CYBERSCRIBE

HOW A TWINS NUT AND WANNABE JOURNALIST FOUND HIS NICHE
March 27, 2006

IN THE crampedbedroom of his Minnetonka, Minn., town house, Aaron Gleeman is surrounded bythe accoutrements of any self-respecting sports blogger: a 35-inch televisionwith multiple premium sports packages; stacks of dog-eared reference books;piles of periodicals; and a laptop that's aglow at all hours of the day. "Iwrite almost entirely from bed," says Gleeman, an online baseball columnistand blogger who, on a typical day, pumps from 5,000 to 15,000 words intocyberspace. Although he seldom leaves his mattress, he might be the mostprolific baseball writer working today.

A 23-year-old whomajored in journalism at Minnesota but did not graduate, Gleeman is proof thatin the Generation Google era, all you need to launch a sportswriting career isa working computer, a broadband connection and a supply of opinions. Four yearsago Gleeman turned to the Web after he couldn't land a position at his collegenewspaper, the Minnesota Daily. "I couldn't even get a gig covering women'sgymnastics," he says. Gleeman devoted much of his blog to his belovedMinnesota Twins. "At first I was lucky if two to three people from myimmediate family did me a favor by checking the blog out," he says."But, thankfully, since then the readership has steadily grown. And a few[readers] aren't even related to me."

The blog is, infact, a daily fix for thousands of readers (2,500 unique visitors a day), andits success has landed Gleeman regular gigs at websites such as Rotoworld.com,a popular destination for fantasy-sports geeks, and insiderbaseball.com, forwhich Gleeman writes about minor league prospects. Baseball blogs, inparticular, are well-suited to the Web's around-the-clock discourse: There aregames every day, off-seasons full of player movement and an endless supply ofstats for analysis. Two years ago Gleeman cofounded hardballtimes.com, a sitedevoted to the statistical analysis of baseball that has provided a platformfor aspiring writers. The site attracts more than 15,000 visitors a day and hasbeen lauded by baseball beat writers around the country.

Gleeman, whoattends a half-dozen Twins games a year but has never covered a game from thepress box, says that he earns more than the average entry-level reporter at anewspaper--and that he's not looking to get off his bed. He grew up dreaming ofbecoming a sportswriter at a newspaper or magazine, but his goals have changed."If I'm in the exact same position five years from now," he says,"I'd be very happy."

PHOTOSTEVE WEWERKADOGGED With Sammi to keep him company, Gleeman cranks out up to 15,000 words a day on baseball--while seldom leaving his bed.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)