What are the roles of baseball beat writers compared to columnists? How do they combine to create a well-rounded story for Red Sox fans?
The baseball reporter and the baseball columnist. I’ve always wondered how the relationship between the two combines to meet the needs of sports fans. What are the differences and similarities? How do clubs work with beat writers?
Pete Abraham, Christopher Smith, Alex Speier, Jason Mastrodonato, Evan Drellich, Chris Cotillo, Ken Rosenthal, Heidi Watney, Lindsey Adler, Coley Harvey, Jeff Passan, and Emily Waldon. What do they all have in common? They’re all baseball beat reporters for the MLB. Many of these beat reporters cover the Boston Red Sox. Over their time covering the MLB, they’ve established integral relationships with the clubs and insiders. Beat reporters have important relationships with the communications departments, managers, and coaches. Communications personnel seek out the beat writers to drop important news.
They translate this information by reporting it to the public. The first source of reporting usually occurs on Twitter, shortly before they write an article (if the news allows for a compelling article to be written). Fans follow beat writers on social media to keep up-to-date and to get the most recent information about a team, player, or organization. Based on their relationship with the Red Sox, we know that the news they share is highly likely to be accurate.
The beat writers taught us that Mookie Betts had some morning reps at second and third base on March 18, how Dustin Pedroia feels about taking an extra week before playing, which players were reassigned to the minor league camp, what Jackie Bradley Jr. thinks his most amazing catch ever was, changes to the majors, MLB suggested changes to the minor leagues, and much more.
A baseball columnist uses the information given to them by the beat reporters. Columnists have more freedom to write about their opinions. They take the news presented to them and develop unique ways to capture audiences. Columnists are able to share their sometimes crazy ideas with readers.
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Reporters are tasked with writing about the games, player updates (injuries, suspensions, signings). Reporters specialize in delivering the most recent news. They attend games and interview key playmakers to report on the news. Reporters establish relationships with those in the sports organization and external experts to help add to credibility in the information that they present. Whereas, the columnist has more freedom in creative expression through their writing, not limited to game-related updates. The columnist writes about their opinions and provides an analysis of the news.
Sean Penney, Brendan Mizgala, Rick McNair, Hunter Noll, Kyle Porch, Evan Lewis, Steve Atkinson, Andrew Cormier, Rudi Rickards, Quinn Allen, Patrick English, Cole Witaszek, Jason Ward, Brad Griffith, Jacob Anes, Charlie Smith, Brendan Howe, Josh Greenberg, Matthew Leichter, and Justin Bergulund. What do they have in common? They’re all columnists for FanSided BoSox Injection. We take the breaking news and create stories out of them such as why Eovaldi might end up in the rotation as number two, why to watch out for Kris Jackson in 2019, how Chris Sale’s spring debut has been (and what it means), what Rick Porcello speaking out about PED usage in the league means for the Red Sox, why Marcus Walden deserves a spot on the Opening Day roster, why the Red Sox should sign Sale to an extension, what advantage the MLB rule change gives to the Red Sox, statistics to take away from the 2018 season, and much more.
The relationship between the reporter and columnist is a complex one. It’s one that often isn’t talked about. Without the treacherous hours put in by the reporters- time spent with the team, chasing the latest news, developing contacts within the organizations, we wouldn’t be able to find out the latest information about our favorite teams. Thanks to the information shared by the Red Sox beat writers, we’re able to form our opinions and share them with our BoSox Injection community.