Your league's story begins to unfold.
The story of the 2012 baseball season is told through your fantasy baseball team. The characters - Major League baseball players - are at the center of the production. You write a chapter as you manage your team. The league becomes a comedy, a tragedy, or a drama based on your actions. Likewise, your friends and co-workers who also own teams in the league contribute to the story by managing their teams.
A good fantasy baseball league is much more than a set of numbers. It's a narrative influenced by you and your friends. When you get together for drinks, you talk about your fantasy baseball league like a movie you've all seen. Don't try to explain it to friends who aren't in the league. They simply won't get it.
To thoroughly enjoy the experience, you need to be engaged by following the characters and developing storyline which is the baseball season. It plays out daily on television, in the newspaper, and on the Internet. There are tragic characters (Adam Dunn, 2011), villains (Alex Rodriguez, pick a year) and heroes (insert your favorite player).
There are many ways for fantasy baseball team owners to follow the sport. You can view it as a nightly soap opera on television shows like ESPN's Baseball Tonight and the MLB Networks's MLB Tonight. You can read about in the newspaper. And, of course, there is the Internet.
Here are some of my favorites.
MLB Tonight on the MLB Network. There is a lot of information packed into this nightly one hour show and it's usually as entertaining as it is informative. As a new fantasy baseball owner, this is a great place to watch the soap opera. It will have the highlights (and lowlights) of all the fantasy players in your league. They understand the value of creating a compelling story but, like us, they react nightly to what is happening on the field. Live sporting events rarely follow a script and every night during the baseball season something compelling occurs on the field. These triumphs and tragedies are magnified by your participation in fantasy baseball.
The World Wide Leader in Sports, ESPN, produces Baseball Tonight. Similar to MLB Tonight, ESPN's version is a fast-paced, highlights and information driven show. It is normally a half hour to an hour in length.
During a busy day, it can be difficult to find time to watch baseball highlights. If you are looking for quick information, look to Twitter. I know, the last thing you want is another social networking connection, but Twitter is an excellent source of information on baseball or any other topic. I follow all of the national baseball writers and can catch up on the day's happenings in less than 15 minutes by scrolling through my Twitter feed. I re-tweet valuable information so, to save you the time of looking up experts to follow, you can simply follow the Twitter feed on this page for the latest information and, rest assured, it is only baseball-related information. I have other Twitter feeds for other interests.
Twitter is a great way to stay up to date on the latest Major League baseball news.— FantasyBaseball (@sfhood1) March 27, 2012
When I turn to the Web for the latest baseball information one of the first places I turn is Rotoworld. Few sites are as up-to-date and comprehensive and geared towards fantasy league owners.
USA Today remains a great source of fantasy baseball information.
The player updates at MLB Fantasy News also provide up-to-date information with a fantasy analysis next to each news item.
Many of these web sources overlap, providing the same information, so simply choose the one you like best and bookmark it.
If you are new to baseball as well as fantasy baseball, take the time to watch one of the television shows at least once a week and scan the newspaper or Internet for news. The more you are familiar with the players and teams, the more fun you'll have at fantasy baseball. While it's a game, it's also a story, and the more you are immersed in the storylines the more you'll understand why millions of people are obsessed with the game.