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The Box is not the only baseball web site with a new and improved look. RotoWorld, already my pick as the class of the fantasy reference league, is looking svelte with a tidied-up look, better navigation, and less prominent advertising.

RotoWorld is a daily hit for me during the season, when just about every notable bit of player news is reported as it happens, including updates from the high minors. In the offseason, this is one of the quickest sites to report trades, signings, and rumours. Other features which are handy for all baseball fans (not just roto players) are the one-page injury report and a page of links to newspapers covering each of the 30 MLB teams.

Discuss: What other sites can help the rest of us in our quest to unseat the Nation Builders and Gashouse Gorillas in the BBFL this year?
BBFL: A Brave New RotoWorld | 10 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Jonny German - Friday, February 06 2004 @ 10:50 AM EST (#79393) #
I should note that I posted this thread before reading Aaron Gleeman's blog today, so I now have another notable RotoWorld improvement to pass along: Aaron will be writing a wekly column there, starting next week.
_Lucas / Nation - Friday, February 06 2004 @ 11:22 AM EST (#79394) #
What other sites can help the rest of us in our quest to unseat the Nation Builders and Gashouse Gorillas in the BBFL this year?

There is no hope.
_Oggman - Friday, February 06 2004 @ 12:52 PM EST (#79395) #
Just a suggestion, if linking to a page off the site, open a new window. I hate getting taken to another site. But I am in an bad mood, apparently some Torontonians were not listening to the "Be Nice, Clear Your Ice." ads. My feet are soaked.
_Jordan - Friday, February 06 2004 @ 12:56 PM EST (#79396) #
Rotowire is still very good, though it's subscription-based. I quite like Rotoworld's new look.

ESPN's fantasy baseball correspondents -- we have a few here at Da Box, even if Kent isn't returning to his position as Jays guru -- are also an excellent source of information on each team's players. I find them especially useful in deciding if a player's hot streak is just a fluke or real enough to make him worth acquiring.

If anyone's interested in Morgan Ensberg, let me know.
_Craig S. - Friday, February 06 2004 @ 01:28 PM EST (#79397) #
Has anyone tried the Sporting News' Fantasy Source? It's relatively inexpensive ($20 U.S.), and they do a good job of keeping it updated. They also provide decent hot/cold lists and positional rankings. I've used it for the past year for both baseball and football, and I've been impressed.

My only complaint about TSN is that they often quote newspaper sources without providing a link to the story. Very frustrating when you want to see the information in the context of the full article.
_snellville jone - Friday, February 06 2004 @ 02:34 PM EST (#79398) #
The correspodents are great, and I also like looking at local newpaper articles. The baseball newsstand ( is a pretty good place to find links to each city's major news sorces. Although I don't recommend paying for it, ESPN has a feature with their Insider service that sorts news articles by sport, team, and date and lists the headlines for each article.
_snellville jone - Friday, February 06 2004 @ 02:47 PM EST (#79399) #
Mr. Lucas:

I was wondering how you arrived at the scores given to players on your wonderful website. I've tried to rank players similarly, and would be interested in your technique.
_Craig S. - Friday, February 06 2004 @ 03:52 PM EST (#79400) #
Snelville - the ESPN Insider feature you mentioned (ESPN Local) does provide some good coverage, but it unfortunately isn't as focused as I'd wish for fantasy use. It serves up pretty much everything out there on the team, and you're left to do the work of reading through too many articles at times to get what you need. And it often overlooks less obvious articles that might contain useful info.

I still subscribe, but more for Jim Baker than for its fantasy value.
Lucas - Friday, February 06 2004 @ 05:43 PM EST (#79401) #
The players rankings are simple and complex at the same time. I probably could write a full Batters Box entry if I wanted to put the audience to sleep.

In general, players are scored in each category based on how many standard deviations their stats vary from the mean. Say, for example, the average player hits 15 homers and the standard deviation for all players is 10. If Alex Rodriguez hits 45 homers, his score for homers is 3.00, because he hit 30 more homers than the average player and 30 is three standard deviations above the mean. The basic formula is: (player homers - mean of homers)/(standard deviation of homers).

Exciting, huh? Do that in every category, and voila! A cumulative value that allows you to rank players.

Except... the kind of scores you get are dependent on the size of the player pool. If you put EVERYONE in the pool, you'd be including a bunch of players with only a few at-bats and negligible counting stats. That could make your output garbage. You're better off eliminating players who would never be considered fantasy-worthy, say, anyone with under 100 plate appearances. In the case of the BBFL, I think my player pool consisted of every drafted player and anyone else who ended up on someone's final roster.

There's also a problem with rate stats like batting average. Is a guy who hits .500 but only has twenty at-bats worth more than an everyday .300 hitter? Of course not, but on Yahoo and most ranking services, they only look at the raw number. I'd argue that Gary Sheffield's .330 average last year was more valuable than Barry Bonds' .341, because Sheffield had 180 more at-bats than Bonds. So I make an adjustment based on at-bats. Same thing for ERA, K/BB, etc.

When I'm doing pre-season rankings, I scale down Wins because they vary so much from year to year. I also scale down steals a little bit because the distribution is so skewed compared to most other stats.

I've thought about adding some fantasy-related articles to the Box; sort of a primer on general concepts of fantasy ball. But I'm in the middle of moving right now and haven't had a chance. Maybe at the end of the month.
_snellville jone - Friday, February 06 2004 @ 06:35 PM EST (#79402) #
Thanks -- I've been toying with the same basic idea, without really understanding the math behind it all. Too bad they didn't pull out a list of batting averages when they taught me standard deviation in school. Curse you, Mr. Vandersluys!
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.