One early Spring day back in the late Eighties, when I was in a high school a close friend of mine got our group together to tell us about this new game. My friend was in the book store recently and had picked up a new book about this new baseball game for all of us to play. The game was called Rotisserie Baseball. All of us were like what the heck is Rotisserie Baseball? Now of course it’s referred to as Fantasy Baseball. My friend told us how the game was played and basically we were going to be GM’s of our own teams and how our teams continued on a year to year basis. It was an interesting concept so we played the game that year and many years beyond to say the least.
Fantasy Baseball and Sports have come a long way since that Spring day back in the late Eighties from my friends basement. In it’s early stages Rotisserie Baseball was a cult following. It’s not like today where information is everyone. Back then if you could find one or two good preview magazines with stats and one line of analysis you were lucky. In little over the last 25 years according to a Bloomberg.com article from January 2014, now 33.5 Million People in the country now play Fantasy Sports. That’s more than 10% percent of the country. But those figures may be very low according to an article written by John McDuling in Qz.com back in December 2014. In that article the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (Fantasy Sports has it’s own Association that’s how big it is now) states that more than 30 Million Americans play Fantasy Football alone and the spent estimated 11 Billion dollars in those efforts. Continue reading The Rise of Fantasy Baseball & Sports
The way I see the AL East which in recent times has been considered the best division in baseball, you have a lot of good teams but with major question marks. I am going to focus this article on the 4 contenders and not the Tampa Rays. I know the Rays have a solid starting pitching staff but they are in sell mode. The Rays I believe will be contenders in the AL East as soon as 2016. Let’s look at the other squads.
There is no sugar coating it, this has been a rough off season for the Orioles. Everyone knew that the O’s were going to lose Andrew Miller but it still hurts. Miller was a big weapon for Showalter in the second half of the season and the playoffs. But for the Orioles to lose both Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz is a big hit to their lineup. Manny Machado is coming back from knee surgery and Matt Wieters from Tommy John (not a guarantee he will be ready come the beginning of the season). Chris Davis and Ubaldo Jimenez are coming off rough 2014’s and can Steve Pearce really do it again in 2015? To me the last few years the Orioles have been a team that has been greater than the sum of it’s parts. That is going to be tested in 2015.
There is no doubt the Sox have a scary lineup come next season. Having said that they may have to win a lot of 9-8 games. I have a ton of question marks on Boston’s entire pitching staff. Continue reading AL East Contenders Question Marks
Today we look at the NL Central where each organization is at and what each team should be looking to do this winter. The cream of the crop of this division has been the St.Louis Cardinals the last 4 years. The last 4 years the Cards made it to the NLDS twice before their season ended and made it to the World Series twice winning the Fall Classic back in 2011. The Pirates are the team next in line in the division in terms of recent success making the playoffs the last two years as the home Wild Card team. The other teams have to catch up.
The Cubs have been going through a painful rebuilding program but the fruits of their labor are about to sprout. The Cubs lead by their big boss Theo Epstein who ended the championship drought in Boston is determined to do the same for the fans at Wrigley. The Cubs just hired Joe Maddon who is terrific manager and great with young players. Perfect fit for where the Cubs are at in terms of their development.
The Cubs have a lot of extremely talented young position players already on the main roster in Rizzo, Castro, Baez, Soler and Alcantara. The Cubs two best young position players have yet to make it to the big club in Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. Bryant appears to be ready for the Majors but the Cubs might want to wait until early June of 2015 because of his super 2 clock. Russell we probably won’t see until the summer time. The abundance of talent the Cubs have up the middle in Castro, Baez and Russell makes one of them expendable in a trade which will net a large return. Continue reading MLB Off Season Outlook NL Central