Web site puts the fan in fantasy baseball
ALUMNI | Fantasy baseball is, as its title implies, steeped in imagination. Ordinary fans pore over stats, trying like mad to assemble the most efficient collection of extraordinary players from their favorite, or sometimes least favorite, major league teams.
While this may seem like just a game—and an imaginary one at that—to the casual observer, to Jeremy Muratore and Evan Rosen, both 1999 UD graduates and creators of the Web site “Fantasy Baseball 101,” www.fantasybaseball101.com, it’s a way to make a little extra cash while having fun with friends they’ve known for years.
In fantasy baseball, players use a draft system to choose a roster of players from real-world teams. A typical head-to-head league has two teams playing each other for one week in varying statistical categories.
If the athletes on player A’s fantasy team get more home runs in the actual games they play during the week than those on player B’s team, then player A get a point. The same goes with the other statistical categories. Whoever has more points at the end of the week wins.
Part of the allure is the control regular fans can exhibit over worldwide stars, at least on their particular teams. Who wouldn’t relish the opportunity to bench Alex Rodriguez? But an even bigger perk in fantasy baseball is the fact that it helps friends from all over the world keep in touch.
“Playing with your friends and the four months of trash talking that culminates with the ultimate awarding of bragging rights is why I play the game,” says Muratore, who works as Fantasy Baseball 101’s marketing director.
While other fantasy sports rely on only simple participation, fantasy baseball demands a rigorous devotion from its participants.
“Fantasy baseball incorporates more strategy than the other games,” says Rosen, a labor lawyer. “It is a long season [from April to October], which means managers have to draft well; stay on top of position battles, injuries and trends; adapt to changing circumstances; trade well; and manage their roster appropriately.”
The Web site topped 25,000 visits in its first 45 days of operation this spring. It offers a number of helpful features for fantasy baseball users, including a trade mediator, a tip-of-the-week option and a team evaluator. Fantasy Baseball 101 recently became active on Twitter, and Rosen appeared on ESPN Radio, answering questions phoned in by fans.
He and Muratore aren’t the site’s only UD connections. Joseph Del Sole, EG ’99, helped with the initial launch and remains a key adviser, Drew Volturo, AS ’00, is a featured writer, and Ali Chin, BE ’10, works as a marketing intern.
Article by Adam Thomas