Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Highly Recommended: Joe Sheehan

The slowest sports day of the year -- certainly the slowest day of the baseball season -- is an ideal time to enthusiastically promote Joe Sheehan’s email newsletter.

It’s very simple: Joe Sheehan’s email newsletter about baseball is likely the best $20 I have spent on media this year.

Let me unpack that:

When Sheehan -- a pillar of Baseball Prospectus and one of the smartest baseball writers in the world -- first launched an email newsletter you pay to receive, I loved the idea.

On one level, I applaud his entrepreneurialism -- both to strike out on his own and to value his content enough to charge for it. On another level, I was excited to read him in this format. I think Sheehan is in the Top 3 baseball writers in the country (and the only reason I wouldn’t rank him No. 1 outright is because I can’t bring myself to dislodge Rob Neyer and there is a regular rotation of great baseball writers I would include in my Top 3. But Sheehan is on the Rushmore.)

I didn’t immediately subscribe -- looking back, that was an error. I was talking with Leitch a few weeks ago and Sheehan came up. I mentioned that I had been meaning to subscribe -- Will couldn’t recommend it more highly.

Already entirely ready to support Sheehan’s start-up, I quickly signed up: $20 via PayPal. Half-a-dozen newsletters in, I feel like the subscription has already paid for itself. That I have what will probably end up being 40 editions left between now and the World Series (there could be plenty more, depending on how enthusiastic Joe is) feels like the greatest kind of bargain. In short: I love it.

If you are a huge baseball fan, you will appreciate the baseball insights of an expert. If you are a less intense fan -- like me -- you will
really appreciate him.

Sheehan picks out the most interesting stories, then gives you insights you won’t find elsewhere and that -- and this is really big for me -- will make you smarter as a fan.

Let me say that again: I am a better baseball fan for being a Sheehan newsletter subscriber. I am smarter. That’s all I want from my analysis: Make me a smarter fan, and don’t demand too much of my time or energy to do it.

At this point, I anxiously look forward to Sheehan’s latest emails, and when they arrive, I devour them. I've got one waiting in my in-box right now, featuring his notes from the All-Star Game and his take on George Steinbrenner.

I can’t recommend the newsletter highly enough. Even for half a season, it is entirely worth $20. Even if you are only a casual baseball fan, it is entirely worth $20.

(When I say casual, I mean you should like and follow baseball. It's not for people looking for a shallow, Quickie-esque survey of the big headlines. Though we love those kind of people very much!)

With Joe, though, you will, however, get an incredibly interesting perspective that, when parroted in the office or on the barstool, will impress your co-workers and friends who DO love baseball - and to whom you should especially recommend to get this newsletter, too.)

Beyond its immediate value as phenomenal baseball analysis, I love supporting an independent voice.

Click here to get to Joe's website and subscribe.

(Even better: This month, he is donating a portion of all subscriptions to a charity dedicated to cancer research.)

-- D.S.

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