There are a ton of really great baseball blogs out there. People who love the game and love talking about it have embraced blogging in droves. I gushed about several of them earlier this month.
With the launch of MLBlogs.com, a hosting service for baseball bloggers, Major League Baseball is getting into the game. MLB partnered with Six Apart; the new service is a custom, MLB-branded TypePad install, and they’ve got several big names like Tommy Lasorda on-board.
There are a lot of baseball blog readers and writers out there, and plenty of money to be made via offering them an easy-to-use service with a cheap monthly subscription rate, so I think this is a good move for MLB. The new serice is also a great potential source of sportswriting content for MLB; a fact of which they’re certainly aware, and fully intend to exploit, as you can see on the MLBlogs.com homepage:
MLBlogs.com will reward selected contributors by adding their words of wisdom to highlight reels that millions of fans will have the chance to view online. Be a blogcaster! [Emphasis theirs.]
I imagine the terms of service stipulate that MLB can use your blog content for such purposes.
While I’m sure MLB will be taking full advantage of any good writing on MLBlogs.com, this isn’t the end of professional sports columnists by any means. Guys like the incomparable Bill Simmons aren’t going to be out of a job. Quite the opposite: just as MP3 distribution has increased CD sales, I expect we’ll be seeing several higher-quality sports bloggers be picked up as sports columnists in the next year.