in another language, or even just articles originally written in another language). You can't really cover Liga MX without having a Spanish-language way to distribute your content. Maybe that's coming once their tech catches up.
 

jungleboy

lurker
Mar 1, 2016
153
Tennis is what I really want to see. I remember liking Brian Phillips' stuff on Grantland years back. One or two good tennis writers like that would be enough, wouldn't it?
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
45,226
Read this about Rickey:

https://theathletic.com/1646880/2020/03/03/the-baseball-100-no-24-rickey-henderson/?source=dailyemail
Henderson stepped into the box and then he started talking to himself. Everyone knew about that routine in the American League; Henderson would constantly talk to himself, pump himself up, “Rickey gonna hit this guy! This guy’s got nothing! Rickey’s good, Rickey’s getting a hit, Rickey’s going to steal second and then steal third … ” and so on.

So he was going through that whole routine and behind the plate, Cubs catcher Scott Servais and home plate umpire Jim Quick were trying hard not to laugh. Nobody put on a show quite like Rickey … but with the count 2-2, Henderson swung and missed. And then he turned around toward Servais and Quick and he said this:

“That’s OK. Rickey still the man.”

Yes, Rickey negotiated hard. Once, during one of those disputes, he said, “If they want to pay me like (Mike) Gallego, I’ll play like Gallego.”*
 

Joe Sixpack

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2002
5,464
Canton, MA
thanks for sharing that article LvC, I kinda figured going in that it was all related to building subscriber base in the UK, and that confirms it. I have less question with their choice to cover leagues of local (but not much global) appeal in the UK, than I do about not covering Liga MX here in the US. Certainly explains the lack of La Liga coverage, since without a specific country launch into Spain it would just be a me-too move.

(this is a good breakdown of the viewership numbers of MLS vs EPL vs Liga MX)

Poking around the site, it appears they don't have any sort of internationalization (translations, ways to view the site itself in another language, or even just articles originally written in another language). You can't really cover Liga MX without having a Spanish-language way to distribute your content. Maybe that's coming once their tech catches up.
They do have some French language stuff from some of their hockey writers. I don't know the extent of it since I can't read French, but I accidentally stumbled across a bunch of it when I was searching for an article.

https://theathletic.com/montreal-fr/
 

tmracht

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 19, 2009
2,432
Has anyone listened to the Grant and Tacko show on Anything is Poddable with Jared Weiss? Only got through the first episode (think there are 2 now)? Tacko is a great listen.
 

B H Kim

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Lifetime Member
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Oct 24, 2003
5,227
Washington, DC
On a somewhat related note, I have to think that months without actual sports to cover will probably be a death sentence for the Athletic. They supposedly have yet to turn a profit, and I would expect that their subscription numbers will start tanking soon.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
Why would I cancel? Quality sports journalism is the only sports content I have right now. They're still turning out half a dozen articles a day about european football that are interesting even in the absence of games. They have good sports-thinkers doing good sports-pieces. It's keeping me sane.

It's not like sports have been banished from our planet forever. They're on hiatus.
 

B H Kim

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 24, 2003
5,227
Washington, DC
I’m not cancelling, but I could see others doing so when there are no actual games to read about, particularly annual subscribers who signed up for the start of last year’s baseball season and are now coming up for renewal. At a minimum, they aren’t going to see the growth in their subscription base that their financial models appear to assume.
 

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
14,912
As a subscriber there is no way I would cancel (as long as I still have a job). Posnasnki's articles alone are worth more than the subscription price.
 

ifmanis5

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2007
49,346
Rotten Apple

Clears Cleaver

Lil' Bill
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
11,370
not a surprise, is it? they didn't have the cash to get through this, but good thing for them is that none of their employees really have other options. My guess is salaries get permacut
 

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
7,949
Every sports fan should subscribe - the cost is peanuts for the amount of excellent content received.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
Speaking of which, if anyone wants 30 days of free access to the Athletic at any time, I (and every subscriber) have "guest passes" I'm happy to throw around. Just PM me.
 

SocrManiac

Tommy Seebach’s mustache
SoSH Member
Apr 15, 2006
4,582
Somers, CT
Guys, with The Athletic in some trouble, I want to send out some of my 30 day passes. I have little doubt that folks will sign up once they have access to the content. Please PM me and I'll set you up. I only ask that you really explore and consider subscribing if you find it worthwhile.
 

jose melendez

Earl of Acie
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2003
25,764
Washington DC
Guys, with The Athletic in some trouble, I want to send out some of my 30 day passes. I have little doubt that folks will sign up once they have access to the content. Please PM me and I'll set you up. I only ask that you really explore and consider subscribing if you find it worthwhile.
I'll take one
 

LogansDad

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
19,963
Alamogordo
I didn't know they were in trouble. Seriously, if you have the money to spare, and you haven't already, subscribe. They are the best sports coverage I can find.
 

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
7,949
I didn't know they were in trouble. Seriously, if you have the money to spare, and you haven't already, subscribe. They are the best sports coverage I can find.
This 100%. It is absolutely worth the money.