Veteran MLB broadcaster Jeff Passan wasn’t always a broadcaster. It took his wife a little “emasculation” to help him get there.
They pass recently spoken Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post, and described his journey from more than a sportswriter to more than an insider. He credited a “seminal” moment with his wife for sparking career growth.
According to Passan, he remembered telling his wife he didn’t feel like attending baseball’s winter meetings a decade ago. If the timeline is accurate, Passan would have been right in the middle of his 12-year tenure covering baseball at Yahoo.
After his wife asked him, “What’s wrong?” Passan recalled telling her that the winter meetings “are the 10 days of the year when I feel bad about my job.”
The Post went on to detail Passan’s conversation with his wife.
“That why?” she asked.
I said, “Because I don’t really make news.”
“Why that?” she said
“I didn’t get a great response. I think what I said was, ‘It’s really hard.’
His reply was, “Well, then stop being ap—and go do it.”
I’m not sure if this is the answer Passan was hoping for, 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 an ap***y” doesn’t inspire you to, dare I say, grow a pair, then nothing will.
“This kind of emasculation hits hard!” They pass admitted to Glasspiegel. “I listened to her. I focused on it. I made it a priority. I’m so glad I did, not only because it helped me land at ESPN, but I really think being on the daily news the way as you have to be if you’re in this job, it opens up so many stories to you that you wouldn’t. It wasn’t achieved by not talking to the people it forces you to talk to.”
Many people can look back on their careers with gratitude for key moments that helped them improve their work. Passan’s key moment, however, has to be one of the most singular. Sure, he already had success in his career as a baseball writer, but taking a more aggressive approach to the winter meetings ultimately helped Passan land his current job at ESPN, where he remains one of the faces of the Major League Baseball coverage network.
Passan made the jump to ESPN in 2018 to help bolster its MLB reporting with a focus on news, just as the global leader hired NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski away from Yahoo a year ago before. Wojnarowski, however, has yet to publicly thank his wife for emasculating him the way Passan just did.