One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is that fantasy baseball takes too much time. And while that's exactly why some people like it - the thrill of keeping up everyday with the constantly changing world of baseball - for some people it's a barrier to playing. That's one of the reasons I decided to try something new this year and start a fantasy baseball league that would require a minimal amount of time. Here's a Q&A explaining how this league, titled "Little Big League Fantasy," works.
Q: How many players are on a team?
A: Each team has a total of 8 roster spots: 5 starters and 3 bench warmers. In case of injuries, up to 3 disabled list (DL) slots may be used.
Q: Which positions are used?
A: Among the hitters, there are slots for 1 infielder, 1 outfielder, and 1 utility (any position). Among the pitchers, there is a slot for 1 starting pitcher and 1 relief pitcher.
Q: Which stats are kept?
A: The hitting stats are: runs (R), home runs (HR), runs batted in (RBI), stolen bases (SB), on-base percentage (OBP), and slugging percentage (SLG). The pitching stats are: wins (W), earned run average (ERA), strikeouts (K), and saves (S).
Q: Why are there more hitting stats than pitching stats?
A: The primary goal was to come up with a small game that was still fun. It just made sense that 3 hitters and 2 pitchers would be about as small as you could get and still have a fun game. So with 3 of the 5 starters being hitters, it makes sense that 6 of the 10 stats would be for hitting. The game is slightly weighted toward hitting, but pitching is still important.
Q: What's the scoring format?
A: It's head-to-head. Each week you compete against a different team. Your team's points and your opponent's points are added up at the end of the week. Whoever wins more categories get the "win" for the week. If both teams win the same number of categories, then the week ends in a tie.
Q: How often can you make roster changes?
A: Once a week. It's basically like fantasy football in that regard.
Q: So if one of my starters breaks his leg on Tuesday, I can't get him out of my lineup until the following Monday?
A: That's correct.
Q: That stinks.
A: Only if it happens to your team. If it happens to someone else's team, it's actually pretty funny. And besides, you're only supposed to be asking me questions.
On a serious note, I can see why some people would be frustrated with this rule of only changing rosters once a week. But this gets back to keeping the game small and simple. Rather than juggling a daily roster and constantly reacting to slumps and injuries, in this league you just set your roster once a week and that's it.
So that's the Little Big League Fantasy in a nutshell. There are still some openings in the league, so if you'd like to give it a try, feel free to email me. Being the first season, it will be a work in progress. But I think it will be fun.