Pitchers and catchers reported yesterday and the Razzball Commenter Leagues are open for business!  It’s beginning to feel a lot like baseball!  I can’t wait to be half as productive at work and start losing countless hours of sleep staying up to watch the end of the Marlins@Padres game, just in case there is a closer injury.  Football was a fine diversion, but I always feel a little empty without baseball.  I’m very happy to be back for another season as your RCL tour guide  I love these zany leagues and it’s extra exciting to be returning as your overall champ, an accomplishment I wasn’t sure would ever happen given how everything has to break just right.  Last season was magical and I’m looking forward to defending my crown.

The RCLs are a different beast than most of your 12 team mixed leagues, so let’s go over a little of what you can expect and also why you should join.  If you’re on the fence about joining an RCL, you really shouldn’t be sitting on fences, that sounds terribly uncomfortable, but we’re here to help guide you in your decision-making.  So, grab an energy drink of your choice, and let’s get into things.

Once again, with feeling, I love these leagues.  It’s Valentine’s Day and what better reason than that to expound upon my love for these leagues?  I will be completely honest with you, these are my favorite leagues to play in. They play to my strengths and offer ample opportunity to test strategies and ideas.  Weekly lineups/moves have their place, I just don’t find them as fun.  The daily moves, the League Competitive Index competition, battling hundreds of other managers for the top of the overall standings, and of course, the nonstop action make this a unique and fun challenge.  It’s kind of like pounding a pot of coffee every hour, on the hour for six straight months.  It’s the fantasy baseball equivalent of snorting Red Bull.  I’m also a huge nerd for all the numbers and data that gets collected from running so many leagues under the Razzball umbrella.  Once again, we are partnering with FanTrax because FanTrax makes data collection much easier which means it’s easier to share these numbers with you along the way and try to glean some info from all that data.  In order to make the data pool even larger though, we need you, and you, and you too.  You see, what makes RCLs great is all of you.  That sounds very sappy, but it’s true.  In an ideal world, every Razzball reader would head on over to the RCL sign-ups, pick a league and all would be right with the world.  It’s funny to see how many frequent commenters have never played an RCL.  Why is that?  I was there once upon a time, so for those of you that aren’t so eager, let’s sit down and chat it out.

First of all, I get it, I was you once.  Back in the late aughts, when I first started lurking around Razzball (yes, I am a dinosaur) I too was reluctant to join an RCL.  I kick myself now for not joining in the fun sooner.  I’ll give you the reasons I was staying away and then explain why it was complete bunk.  Maybe I can sway another 2 or 3 of you to come join the masses.  If you have other reasons for keeping away, by all means, lay them on me in the comments.  I love talking RCLs and if we can be doing something better, I’ll be your voice to the big wigs.  So, here we go:

1) I don’t know anyone in these leagues, that’s no fun.

Well, this one is only sort of true.  Sure you don’t know anyone, but I’m sure you’ve at least seen one or two in the comments.  While you may not know anyone in the league to start, I’ve found that Razzball attracts some real grade A folks.  I e-mail and text regularly with managers I’ve played in RCLs with over the years.  I’ve “met” poets, professors, and even a fella that worked for the SEC.  Mostly, everyone here at Razzball is a good egg and if you put a little time into the league message boards, you may be surprised at what you’ll find.  Plus, the Razzball writers are sprinkled through these leagues as well, you can head to the spreadsheet and pick out your favorite writer to play with.  If your home league has folded sometime over the past few seasons, why not replace it with an RCL?  Make some new online friends while you’re at it.

2) I’ve never played on FanTrax and don’t like trying new things.

My number one reason for not joining an RCL back in the day was ESPN.  Once I gave it a try though, it wasn’t that terrible.  I know many of you don’t love the FanTrax platform, but I maintain it’s better than ESPN and light-years beyond CBS.  All these sites have their warts, but the benefit of FanTrax is the ease of exporting that sweet, sweet data to create the Razzball standings.  If you have some serious gripes about FanTrax, let me know and I will pass it along to them.  They are open to new ideas.  I promise it won’t get lost to the feedback abyss like it did on ESPN or get stuck in the voting/message board style/take two years to make a change feedback system Yahoo! Implements…and I don’t think FanTrax will randomly delete the message board…come on, Yahoo!  What are we even doing here.

3) It’s a free league…what’s the point?

This was a common complaint.  Now, we offer $10 and $20 leagues for you to join!  You spoke, we listened, imagine that!  Sign up fast though, paid league spots are limited.

4) Why would I want to play in a league with 11 Grey clones? 

This one couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Trust me, someone will always draft Corbin Burnes in the first round…always.  Despite the fact that (almost) everyone in the leagues reads Razzball, not everyone follows every suggestion to a “T”.  To be perfectly honest, there’s a lot of value in zigging when others are zagging in these drafts and you can use that to your advantage.  Finally, (and I know, this one is hard to believe, but it’s true) there are actually folks that join these leagues that think they are smarter than Grey!  These people will draft according to their own philosophy and play the game the way they want to play it.  In short, this really shouldn’t be the reason you don’t join an RCL league.

5) Why not just stick to dominating my home league every year?

Sure, you could do that, be the biggest fish in your little pond.  OR, you could see how you stack up against like-minded competition.  You’ve seen the commenters dishing out advice, maybe find out if their advice is worth a darn by joining a league with them.  Maybe you’ll find out your instincts are amazing and you really are as good as you think you are.  Then you won’t need to ask in the comments for advice on which of your 3 catchers you should drop.  Or, maybe you’ll find you can improve your game even more and beat Suzy Secretary in your office league by 40 roto points.  You’ll never know unless you try.

Those were my biggest reasons for not joining, but now I see how silly they were.  So, now you have the WHY you should join.  Next week we’ll go over what to do once you’re in there.  As a sneak peek into what it takes to challenge for a top spot in these leagues, go ahead and kiss your spouse and family members goodbye now.  You’ll see them again in October.

If you’ve made it this far you’re either my mom (Hi Mom!) or as big an RCL nerd as I am.  Either way, I think we’ll be friends this season and I’m really looking forward to providing your RCL content.

A final note to league members out there, as your draft date approaches, check to see that your league is filled.  If it’s not, post the league info in the comments section and we’ll try to help you out and get it filled.  Usually, a quick Tweet will get the spot filled in no time.  We’ll try to stay on top of things, but it’s hard to follow all the joining/removing of teams.


Click the LINK in the ‘League Link’ column (see below grid) for the time you want and voila, you’re in.  If you’re not signed up at Fantrax, you need to do that too (it’s free).  Damn, that’s too easy.  Oh, I guess I should also mention make sure you’re joining a league for free or for money, depending on your preference.  That’s it!  You can join as many leagues as you like.  If you accidentally join a league, you can quit a league by going to OTHER –> All Options –> Quit League (located at the bottom).  Now go join some leagues!

Want to be my Twitter pal?  That’s kinda creepy, but you can follow me here: @MattTruss