Last week, Rob Neyer left ESPN and joined SB Nation in what was a huge day for the network. In his first column, he obliterated the line between "us" and "them," laying out his basic principles and explaining why he made the transition to SB Nation. On Monday night, he took the the airwaves in Seattle, doing an interview with Shannon Drayer and Matt Pitman on 710 ESPN. You can find the podcast here, on the Hot Stove League podcast page.
In the interview, he spelled out why he decided to make the jump to SB Nation, talked about the shift from old media to new media in baseball and even discussed the Seattle Mariners. After the jump, some of the highlights.
It was most interesting to hear why he came to SB Nation from ESPN, an established power in the industry. Neyer saw a startup mentality at SB Nation -- an opportunity to "create your own job," if you will. He said in the first week he's already had time to do some different things at SB Nation, getting the creative juices flowing and playing around with different types of blog posts. It's made the Major League Baseball hub "somewhere you can come back to five-ten times a day and find new things."
It's clear Neyer brings instant credibility to the network, something not lost on him. He said he hopes his presence at SB Nation helps some of the bloggers covering teams gain access when they need it, breaking down that barrier he wrote about in his first post.
"There is a barrier still out in the established world. It's still difficult for bloggers to get credentials. I don't see why that person couldn't have a media credential," Neyer said. "I do hope joining SB Nation gives our blogs credibility and gets our guys access who need it."
With more and more bloggers covering teams with an immense amount of quality now, the next logical step is for the Baseball Writers Association of America to start allowing more new media types into its ranks. Not only is it a possibility, Neyer thinks it'll happen in the near-future.
"It's going to happen. There's no question it's going to happen I think that as blogs become more relevant and higher quality, and as even more newspapers fold, the BBWA will have to adapt," he said. "They let me in 2 years ago because they saw where the winds were blowing. Within 10 years, maybe even 5, bloggers who are doing good work consistently will be in."
The conversation shifted to the Mariners and projecting the 2011 season. While nobody thinks the Mariners will light the world up this year, Neyer wasn't as down on the team's chances as others. He felt the Mariners would be an 85 loss team, but that the younger players would give the team a boost and be a draw for the fans.
Of last year, Neyer said a lot of things have to go wrong to lose 100 games, and everything went wrong at once for the Mariners. Just about the only thing that went right, he said, was Felix Hernandez, with Ichiro playing at a consistent level, as usual.
It's an honor to have Neyer writing at SB Nation and I look forward to reading more of his work everyday. With baseball, and many others sports, slowly warming up to blogs and new media, it'll be interesting to see how coverage shifts over the coming years as more voices and great minds enter the fold.