Posted on: February 5, 2010 3:11 pm
I remember how passionate most of you were about the changes we made to the standard Head to Head scoring system last season. Without further adieu, I'm going to point you to a column that Eric Mack wrote about the changes for this season. We took a lot of your feedback, even from this forum into consideration. Please don't hesitate to let me know your thoughts. You can check it out by clicking HERE .
Posted on: May 18, 2009 4:02 pm
Well I'm back from my honeymoon. I take it from the overwhelming response to my pre-honeymoon column that you'll all now be able to finally get some sleep and carry on with your lives knowing that I have returned safely and will now be resuming my blogging duties. For anyone who is interested, Wifi access was sporatic at best. Most hotels offer it, but at an exorbitant rate. Some cities actually had public free hotspots which was really nice, but I still had to tote my laptop to that public place and find a comfortable place to site for a few minutes. Internet cafes were fewer and further between than I had expected. So, between all of those options, I was able to check on my teams a few times...much to the dismay of my new wife. But we are still married, so 'no harm-no foul'.
So, I was looking back through the community and our customer support emails to see what I missed the last couple of weeks. It seems like some of you are continuing to harp on the scoring changes made to the Fantasy Baseball games. In these threads I've seen myself and some other CBSSports.com Fantasy Baseball writers get called out for not addressing these anymore. I am not ignoring these, I just think that we've beat that horse to death. You can continue to make your voice heard to your heart's content though. Just know that we will be reviewing the scoring system again at the end of the season and we'll make any changes that we deem necessary to ensure the most fair and most fun game possible.
Another issue that I keep hearing about is the amount of time that it can sometimes take for a player to hit the DL on our site. First of all, I'll let you know that in years past we've relied on an automated process. It involved a few moving parts and admittedly it probably wasn't as timely as it could have been. This year, in response to our customers, we've been trying to couple the automated process with someone who is actually "babysitting" it to make sure that players get updated in a more timely fashion. Again, it is not perfect but in my opinion has been vastly improved from years past. Plus we are working on a new automated process that should all but eliminate the issue. I know this is an area where we can improve and we are taking action to do so.
What is troublesome to me about some of the postings and emails I've seen is that some of our users don't realize that a player must actually be placed on the official MLB Disabled List before we can do anything about it. Anything else is just speculation. I saw more than a few people complaining about Carlos Delgado not being updated and they were time stamped well before he was actually put on the DL. We can't help it if the Mets are wavering about what to do with this guy. Anyway, I don't mind people ripping us when we are slow to get someone on the DL, but I can't help but get defensive when our hands are tied. For the record, once Delgado was placed on the DL, we had him updated quickly.
What else did I miss?
Posted on: April 10, 2009 3:51 pm
I thought I'd let you all about a slight change we made to the live scoreboards in Fantasy Baseball last night. Up until last night, the scoreboards would show you every scoring category(assuming it scores live) your league uses. So for instance, if your league used the scoring category 'Hits' and a player went 2-3 with a single, a double and an RBI, it would show 2-3, 2H, 2B, RBI. And if your league used the scoring category 'Singles (1B)', it would show 2-3, 1B, 2B, RBI. We always got complaints that showing the 'H' or the '1B' was redundant and confusing. If a player is 2-3 it is already known that he had 2 hits. And further, if a player is 2-3 and one of those hits is a Double (2B), then it is assumed that the other hit was a single. Basically, we removed 'H' and '1B' from the stat lines so now, the line described above will be displayed in the traditional way of 2-3, 2B, RBI. I hope this doesn't cause any confusion.
Posted on: April 9, 2009 12:33 pm
Edited on: April 9, 2009 12:54 pm
Man, it is good to know you guys are alive! When things are going great on our site, as they have been for just about the whole Fantasy Baseball preseason into the regular season, nobody says a word. It is too quiet around here. We start to wonder, "Are they having a good time?" Sure, some users will write in to tell us we're doing a great job. But for the most part, if you are satisfied, you don't tend to chime in.
Well, it seems you have an opinion about the changes we made to the scoring system in Fantasy Baseball head to head leagues. And for the record, they are not all bad. We have actually gotten a lot of good feedback from users who are glad that we "cleaned up" what was a system that was littered with inconsistencies.
I have seen a lot of speculation on both the message boards and from our awesome customer support team (Kay T, I am talking about you here) as to why we might have made the change. So, allow me to explain why we felt a change was needed.
So, let me speak to each of these a little bit.
Regarding #1, if you couldn't tell from the initial description, streaming pitchers is not good for a bunch of reasons, but basically, it isn't Fantasy Baseball. It just becomes a simple numbers game. There is no fun or even skill in that. Secondly, it creates a really poor experience for people who are new to Fantasy Baseball. We want more people playing Fantasy Baseball. More people playing means you are all able to find more leagues to join, the competition keeps getting better, and the trash talking bar keeps getting set higher. When new users would come in and see what went on with the streaming of pitchers, they got turned off immediately.
Regarding #2, I think this has to do more with the evolution of Fantasy Baseball than anything else. Without getting into too much history here, I'll just explain that Fantasy Baseball started off as Rotisserie Baseball. So, it was not originally setup for head to head play. As Fantasy Football became more and more popular, people wanted a way to apply that way of playing to Fantasy Baseball. There was a time when we had less than 25% of our leagues playing head to head Fantasy Baseball. In the last 7 or 8 years we've now seen that number rise to almost 50%. While some thought went into it at the time, the original head to head scoring system was just a way to apply points for pitching and hitting much like was done for Fantasy Football. It was flawed. And to be honest, I can't believe this site or any other sites hadn't done a better job of adjusting their scoring systems accordingly.
Since that time, head to head Fantasy has taken off in Baseball and more and more people were clamoring that the scoring system just wasn't fair. In more ways than just the pitching categories. So, Eric Mack (Sr. Fantasy Baseball writer), Corey Guerrera (Product Manager), Frank O (aka, The Man), and I sat down and did some real analysis to try and come up with the most balanced system. And that doesn't just mean balancing Batters and Pitchers, it means coming up with a proportionate balance. You don't start the same number of Pitchers and Batters. They don't get to earn points for your team the same amount of times per week. And the amount of damage that a Pitcher can do to a team is far worse than the amount of damage a Batter can do to a team...proportionally. That all needed to be thought about on a holistic level. What we came up with is what we put on the site. And that is not to say that it is right. I think we'll have to look at what happens this year and perhaps tweak it again for next season.
But in terms of creating a system that is a reflection for how a particular player performs, I think we did a pretty good job with that. We received a lot of complaints about C.C. Sabathia' s first start. There was nothing positive about that start. He couldn't get out of the 4th inning, gave up 8 hits, 5 walks, and 6 earned runs...he didn't even strike ONE batter out. In Roto, your team takes a beating for that performance. He put his own team into a big hole, why shouldn't that reflect in Fantasy? Besides, -17 points isn't that bad of a penalty considering most fantasy baseball teams will score somewhere between 225-275 points per week. It is proportionate. Even after a 3 day sample size, I challenge you guys to go into your leagues and go to STATS, select ALL BATTERS and look at the YTD Points, and then look at ALL PITCHERS and do the same thing. I think you'll find it to be a fair assesment of how each player has performed so far this year. And we'll see how the season progresses. Maybe we'll be wrong and we'll look back and say it was a mistake. If that is the case, we'll correct it.
This all leads me to my point #3 above which was that we wanted to be the destination for people who wanted to beat the best in terms of competition. The system we've devised will create that. No more streaming pitchers and no more batters who hit a bunch of home runs, but don't get penalized for striking out 200 times. People will actually have to think about who will best contribute to their team based on talent and skill. That's what Fantasy Baseball is supposed to be about.
For the record, here is the scoring system: