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Mark Rosenman: Best Selling Author & Reporter

How'd you get into reporting? Can you tell us a bit about your career?

I majored in Communication Arts in college during the late '70s, where I explored various aspects of the industry including film, public relations, writing, radio, and editing. I was passionate about all of it right from the start. After college, I worked in sports talk radio in New York for WGLI The Mighty 1290, hosting a weekend show while also holding a higher-paying job during the week. As I got older and started a family, I shifted my focus towards the higher paying job and raising my family. I also coached my son in baseball and led high-end travel baseball teams for 12 years. During this time, I had the privilege of coaching one future MLB player and several college players. After my children moved out and started their own lives, I returned to sports talk radio with WLIE 540AM in New York. There, I covered the Mets, Rangers, and Islanders.


What is your favorite memory from your reporting career?

I've had several highlights in my career. One of the most memorable was meeting and interviewing some of my childhood idols Mark Messier, Doc Gooden, Gary Carter, Pete Rose and even becoming friends with them. Another significant moment was writing my third book out of nine, which focused on fathers and sons in baseball. A special part of that book was playing in a Mets fantasy game as teammates with my now 30-year-old son. After coaching him for so many years, it was incredibly meaningful to play alongside him, reminiscent of Ken Griffey Sr.'s experience. The icing on the cake was that he actually won the batting title at the camp.


What stats do you find useful when reporting on the game?

Professional teams provide media notes before every game, packed with valuable stats and insights. These notes include player performance breakdowns against the upcoming opponent, individual player stats against the day's pitcher, and pitchers' records against the opposing team. This detailed information enriches game reporting by highlighting potential milestones, players on hot streaks, and more. For instance, the information on Harrison Bader and Starling Marte in this article was sourced from these media notes. By incorporating the day's stats with the existing information from the media notes, I was able to enhance the story.


Which player have you most enjoyed talking to during your career?

Jaromir Jagr (actually like covering him so much when he was with the Rangers we named our family dog Jagr), Henrik Lundqvist, Brian Boyle, Curtis Granderson, Brandon Nimmo, Max Scherzer, Francisco Lindor, David Quinn, John Tortarella, Buck Showalter.


Is there anything you have taken from your reporting career into your coaching? On the reverse, is there anything from coaching/reporting you use outside of baseball?

That's a great question. Without a doubt, I've become a better coach by learning from and interacting with many coaches and players over the years. You gain a profound understanding of the challenges of the game at every level, the dedication required to reach the pinnacle, and the resilience needed to overcome obstacles.

Watching top players like Lindor and Lundqvist persevere through struggles while maintaining a positive mindset and commitment to hard work has been inspirational. As a coach, this experience enabled me to connect more deeply with players. They knew I had played the game at a high level and coached at an advanced level, which gave us a shared understanding of pitching mechanics, batting techniques, and other intricacies of the game. This common ground facilitated meaningful conversations and strengthened our rapport.


Is there any use of stats in your coaching?

At this point, I've primarily focused on only coaching in the Maccabi games, which are short tournaments. Due to their brief duration, the statistical data wouldn't provide a meaningful sample size. However, during longer seasons in the past, I used to analyze the last 10 games to identify players in good form, those who performed well against left-handed or right-handed pitchers, and used this information for lineup construction. I also play Strat-O-Matic Baseball, a game entirely based on statistics. When drafting a team for this game, I rely heavily on statistical analysis to make informed decisions.


What advice would you give, regarding stats, to a young kid trying to get into the sports world?

That's an excellent question, and it's a topic I often discuss with managers and players. I like to think of statistics and analytics as similar to a navigation app like Waze. While you may know the route to your destination, Waze considers real-time traffic conditions to suggest what it believes to be the quickest route. However, you might be aware of a temporary construction zone causing a backup that Waze doesn't know about, so you trust your intuition and choose a different path.

Similarly, in baseball, statistics might indicate that a player is batting .340 over his last 10 games. However, you might have a gut feeling that today's opposing pitcher, known for his tricky curveball, could pose a challenge to that player. On the other hand, a player on your bench with a .100 batting average over the same period might excel against curveballs. So, it's crucial to strike a balance between using statistics and trusting your instincts. You should never rely solely on statistics; it's essential to consider both data and intuition when making decisions.

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