best place order viagra online forum cipla pharma product list how much does neurontin cost online generic keftab no prescription citalopram missed dose 3 days overseas pharmacy no prescription propranolol 365 pills shallaki from usa pharmacy procardia brand order buy diclofenac gel online from usa haldol decanoate 50 mg mail order singulair tadacip cost without insurance buy ampicillin tablets mexico is it safe to order cialis online buy nolvadex pills in the us sumycin no prescription canada best site for erythromycin omifin precio farmacia us pharmacies online that sell brand viagra imitrex medication online cardular side effects diflucan 150mg india buy combivent have no prescription cialis side effects long term what is the active ingredient in benadryl that makes you sleepy buy naprosyn with visa cheapest medrol tablets uk sale prednisone hytrin prices at costco mail order generic oxytrol buy cardizem new zealand online can you buy dostinex canadian healthcare manager rogers glycomet without a prescription which of the following is an example of the lowest healthy percentage of essential body fat for a male buy indomethacin uk purchase requip 0.25 mg soviclor 400 mg proscar for daily use canada aciclovir cheap india pharmacy parlodel prix en pharmacie en france seroquel western australia anti erection pills compare prices bentyl ocean blue pillar candles citalopram medication depression levaquin for prostatitis cipro xr sale where can i order coumadin alli available prescription lasix echeck diclofenac gel overnight delivery how long will it take for differin to work farmacias que venden viagra sin receta en capital federal metoclopramide from europe entocort online buy viagra jelly without a prescription from canadian pharmacy bleeding after taking clomid depakote without a prescription from us premarin sales data atarax 100 mg iv prednisone pills stromectol pills neurontin to buy in england aleve shop net what is premarin prescribed for metformin side effects bloating cialis super active 20mg tab what types of cyklokapron are there best site to buy dutas what is tretinoin cream usp 0.025 lotrisone cheap uk ordering lipitor from canada buy lopid new zealand online erectile dysfunction symptom aids what is isoniazid 300 mg used for shatavari indian herb where to buy cheap generic furosemide cipro rx list order ranitidine lowest price is it illegal to order generic dutas mexican pharmacy no prescription norvasc benicar hct prices walmart vitamin b injections for weight loss side effects estimated cost of generic lipitor online pharmacy no prescription needed nizagara ceftin dosage for children top 10 online yagara sites order adalat online with visa why has kamagra soft been discontinued puedo comprar diflucan sin receta buy benadryl with e check do you need rx cyklokapron sustiva tablets online canadian drug plans seniors viagra super active without prescription canada what are the common side effects of wellbutrin is mail order zerit safe levaquin tablets appearance buy acai pulp online compare prices cabgolin xenical over the counter usa lexapro 5mg drug what is crestor taken for order cheap canadian accutane buy ciplox mexican pharmacies purchase revatio online buy vpxl in india online benfotiamine online can you order prescriptions online buy isoniazid in ireland se comprar propecia sin receta how quick does orlistat work enalapril generic vasotec cost of mycelex-g without insurance buy celexa astrailia beconase aq order in the us mevacor australia pharmacy sale drugs suhagra himcolin uses medication where can i get haridra pills how to use shatavari churna cheap canadian levitra no prescription alphagan online store is levothroid generic tadalis soft tabs zithromax cheap australia pharmacy ultra low dose prednisolone big round blue pill 224 ordering aleve here in canada buy depo-medrol online buy clomid online at canada pharmacy can order dilantin canada danazol shortage can i order drugs from mexico light blue pill with watson 503 on it brand amoxil without script ordering ranitidine here in canada usp dissolution requirements nitrofurantoin tablets exelon stock price quote what is the medication asacol used for venlor drug oversea doxycycline product information australia can you buy tenormin atenolol how to take aciphex 20mg buy roaccutane with no prescription generic uk paypal trazodone med cab dutas cheapest place to buy alli sam;s buy zenegra paypal accepted picture of diltiazem pills viramune mg tablet can you buy olanzapine over the counter phenamax legal in england phone in order for revia asacol maximum daily dose keppra lawsuit 2010 paroxetine hcl oral tablet 10 mg contraindicaciones del omifin en hombres topical mupirocin side effects where to get lopressor pct how to get free viagra fast order para que se usa el antibiotico cephalexin cheap voltaren india buy depo medrol injection levitra professional pill shortage buy online midamor generic canadian pharmacy no prescription cialis super active capoten 100mg tablet low cost avalide online generic can you buy altace pharmacy discount culturismo natural amitriptyline hydrochloride alcohol where can i get the morning after pill very nice site cheap cialis elavil pills online in the canada tegretol spain nitrofurantoin tablets us online cheap 50 pills buy rogaine axis and allies low luck arimidex drug class doxycycline hyclate make you gain weight canadian online pharmacy for ginseng viagra coupon free trial buy eurax next day blopress no prescription cialis chloramphenicol chloromycetin side effects what does cytoxan look like cvs mail order prescriptions reviews glycomet 40mg ephedraxin pharmacy where can you buy lamisil drugstore prograf comprar augmentin cheap australia pharmacy cleocin pharmacy usos terapeuticos eritromicina deltasone without script how to use clonidine patch zovirax where can i buy it buying cephalexin from canada no prescription where can i buy flagyl er in canada what is trileptal used for in children pfizer viagra online is generic neurontin available in usa maxalt second dose voltaren rapid 50mg tablets cleocin tablets side effects paroxetine how long does it take to work lasix 40 mg tabletas buy liv 52 online saroten retard 25 mg bactrim birth control online canada buy finast without a script generic medication for flovent onde comprar viagra rio de janeiro buy sustiva boots pharmacy generic sinemet uk paypal cleocin lotion price ciprofloxacin eye drops dosage ophthacare without insurance how much will duetact cost what does cialis do for women bactrim antibiotico where to buy promethazine codeine syrup online can u buy viagra in canada trusted canadian pharmacies online buy unisom pills online generic paxil no prescription cheap per pill generic ampicillin safest places to buy viagra online health canada lopressor max infant dose of prevacid side effects of evista weight gain to buy metoclopramide in uk prevacid dosage instructions buy nexium without rx is vytorin better than lipitor amitriptyline for sale online cheap genuine confido online danazol woldwide shipping viagra pill canadian where cane you buy valtrex over the counter how much does levitra cost exelon by mail buy retin a 0 025 paypal discount code for cleocin brand name mevacor online buy pariet generic can you take erexor daily the online drugstore purim cheap abana 3 tablets celebrex tiene generico pharmacies combivent salbutamol cheap lioresal billig kaufen pharmacy has best price cytoxan is elimite cream a rx american avandamet where to buy cytotec online usa buy metoclopramide in usa online pharmacy schools in georgia can get cipro over counter rocaltrol reviews for men coumadin 5 mg tablets what does biaxin look like where to buy viagra online in usa cialis professional dosage instructions aldactone purchase in canada no prescription target pharmacy wellbutrin price trazodone insomnia reviews low cost viagra reviews buy abilify online from australia brand advair diskus coupons diflucan costco pharmaceutical drug sales statistics Purchase exelon 3 mg cheap viagra free shipping fda generic lipitor recall hydrochlorothiazide medications lisinopril come in spanish se puede comprar viagra en la farmacia sin receta 2010 aspirin online shopping generic uk paypal rocaltrol canada buy alli without prescription lantus noprescrition needed usa online pharmacy cheap branded viagra online donde puedo comprar pastillas xenical propecia prescription cost target eulexin over counter eldepryl prescription only xenical available ireland low dose amitriptyline for pain relief what is losartan potassium how long does it take for remeron to work for anxiety colospa ordering online pharmacy buy cozaar inhaler canada code red 7 pill ingredients precose italiano viagra from usa pharmacy best place to buy mycelex-g dostinex cabergoline tablets levitra professional canadian pharmacy free samples buy cialis dapoxetine comprar xenical orlistat brasil indian accutane generic order luvox online can you buy ceftin over the counter oral zyvox cost sale avandamet ondansetron hcl 8 mg tablet drl current price hytrin propranolol for sale online is wellbutrin generic carafate pills online in the usa strattera dosage range discount viramune adalat canada overnight delivery purchase depakote online no prescription ceftin prices at costco can i buy phenergan over the counter in australia order trental overnight can you buy nizoral cream over the counter they dangers of pain pills and alcohol order imitrex cheap insulin resistance symptoms uk olanzapine where to get nitroglycerin sublingual tablets stability what is female cialis for buyers of accutane canada how long do i have to take lipitor fertility drugs for women canada buy phentermine 37.5 online pharmacy duetact without a prescription liposafe from medrol dose pack no prescription zoloft breastfeeding american academy of pediatrics phenamax canada overnight delivery where purchase decadron glucotrol xl overnight delivery best rx pill 40 dilantin online pharmacy cefixime shelf life cordarone cheap what is confido made of purchase generic serpina western drug suhagra half price prednisone apcalis sx sold over counter pravachol tablets online genuine antabuse zetia generic available in usa low dose aspirin to prevent miscarriage online zyloprim india generic brand cialis us no prescription buy generic accutane trust org acheter viagra france comprar nootropil en argentina lipitor medicine cholesterol best place buy endep para que serve o reme'dio cloridrato de sertralina generic pills for keflex lopressor dosage iv where to buy zetia zoloft with no rx accutane pharmacy isotretinoin online canadian viagra with bonus pills resources for prandin can you get flonase over the counter can you order gasex 500 mg cheap zyvox where can i purchase mirapex how much is dostinex tablets singulair generic 2012 wellbutrin from canada no prescription purchasing nitroglycerin online uk toprol xl 40 mg dose how much is altace tablets dilantin usa no prescription ampicillin online no prescription discount cialis super active mg fluoxetine in italia sex tablets for men in pakistan price furosemide mechanism of action animation over the counter medicine that acts as voltaren phone in order for toprol xl wellbutrin xl cost per month canine carafate dose pharmacy technician hospital salary canada micardis price comparison australia is it ok to take cialis without ed buy erythromycin 333 mg comprar diovan online pariet discontinued cost of cymbalta price increase metformin what is cytoxan priming cheapest buy accutane online sale prescription buy himcolin kamagra gold no rx best place buy dutas pct best benfotiamine prices products vitamin ordering low dose elimite how long does it take for topamax to start working clozaril medication online renagel prices at costco buy augmentin xr online cost of doxycycline walmart tadacip for men in usa generic reglan safe minocycline for sale philippines lesofat philippines price buying valtrex for dogs cost of diltiazem generic zocor safe discount drugs of canada venice fl sibutramine buy no prescription is aricept available in generic hytrin online australia half price pletal generic equivalent for norvasc all types haldol pills buy tadalis sx online in usa what does trileptal look like etodolac abuse elocon shortage zoloft lawsuit placebo para que sirve la crema fucidine 2 abilify canada no prescription buy finast online cheap non generic aldactone voltaren non perscription countries metformin side effects pravachol online from canada levothroid with american express discount canadian pharmacy alphagan ventolin comprar espan~a dvd australia buy online ethionamide reviews for men what is content marketing buy diovan in australia best place buy requip best glucophage prices how much does tamoxifen cost in canada propranolol where to get list of tesco stores selling mycelex-g cheapest drug antabuse sertraline high blood pressure promethazine over the counter best abilify prices voveran sr mail order 123a lithium batteries for sale where can i buy lithium uk remeron dose for anxiety side effects of aciphex weight gain nitroglycerin dosage for heart attack best medication for hard erection do you need a prescription to get viagra healthy fish tacos with mango salsa verde sarafem side effects weight gain what is the generic for claritin tofranil ordering no prescription buy periactin hong kong prescription malegra dxt for sale australia accutane usa cvs prices kamagra now co uk eriacta tablets cheapest what does differin do allegra to buy in australia purchase mobicosa purchase effexor xr viagra chewable tablets 100mg doxycycline for acne avapro shop net viagra professional store prescription cheap aldactone no prescription mastercard 100mg dapoxetine no prrescription cheap generic diabecon buy generic betapace online buy spironolactone cream what is ampicillin used for in pregnancy buy dostinex 20 benadryl for sale buy synthroid canada cordarone tablets us online comprar cialis online en mexico alesse pill shortage 800mgviagra lasix shortage why tamoxifen from uk medicine cardura 4 mg artane in croatia topamax over counter drugs is there a drug comparative to remeron calan on line in the usa glucophage dosage too high order lasix no prescription cheap line buy zyprexa diflucan drug in canada pharmacy where to unisom acquistare grifulvin v in italia the online drugstore mirapex
Home Biz of Baseball - Interviews Interview - Jayson Stark - ESPN

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 748 guests online

Atom RSS

Interview - Jayson Stark - ESPN PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
PoorBest 
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 04 February 2007 16:00
Jayson Stark

It’s hard not to like Jayson Stark. Any conflicting views aside, you have to admire him for his level of professionalism, approachability, knowledge, and perserverance. One story is told of Stark staying after the 14-inning World Series game in Houston—writing a story all night—and then doing Mike and Mike the next morning. A more infamous story is of Stark working the labor negotiations in 2002, where he stayed awake for 42 consecutive hours out on the streets in Manhattan, went live every half-hour all night long on ESPN. And when he finally got finished doing television, went back to his hotel and wrote a column. As Stark likes to say, "It's a labor of love—and it's a good thing, because there's a lot of labor!"

Stark's first book—The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History—will be published by Triumph Books and should appear in bookstores around Memorial Day.

The following interview topics include how he approached writing his new book; his take on the proposed deal to make MLB Extra Innings only available on DirecTV; how he goes about doing his Useless Information Department columns; his voting for Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame, and how the voting process has been impacted in the steroid era; Barry Bonds’ contract language; his opinion of the worst free-agent signing this off-season; where outlets such as Baseball Prospectus fit in with other forms of media, and much, much more.

Before he joined ESPN.com and ESPN as a senior baseball writer in 2000, he spent 20 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he covered the Phillies, served as a national baseball columnist and wrote the widely syndicated Week in Review column which appeared in many papers all over the country. He has also been a columnist for Baseball America for two decades, and has written for a number of other big sports publications. 

His regular contributions to ESPN.com include the newsy Rumblings and Grumblings column and his tilted look inside baseball's numbers and quirks, the Useless Information Department.

At ESPN, he has appeared regularly on Baseball Tonight, SportsCenter, Cold Pizza, Outside the Lines, the Hot List and numerous other ESPN shows. He is also a regular on Mike and Mike every Wednesday morning, on radio and ESPN2.

Maury Brown for The Biz of Baseball: Let’s start with your book coming out in May, The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History. When I last contacted you, you were putting the finishing touches on it. Since this was your first book, what do you know now about the topic and the book writing process that you didn’t know before starting it?

Jayson Stark: I’ve been saying my whole life that I wanted to write a book. I’m really glad I did. It’s an incredible experience. One thing I learned is that it’s sure a long journey from chapter one to the last line of the appendix. I’ve never entered a triathlon, but I imagine this is a writer’s version of triathlonning. There are times where the finish line seems so far away, it’s tough to keep plowing forward. But when you get to the end and you look back, it’s really exhilarating. I was blown away by how much I learned about dozens of players, including quite a few active players. And it was fun reflecting on all the factors that lead us to underrate and overrate players in the first place—for reasons that are often borderline irrational.

Stark quoteBizBall: How did you make the determination as to who was under or overrated?

Stark: That might seem like a pretty basic concept. But it has more layers to it than you might think. It basically turned into a myth-versus-reality book. When I said a player was underrated, it didn’t mean he was better than Babe Ruth. And when I said a player was overrated, it didn’t mean he would have been better off selling silverware door-to-door. You could be a Hall of Famer, and be underrated. You could also be a Hall of Famer and be overrated. It all came down, really, to the same question: How does the perception of this player match what he actually was (or is)? And the great thing was, even as I was coming to my carefully thought-out conclusions, I knew there would be fans and readers disagreeing with me, by the gazillion, on some of these players—and I didn’t even mind. That, to be honest, was the whole idea. There are many things we love about baseball. But one of them is that it’s the greatest topic in the world to debate for days, weeks and centuries at a time. So once this book comes out, I expect the debates to begin—and not stop until the year 2096.

BizBall: Doing a book like this and covering players that are still active must have been interesting. Are there any concerns that you may offend some of the “overrated” players and make doing your job more difficult?

Stark: Sure. But let me make two points on that. 1) For the most part, I thought I was generally respectful of almost all the players I decided were overrated. In many cases, I laid out all the things they were good or great at – before giving the other side of the story. And 2) I’ve spent a lot of years covering baseball. There are always going to be times, in the normal course of doing your job, when you write or say things that create issues with people you cover. Totally goes with the territory. But I’ve never, ever claimed to be a guy who thinks I’m right about everything, and everybody else is wrong. So if people want to differ with me, rip me or yell at me, I know the deal. That’s what we’re here for. I’m ALWAYS willing to listen to the other side. So this book is no different. I knew going in that lots and lots of people were going to disagree vehemently with many of my choices. No problem. I look forward to hearing from just about all of them.

Stark quoteBizBall: Let’s shift gears… You, like many others, are starting to cover MLB’s proposed plan to make Extra Innings only available on DirecTV. For those that don’t have espn Insider access and your comments recently, what are your thoughts on the proposed deal?

Stark: I just think it’s incredibly short-sighted. I know the people at MLB think they’re not doing anything different than what the NFL does—but they’re wrong. The NFL never offered Sunday Ticket to cable customers at any point, so it never got into a mess like this, where it literally was taking programming away from people who had gotten accustomed (maybe even addicted) to it. The NFL also never forces its fans to choose between watching their home team and watching the rest of the sport. But that’s what MLB is doing to people in places like Philadelphia, where I live. No local pro sports are available on DirecTV here because Comcast offers its Sportsnet only to cable. So is ANYBODY going to order both? Not unless they’re from somewhere else and don’t care about those home teams in the first place. I find myself directly affected by that issue, but it’s the bigger picture where baseball really gets hurt. These fans they’re ticking off aren’t just any fans. They’re baseball’s BEST fans—folks who are willing to do something we once thought people would never do: PAY to watch baseball games on television. Why mess with those people? And here’s where this is especially short-sighted: If you limit your audience, you’ll never know how many fans you would have made or could have made if you’d exposed your product to the maximum possible audience. It only takes one night of watching baseball to turn someone into a passionate fan. So why limit the opportunities for people to have that experience? Fan-building should always rank above bottom-line-building. Shouldn’t it?

BizBall: You churn out an unbelievable amount of interesting tidbits in your "Useless Information Department" segments, which are really far from “useless”. Without giving away the goods, how do you research for them?

Stark: I’ll let you in on a secret. There’s really no such thing as useless information. It’s the most tongue-in-cheek column title in the history of column titles. And the proof is the response to this stuff. I can’t believe how people gobble up these nuggets. I’m 4,000 emails behind in my Useless Info mailbox, if that gives you any indication. I start by keeping a notebook every day of the season of things that go on that interest me, or have Useless Info potential. Plus, I get fantastic ideas from readers. Once you get the idea, the rest is just good detective work. I research these notes in all kinds of ways. Whatever I can research myself, I tackle through all the great online tools we have now, or through stats I keep myself or with Lee Sinins’ awesome Complete Baseball Encyclopedia. With other projects, I need help. The Elias Sports Bureau has been tremendous about plunging into this stuff. Plus, I’m lucky to have friends and readers – David (the Sultan of Swat Stats) Vincent, Dave Smith of Retrosheet, Trent McCotter of SABR, etc.—who are always coming up with amazing tidbits. I even have readers who will look up, say, the most letters in the names of any double-play combination in history. And yes, Graffanino to Grudzielanek to Mientkiewicz IS the correct answer.

BizBall: Can you recall one Useless Info entry that stood out more than others?

Stark: The factoid that I think got the most oohs and aahs on ever was one I came up with in 2004 on Barry Bonds. Barry walked so much that year that even if he’d gotten ZERO hits all season, he still would have had a higher on-base percentage than the guy who LED THE LEAGUE IN HITS (Juan Pierre). I still can’t believe that happened myself. Now THAT’S the epitome of useless information.

BizBall: You voted for Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame. In writing on the decision, you said:Mark McGwire

"It isn't my intent to belittle anybody or give some big spiel about why I'm right and why they're wrong. This is a tough, complicated decision, dumped in our laps by a sport that left it up to us to deal with its mess.

"So there's no right and no wrong choice here. We probably can't do the right thing no matter what we do about Mark McGwire. But here's why I voted the way I did:

"The fact is, people have oversimplified this issue, to the point that, if you listen to the way most folks talk about it, you'd think there were only 10 players taking any kind of performance-enhancing drugs in the '90s."

This brings up an interesting and difficult quandary for the voters, and for you… Will it be a case that only players caught using will be those you won’t vote for, and how does Barry Bonds fit into this equation when the time arrives?

Stark: I’m like many of my fellow voters. I’m still sorting this question out as I go along. So I can’t tell you yet precisely what I’m going to do about Barry or anybody else. But here’s what makes this so difficult: We really have no idea which players did what during the ‘90s. Even with players we all think, assume, or are even dead sure were clean, how can we be so certain? HUNDREDS of players used these substances, or at least experimented with them, because that was the culture in a sport with no tests or penalties. So are all those voters who want to make a statement just going to withhold votes from players who hit home runs, or got subpoenaed, or showed up in Jose Canseco’s book? If you really want to be fair and consistent, you would have to vote for NO players of that generation, unless evidence emerges that tells us who did and who didn’t. That doesn’t seem like a real good solution. And when I looked back at this historically, I learned it’s clearly not how past handled cheating (in all its forms), drug use or just about any other controversial issue in baseball’s history. Players were judged on their careers, period. Ask Gaylord Perry. So I understand why voters want to make a statement against steroid use. I’m just saying it’s only going to get trickier to do that as we go along, and more and more players from that era show up on the ballot.

BizBall: Now that Barry Bonds is signedor not signed, we're still hanging—what’s your take on the unique contract?

Stark: When you hear there is a clause that allows the Giants to wriggle out of the deal if Barry gets indicted, it sounds like the Giants hold a humongous hammer. But look a little closer. The conditions that would allow them to enforce that clause are extremely unlikely. There is almost no chance Barry would miss a significant chunk of games because of indictment-related court dates. And it’s hard to believe Bud Selig would try to suspend the guy based on an indictment, because it would never fly. It would provoke legal chaos. Ask yourself this: Why would Barry or his agent ever agree to a clause like that? Because they think it’s a violation of the Basic Agreement, if not the Constitution. And as much as Bud Selig and about 25 million other Americans wish Barry would just go away, they probably would have been better off rooting for him to fall of a ski lift on that “skiing vacation” than believing they can use this clause to get him out of their hair.

BizBall: With the wild free spending we’ve seen—especially with the Cubs—care to predict how they finish in the NL Central?

Stark: Hey, thanks. I was at least hoping to get a look at everybody in spring training before I tossed those predictions out there. If you could tell me how many games Mark Prior will start, where Roger Clemens will pitch and whether Mark Mulder will make any meaningful contributions to the Cardinals, that would sure help my prognosticating. But for now, I’m going to adopt the philosophy I’ve been using with the NL East the last few years: Pick the champs (in this case the Cardinals) until they’re no longer the champs. Like the Braves of recent seasons, I think the Cardinals have slipped on paper over the last few years. But they always find a way to win. So they’re my pick. But I can see a scenario where everybody but the Pirates contends in that division.

BizBall: Worst free agent deal this off-season?

Stark quoteStark: Boy, there are about a dozen I could pick with no problem. But I’m going to go with the Barry Zito contract. I haven’t found anyoneANYONE—who thinks the Giants will get seven ace-type years from Zito. I’m sure they’ll get some respectable years, and some reasonably healthy years. But seven years, at those dollars? Way too long a deal for a guy who probably has No. 3 starter stuff at this point. Remember, in the postseason, he faced 51 hitters – and struck out ONE of them. That doesn’t sound like a dominator to me. I have a lot of respect for Barry Zito, and for the men who run the Giants. But I have no idea how they can get their money’s worth out of that investment.

BizBall: How do you approach writing and television?

Stark: The great thing about working where I work is experiencing how ESPN manages to get all its various entities to flow into, and play off of, each other. I consider myself privileged to work there for many reasons, but the best part is having all those different media to communicate with the audience. We’re now integrating video online in so many creative ways that we’re no longer producing video only for television. I just finished a piece on how a pitcher gets ready for spring training, for example. Not long ago, that might have been only a column. In this case, I followed Randy Wolf of the Dodgers through his entire workout day, along with a cameraman. So we had a cool video piece on how he prepares, along with a separate companion column that gave us a chance to look at his philosophy on how to get ready for a season. Those two pieces didn’t duplicate each other. They complemented each other. That’s where the online world is heading, especially at ESPN.com. By the time I was finished, I felt downright futuristic.

BizBall: Is there a blurring between online media—the Baseball Prospectus’ and The Hardball Times’ of the world—and print media? Do you feel they are gaining acceptance as valid outlets compared to their print media counterparts?

Stark quoteStark: I’m not sure if “blurring” is the right word. I just know the internet offers a voice to people who might not have had that voice in the past. There’s always room now for folks who think creatively about baseball, and the guys at Baseball Prospectus and Hardball Times think as creatively as anyone out there. What those sites do is different from what newspapers do, or what websites like ours do. But that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. There is a place for all of us now, which is great. It doesn’t mean they supplant what we provide or, say, what the beat writers covering the Indians provide. It just means there are more ways to get valuable perspective on the sport than there have ever been. And I’m all for that.

BizBall: Last question… What does Jayson Stark do when he’s not watching and covering baseball?

Stark: Or writing books about baseball, you mean? Well, theoretically, I’m pretty sure I’d be considered a relatively normal human being. I have a wife and three kids. So I love spending as much time with them as my insane life allows. My kids have all been volleyball players, and my wife is a volleyball coach. So I’ve spent a billion hours watching and talking about volleyball over the last few years. That’s a big part of our life. I also love music. I love movies. I love reading newspapers. I love Lost and The Office and 30 Rock and 24. I love college basketball. And I especially love what I do. So it’s scary how much time I spend thinking about baseball when I’m not even supposed to be thinking about baseball. I try to convince myself that’s a good sign. But I’m sure I could find a team of psychiatrists who would tell me otherwise.


  • Interview conducted by Maury Brown on 1/29/07

To read other interviews on The Biz of Baseball with the likes of Charley Steiner, Ken Rosenthal, Stan Kasten, Marvin Miller, Bowie Kuhn, Bob Costas, and others, select the Interviews navigation element to the left on any page.

 

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?