MOTY's Launch Completes the Baseball Fantasy

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Fantasy Baseball Manager of the Year – or “MOTY” for short – has been launched at Designed for people who play fantasy baseball, the MOTY website provides subscribers with a variety of evaluation/research tools to help them play and compete in their fantasy baseball leagues, including those hosted by prominent internet providers. For each player, the MOTY system distills over ten relevant stats down to one number, his MOTY#, which represents that player's overall fantasy value.

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For Shawn Wood, the addiction began innocently enough; he played the game growing up, a fairly decent infielder but not much with a bat.

Mounds of worn player cards, fast–paced games of “500” in the backyard and Saturdays at the ballpark with a mitt in one hand and hotdog in the other couldn’t match his desire. He needed more.

But now, with trade secret algorithms and an easy-to-use website, he’s mastered the game and brought baseball fans a tool to complete their fantasies as well.

With partners Eric Smith and Pete Krawczyk, Wood, 38, has launched Fantasy Baseball Manager of the Year – or “MOTY” for short – found on the Internet at

“Designed for people who play fantasy baseball, the MOTY website provides subscribers with a variety of evaluation/research tools to help them play and compete in their fantasy baseball leagues, including those hosted by prominent internet providers,” said Wood, a North Carolina native.

Derived from a series of unique algorithms based on the 5x5 fantasy baseball scoring categories, the MOTY website generates evaluations called MOTY’s or “MOTY numbers” for every batter and pitcher in the game, resulting in one of the great advantages of the MOTY System — the ability to rank batters and pitchers in relative terms. One MOTY point for a batter equals one MOTY point for a pitcher, providing MOTY subscribers with apples-to-apples player comparisons – regardless of position – and a series of powerful tools for managing their team(s), most notably batter/pitcher-combined rankings.

Wood’s dalliance with fantasy baseball all began at a friend’s badgering back in 1999. He begrudgingly joined a league.

“I think they just needed one more team or they wouldn’t be able to draft,” he said. “Regardless, I finally gave in, more than anything, to get him off my back.”

With his first draft pick, he was hooked.

Fantasy baseball is big and continuing to get larger. Last year some 5-6 million people participate in leagues varying in cost from free to those charging several hundred dollars to sometime over $1,000 in leagues with big money payouts. There's even a big "tourney" league that pays out $100,000 to the national winner. Typically, most people pay in a range from $14.95 to $29.95 per team for a season.

"Fantasy sports" originated as a baseball management simulation game commonly attributed to sportswriter and editor Daniel Okrent. In the early 1980s, Okrent and friends created and began play within the Rotisserie League Baseball, named for the restaurant where they gathered to play.

Through subsequent commercial publication of the league's yearly competitions, the Rotisserie baseball (roto-baseball) game system proved widely popular and spawned similar game systems based on many other real-world competitions.

Since the 1980s, the basic mechanics of the Rotisserie baseball system have been adapted to the simulation of other sports, such as fantasy football and fantasy basketball. This related group of simulations is then characterized as "fantasy games." In all such simulations, game players adopt the fantasy role of "owning" the quantitative performances of popular media figures (professional athletes, rock stars, and others) in order to compete and interact within a community of fellow players/owners.

The original Rotisserie baseball game's eight performance categories—batting average, home runs, runs batted in, stolen bases, wins, saves, earned run average, and pitching "ratio" ([hits allowed + walks allowed] / innings pitched)—spurred widespread interest in statistics and the statistical analysis of baseball. Statistical analysis had long been a part of baseball fan discussion. However, Rotisserie baseball was instrumental in introducing a great variety of statistical terms and concepts to a broad audience; these terms and concepts have since become an integral part of mass media coverage of the sport.

On-base average, slugging percentage, and other statistics more meaningful and valuable to predicting player performance than the original eight used in Rotisserie baseball were first popularized and promulgated by publications catering directly to fantasy baseball players.

That’s where MOTY departs from the norm.

“I realized that no one else was evaluating players based on the way the fantasy game itself is scored,” said Wood. “The two closest, most-commonly accepted approaches use a ‘deviation from average’ method – which gets complicated quickly. It relies on the average stat line of other player at a particular position to determine a specific player's value.”

The MOTY system algorithms only use and draw upon a player's individual stats — his 5x5 scoring stats plus a combination of secondary stats that serve as excellent predictors of future production. It doesn't matter what other guys at the same position are doing. His fantasy value rests solely on his personal production. For each player, the MOTY system distills over ten relevant stats down to one number, his MOTY#, which represents that player's overall fantasy value.

The MOTY# algorithms create an apples-to-apples comparison between batters and pitchers. Which allow us to combine batters and pitchers in the rankings.

“No one else does it like we do,” said Wood. “The best runner-up being one like ESPN who use the ‘deviation from average’ method which, again, has its inherent flaws with players' values dependent upon how everyone else is performing.”

Other MOTY web site features include:

  •     MOTY’s 2006 Draft War Room section with 1,650+ player projections, as well as this year’s ComboCats, Talent Tiers and Untouchable lists for pre-season draft preparation.
  •     Customizable, “Printer-Friendly” Cheat Sheets for the 2006 draft season.
  •     2006 In-Season Weekly MOTY rankings, updated every Monday morning of the season (26) and broken down into Year-to-Date, Month-to-Date, and Last Week sortable tables. Rankings include stat tables sortable by 26 different categories.
  •     The MOTY Scope™, a revolutionary, customizable player search tool. Users can set any combination of filters, including position, league and team, and then add up to three advanced filters drawing from 24 different stats. The MOTY Scope instantly distills large lists of players down into ultra-focused player pools that meet a team’s specific fantasy needs.
  •     Personalized “My Roster” watch lists, allowing users to save actual fantasy rosters, or any list of players of their choosing, in order to track and analyze them throughout the season.
  •     Player graphs and charts, current under construction, allowing MOTY subscribers to visually compare baseball players MOTY’s and stats with those of other baseball players, or with their own projected production.
  •     The soon-to-be launched MOTY Trade Evaluator that will help subscribers break down the particulars of trade scenarios and determine whether or not to propose, accept or decline trades.
  •     The MOTY Talk blog, covering fantasy baseball topics, players and strategy from the unique perspective that only the MOTY System provides.

To ensure the most accurate and current player evaluations and statistics, Fantasy

Baseball Manager of the Year has contracted with Stats, Inc., a well-known provider of sports statistical information, as the official supplier of the weekly, in-season baseball stats presented on the MOTY site — excluding, of course, the MOTY#’s, the unique evaluations the system generates using those stats.

The MOTY System offers an excellent complementary tool to whatever sources fantasy baseball aficionados currently use to get their baseball information. However, using the MOTY System, you’ll be able to make managerial decisions based on objective, stat-based numbers instead of hunches, guesses and someone else’s subjective opinion.

“The MOTY System is a very, very quick way to evaluate and ‘discover’ players, saving you untold hours in research time,” said Wood. “Which we’re guessing your wife, girlfriend or significant other might appreciate even more than you will.”

Fantasy Baseball Manager of the Year offers this unique research approach to the fantasy baseball game on a subscription basis – $11.99 for the 26-week season, including all the 2006 pre-season, Draft War Room tools. Subscribers have full access to all content and services throughout the season.

*Journalists are invited to our Online Open House to test drive the MOTY site from 8:00 a.m. EST, Monday, March 13 to 11:59 p.m. EST, Wednesday, March 15. Should you miss this free demonstration, please contact us for special authorization.

User Name:     fbmoty

Password:    guest

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