Friday, January 18, 2013

Buddy Banter - January 7, 2013

I'm lucky I live within walking distance of a bar where I enjoy seeing live music. I follow The Soda Bar on Facebook and Twitter and when they announced a set of free Monday shows, I was intrigued. I instantly was curious about the opening band on a Monday night, called Buddy Banter. On YouTube, I'd watched a video of them playing a cover of the Pixies' "Broken Face" and I was even more interested. I went to see them, and they were way better than I expected. And I would see them any chance I could in the future to be honest. And you should too! This is Buddy Banter's Facebook page. Check it out!

Right away, I noticed that the drummer, who is the lead singer, has a big stage presence. He is at once a ham, the host who encourages the audience to get into the songs, and the driving force of the band.

So, what is the "re-started" Jeremiad trying to do. Be a review site for bands I've seen live? Be a marketing tool? Just basically a compilation of the live shows I've seen? A place to show off very amateurish photos and movies of the bands that I've seen live? Well...why not all of these things?

Wouldn't you rather actually listen to Buddy Banter rather than read what I have to write about it? Exactly. So, I won't post much more because, really, who wants to read that much more. After all, listening/watching their YouTube videos is how I became interested in them. I can't promise I'll be able to take movies at each show I go to, either because of time constraints or if I'm not near the stage, but I'll try.

This was the song that the band opened with. I'll let the drummer introduce this song. I love his introduction.

And this is Buddy Banter's cover of the Pixies' "Broken Face" from that night. "Broken Face" actually starts at 1:45 in the video.
I hope you like them as much as I do and as much as I liked taking pictures and movies of them..."without consent" as the band has said of them!














Thursday, January 17, 2013

A new year, a new idea

So, I'd started, quite a while back, on a re-start for this Jeremiad blog to be simply a live music blog. And that was fine, but I was trying to recap several years worth of shows and it became tedious and time consuming and not very fun. So, since 2013 is upon us now, I'm thinking I'll attempt ANOTHER re-start and hit the ground running with just the most current shows that I've been to and going forward.

Let's get at it!

Monday, August 01, 2011

September 27, 2008 - Big Jay McNeely

Now this is a fun one. I live off of a busy street in San Diego and twice a year there is a street fair outside of my apartment. This show was one of those times. Usually I like to walk around and there are many musicians playing to watch.

Well, I was innocently strolling by this one stage and a booming saxophone and voice were coming out and I had to stop to look. I asked one person who it was and the guy looked incredulously at me, and with shock said, "It's Big Jay McNeely! He's a legend!"


Apparently this would be my education into Big Jay McNeely. The man was 81 years old at the time, and he had an incredible amount of energy for anyone at any age. Only he could get away with addressing the crowd as "children". When he wanted to get the crowd's attention, which wasn't hard to do, he'd shout out, "Now, children!" And everyone would shout back at him.

That would be fine and entertaining, but the man also happened to be a fantastic saxophonist. At some points, he'd even lay down on the stage and play!

Reading about him later, that is how he became well known - for acts on stage like that. Going out in the crowd with his saxophone, or crawling on the stage playing, things like that. So, the man knows how to entertain, and I didn't want to leave until I knew it was certain that he'd left the stage; I liked watching him that much.

Not only that, but the band was great too. I am attaching two movies that I took of Big Jay and his band that night. The first is a quick introduction to Big Jay.

The second video is one where Big Jay addresses the crowd, "Now, children!" and gives a speech and then goes into a rip roaring song. Really great stuff.


Friday, July 29, 2011

August 22, 2008 - Black Francis

My picture taking skills still had much to be desired as did the frequency of shows I'd been going to at this point. However, when I got word that Black Francis was going to be in Del Mar, CA, about 15 miles up the road from where I live in San Diego, I obviously had to go.

The interesting thing with Black Francis is, even though the guy spends at the very least 200 days on the road per year playing live, and over 10 times seeing him live either solo or with the Pixies, never once have I been disappointed...except for this show.

Sloppy might be one word to describe this show. And describing him in a fairly drunken stupor might be another way too.

Of course, he did play quite a few songs from his most recent album, at the time, called "Bluefinger". This album probably is his weakest of his entire solo career which spans almost 20 albums now. I felt that way at the time, and still do three years later looking back. He played no Pixies songs either which was surprising because he has always played Pixies songs in his solo shows. It certainly put another damper on the show as well.

It is interesting how clearly I remember this show. I think a lot of it has to do with being so disappointed with how he played. After all, the Pixies are my second favorite band of all-time behind The Beatles, so naturally, I built up this show with high expectations.


I suppose I can't be too disappointed though. Since this show, I have seen him four times. Once by himself, two times with the Pixies and one other time with the band, Grand Duchy, which is a band he and his wife put together.

I will hopefully document all three of these shows as I progress in this blog. All four of those shows were fantastic though which makes me even more puzzled about this show in particular. Not only that, the show that I saw with just him was one of the top five live performances I have ever seen. I'd love to talk about that show more, but I want to be faithful to the order that I've started with. And I don't want to talk about that show at the expense of this one!


That said, it is safe to say that this show was an anomaly. For one, it was a free show in that I paid no money to see him on this day. I don't know how much he got to play, but it may not have been much. Not only that, but he may have been required to play it from a record company or something. Point is, you never know the circumstances leading up to a show and if he really didn't want to play it or was in a bad mood.

I will say though that I met people later that were at the same show, and they said that he was drinking a lot backstage before the show. I know that means little, but I still wonder if it played a part in his sloppy performance and lack of passion through it. Of course, playing the same songs over and over with a lot of feeling every time has got to be difficult to do.

I think the album that he played most of at this show was also an anomaly. Like I said before, it is my least favorite album of his. In fairness to him, this was around the time where there were rumors that the Pixies might start recording their first album in 15 years.
The songs on this album really sound like he was trying to write songs for a Pixies album which never happened. That can be explained many ways in that maybe he was out of his comfort zone, or this was a contrived album as opposed to happening organically, the way he normally makes an album. Maybe he felt pressured to try to convince his bandmates in the Pixies to record songs. Who knows. I do know though that this was a forgettable performance from an otherwise trailblazing and important musician who almost always plays spirited live shows.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bob Mould - March 24, 2008

It took me a while to go to my second live show from my first one. Over four months in fact. Still, I'd liked Bob Mould a lot from his band Husker Du and some of his solo stuff too. He is kind of like a precursor to the Pixies. So, when I saw he was appearing, I wanted to go.

At this time, I was still trying to figure out how to take pictures with my point and shoot camera. Not only that, I was still figuring out venues in San Diego that had live music. So, because of this, two things happened that weren't great at this show for me. One...my pictures came out awful. Two...I arrived late to the show where Bob Mould was appearing, so I was sandwiched in with about 500 other people, very far from the stage. Personally, when I go to a show, I like to arrive early in hopes of getting a prime spot. That didn't happen here.

I promise, as this blog goes on, and comes to the current time, my pictures will get (marginally) better and I'll get closer shots. Maybe not great shots, but closer.
Ok, enough of my continuing introduction with this revamped blog. In any case, about the show. I liked that he brought a full backing band with him. However, the problem is, I don't know a ton of Bob Mould's music...I just know I like him. So, I didn't know very many of the songs...or really any actually. I really like to know a bunch of songs of the person/band I'm going to see, so that tempered the enjoyment somewhat. But, it was still fun, and good to see him. He had a lot of energy and sang with a lot of force. He sounded good and his band did as well. But I'd definitely like to see him again, now that I know my camera a bit better and would plan better this time around.

Black Francis - October 23, 2007

Black Francis - October 23, 2007
This show was my first show after moving back to San Diego, and it was a great one. First of all, Black Francis is one of my favorite musicians ever, after playing with the Pixies and having a long solo career as well. Secondly, this was at a fantastic venue called the Belly Up Tavern.

The show was fashioned as a VH1 Storytellers-type thing where he would play a song or two and then be asked a few questions, and then play another song or two. There were no guarantees what the questions were going to be about going in, or what he planned on playing.

One issue about this show was that it was difficult to get into a flow for the audience and, I think, for the performer. It was hard to shift from interview mode and then seeing a performer play music. I can only imagine that it must have been difficult for Black Francis to do this. The questions, I recall, were not very good as they weren't very interesting or about his career much. The generic "how do you write a song" question and the "what does this song remind you of"...a song was played over the speakers, and it wasn't even one of his - it was a Beatles song. It just struck me as odd and it wasn't very engaging.

Another issue is, well, and it is hard to put this lightly...Black Francis is a strange man. He is kind of ill at ease when interviewed, and because of that, there were a lot of stilted and incomplete answers. I think he tried to be witty, and it sometimes worked, but it sometimes was quite awkward. The other downside of all of this is that he didn't get an opportunity to play a whole lot of songs. I don't recall the entire set list, but I do remember that he played the Pixies' "Wave of Mutilation".

Ultimately, while it is always wonderful to see Black Francis...or Frank Black...or whatever name he is
going by, it is much, much better to simply let him plug in his guitar and play. Count that as a bit of foreshadowing to a show where I saw him do just that for an hour and a half straight. Still, this show was wonderful and it is always a treat to see him live.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Live Shows in San Diego

Going to live shows in San Diego has become a big hobby of mine, as thankfully, there are many great bands who come to this great city. Not only that, many great bands come for little money at clubs that are easy to get up front and close with a fantastic view. Through this accessibility, I've grown tired of massive, crowded, overpriced arena shows and would only go to those if one of my all-time favorite bands were performing.

I'm not sure what has motivated me to try this. I guess it is sort of like movies to me. Many people have blogs about movies that they've seen, and their reactions about them. I'd like to make one about the bands I've seen and my reactions after I've seen them. Hopefully that makes a bit of sense.

This picture is from the very first show that I saw in San Diego, in 2007. The Pixies lead singer, Black Francis...or Frank Black...came to San Diego for an intimate show. The Pixies are one of my favorite band, if not my most favorite, so maybe this played a hand in my loving live music.

So, what my point is here is that because this blog is so vastly underused, I might try to start using it as a vehicle to post about the live shows that I go see. Granted, I don't see a ton of bands, but it might be enough to make this blog worthwhile for the first time. To who? Well...don't make me answer that. More than likely, to no one. However, I'll take a stab at it and see what happens. What is the worst that could happen?

Monday, April 04, 2011

Is Edgar Martinez a Baseball Hall of Famer?

Martinez is the center of an eternal baseball debate: should a player who was principally a designated hitter be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Edgar Martinez became eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010. He received 36.2% of the vote, which, to me, is pretty much a sham. There are several arguments for Martinez' candidacy, and objectively, not a ton of arguments against it. While Martinez is largely the first truly legitimate player with Hall of Fame credentials to mostly play DH in his career, one could point to Paul Molitor, a Hall of Famer, who played more games at designated hitter than at any other position. Still, Martinez is the first player to be considered worthy of the Hall of Fame who largely played DH for the majority of his career.

Let's tackle this thorny designated hitter issue right up front. I see the lack of playing time in the field argument, it makes sense. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold that much weight. If Martinez had played in the 1960's (or basically anytime before 1973 when the designated hitter rule was installed in the American League, or anytime in the National League), he would have played the field because he had to, and a team would never have been able to keep his bat out of the lineup. There are surely a lot of poor fielders in the Hall of Fame. Being a good fielder has never been a requirement to induction. Not only that, but let us remember: the designated hitter position is a legitimate rule. You may agree or disagree with it (I disagree vehemently), but the fact remains, there is a DH spot in every American League manager's lineup card. So, let's establish an uneasy truce and deal with it. I've learned to, and you must as well.

And by the way, Martinez did field. He came up as a third baseman and played 564 games there in his career. In his first three full major league seasons, he played about 99% of his games at third base. He showed an increase of power through these three years while hitting above .300 in each season. However, after his third season, in 1992, when he won the AL batting title with a .343 average, he battled injuries. He played in only 131 games in 1993 and 1994.

All of a sudden, in the 1995 season, he was 32 years old and coming off two injury filled seasons. So, the Mariners made him a full time DH. And what do you know? He hit .356/.479/.628 with 52 doubles, 29 homers, 121 runs scored, 111 RBIs. That .479 on-base percentage is the second-best in the American League in the last 40 years (behind only Frank Thomas’ 1994 season). Over the next five years, Martinez never hit worse than .322, never had a lower on-base percentage than .423, never slugged lower than .554.


So, let's go back to Martinez not playing the field after his third full major league season. Yes, in the 1960's, for example, he would have had to play the field since there was no DH and his team would want his bat in the lineup at all times. But at the same time, if he played the field extensively, there is a chance that he would have continued to get injured like he did in 1993 and 1994 and never would have put up so many fantastic seasons which then led to this piece.

Thought provoking, yes. But it is also futile too. Because, much like the debate that the DH shouldn't exist...it does. And while someone may want to argue that Martinez, had he stayed at third base or moved to first base full time, wouldn't have put up as many great years, that didn't happen. What DID happen is that the DH is completely legal, there is more support for it than there is against it, and Edgar Martinez *did* play full time at DH over his career and established the model for the full-time DH. So, i guess, the argument can keep being what should have happened in people's hypotheticals, or it can be what actually happened.

It is funny to me that Major League Baseball fully embraces the DH in the American League, and always has. So, it seems to me, the writers who are paid to report on MLB, of which some can vote for the Hall of Fame, should accept the rules of the sport. Whether they make sense or not is for editorials. And even if the DH doesn't make sense, it isn't Edgar Martinez' fault.

So, with that, let us analyze what actually happened, and what Martinez actually did in his career. Martinez is one of only 16 players in Major League history with an on-base percentage higher than .400 and a slugging percentage higher than .500 while also having a minimum of 5,000 career plate appearances. He’s one of only 13 to also hit better than .300. Throw in his 300 homers, his 500 doubles … the names are suddenly: Ruth, Gehrig, Hornsby, Williams, Musial, Bonds and Martinez. So yeah, there's that.

Fine, so he didn't stick around forever to get his 3,000 hits or 500 homers. Part of that was the injuries he dealt with. He was also already 27 years old in his first full major league season. However, objectively, Martinez had nine seasons that are Hall of Fame worthy. A seven time All-Star, he won two batting titles (1992 and 1995), won five Silver Slugger awards and led the American League in on base percentage three times (1995, 1998, 1999). His career .418 on base percentage is 22nd all-time.

Martinez simply thrived in the era that he played and was one of the most feared hitters in that era. Shouldn't that be more than enough?

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Thank you to these websites which not only helped me write this waste of bandwidth, they inspired me to poke deeper and realize, once again, how truly great a hitter Edgar Martinez was:

Edgar Martinez' Baseball Reference page

Carnage and Culture blog - This piece, by Sports Illustrated writer Joe Posnanski, was really well written and worth a read as it isn't just about Martinez, but several great players recently up for Hall of Fame induction.

*This is assuming, very wrongly, that the Baseball Hall of Fame actually makes correct decisions once in a while. 

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Blood, baby, blood!

In the past several months, I have become a lot more active. It started by buying a bicycle and riding that. Then, to be better at riding, I started going to a gym to take cycling classes and that has helped tremendously. Still, I find that I get winded very easily. Yes, I am out of shape, but I think it goes deeper than that.

It could be explained right away, 'oh, you're just out of shape, that is why you get winded easily. You will be able to go longer and faster if you keep it at.' While this isn't untrue, I do not think that it is entirely accurate. For several years, I was quite sedentary which helped lead to the downfall of an important relationship in my life with my partner at the time. She was much more active than I and for reasons unexplainable to me, even now, I didn't really take part for some reason. I moved back to San Diego, and over the past month or so, I have been exercising much more strenuously.

I find that while I am fairly thin overall, my cardiovascular health is quite poor. I do get winded quite easily, and I wonder if the answer is more complicated than just being out of shape. Meaning, the heart is a muscle, and I did not exercise it for several years. Like anything, such as a foot or arm, or something like that, if you don't exercise it, it will atrophy. I think this is what happened to my heart, but maybe it is all related and I am looking too far into it. Maybe being out of shape, is because I was sedentary and let my heart languish. Whatever the answer is, it is interesting how far I realize I must go to improve my lung capacity. It is a work in progress, but slow but sure, hopefully I can make some headway and help my heart work harder and faster and for longer...longer when I am exercising, and hopefully longer for my life too.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Review on Healthy Fellow Blog

Reading the Healthy Fellow blog, the first thing that I noticed was that the blog attempts to appeal to many different people's needs at once, which is an admirable thing. Topics as far ranging as what to eat to prevent breast cancer, to holistic brain care to eating different foods of different colors to ensure your health are covered in this blog.

You won't find long, rambling articles that aren't interesting. These articles are well written and quick to point out different arguments to help prove their point. In addition to that, each article supplies footnotes and reference points to back up their theories. Moreover, the author also tries the very things that they are writing about. For example, in the entry about Sacha Inchi, a type of South American almonds, the author ate the almonds and then reviewed them. That kind of attentive writing must be valued, especially when eating and living healthy has become so important to so many people. The Healthy Fellow blog is a very worthwhile read for various nutritional information.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why Is an Active League a Good Thing?

This seems like a pretty simple question, right? To me this sounds like, why is crossing the road when there are no cars coming smart? However, you would be surprised by the amount of people who cross the road in traffic, fantasy baseball speaking that is. What I mean by that is, the amount of people that I’ve known who continually go back to public leagues on assorted websites throughout the Internet, even though they consistently disappoint them is astounding. Why am I so outraged? Because I was one of these people as well for a long while.

Oh the allure of these websites and leagues is plentiful. For many, a draft, even an Internet draft with no one around you is exciting. Or the prospect of having a team in a league with a different scoring system than your main league is interesting and you can try different theories. However, when May rolls around and half the league is still participating, and then June when a quarter of the league is actually responding to trade offers but only one other person is posting on the league message board, sooner or later you realize it is a waste of your time. In that vein, Baseball Instinct wants to show you another way. Do not suffer through another unfulfilling fantasy baseball season! Make this season, the season that you try another website, another style of league, but one that actually proves to you that it is worth your time. What about a league with a rookie draft and the power to bolster your franchise’s farm system throughout the whole season? Or a league that is twelve months of the year of constant activity?

So now you are thinking, prove it to me. Here is the thing. Maybe you have been in auction leagues before, or are currently in one now, and it is your main league. Well, that’s great. Baseball Instinct isn’t trying to change that. Maybe you’ve never been in an auction league with salaries before, but are curious. Either way, we are just asking you to try something new, rather than the cookie-cutter websites that you are used to. Why? It is my firm belief after participating in a league with Baseball Instinct’s unique brand of points head-to-head scoring for several years, that one you not only go through a season with this style of scoring, but BI’s unique scheduling system with two games per week, every week, and then head to the offseason where you will then deal with player contracts of all types and arbitration, you won’t want any other way of playing fantasy baseball.

How am I so convinced of this you ask? Well, for one, you are reading this. That alone tells me that not only are you a fantasy baseball fan, but you’re a fantasy baseball fan of a higher order. You could have just gone to one of the massive websites and signed up for another public league. One of the many websites that couldn’t care less about your team and your experience with them, and halfway through the season in that public league, encounter the same thing that you dealt with last season that I described above. But you are reading Baseball Instinct and maybe you’re intrigued about the keeper leagues that they are promoting and you want to know more. That shows that you are ready to take your hobby to the next level. You’ve outgrown impersonal public leagues that aren’t active, and now, you want a committed, stable league where there are many different options at hand and where you know the website will care for the league. And who knows, maybe you’ll meet some good people in the process.

Now to the meat and potatoes since you have come this far. I spoke of BI’s unique scheduling system. Two games per week, rather than the customary one. I don’t know about you, but seven whole days is a long time for me to wait to get a resolution with a game my squad is playing in a head-to-head league. With a BI keeper league, games last from Monday to Thursday, and then a new game starts from Friday to Sunday. This means that there is more interaction with your team in terms of figuring out lineups and fine tuning it to see what works best. And if you are like me, you will start tinkering with possible trades to change your team’s makeup as the season goes along. The schedule alone fosters more activity from owners which then leads to a great attention to one’s team which invariably always leads to trade negotiations. However, with Baseball Instinct the stakes are raised.

You might be skeptical about actually paying money to be in a public league. However, you know the saying, “you get what you pay for”? Truer words have never been spoken…especially in regards to Baseball Instinct’s keeper leagues. For one, a member of the BI staff is personally going to be commissioner of your public league, meaning the website is personally invested in your league’s success and will take great care of bringing enjoyment to everyone in the league by answering questions clearly to help any work through any problems or debates that might arise.

Or how about the saying, “what you put into something, is what you get out of it”? Well, with Baseball Instinct’s keeper leagues, the money you pay, and the time you put into the league will be well spent. You could endlessly analyze a BI league from player salaries, to who you envision you might offer a contract to at the end of the season, to trading possibilities, to your minor league squad, to keeping an eye on your payroll so that you might be able to put in a bid for a player on the waiver wire, and to your next game. Baseball Instinct keeper leagues are not for the faint of heart and are for those who are passionate about fantasy baseball which is why you are here. Likeminded people just like you are also here and for the long haul. Not people who will wither away immediately after a public league draft. A BI league is 14 teams strong with a BI staff member meticulously looking over the league to make sure there are no inactive teams. You won’t stand for it, and neither will they. So the only question remaining is, are you ready for the most active, most intense fantasy baseball league that you’ve ever encountered?

Published on BaseballInstinct.com on February 26, 2009.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is a Baseball Instinct Keeper League Too Much to Handle?

As a precursor to this piece, I should stress that this is for those in the crowd who may not consider themselves the most experienced of fantasy baseball players. Or maybe those who have a busy lives and don’t think that they can handle another fantasy baseball league. You may have stumbled across Baseball Instinct from a Google search for “fantasy baseball” for instance. Or maybe you found us on facebook. However you found this website, we are happy to greet you. Maybe you have looked around the website and are thinking that maybe this is a bit too in-depth for you. Or maybe this is the first article you have taken the time to look at and are simply curious as to what Baseball Instinct offers that is unique and different from the rest. Whatever your situation is, we know that your time is valuable and that a Baseball Instinct keeper league will do nothing but enhance your interest in baseball and give you more immersion than you ever thought possible. But is that too much, you might be asking?

While I will be the first to say BI’s keeper leagues are a twelve month proposition and there is a lot to running a franchise, you don’t have to be by your computer 24 hours per day to manage your franchise. In fact, pretty soon after the season starts, you will get a grasp on the team that you have been assigned from Baseball Instinct and where you’ll want to improve. In fact, let me take a step back. You’re thinking to yourself: player salaries, contracts and minor leagues? I don’t have time for all of this! Well, signing up to a Baseball Instinct keeper league right now lets you skip past the auction part which can admittedly a lot to handle for someone who may not be used to it. If you sign up for a franchise in a BI keeper league, you will be assigned to a team at random, and you can skip right past trying to prepare for an auction, and instead, you can start getting a handle on the rules and other aspects of the league to prepare for the season. During the season, while BI keeper leagues certainly have many unique aspects, and it is in-depth, by the time a season ends, you’ll be wondering when you can sign up for another season with the franchise that you worked so hard to develop. By that time, you will be ready to go for an auction and will know a lot of what you need in terms of preparing for it and how to value players.

So you’re saying you have a busy job, a busy home life and a lot of obligations and can’t spend all day on the computer. Well, BI keeper leagues are great for you too. Think of it: there will be 13 other franchises besides yours in your keeper league. Will all 13 of those other people have all day to spend in front of the computer? Most likely not. And as the season gets underway, there is only so much that can be done in managing your team. Oh sure, there are players that are released and you’ll need to judge if they can fit in with your team and under your payroll, or if there is a minor leaguer that you’d like to sign, but much of your time will be looking at your pitching rotation and lineup and your upcoming schedule. You will also be looking at trade possibilities too and how you can better your team. But there is nothing in BI’s unique brand of keeper leagues that will force you to be at your computer every night for four hours. Or even one. You know baseball and you like watching games. That’s all you’ll need - your enthusiasm and your interest.

Yeah, but what about this twelve month per year aspect that BI is touting? Well, there is a lot to fit into 12 months, but everything is staged at different times, and it is never forced upon you with short notice. For example, there will be a minor league draft in the offseason as well as Baseball Instinct’s own brand of player arbitration. These things will not occur at the same time, and in fact, both of these events will take place over an extended time so that there will be a lot of time to do other things in your real life and also easily keep track of your BI franchise.

The point of all of this is that we know that you love baseball and fantasy baseball. We have real lives too chock full with families and jobs and can’t spend all day doing fantasy baseball either, as much as we’d like to. We are simply here to synthesize information for you quickly and in one place, in addition to bringing to you the most unique, most interesting and immersive fantasy baseball leagues on the web. Why go anywhere else? Are BI keeper leagues too much to handle? They won’t be enough for you and you’ll be wanting more soon enough!

Published on BaseballInstinct.com on February 24, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Baseball Instinct Keeper Leagues

Baseball Instinct is offering a truly dynamic experience that you won’t find anywhere else on the web. The opportunity to be part of your very own keeper league is here, thanks to Baseball Instinct. This is not just any league that is one season and done. It is also not something mass produced by another gigantic website where half of the league owners stop checking the site two weeks into the season. Baseball Instinct is establishing keeper leagues where a person who may not have a bunch of reliable friends to form their own league, can sign up and be in a league where they truly are the general manager of a franchise keeping track of farm players as well as grizzled MLB veteran players. Do you trade a prized rookie for a difference making star to win the league this year and go for broke, or do you concentrate on forming a dynasty? Many decisions will be at a keeper league general manager’s fingertips, but they all add up to that crucial one. Welcome to Baseball Instinct’s version of a keeper league. Prepare for something that you have never experienced before, and if you love fantasy baseball, this will be euphoric.

The Baseball Instinct’s keeper leagues are meticulously cared for by the staff of the website. Each league will be personally looked after by a member of the staff and any owner in the league will be able to ask technical questions and get honest, helpful answers not from an automated service, but from a staff member who truly cares about your experience. When you decide to purchase a franchise in a Baseball Instinct keeper league, you are not just a number to the staff. Instead, you have now become part of their community of fantasy baseball enthusiasts. Your new keeper league is their passion, and soon, it will become your passion.

How much will all of this personalized service cost?

At this point, you are surely asking yourself many questions. The cost probably being the main one, which is understandable. To be part of a fantasy baseball league that offers so much more than just scores, but player contracts, arbitration and your very own franchise farm system as well as the aforementioned personalized service from the staff, it is very inexpensive. Would you rather be in a free cookie-cutter league where no one responds to trade offers and you have no real investment because the league is ending at the end of the season? This type of experience is worth about as much as it costs: nothing. However, Baseball Instinct is offering their own unique brand of keeper leagues for the affordable price of $35. In addition to that, the Baseball Instinct staff is offering a spring registration discount of $10 off. All you have to do is enter the code BI2009 when registering your franchise. If you have any questions regarding the Baseball Instinct keeper leagues, please contact leagues@baseballinstinct.com.

Ok, fine - what else do I get for my hard earned money?
Baseball Instinct knows that now more than ever, money is important for all of us. That is why the staff wants to make your fantasy baseball experience as enjoyable as possible. Baseball Instinct’s goal is to make their keeper leagues an immersive, 12 month a year experience. You may not be Brian Cashman, but you certainly can prove to yourself and others that you can do a better job. A sample league is also being offered to show what a real Baseball Instinct keeper league would look like. There, you can look over how to navigate a league before actually registering and also be sure of what the detailed Baseball Instinct keeper league rules are so you know what you are getting yourself into.
The sample league in that link is a template site and other leagues will be created from it. In this sample league, you can see how players would be listed on their respective teams in addition to their salaries.

How are the Baseball Instinct keeper leagues unique?
Well, if each league being run by a staff member at Baseball Instinct tonight isn’t enough for you, read on. In addition to personalized service, the staff at Baseball Instinct will not tolerate inactive teams in any league. When you register to become part of the Baseball Instinct community and purchase your keeper league, you become a general manager of a 12 month, no offseason league. You think the actual baseball season is fun? How about a minor league draft, Baseball Instinct’s own version of arbitration, player contracts and minor league keepers?

You will have to decide on if you should sign Josh Beckett at $29 to a contract or not, but for how long? Could you reacquire Beckett in next year’s auction for a more affordable salary? Or should you lock your ace in for a two, three or four year contract? And do you sign him to a guaranteed or non-guaranteed contract? A guaranteed contract may be too much of an investment for you. You could always sign Beckett to a one year option deal at his current $29 salary. After the season he would become a free agent. These are just some of the important decisions that you will have to make concerning the players on your franchise. The course of your franchise is at stake and is determined by your decision making skills and how deft you are at crafting a league champion.

This is not to dismiss the actual season. Not only is managing your team a unique experience with a Baseball Instinct keeper league, but during the season, these leagues are like no other. Keeper league schedules are based on a two game per week system. The first game runs from Monday to Thursday, and then the second game is from Friday to Sunday which adds up to 49 wins or losses for your team during the season. The leagues are based on a head-to-head points based style where many offensive categories as well as pitching categories by your players will earn your squad points in these games. For a complete list of scoring categories, visit the sample league and go to League, then Rules from the drop down menu.

All of these reasons is why any baseball fan, even someone that is new to fantasy baseball should seriously consider purchasing their very own Baseball Instinct keeper league franchise. In fact, this is part of the beauty of Baseball Instinct’s brand of keeper leagues - any type of fantasy baseball enthusiast can easily be part of it. Whether you are a seasoned pro for 15 years at fantasy baseball or just picking it up this year, you will derive endless hours of enjoyment.

It is also a terrific option as well if you love fantasy baseball but simply don’t have a bunch of friends who are as nuts about fantasy baseball as you. You want a league with a lot of details in addition to just drafting players, but your friends want something much simpler. Well, Baseball Instinct’s keeper leagues are for you.

If you are new to fantasy baseball, but want a league that is stable and won’t fall apart after a season or two but will have a legacy to it and some element of history, Baseball Instinct specializes with this and for this reason, their keeper leagues are for you.

If you are frustrated with callous customer service which does nothing to service customers and a rewarding and satisfying experience is what you are after, Baseball Instinct wants to change this. Not just with a staff that cares about their product, but with other fantasy baseball enthusiasts who want to form a community of other enthusiasts to fully share their passion for fantasy baseball. At Baseball Instinct, you will feel right at home.

You like fantasy baseball, but you think you can do better than Theo Epstein with valuing minor league players. Then Baseball Instinct’s keeper leagues are definitely for you.

The point being, any fantasy baseball fan, no matter where their specific passion in the hobby lies, will find that Baseball Instinct’s keeper leagues offer an amazing amount of realism and will transform any mere fantasy baseball fan into a general manager of their very own franchise and will be the perfect marriage between the play on the field and decision making in your own front office to build that championship team that will last for many seasons.


Published Monday, February 16, 2009 on http://baseballinstinct.com

http://baseballinstinct.com/fantasy-leagues/

Monday, February 16, 2009

What the @#$% is Fantasy Baseball?

You might be asking yourself, how did I end up on this website? Why didn’t Google search work it’s magic as usual? You may have searched for Justin Timberlake or how to put together a bookshelf. However, now that you are here, you are trying to figure out…what IS fantasy baseball? Surely you probably know what baseball might be. Arguably the nation’s oldest pasttime? Played in a park on a diamond? Well, we at Baseball Instinct give you the credit that you deserve and will assume you know what baseball actually is. But for goodness sake, what the #$%& is fantasy baseball!?

Fantasy Baseball is comprised of taking real Major League Baseball (MLB) players, using these players with a bunch of friends in a fantasy baseball league, or with random people that you may not even know over the internet, that you create and dividing them up into teams with a draft and using their playing statistics to determine a winner. In a more concise explanation, fantasy baseball is using real life MLB players to create your very own baseball franchise where you hire, fire
and trade MLB players to acquire the best baseball team you can. Fantasy Baseball is a way for a baseball fan to invest more in the game and enjoy it from a totally different aspect – a truly interactive experience.

The statistics these MLB players generate in their real games are collected, and fantasy points are awarded based on these numbers — the better a player performs, the more fantasy points he accrues for his owner’s team. In fantasy baseball, these points determine a winner. The team that accumulates the most points or victories over the course of the season is declared the league winner.

The modern form of fantasy baseball as we know it was more than likely introduced in 1980 by sportswriter Daniel Okrent from USA Today. He and a group of other sportswriters would meet at a French restaurant in New York City called La Rotisserie Francaise to play. Fantasy baseball is also well known by the name “Rotisserie Baseball” and that is where this name comes from. In fact, the hobby was first known by this name instead of Fantasy baseball.

There are generally two ways to go about compiling your very own fantasy baseball team. The first is by auction where all of the teams in a league have the same amount of money (fake or real) to spend to acquire players. The other way is a draft where each team takes turns selecting players until each team’s roster is filled.

At first, scoring was very basic because in the early 1980’s, newspaper box scores of Major League Baseball games were difficult to find. And when they were found, often only the most basic of statistics were listed, such as home runs, runs batted in (RBI) and team batting average. Therefore, in the beginnings of fantasy, or rotisserie baseball, only eight baseball statistics were used and four each for offensive statistics and pitching statistics. Home runs, runs batted in, runs scored and stolen bases were used for offense while wins, earned run average (ERA), saves and WHIP (walks and hits divided by innings pitched) for pitchers. This became known as rotisserie, 4×4 (because of the four offensive and pitching categories) or “roto” scoring.

Over time, more categories have been added such as on base percentage and runs scored for offense while strikeouts and holds are sometimes used for pitchers. The definitions and validities of these categories can be debated in other columns. This column is just trying to explain to you what the #$%& fantasy baseball actually
is. The original scoring system of rotisserie baseball has gone through many adaptations as well. Many leagues still incorporate the original “roto” 4×4 or 5×5 scoring with four or five hitting categories and the same amount of pitching categories. However, there are many different ways to score and that is one big reason why fantasy baseball is so popular. A “head to head” style of scoring is a very popular method, where the same rotisserie categories are used, but each team in a
league plays against one other team and gets a win or loss at the end of a week. The team with the best record wins the league. Another very viable style is points scoring. In this method, a team gets points for each statistic one of his players produces such as home runs and a pitcher registering a win. This style of scoring lends itself well to head to head scoring or the classic method of adding points up all season long. Fantasy baseball scoring is a very detailed subject and Baseball Instinct will have articles in greater detail detailing the different types of scoring mentioned here.

In addition, there are many different ways to set up leagues as well. There are leagues that play with high stakes that give a large amount of money to the league winner and there are many leagues that simply play for free. There are leagues that incorporate rookie drafts as well as some that have keepers - a system where each team in a league can keep a select number of players on their team from one season to the next. All of these subjects and more will be covered in depth on this website, but this article’s purpose is to simply give you a rough overall outlook on what this hobby is in a very general overlay. It is up to you to keep reading and to continue to learn more. If you like baseball at all, you are already well on your way. Fantasy baseball will take that enthusiasm for the sport and will likely foster it and give you another outlet to pursue that interest. Baseball Instinct very much hopes that this will be the first step on a new journey to take your interest in baseball to new heights and we are here to help.