ESPN.com Makes Neyer an Insider

ESPN.com slipped a little note into one of Rob Neyer’s more recent columns:

Beginning June 14, you can read Rob Neyer’s column four times a week as part of ESPN Insider. You will find Rob’s insights at MLB Insider, as well as peppered throughout ESPN.com’s baseball coverage.

ESPN.com is following the time-honored tradition of Internet-oriented content producers: offer the goods for free for a while, and then push them into a members-only part of the site. It’s a good business model, although the information-wants-to-be-free folks might disagree. This works only when the quality of the writer’s work is worth paying for–which I think that Neyer’s work is. I think that Neyer will significantly improve the MLB Insider offerings, which until now have mainly been served by oldthinkers—people who don’t get performance analysis in baseball. By this I mean people like Buster Olney, one of the “geniuses” who pushes the Productive Out Percentage, which is a bunch of malarkey.

I say to ESPN.com, “Good on you.” I’m sure that I’ll be one of the minority, because the vocal objectioners to this will be the people too cheap to pay for the extra content.

I do have to argue with their timing—changing horses in mid-season isn’t a good call.