This all started as something of a dream last winter. I had recently been let go (OK, let’s call it what it was – I was fired) from my software sales job. I guess it was obvious to them that baseball was my primary focus ALL OF THE TIME. The season was over, but I was already laying the foundation for the 2013 SP Guide.
Now without a full-time job occupying 9-10 hours a day, I once again began thinking about making baseball my career. The end of this particular rainbow was the idea that I could develop my own pitching-centric site at some point. First things first, I had to finish the 2013 SP Guide while also coming up with enough freelance work to keep me busy (and the rent paid) for the upcoming spring and summer.
I couldn’t have been happier with how the 2013 SP Guide went by the time it was all said and done. I was extremely proud of the effort Doug Thorburn and I put together with the sixth iteration of the guide totaling over 108,000 words covering nearly 450 major and minor league pitchers. It was the first time that the guide was actually for sale and the success of it thrilled me to no end as so many people were willing to pony up their hard-earned money to read what Doug and I had to say about tons of pitchers which was just awesome. It was also a nice springboard into the aforementioned freelance work that has kept my lights on, mine & this guy’s stomachs full, the car gassed up, etc… throughout this season.
It’s been a lot of hard work and some weekends given up, but I simply couldn’t be happier with how things have gone so far with trying to make writing a full-time job. Neither of my two tech-industry jobs were anything close to “bad”, but neither made me 1/100th as happy this does day-in and day-out. I don’t want to stop. Not during the offseason or in 2014. That brings us here, to Paint the Black. Obviously the pitching side of baseball is my passion and I figured a site dedicated entirely to the art of pitching – think a year-round SP Guide – would be valuable in the baseball content community.
The site will include a wide range of pitching-related topics: game breakdowns (similar to those heard on TINSTAAPP, but in written-form), pitcher profiles (how is Pitcher Z succeeding; how is Pitcher J failing), fantasy rankings, general focus lists (top 25 under 25, best curveballs), chats, interviews, transaction analysis (trades, offseason free agency, in-season promotions & demotions), guest posts, and plenty of other ideas that I’ve brainstormed onto a too-long Word doc since last November. Despite my penchant for long-form (see: every SP guide ever), not every post will be 2,000 words. That’s unnecessary. Sometimes a 300-word quick-hitter gets the job done just fine.
This will be a subscription-based website, but not everything will be behind the pay wall. The bulk of the work will be, but when people first come to the site I want them to have something to read to get a taste for the site before they make their decision. Excellent work like The Slurve, Joe Sheehan’s Newsletter, Bill James Online, and even the Insider Section of ESPN (which contains the Buster Olney, Keith Law, and Eric Karabell blogs among others) has shown that folks are willing to pay for quality content. The first two of those are newsletters while James and ESPN are web-based, but the point remains.
There will be different offerings available including a single month, a three-month block, and a full year subscription. There will also be a special pre-order subscription for the full year at a discounted price (save 17%) as well as a discount code for the 2014 SP Guide, available for a limited time only. That is definitely your best option if you are planning on getting the SP Guide in February, too. The pricing for the 2014 guide is not yet in place, but you can expect no less than a 20% discount on the guide with your code.
Over the next two weeks or so, you will see more free content than normal. As the site gets off the ground, I want folks to get a full taste of what they can expect so some of the pieces that would normally be subscription-only will be available to all regardless of their membership status. I’ll be sure to denote those particular pieces so you get a feel for what will be included with membership status. If you have any questions about site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at PaintTheBlackHelp@gmail.com.
Paul J. Sporer