Toby Hyde is the creator of Metsminorleagueblog. The reasoning for creating this blog was to inform the New York Mets fans about exciting prospects on the horizon. Unlike professional baseball blogs, Hyde’s website doesn’t have an offseason. There are winter and fall leagues where Mets minor leaguers play in.
I got the chance to interview Hyde on questions varying from his reasoning for starting his blog and the social media aspect and impact on baseball.
How long has Mets minor league blog been running?
In its present form, as part of the SNY network, more or less since 2008. I’ve been writing about the system since 2004.
What was the reasoning for establishing Mets minor league blog?
Basically, in 2004, there as no one writing about the Mets in the way I wanted to read about it: detailed, daily, and honestly. So I started writing about it organization in the way I wanted to read it.
Did you ever think it would be a part of the SNY.TV blog family?
No. When I started writing, SNY didn’t exist. At the same time however, I always wanted my broadcasting career to take me back to New York City. I didn’t know how to make it happen, but I felt like I had a minor league angle to contribute.
How do you think this new social media (Twitter, Facebook and blogs) has affected sports? Is it a good thing or bad?
Are you kidding? It’s great. I use Twitter as my real-time news feed for everything that happens with the Mets and all of the other teams I care about. It’s a great way to have quick conversations and interact in ways that weren’t possible even five years ago.
I’m a little weird about facebook, in that I don’t like everyone to know where I go and what I do every second of every day, but that site is one of the most trafficked in the world, so it’s a potentially huge tool for self-promottion and branding.
Say 10 years from now, will there be a need for newspapers in sports?
There will always be a demand to insight generated by good beat writers. Quotes from GMs, managers and players will always have an audience. All the same, the newspaper industry is one sick puppy these days. There’s no reason this type of content has to be the domain of newspapers. In fact, much of it is already moving online. The gang at Metsblog and Ted Berg of SNY.tv have done a great job covering spring training in their own style.
I think it’s pretty telling that ESPN snapped Adam Rubin away from the NY Daily News.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to start a blog, whether it be in baseball or another sport?
Just write. Write in your own voice. Also, figure out what makes your voice different. Are you really good with numbers? Can you break the game down? Are you funny? Can you drop historical references? If you don’t like what you write, there’s no chance that anyone else will either, so write stuff you like.