Given the lively discussion generated by the short conversation I had with Reds Director of Media Relations Rob Butcher on Thursday, you may enjoy this two-part discussion of the relationships among bloggers, MLB, and the mainstream media (MSM).
The first part is an interview with several members of the MSM on their opinions of blogs and bloggers and the level of access that would be appropriate to grant to bloggers.
The second part is an interview with several bloggers asking similar questions and giving them an opportunity to respond to what the MSM had to say.
Several of the responders from both groups seemed to think that there wasn't much that blogs could offer to baseball, and by that reckoning, MLB has no incentive to recognize blogs at all. For what it's worth, I think that there's a lot that a blog can do to help MLB market its product for very little investment on baseball's part.
For example, you would be surprised (at least I am) at the number of hits Red-Hot-Mama.com gets from people searching for things like “Is Adam Dunn married?” and “What is Josh Hamilton's shoe size?” Information like this doesn't currently have a home at Reds.com or in the newspapers, but it fits in perfectly in the Human League entries for these players.
Since people are clearly interested in this kind of information, and since I'm providing a place to put it, why not set me up with the opportunity to ask Josh Hamilton about his footwear? RHM gets content. Readers get the personal (if slightly creepy) details that they're looking for. MLB gets free exposure, a great place to put a link to buy tickets, and a reprise from their reputation for treating their fans like the crusty old grandmother that they only kiss because she gives them money. Everybody wins.