Sometimes, watching baseball and following your own team just isn't enough. You may know your team, but there are hundreds of players across all the other teams, and there are intricacies to each team's set of 162 games. One team might have a closer who blows up and loses his job. Another team's star player might break his leg and end up on the disabled list for the remainder of the season. There's a lot to follow, and a lot that Sportscenter won't tell you.
This brings me to fantasy baseball - a dynamic game, usually played online today. Various sites like Yahoo! and ESPN offer fantasy baseball leagues for free. If you've never played before, you probably don't fully understand the allure of managing your own baseball team with real life professional players (and the statistics they produce). Here are the reasons why you should play fantasy baseball:
1) It's fun. This is probably the simplest reason there is. It's a blast to compete with friends, family, or even strangers, to manage your team and try to be the best. You get to add and drop players at will, and trade players to help improve your team. There's a dynamic in fantasy baseball that is like no other game.
2) If you're good, you can win money. Much like an office pool for the Super Bowl, it's common for fantasy baseball participants to pool together an entry fee at the beginning of the season, and pay the winner (and perhaps the 2nd and 3rd place teams) a share of the pot at the end of the season. Because the baseball season is long, a lot of people don't have the time to manage their rosters throughout the season. If you're attentive and regularly manage your team, you can win money playing fantasy baseball.
3) You learn about other teams' players. Can you name the closer of every team in your division? How about the closer on every MLB team? Probably not. However, if you play fantasy baseball, you will naturally gain this knowledge. You will probably know every closer, every good starting pitcher, and just about every other position player.
Furthermore, you'll know the guys on your fantasy team really well. A catcher on the Cleveland Indians who you had never heard of before? You'll probably be able to state his batting average and number of home runs at any point in time. The set-up relief pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers? You'll know that last Saturday night, he earned his 1st career save because the usual closer had forearm stiffness and was unable to pitch in that game. It's really incredible the things you'll learn just by managing your team and having fun in the process.
4) You can easily kill time when you're bored. Say goodbye to boredom. Whenever you're bored, you can log onto your fantasy baseball team's website and play around with your roster. You can check on how your players did the day before. You can check your team's ranking in your league. It's great how managing a fantasy baseball team can help you kill time and remove boredom.