Author-based content portals are ceasing as a trend, and growing as a necessity among providers. Think about all of the portals out there – Grantland, The MMQB, Vox, 538,
Jason Whitlock’s Black Grantland… content portals are popping up like weeds nowadays.
Fox Sports is the latest to jump onboard with Just A Bit Outside, their new baseball portal headed by Rob Neyer. JABO has changed Fox’s baseball coverage for the better, allowing their writers to not continually churn out massive columns and instead let them write shorter pieces about topics that are, as the site describes them, “too small for a column, too big for Twitter” in the Baseball Joe section.
Traditional columns also exist on the site, as you’d expect. But the columns aren’t the same type of thing you’d expect from most traditional outlets. Some of the columns posted so far include a profile of Tom Emanski, a breakdown of the traditional minor league diet, and a thought exercise considering what constitutes the end of a franchise. Clearly diverse, yet clearly baseball. Of course, there are the more traditional columns you’d expect from a baseball website – trading Giancarlo Stanton, examining Felix Hernandez’s changeup, determining what went wrong with the Astros and Brady Aiken…you know, stuff related to what’s going on right now.
Needless to say, JABO is a different sort of portal, almost how Grantland started off as “Bill Simmons and company” and is now just a damn good part of ESPN.com to read fantastic content. I envision that’s what JABO will end up as in short order – it won’t be Rob Neyer’s playhouse. It’ll be Fox’s hub for baseball coverage from talented writers like Neyer, Ken Rosenthal, Jon Paul Morosi, Gabe Kapler, C.J. Nitkowski, and more. Fox’s baseball coverage has grown by leaps and bounds this year, and JABO is just the latest step forward for Fox.