The idea of the game is very simple and, though to an average person the concept of playing may seem trivial, fantasy sports are very real and are worth big money.
Fantasy baseball is a game where players manage imaginary baseball teams based on the real-life performance of baseball players. Players compete against one another using real world statistics to score points.
Stemming from the idea of magazine editor Dan Okrent, today’s format of fantasy baseball has been around for 30 years. In 1980, Okrent organized a league of 10 people in New York which would meet once a week to tally up batting averages, home runs ERAs, RBIs and other statistics to update their standings.
According to Yahoo.com, today there are over 10 million players in America alone. With such a broad national influence, there is no shortage of players here at the University of Miami.
“I started playing my fantasy baseball my freshman year of college,” junior Will Berman said. “Some of my other friends were doing a league and I decided to join.”
Many players start playing young and then return to play every year, providing a big market for Web sites to draw from when registering managers and selling ads. According to Forbes.com, the fantasy baseball industry is worth over $5 billion.
However, managing a fantasy baseball team isn’t for everyone. Some play one season to try it out and realize that the time commitment is too much for them to manage.
“I had always enjoyed fantasy drafts in Madden or NBA2k but fantasy baseball is different,” sophomore Joey Rappaport said of being a manager. “After the first few weeks I started to get bored with the team.”
There is no doubt that managing a fantasy baseball team takes more time than a fantasy football team, which requires only several minutes a week to set lineups and bench biweekly players.
“For me, fantasy baseball is more of a chore than it is enjoyment,” sophomore Jonathan Trock said. “Instead of once a week, there are games every day and there are many more statistical categories.”
For others, fantasy baseball is perfect for that reason alone.
“Fantasy football is much more random and one injury can ruin your season,” Berman said. “In fantasy baseball, a manager has to play well all season, treating trades and free agent acquisitions like a stock exchange.”
There are enough people out there to convince ESPN.com and Yahoo.com to invest in fantasy baseball year after year, and Okrent would surely agree that this fact makes the fantasy sport pretty fantastic.
Calvin Cestari can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org