At Game 1 of the World Series: Overflow Media

If you think that there’s a pecking order for media in postseason, well, you’d be right. The BBWAA directs the process with writers that covers clubs daily getting a place, with outlets that have daily writers for the two clubs that are playing getting more slots.

So, where does everyone else go?

For AT&T Park, overflow media is parked far away from the comforts of the regular pressbox perched above home plate.

You’ll see us… We’re the green set of seats at the very top of the 300 level just off the third baseline from the foul pole. Who’s sitting here? Well, I’m parked next to ESPN’s Jim Caple and just to his left, SI.com’s Jon Heyman is taking it all in. To my right, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez is just now Tweeting away. A few rows even higher than I, Steve Phillips is perched.

We’re all exposed to the elements…. Now, it’s San Francisco and a balmy 62 at game time, but there’s clouds… every once in a while I keep thinking I feel a sprinkle. No one is griping, for heaven sake… it’s the World Series. But, it shows that for the writers, it is work. Even if it’s covering a kid’s game.




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Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for freelance and looks forward to your comments.


34 Responses to “At Game 1 of the World Series: Overflow Media”

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  1. Josh Wexler says:

    While I was reading this, I thought it was intended as sarcasm. But after reading the concluding sentences, I think he may be serious.

    Did he actually just write a piece griping (and that’s what it is if this piece really is serious) that his job requires him to sit (for free, presumably) with other media bigwigs at the World Series… outside of the press box?! And in 62 degree weather with a chance of perceived sprinkles no less?!!

    Please tell me that the author is just not good at irony. Otherwise, this post is a stupid insult to people who know just what work really is.

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    • Z2 says:

      They had to get up to get their own hot dogs too

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    • NEPP says:

      Seriously hoping he was kidding around. If not, time to get a new profession.

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    • Disco Burritos says:

      Most of you guys probably haven’t toughed out a night game at AT&T park. That section gets cooold and windy in the late innings. Your hands go numb and you miss everything that happens in the left field corner (luckily it seems like the Giants were trying to hit the ball to Vlad most of the night…).

      That’s why those seats go for $5 in the regular season.

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  2. Maury Brown says:

    It’s saying that those that you see on MLB Network or read on SI, or ESPN wind up in overflow. Griping? Surely you jest! I’d sit on broken glass, feet in boiling water with it snowing sideways for the chance. The post was simply going through how the process of who winds up where works.

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    • Josh Wexler says:

      Dude, you titled the post “Overflow Media NONSENSE.” This doesn’t sound like a neutral judgement about your plight. The post simply goes through how you are “parked far away from the comforts of the regular press box” and “exposed to the elements.” And being forced into such shabby digs highlights the fact that what you are doing “is work.”

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      • johng says:

        And seriously, “But, it shows that for the writers, it is work.”

        That must mean that if I’m reading this on my iPhone in the back yard during this wind-storm, it shows that for FanGraphs’ readers, this is work.

        Mr. Brown, sorry, but what you do isn’t work. Period. Yes, you get paid to do stuff, but please don’t call it work.

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  3. Ken says:

    Not to say you’re griping, but I recall one of our local writers doing a NLCS gamecast after the Giants won game 3. Someone mentioned that they needed to get some WS tickets. The writer said “Hey hey, don’t start counting chickens now.” He entirely forgot that as fans we don’t get a guaranteed spot for under $800.

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  4. David G says:

    cool story can you tell it again?

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  5. jaremy says:

    I know this isn’t what you were going for, but this post ultimately comes off as self-entitled. There’s a fine line that bloggers walk between passionate fans/hobbyists and professionals. I greatly enjoy your work here at Fangraphs, but it definitely rides on that border.

    It speaks volumes that those like Heyman and Caple do not make mention of such hardships, especially in the mocking tone that you’re taking. I appreciate hearing what it’s like, but taking a factual and objective approach (as opposed to sarcastic and upset) would behoove you, and be much more fitting for a would-be journalist.

    Those who are sitting in the press boxes have also worked years and years to get where they are, and there’s only so much room. Don’t forget where you’ve come from and where those around you have been as well.

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  6. pft says:

    If I wanted to cover a baseball game for work or just watch for pleasure, I would prefer to cover the game from my living room on TV than endure the elements 70 yards from the action.

    To figure out what really happens during the game these reporters must check the web or watch/listen the game on their cell phone/notebook as their readers watch on 54 inch HD TV. No wonder some of their analysis is a bit off.

    But I guess they get to talk to the players, stay in a nice hotel and and enjoy the fine dining available in SF while on the job. Probably fly 1st class since he did not gripe about flying coach.

    At some level, the fans are actually paying for these free tickets since the revenues are lost to the teams and players, and local fans have fewer seats to fight over.

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  7. GZ says:

    hey dave this guy is pissing me and everyone else in cubicle-world off something fierce can you get rid of him thanks

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  8. Joe says:

    You just come off as completely full of yourself and entitled in this post. The only thing you should feel right now is shame. You’re at the world series, man. You should be so happy you’re there to even notice we’re you’re sitting.

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  9. Aaron says:

    We all work-at least, the vast majority of us do. And all of us have, sometimes surprising, ups and downs in our jobs. If you’re a salesman, for instance, and you tell me that one of the really annoying parts of your job is that you’re never sure where you’ll be able to catch lunch then I’m interested. That’s something I never thought about and even though it’s not a problem in my job, in which I look forward to my lunches on the road, I can see how it would get annoying for someone in a different position. It would be nice, though, if you also told me about just how cool it is to be able to see all the differences in the small little towns you get to drive through while I sit in my office all day staring out the same window.

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  10. Greg says:

    Is the worst bi-product of the internet the “Comments” section of every website? Honestly, the guy writes some innocent piece and gets ripped a new one. People, remove your head from your ass. All of you griping about Maury’s job not really being “work” are full of it. What is real work? I work in finance, investments, trading, all that crap. It’s an absolutely meaningless job. If I was not here, somebody would step in for me and the business wouldn’t suffer in the least bit. Let’s face it, most of you are the exact same way and you’re just not willing to admit it. So, who really is working? Doctors? Teachers? Cops? Firefighters? Military personnel? Construction workers? Are the rest of us not allowed to complain about our job unless we have one of these jobs?

    Also, I’m willing to be there’s a lot more to covering a World Series game than just sitting around and taking it all in. It’s a lot more “work” than we realize.

    I’ll run, I have to get back to work and see if BP or BA have any new articles up.

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    • daniel says:

      You can complain, but I’ll bet you wouldn’t complain about the trivial nuances of your profession to the people to whom you provide service. You probably wouldn’t like it if you’re at an appointment or in a class and the teacher or doctor started griping about the subtle compromises of the best part of their job. I’m not really sure what going to a World Series Game 1 would compare to for them.

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    • daniel says:

      And I can see how it’s a job, and it takes enjoyment out of the experience but there’s a better way to say it.

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  11. NEPP says:

    I was at a business dinner last week and instead of having my Chardonnay at a proper 55 degrees, it was 43 degrees. I could barely stomach that swill even if it was on the company’s dime. Truly, truly, work is hell sometimes.

    What the hell was THAT about?!?

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  12. Christian says:

    The overflow media had a good section reserved for them in the first game of the NLDS. They set aside something like 300 seats, and there were only about 20 reporters there. It looked downright bad, as if fans had not sold out. Moreover, the Giants realized that they were missing out on revenue, and the seats weren’t even being used. So, the Giants moved them to the cheap seats.

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    • Jason F says:

      I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that a lot fewer media outlets were granted press credentials in the NLDS. I had a credential for the NLCS and was there last night for Game 1, but was not given a credential for the NLDS. I don’t know the reasoning behind it, but I can only imagine that if I was left out, then there were many others that were also. Even in the NLCS, there were roughly 25-30 seats taken in what is essentially a two section space with every other row converted into a table (so, what it really amounts to is one section of seats). I was amazed during the NLCS to see how many media outlets left their credentials unused. I literally had an entire row to myself in game 4.

      I also spent several games this season at AT&T Park in the regular press box, and it is definitely lavish compared to the auxiliary press box in the upper reaches of section 336. However, the last thing I would do is complain about where I was sitting. I was at the World Series for cripe’s sake. It’s a pretty nice trade-off when you are able to do the following: stand on the field and watch batting practice prior to the game, access to the pre-game and post-game press conference, wander anywhere you would like in the stadium by simply flashing your credential, free food, snacks, candy, coffee, etc. Rough life, I know…

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  13. BRIAN says:

    This post was ill advised Sounds to me like your a spoiled brat.

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  14. PoorMaury says:

    I feel so bad for you!

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  15. WY says:

    Maury Brown is a respected writer, I think, but this post wasn’t such a great idea.

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  16. Bigmouth says:

    Every job has its annoyances. What makes this article obnoxious is that most working folks would be willing to pay cash money to suffer the particular annoyances that Maury describes.

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  17. Maury Brown says:

    @WY…. Probably not. Intent is getting lost. Once again, intent was to do a “behind the scenes”…. a logistics post on how some of the matters that go into covering a game that has a throng of media.

    “Working the game” isn’t to say it is work. It’s a term. To get credentialed you do have to do more than sit and watch the game, but if chasing a story or reporting on a game where men hit a little ball with a stick is “work”, then we need a better definition. Getting to attend a game as part of media is a privilege. It is not a right, regardless if you have to have done something of worth to get your foot in the door.

    Lastly, I was not in any way complaining. If anything there’s still a sense of naiveté when I get credentialed. In that, those writers, TV, and radio personalities that I assumed would be granted preferential treatment in relationship to their writing peers is not always the case. This is why the BBWAA is a good thing from the standpoint of organizing media by a manner outside of popularity.

    Was a good post to run? Maybe not (snarky comments will surely ensue after I said that). Or rather, the story could have been covered in a different way.

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  18. Hmmmm says:

    I find it interesting that those of you that are complaining about how hard you work have taken the time to not only read Mr. Brown’s post, but to write a comment. If your job is so difficult and you are truly “working” then get off of a forum and WORK! Maybe his approach was wrong, but come on, get over yourselves.

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  19. Maury Brown says:

    On flying… Coach. Paid out of my own pocket. Did not stay at hotel, rather flew back home on the same day as travel budget did not allow for hotel. Took BART and MUNI to game.

    I think many underestimate how very little us writers make… if we make any at all sometimes.

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  20. JR says:

    Well I appreciate the behind the scenes look (I didn’t take it as whining, as many of you apparently did). I never would have guessed that the ESPN bigwigs would be relegated to the cheap seats. I found it amusing.

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  21. Candlestick Parker says:

    Maury,

    Remembering you from the old FanHome and ballparkguys boards, I’m just impressed that you’ve got credentials and seats. Well done, my friend!

    CP

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  22. johng says:

    I go to the link, and all it says is, “become a sportswriter”.

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  23. timmy! says:

    Might want to check your computer for malware now.

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