Pitchers and catchers have reported and the Razzball Commenter Leagues are open, 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 happy to be back for another season as your RCL tour guide. I love these things. Really, they play to my strengths and offer ample opportunity to test strategy 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 non stop 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. Even with the changes this season (IP vs. GS and a 500 move limit) I still think it will be 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. The move to FanTrax should make data collection much better which means it I will be even 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. Man that sounds mushy, 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. What’s wrong with you? 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, if you’re on the fence about joining an RCL, you really shouldn’t be sitting on fences, that sounds terribly uncomfortable. Hop down from there and just join a league already. I get it though, back in the late aughts, when I first started lurking around Razzball 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 2-3 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 never know who you might end up playing with.
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’ve played on FanTrax the past two seasons now and I can say, they blow everyone else out of the water. This year especially, it seems like they are going all in on making their site the best possible for hosting your league. If there’s something you don’t like or miss from another site, just let them know. FanTrax has been super responsive with feedback, so lay it on them and get it fixed. 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. Who knows, you might like it well enough to move all your leagues to FanTrax. One site to check sounds pretty amazing to me!
3) It’s a free league…what’s the point?
This was probably the most common complaint I saw in the comments and thanks to this year’s survey we now offer $10 and $20 leagues for you to join! You spoke, we listened, imagine that!
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 will always draft Kershaw 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 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 Crammy 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 peak 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.
TO JOIN A LEAGUE
Click the LINK in the ‘League Link’ column (see below grid) for the time you want and enter the League ID from the spreadsheet and password –> razzball. Password is always razzball — lower case. 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.
Want to be my Twitter pal? That’s kinda creepy, but you can follow me here: @MattTruss