Rob Neyer has a first article up at SB Nation. I'm posting this here not because I am a huge Neyer fan, but because of the statement it makes about the changing landscape of media. In fact, I've never read a Neyer article in full. Not because I don't find him intriguing or intelligent, but largely because I haven't had a lot of time to do so.
No, the significance here is that Neyer is a member of the BBWAA who left the most well known sports media company in the world to write for a website boasting to be all about the Fan Perspective. His first article explains his thoughts about an "Us vs. Them" mentality he experienced as a writer for what people like to call the mainstream media. I think this is the shift that is significant.
Neyer's fame in baseball circles--at least the way I know of him--seems to stem from his following of sabermetric oriented minds. In a world of changing media and information sharing, Neyer has taken a step that I imagine many writers will scoff at. While the move of one writer from ESPN to another large sports network, SB Nation isn't in itself a huge deal, it seems as though this may be a symbol of the changing role of professional writers and newspaper or magazine columns as they once were known. Media and information has been changing for a while, and the move is another example of this fact.
Will more jump ship? Does a place like SB Nation have the resources to attract more writers away? And what impact does this have on the make up of a site like SB Nation: a site claiming to be "Pro Quality. Fan Perspective"? I'm certainly not suggesting that Rob Neyer isn't a fan and student of sport, but the line for SB Nation seems to become a bit blurred. Not in a bad way by any means. But in a way that really seems to shift the focus of writing from "telling" to "discussing" not only for fans, but for writers with authority in their respective field. I think that's good for everyone, and it seems as though the right person was picked to cross this line.
I am interested to see what SB Nation and Neyer have planned for this marriage.