Tuesday, April 18, 2006

This Sport Needs A Preview Magazine

Don't ask me why, but as I was researching the information I posted this evening, I got to thinking that what college baseball needs (amongst other things) is a preview magazine. You know what I'm talking about. A full color, 'round the nation look at the sport. Complete with tons of lists--All-American teams, All-Conference teams, best middle infield, best starting pitching, best bullpens, best coaches, best stadiums, etc.---plus previews of the teams, schedules, recruiting, et al. You know, the works.

Basically, college baseball needs what basketball and football have. Now, I realize an initial foray into such a venture would have to be cautious. With the sport's regional popularity, guessing sales figures would be hard. Profits even harder to come by. Maybe the colleges themselves could sell the thing at the ballparks? Look, it may rub some folks the wrong way, but the game needs all the love it can get. It also wouldn't hurt if the sport looked like it mattered to some of us, which it does.

Each year college hoops and pigskin fans eagerly wait for their annual preview magazines to arrive. Some of them (my hand is raised) have even ordered them in advance and had the delivered to their homes. The release of such publications are a sign that the season isn't too far off and get fans excited about the new year. Why shouldn't college baseball have the same thing?

Now, one could argue that Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America both produce such an animal. Their previews are good, but both are newsprint and neither are comprehensive enough. Again, the negative types can suggest that's the best you can expect for a sport with such a minimal following. Aiming low isn't going to help the sport grow or create profits at non-revenue producing programs.

Following this sport is a bit of a challenge. Rosters change over often. Schedules are in flux far longer than in other sports. Recruiting news is just this side of non-existent. However, there are enough people out there, from the staffs at both CB and BA, to individuals like Boyd Nation, that we could muster a talented staff to assemble such a publication.

Of course, the bottom line is always the bottom line. I wish I could say with great confidence that such a publication would fly off the shelves, especially in places like Texas, Florida and California, but I can't. I can wish, however. And, right now, I dare to dream big.