Stuff on Fantasy Baseball, the Draft, and Idol
If you play any kind of online rotisserie or fantasy sports, you should be paying attention to the latest fuck-ups by MLB. Seems that MLB wants to get a piece of the financial pie that online services have been reaping for running fantasy baseball leagues, so they’re extorting money from these online sites to cover “licensing” of player names. See, the MLBPA gave up the rights to the players’ names in exchange for the toothless piss-in-a-cup policy, and the suits at MLB threatened every online site that sells or hosts fantasy leagues for profit with a lawsuit if they didn’t cough up roughly $1-3M (varies by site) for the rights to use the names of the ballplayers.
Only three major sites paid up: ESPN, CBS Sportsline, and Yahoo. That’s why you’re not seeing SI.com or excite.com or anyone running fantasy leagues like they used to. WhatIfSports.com (one of my admitted money drains) also refused to pay, so now when we search the database of historical players for our sim teams, we have BOS OF 1946 and SF OF 2001 instead of Ted Williams or Barry Bonds. It’s totally fucking ludicrous that the shitbrains at MLB don’t realize that fantasy sports HELP the bottom line of MLB by increasing interest in otherwise meaningless games (say, a September Tampa/KC game) and probably sell more than a few PPV Season Ticket packages.
In other words, ANY fantasy or rotisserie baseball league that uses ANY income-generating website is potential lawsuit fodder for the greedy fun-suckers at MLB. So if you’re using your blog to track MLB fantasy baseball and you use the players’ names and you have any affiliate deals or banner ads, you might be next on the litigation list. There is already a counter suit from CDM [details here], but it hasn’t been decided in the 15 months since it was filed. This is the equivalent of the NCAA coming out and claiming that they own all of the college basketball teams in the Tourney, and that anyone setting up an office pool owes them licensing fees. I hate Bud Selig and Donald Fehr.
Quick draft prediction:
Houston picks Bush. Ooooh, he got freebies from an agent. Isn’t he horrible? The funny thing is that I saw an article that said “Does this revelation hurt Bush’s draft status?” Oh, please. Like the NFL now has people checking character…
New Orleans picks Mario Williams. A couple of possibilities here for trade. The teams picking four through eight might be looking to move up, almost all for different people. The Niners have been talking up Vernon Davis at six [and he’ll be there], but really should be looking at Williams, Ferguson, or AJ Hawk, all of whom are likely to be gone by their pick. The Raiders are always capable of doing something incredibly stupid, like trading up to get Vince Young or Vernon Davis.
Tennessee picks Matt Leinart. All that shit about Vince Young is a smokescreen. Norm Chow coached him, Jeff Fisher is a USC alum. Leinart will be in Tennessee powder blue next year, assuming the Jets don’t trade up to take him.
This is the swing pick. The entire draft hinges here. If status quo reins, Ferguson goes here. Don’t be surprised to see the Jets fielding phone calls right here (or at least pretending to). If I were the Jets, I’d be telling the Raiders that I’ve been getting calls from Arizona and Detroit about moving up to take VY. If the Raiders package their 1st this year with someone/something else, they might move into this slot. They might also take Vernon Davis because their old fart QBs (Feely, Pennington) like throwing to the tight end. If the Jets move down, it’s to take Cutler, who won’t be as overrated as the 7th pick (and 3rd QB) or Davis. That’s where it’s a poker game.
Green Bay might also be ready to deal. If they don’t, they’ll probably take AJ Hawk. They should be looking at Chad Jackson, who’s a reach at 5, but would fit perfectly with Favre/Rodgers and the offense.
The Niners need Hawk and/or Ferguson. But they have too many gaps to fill, so they shouldn’t trade picks to move up. Worst case scenario, they take Vernon Davis and get a tight end who can’t block, essentially a faster version of Dwight Clark. Possible scenario, they take a DT like Ngata or Bunkley and have Bryant Young teach them the ropes. Best case scenario, the Jets take a QB (Cutler or VY) and Hawk/Ferguson drop to the Niners.
Interesting scenarios abound here. The Raidahs should hold their ground and wait for VY to drop to them, then trade back for more picks and let someone else (Arizona) deal with Wunderlich Boy. Aaron Brooks is signed for two years, Andrew Walter is waiting in the wings, they don’t need a QB. They’re better off taking a DB like Michael Huff.
After the top seven, all of the intrigue is gone, unless VY/Cutler freefall like Aaron Rodgers did last year.
- Ran my TPTK into a slowplayed overpair again. Oh well. Some of you might call it a “leak”. I just don’t give enough people credit for slowplaying.
- Bye-bye Pickler. I think she kept getting votes just because she’s the type of girl that guys could get drunk and bang in college, and then tell them that nothing happened.
- How wasted is Paula each week? I think her pharmacist keeps upping the dosage on her meds each week just for giggles. P.S. It’s working because I’m endlessly entertained by her almost frightening mood swings and crying jags.
- Final two are McPhee and Daughtry. You know it. I know it.