Veteran MLB insider Jeff Passan wasn’t always a newsbreaker. It took some “emasculation” from his wife to help him get there.
Passan recently spoke to the New York Post’s Ryan Glasspiegel, and described working his way from more of a sportswriter into more of an insider. He credited a “seminal” moment with his wife for sparking the career growth.
According to Passan, he remembered telling his wife that he wasn’t looking forward to attending baseball’s winter meetings about a decade ago. If the timeline is accurate, Passan would have been right in the middle of his 12-year tenure covering baseball for Yahoo.
After his wife asked, “What’s wrong?” Passan recalled telling her the winter meetings “are the 10 days a year where I feel terrible at my job.”
The Post went on to further detail Passan’s conversation with his wife.
“Why’s that?” she asked.
I said, “Because I don’t really break news.”
“Why is that?” she said.
“I didn’t have a great answer. I think the thing I said was, “It’s really hard.”
Her response was, “Well, then stop being a p—y and go do it.”
I’m not sure if that’s the response Passan expected, others may have assumed a hug and some reassurance would have been the more traditional route to comfort a spouse. But if hearing your wife say “stop being a p***y” doesn’t inspire you to, dare I say, grow a pair, then nothing will.
“That sort of emasculation hits hard!” Passan admitted to Glasspiegel. “I listened to her. I focused on it. I prioritized it. I’m really glad I did, not just because it helped me land at ESPN, but I truly believe that being in the daily news grind the way you are required to be if you are in this job, opens up so many stories you wouldn’t have gotten by just not talking to the people it forces you to talk with.”
A lot of people can look back at their careers with gratitude for pivotal moments that helped them become better at their jobs. Passan’s pivotal moment, however, has to be one of the more unique ones. Granted, he was already successful in his career as a baseball writer, but taking a more aggressive approach to the winter meetings eventually helped Passan land his current job at ESPN, where he continues to be one of the network’s faces of Major League Baseball coverage.
Passan made the jump to ESPN in 2018 to help bolster their MLB reporting with a focus on news-breaking, much like the Worldwide Leader hired NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski away from Yahoo one year prior. Wojnarowski, however, has yet to publicly thank his wife for emasculating him the way Passan just did.