There was a time in the mid-2000’s where only some of my friends had found daily box score websites. This was when ESPN and Yahoo were the only fantasy platforms that I knew of that weren’t some dude’s excel spreadsheet. Yahoo had their own player updates that were separate from Rotoworld, and I think ESPN had their own blurb system? Rotoworld existed, but you had to look for it. I’m sure there were others (Rotowire, etc) but they existed [Vincent Price voice] BEHIND THE PAYWALL. As a younger person, I had more important things to spend my money on. Like ramen. Or a dozen eggs, most of which I over-fried and over-salted. Let me tell you, I smelled great those days. 

To be clear, I don’t want to go back to those halcyon days, and not only because of the funky scents. For every site, even the dying phoenix of Yahoo that seems like it’s on it’s last rebirth cycle, there are blurbs, and Research Assistants, and Match Up Ratings, and now there are Prop Bets too. It behooves you to figure out which update site serves you best, but it also serves you to figure out what tools your league mates are using. Do they use whatever blurb system defaulted to the league site? Do they read multiple sites? How do they have time to do that? Are they one of those tab hoarders that lifehack sites write about, and then they feel personally attacked, so they open ten more tabs out of spite?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s in the 40’s today in Chicago, which isn’t that surprising unless you’ve run out of conversation topics, at which point you get to put on your Actor’s Studio cap and conjure the last remaining bits of charisma left in your pandemic-addled psyche. Can Polar Vortices be mild? Can I have my climate change like most children enjoy their salsa? Hitters mostly suck in the cold weather, people. They suck. With all of the issues surrounding new balls with those high seams, and the Grim Reaper of baseball injuries touching players more than Oasis sang the word “Maybe,” everyone’s batting average is garbage juice. We’re talking a full .011 under league average. I’ve read some analysis that by the end of the year, we’ll be pretty close to the league average that usually sits around .250. I agree with this assessment.

This means you need to find some players who have depressed batting averages, dig into the numbers, and find guys who have been unlucky, check out their projections across several systems….or you can use Razzball’s Buysellatops tool and have more time to spend with your two large adult sons, perhaps having a catch in the backyard. Maybe you could have your family out on the back patio for a grill, where you hover over your Egg, while your large adult sons stare at their phones, and your partner frowns at the garden, muttering about idle hands.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I struggle to remember a world without alternate sites, and I miss the minors. Prospects really got crushed by the pandemic much harder than any recent pool of players. They were already being paid dirt, but to lose a year of development, or even a year of service time, is absolutely brutal. It’s like if the Beatles never went to Hamburg and tried to develop their talents in Liverpool instead with spotty gigs mostly attended by McCartney’s family. He seems like the kind of guy whose family is a little too supportive. Anyways, without Hamburg, the Beatles would have sucked. Without the minors, we don’t get to pick apart prospect blurbs that are absolutely sure that Prospect T. Neuplayer’s call-up is imminent. It never is, friends. Do you know what is imminent? Blurb injury curses!

I’ve introduced a section into this old series called “Hex Enduction Power,” where we will analyze injury blurbs that accidentally guarantee that a player goes on the IL. I’m talking something like this:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One day, someone working in development at Yahoo(!) woke up and decided that fantasy managers needed new ways to express mirth and/or derision at the players they “owned.” I can’t begin to fathom the reasoning behind giving people with usernames like Uggggghhhhh or 420YrMomm69 the ability to comment on a player’s page via phone. Here is a little snippet of Fernando Tatis’s “Discuss” section.

The Discuss function has everything Twitter offers, only it’s hidden from computer users. This guarantees a bizarre playground of awful takes, trade questions, and add/drop schadenfreude. My dark familiar Nick Solak’s Discuss is full of people cursing him out for producing useful fantasy production after dropping him for the likes of Luis Urias, while everyone else dunks on the droppers. The Luis Urias Discuss page is full of dynasty owners proclaiming him “already better than Tatis.” The Discuss pages for players are car crashes in two ways: It’s absolutely gross and awful, and you can’t look away from it. Will this give way to user-generated blurbs? Will become the Buzzfeed of fantasy update sites, letting college students create their most popular quizzes while paying them with email compliments? Probably.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello you beautiful readers of blurbs! We’re in the thick of it now, wave after delicious wave of player blurbs slamming into us from multiple sites. We’re the pier, baby, and we are loving every last frothy slap in the swimsuit area. Speaking of swimsuit areas, let’s get hot and heavy in the hizzy and talk bias, baby!

I thought it was important to you all recognize the part biases play in fantasy baseball, and it is NEVER as simple as, “Welp, I just like this player better than this other guy.” That’s an example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, a bias so powerful that it kills your curiosity about a subject because it feels better to be right than digging into data that proves you wrong. Any the how, I’ve listed types of biases and how they may appear in your fantasy baseball brain.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week has provided a windfall of blurbs, as we shake off the early season roster machinations and tilt, with steampunk goggles adorned, into the full gale force winds of early April player blurbs. The player you drafted in the 13th round is hitting sub-.200, so it’s definitely time to drop, right? According to some player blurbs, yes. Look, here’s a Rule 5 guy, and he already has 16 RBI+Runs, and has stolen 3 bases. Soon, you will see the words that are like lines of Pixie Stick dust to a room full of 10 year old boys:

“Small sample size…we know this level of production is unsustainable…BUT.”

This BUT is a large BUT. It is bigger than Butte, Montana. This BUT is bigger than all the Kardashian buttockses put together into a Mecha Kardassian. E! hasn’t pivoted to reality/kaiju/mech yet, but anything’s possible if you can simply remind Kris that she hasn’t entirely ruined her family’s mental health. Asides aside, do not give into the temptation of the BUT. You do not want to be the person dropping their 13th rounder for a 5th OF who might be a 4th OF in a best case scenario. Promise me you will stay true to your fantasy heart. I know it can be hard. My roto team is batting sub .200 so far. Sob. Promise me you’ll stay the course.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’ve all been here before. We check our phones because our notification are off, because we’re not narcs.* That sweet moment hits, as we click our team’s line up and the screen loads, that moment of potential, before the cruel pendulum of expectation either dashes our dreams or lifts our spirit to heights heretofore unknown. Which way will the pendulum swing? Once we step through the veil, we are in a world of crunchy, tangible numbers. It feels so damn good. We are transported to days of yore, sitting at the kitchen table while our dad reads the worst sections of the upstate New York paper we receive daily. We pore over box scores, not knowing why. The siren song of baseball statistics is so alien and atonal, yet so full of gravity and beautiful shiny outcomes. Why, even a gangling 7-year-old so bad at tee ball they gave him mercy hits could fall in love with those numbers!

Now we live with a stream of blurbs, for absolute better and for atrocious worse. My Saturday was beautiful, walking across a windswept beach, collecting the shells of the invasive Zebra Mussels, pausing to take a deep breath and saying to my kid, “I feel so lucky to be alive today,” and feeling my love radiate out into a world that finally saw and accepted me.

Just kidding, I doomscrolled the Ke’Brayan Hayes blurbs from 2pm-8pm while trying not to show my family that a blurb had crushed my very essence.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Imagine if you will a Sunday night. The day games have come and gone, and you lazily watch two teams battle under the drone of announcers and commercials. You go to your favorite non-Razzball fantasy site to read the instant analysis of your player’s 3-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI’s, 1 STL performance. You find the blurb, and read the following:

Hank Trucksworth III

Trucksworth had three hits in five chances, drove in four runs, and stole a base in the Twinkies win over the Clubs.

Analysis: Another great game from Trucksworth, although the steal is only his third all season. He remains a solid if uninspiring 4th or 5th OF in deep mixed leagues.

You read the blurb and feel good, though you drafted Trucksworth to be your 3rd OF, and the Caught Stealing stings. You also feel good knowing your leaguemates might read that same blurb, but not feel the White Light/White Heat dopamine blast you just experienced.

Then you read the next blurb.

Please, blog, may I have some more?