I'm a couple behind on the 'mandated' CBSSports Fantasy Baseball posts. There are reasons for that.
Let me start by saying I've never been really interested in fantasy baseball. There are several reasons for that. I spend way too much time thinking about, talking about, now writing about and watching baseball (my wife's head will fall off if she nods any harder). Also I hate the idea that I have to cheer for players not on my Blue Jays, because I dumb enough to put them on a fantasy team. Add in that it is labor intensive in the spring and I tend to be busier then at this time of year with stuff that I actually get paid for. And the main one...I always sort of equated fantasy baseball with dungeons and dragons.
For those of you too young, dungeons and dragons was a dice game that was popular (popular is a judgement call, popular with those that played it) when I went to high school. It was like fantasy dragon killer league. The kids that played would carry around these huge binders about their characters. Now I'm not wanting to put those kids down cause Lord knows I wasn't exactly part of the cool crowd back then (yeah, like I am now, blogging from my parent's basement), some were friends but I never saw the point. I know why they liked it, but it wasn't for me.
More after the jump, if you want to read about the fun I've had the last few days.
Anyway...SB made this deal with CBSSports, we advertise their service and we get a free league, but sent a note saying we could opt out. So I said 'I have no interest'. They said 'well we need 100% participation. Oh and by the way the first post needs to be up tomorrow.' Ok fine. I clearly believe in capitalism and understand that the PTB need to make money to keep this playground in working order. I also don't mind shilling for the odd thing, if it's reasonable quality. Buy Dirk Hayhurst's book (that one we receive no money for but it warms our hearts).
So with all that as a preamble, here are things I've learnt about fantasy baseball:
- I was going to do a 8 person AL only league, when we got more folks asking I turned it into 16 person mixed league, to save myself from having to pick and choose players. That was a mistake...16 people, across 4 time zones (actually more with Europe too) and different working hours, makes drafting a mess. Much smarter would have been stick with 8 and keep the time zones tighter and schedule the draft at a time that suits most.
- I picked an 'extended draft' (to be forever more known as the never ending draft) with no time limits. Mistake....well let's call it 2 but really it was mistake 75. In my defense....with folks all over the place, time zone wise, it was tough/impossible to have us all together at the same time. Defense two, I figured I could put a time limit in later. I didn't know that once the draft started you couldn't change the limits. Defense three, when Dorothy and I met the Wizard, I'm pretty sure he was lying when he said I had a brain. The extended draft really really didn't work. Something I should have figured before hand, but if you have 16 people picking, if they took 15 minutes per pick, that is 4 hours a round, not figuring on work, sleep or people having a life. Four days into the draft we almost finished 3 rounds.
- Adding to the troubles was the 'Autopilot' thing didn't work. If they set it then closed the screen, it shut off. The autopilot was to make picks for people when they weren't at the computer. So ones that were doing a good deed by setting the game to pick for them while they were away, ended up not having it work. I'm not sure if that was a 'Tom did something wrong' or 'the system doesn't work right' type problem, but that was a killer.
- Doubling that problem was that, as commissioner, I was supposed to be able to set the autopilot to pick for people if they weren't there. Well, that button didn't work either. An email to tech support, wait awhile for a reply, then three or four more back and forths the tech guy goes in and sets an autopilot. Comes back to me and says that, for whatever reason, the draft has to be suspended before I can set an autopilot. The box of 'things I should have known before hand' is bursting at the seems.
- I spent way way way too much time in the draft room. I spend too much time on the computer at the best of times but this was nuts even by my standards.
- Long and short of it was that Sunday morning, fourth day in, we were in the 3rd round of a 29 round draft and I was ready to punt the whole thing, the headache was pounding already. If Hugo thought I was old going into this, he should see me know.
- Went away, book store shopping, lunch with a friend and general trying to get my mind off of fantasy baseball. When I came back, we are 11 rounds in. People have caught on to how the autopilot only works if the window stays open on the computer and/or are present in the room. The occasional time I went in and forced an auto pick on someone to keep things rolling but not all that often. Basically I had the autopilot pick my team (excuse number one for coming in last at this).
- 12 hours after we started the day in round 3, where was ready to quit anything involving baseball and/or computers and try Russian Roulette (no time limit rounds) , we had our last pick. Amazingly, the second last pick was Kevin Millar. Domefan, for whatever reason figures he is going to 'breakout' this year. He doesn't know they have creams for that now.
- Only one slight hiccup today, idiot league commissioner didn't realize he had to set something to make it so you had to use a player at each position, most notably catcher. So after a rather nasty argument, by which time the headache was dripping out of my ears, idiot commissioner decided that teams need catchers...or else you will lead the league in passed balls. Add one more thing to the this I should have known box: don't expect the rules to be preset to 'incredibly obvious'.
- I must say the people in the league, the 'team owners' have been incredibly patience through this draft process and seem like the best bunch of guys that I could ask to beat me at fantasy baseball. I don't want to get too serious about it all and it seems like most of them are willing to go along with that.
Anyway the draft is done, and if I didn't have this headache, I'd be drinking beer until my head felt, well, pretty much like it does now. Next fantasy post I'll put in a link so you can look at our teams and laugh at what a terrible job I did drafting.
If you would like to start your own headache CBSSports Fantasy Baseball Commissioner League: a) Learn from my mistakes. b) use the link below to get your league at half price. Honest, if you know more about fantasy baseball going in than I did, I'm sure you'd find it is a good system, tons of ways to customize to make it the way you want it.
The legal stuff (like you are going to read it):
CBSSports.com is an SB Nation partner and paying sponsor of the SB Nation baseball communities.
This post is one of a series of sponsor endorsed posts related to the CBSSports.com Fantasy Baseball Commissioner League.