Jared Carrabis rode Red Sox fandom to be DraftKings 'pillar' (2024)

Jared Carrabis rode Red Sox fandom to be DraftKings 'pillar' (1)

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Jared Carrabis’ frenzied obsession catapulted his career.

Carrabis recently left Barstool Sports for DraftKings, where he hosts the “Baseball is Dead” MLB podcast twice a week, the “Jared Carrabis Podcast” about the Red Sox and Tuesday night livestreams on Twitch.

He spoke to The Post about his trajectory in the media business, ruling passion for the Red Sox and misconceptions about younger demographics watching baseball.

“The biggest thing was it was an exciting opportunity to be on the ground level of something,” Carrabis said of joining DraftKings.

The company is building a lineup of content creators that many in the industry speculate could one day comprise its own OTT network. In addition to Carrabis, DraftKings has signed original podcast deals with Mike Golic and Mike Golic Jr., in addition to a big licensing deal with Dan Le Batard and John Skipper’s Meadowlark Media.

Carrabis said it was attractive he was able to stay in Boston, and that “being looked at as somewhat of a pillar” of what they’re trying to build in digital content creation was particularly enticing to him. He is hopeful Massachusetts formalizes its legalization of sports gambling sooner than later.

Jared Carrabis looked at his move to DraftKings as an opportunity to ‘be on the ground level of something.’ Getty Images

Red Sox obsession

Carrabis, 33, started a Red Sox blog when he was 16 years old, a junior in high school. In the years since, he has become so enmeshed with the culture of the team that he rode in their 2018 World Series parade.

“I thought it was cool when I’d get recognized at Fenway like once a year,” he said.

One became two. Two became three. Three has become a feeding frenzy.

“I didn’t think it would ever get to this point, but I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t my goal,” he said. “It wasn’t something that I just stumbled upon. There are definitely some people out there that may have just discovered me in the last few years that think I’m some overnight success, but this past New Year’s Day marked the 16th anniversary of when I started my blog. I’ve been doing it for half my time alive. It definitely wasn’t an overnight thing. There’s been a lot of hard work and hours to get to this point.”

He said of his riding in the championship parade that it was “by far the greatest day of my life.

He apologizes to his future wife, that nothing will ever top it: “If you’re making the decision to marry me, I’m gonna make sure you know ahead of time that the wedding is going to be the second best day of my life. Can’t wait!”

Carrabis estimates that he spends “all my waking hours” thinking about the Red Sox. The first thing he does is check Twitter in the morning, and his mentions are always flooded with Sox commentary.

“I think I’ve live-tweeted every Red Sox game since 2009,” he said matter-of-factly.

He has not missed watching — on TV or at the ballpark– or listening to a game since eighth grade.

Carrabis got to ride in the Red Sox World Series parade in 2018, what he calls the ‘best day of his life.’ Getty Images

As a junior in high school, he was class president, and thus duty-bound to go to prom — even though he did not want to miss an early-season Red Sox game.

He concocted a solution.

“My date was the girl that won the senior superlative for life of the party,” he said.

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Given that, he reasoned he would not have to entertain her.

“I took her, went to the prom, brought a portable radio, went outside, and listened to the game,” he said.

His big, post-DraftKings contract purchase? A rented apartment across the street from Fenway, his lifelong dream.

Journey to Barstool

In 2011, he was nominated for best Red Sox blog and best New England blog at the New England sports blog awards. The event was hosted by Barstool founder Dave Portnoy.

Carrabis wound up winning both awards, but said in his acceptance speech for Best New England Sports Blog that he only won because Barstool wasn’t nominated — the nominees for this award were comprised of the individual sport winners (Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots and Celtics).

“Dave was flabbergasted that I took that moment to give props to him,” Carrabis recalls.

The two kept in touch on various content and business matters, like how much Carrabis should be charging for banner ads on his blog given monthly clicks totals.

Several years later, Carrabis was part of a ceremony on the field at Fenway Park. His girlfriend at the time was, in his words, “very attractive”. NESN had shown her on the field at the event, and people took pictures of their TVs and sent it to Barstool for them to figure out who she was.

“I ended up tweeting to [Barstool writer John] Feitelberg, ‘Hey that’s my girlfriend,'” Carrabis said. “Feitelberg followed me on Twitter, saw that I was a Red Sox blogger, went to Dave and said I should be their Red Sox blogger. Dave was like, ‘Yeah, I know him’, and we just went from there.”

Baseball’s Lowkey Youth Movement

Carrabis’ podcast is, ironically, titled “Baseball is dead.”

Carrabis doesn’t buy that baseball fans are an aging audience. DraftKings

There’s a dichotomy in baseball, where we are told the audience is old and gray — an average age of 57, according to a 2017 study — and then the stadiums in markets like Boston, New York, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis are filled with young, engaged fans.

Carrabis passed along anecdotal evidence that supports the idea that younger viewers may not be getting counted properly — at least in Boston.

“I talked to some Red Sox players last year, after they eliminated Tampa, and for the guys that were left over from that 2018 World Series team who said the wild-card game at Fenway against the Yankees was louder than any game that was played during the 2018 World Series. And it’s not even a Yankee factor — they played the Yankees in the Division Series that year,” he said.

“The student nights at Fenway, where they’re giving away cheap tickets to younger fans that are in college — the crowds are younger. They are. I’m not sure where this data’s coming from, but I think that, if there were a way to get the true numbers, the average age of a baseball fan would be younger than what we’re being told from these studies that are being put out there. I go to a lot of games. The crowds are young.”


Jared Carrabis rode Red Sox fandom to be DraftKings 'pillar' (2024)


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