UPDATE (2/10/14): The school in question sent out a follow-up memo to scouts. No scout will be denied access to any game. There will now be 16 seats behind home plate reserved for scouts, as well as room for more in a standing area. Cameras and backpacks will also be allowed.
Yesterday, a scout e-mailed me a list of restrictions that was sent by a college to all scouts in the area. The school is apparently cracking down this year . . . but why? And at what cost? I’m not going to publicize which school sent this out—not because I don’t think it’s atrocious, but because I think it’s probably a bigger issue than just one school. Singling this school out would be unfair, because I’m sure other schools are (or are considering) doing something similar.
It doesn’t need to be this way, and the best examples on both sides work hard to create solid working relationships, but there can be bad blood between scouts and college baseball programs. Some college coaches think scouts steal their players. Scouts believe some college programs abuse their pitchers. There are disagreements about the value of a scholarship offered by a college program compared to what MLB teams offer through their college scholarship plan. Most of those arguments are for another day. For now, let’s look at the e-mail that was sent out, with the restrictions in bold and my thoughts below each one . . .
1. Scouts have to purchase tickets — they will only have a select number of scout tickets available, so you have to arrive early.
I don’t have a problem with college teams making scouts buy tickets. Want to make a few extra bucks because you have prospects on your team? Go ahead. But what is the point of limiting the number of scout tickets—especially (as you’ll see below) when those tickets don’t really get you anything? Continue reading