Annual Disclosure Statement
An Op-Ed columnist in my local paper recently wrote a piece that she called her Annual Disclosure Statement. She said, “I have regular readers and new readers, but I can’t assume that everyone knows where I stand on the issues. Someone reading me for the first time might pass judgment on my work without knowing how I’ve formed my opinions over time. So once a year, I write a column that provides a summary of who I am so you can get to know what makes me tick.”
My first reaction was that her article would be a self-serving vanity piece, but I was wrong. As a new reader, I felt that it really helped provide perspective on her work.
It is important to me that you have similar perspective about my work, so I’ve decided to give this a shot. I’ve been writing about fantasy baseball analysis now for over three decades. Here is a summary of my core values:
- I’ve taken more statistics courses than I can remember, but I don’t like to rely on quantitative analysis in evaluating baseball performance. The human element has too much impact on a player’s numbers. I prefer to try and find logical, more accessible means of analysis.
- As such, my proclamation in the 1994 Baseball Forecaster – “Numbers are everything!” – has been pretty much disavowed. My mantra now is “Embrace imprecision!”
- I am a fantasy baseball purist. To me, the game is primarily an intellectual challenge. I do not play for any significant money. While that elevates the excitement level for many, I find it a distraction that takes away from the experience. I do not possess the gambling gene.
- I believe that the purest method for building a roster is the salary cap game. Each player’s market value is pre-set and owners need only agree or disagree. Giving owners the power to set their own values (in auctions) or rank players (in snake drafts) provides skewed results.
- That said, my favorite draft experience is the auction. I like having access to every player and adding the economic element to the process.
- I believe that every method currently in use for in-season free agent acquisition is flawed. There is a ridiculously easy solution that I’ve written about numerous times. Nobody seems interested enough to at least try it out.
- I think daily fantasy sports (DFS) are an exciting fantasy variant that requires a different skill set in order to excel. I think the manner in which cash winnings are tied to the core game completely bastardizes the experience. I stopped playing DFS in 2017 and enjoyed having my life back.
- Full season fantasy remains the greatest game. From my farewell column at BaseballHQ.com: “My carrot is the exhilaration that comes with creating a successful new strategy, nailing a breakout performer that nobody else saw coming and grinding out a tough victory. Winning should provide a massive sense of great accomplishment. Picking the right players on one night just doesn’t have the same pay-off for me.”
And, in response to some nasty rumors…
Despite leaving Baseball HQ in 2015 and moving to Florida in 2016, I am not retired and have no intention of retiring for a long time. I am still involved in the Baseball Forecaster and First Pitch conference events. I still compete in the national experts competitions. As long as ESPN, or other companies continue to want to pay me, I will continue to free-lance. Building this site, the BABS concept and anything that comes next continues to energize me. I have three book projects in the hopper that I hope to get to in the coming years. I am not going anywhere.