In the relatively short time that Fantasy Judgment has been in operation, there have been some fantastic 0pportunities for me to speak with various forms of media to promote Fantasy Judgment and discuss the fantasy sports industry. This week has been by far the most active and potentially beneficial times of Fantasy Judgment’s young existence.
First, Fantasy Judgment has joined the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (“FSTA”), which is the governing body of the fantasy sports industry where some of the most successful and influential people within the industry are also members. I look forward to the opportunity to meet and speak with them in the future as I am sure they will be a tremendous resource in helping build the Fantasy Judgment business and brand.
Second, I did two interviews this week for newspapers. I was interviewed by the Penn State Daily Collegian about the incident where four employees at Fidelity Investments were fired for playing fantasy football back in December 2009. As Penn State is my alma mater, it is especially rewarding to receive this attention from them. And more importantly, given that the Daily Collegian is read by a student body of almost 50,000 (many of which are fantasy sports enthusiasts), it was a great opporrtunity for some exposure to the college student audience.
I was then interviewed by Sarah Talalay of the Sun Sentinel which is based in South Florida. Sarah is a well-accomplished jouranlist who writes about sports, fantasy sports, and their respective industries. I have read a lot of Sarah’s work and I highly recommend checking it out for yourself. I contacted Sarah about the Fidelity issue, as well as what Fantasy Judgment’s purpose was within the fantasy sports industry. After demonstrating that there was some South Florida flavor, Sarah interviewed me about Fantasy Judgment, the fantasy sports industry, and the need for dispute resolution services. We had a great 30 minute conversation that should translate into an interesting and informative article.
Third, after spending a week in upstate New York attending a trial on behalf of my employer, I spoke with an editor for the Post Star newspaper which serves the Glens Falls/Plattsburgh area. He is not a sports editor, but he is a huge fantasy sports enthusiast. After speaking with him several times about some potential stories and features, he successfully convinced the editors of the paper to allow him to start a fantasy sports blog. He said he would contact me for interviews and news features once the blog was operational.
If nothing else, these opportunities have and will give Fantasy Judgment exposure in Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida that I may not have been able to achieve on my own.
Finally, the crown jewel of the week was a phone call with the Director of Business Development at CBS Sports. We discussed potential opportunities for a partnership and collaboration between Fantasy Judgment and CBS. The conversation went well, and since this will be a long process with many more steps to take, the focus of where Fantasy Judgment can go has become all the more clear.
Links will be provided when the newspaper interviews are published.
Here are my overall predictions for 2010, including the final standings, playoff matchups and results, and award winners for the upcoming season. In no surprise, I have the Yankees running away with the AL East and leading the majors in total wins. With the defending champions actually improving their team with the additions of Javier Vazquez, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Johnson, the Yankees still have the most dominant lineup in the American League and arguably the deepest and most talented starting rotation in all of baseball. The re-acquisition of Javier Vazquez was nothing short of brilliant by Brian Cashman as he only parted ways with role players and bit pieces (no offense Melky). Vazquez could easily be a #1 on many teams, but on the Yankees, he is their #4 and has no expectations this time around. That is why he will flourish.
The Red Sox don’t appear to be as formidable offensively as they used to be. With Jason Bay gone, David Ortiz one more year older and without Manny, Dustin Pedroia all banged up, and J.D. Drew worrying about injuring himself getting out of bed, the Sox will have to win some games without relying on the long ball. That isn’t to say that Ortiz, Youkilis, Victor Martinez and newcomers Adrian Beltre and Mike Cameron won’t put up some good numbers. It just appears that the Sox might win more 3-2 games than in the past.
The Rays have firmly established themselves as a contender, but they aren’t quite ready to repeat their fortunes of 2008. It will take another year of seasoning for the Rays’ young pitching staff to really assert themselves and overtake either the Yankees or Red Sox. The unfortunate thing for Tampa Bay is Carl Crawford’s pending free agency. He has been their most recognizable player since the Rays were the laughingstock of the league. Look for him to have a big year and for the team to be competitive enough to make Crawford want to stay.
The Twins should christen their new outdoor field with an AL Central championship, even without All-Star closer Joe Nathan. His absence will certainly be noticed, but the Twins have enough discipline, depth and desire to overcome Nathan’s injury. With Joe Mauer locked up for the next 8 years, the Twins can play ball knowing they have two bonafide stars leading this team. Justin Morneau looks to bounce back after an injury cost him the end of 2009. With Jason Kubel and Denard Span coming off solid seasons, the Twins’ lineup looks to be formidable in the AL Central. Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey and Carl Pavano are unspectacular but consistent and durable (yes Yankee fans, I said Carl Pavano was durable…just not in your uniform).
Despite the Angels losing John Lackey, Vladimir Guerrero and Chone Figgins, I still see them finding a way to win the AL West. The signing of Joel Pineiro should help offset the loss of Lackey, as well as a full season of Scott Kazmir in their rotation. The two biggest questions surrounding the Halos’ lineup are whether Brandon Wood can finally step in and fullfil his destiny as a future star, and whether Hideki Matsui can be featured as the premiere offensive threat in a lineup compared to his role in an ensemble with the Yankees. Despite getting a challenge from the Seattle Mariners and their potentially deadly 1-2 punch of King Felix and Cliff Lee, the Angels gut, grit, experience and superior management should propel them to another AL West crown.
In the National League, I don’t see way that the Phillies don’t run away with the mediocre NL East. They are by far the best team in the division, and likely the entire National League. The addition of Roy Halladay only makes the task more daunting for any team looking to unseat the two-time defending NL champions. With a lineup loaded from the top down, the Phillies will have no problems scoring runs. The biggest question for the Phillies will be whether Brad Lidge can be an effective closer. This will matter more towards the playoffs, but Utley, Howard, Rollins, etc. will easily get them there.
After a few years out of the playoffs, the Atlanta Braves will make a grand return to October baseball in Bobby Cox’s final year. Even after trading Javier Vazquez, the Braves still have one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball. Tim Hudson is now 18 months removed from his Tommy John surgery and is pitching pain-free. Look for him to have a big year as he is motivated to justify the contract he was given by the Braves. Young upstart Tommy Hanson enters his first full season after having an impressive and borderline dominating start to his career in 2009. Jair Jurjjens and his sub-3.00 ERA has become one of the better young pitchers in the league. Derek Lowe, despite having a terrible 2009, is still a solid and reliable starter towards the back end of the rotation. It may not be pretty, but the Braves are headed back to the post-season as Chipper & Co. once again rely on the pitchers to bring them there.
The Cardinals will now have an entire season of Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday hitting in the same lineup. This does not bode well for opposing pitchers. Holliday provides Pujols with protection not even a Leslie Nielson-in-Naked Gun-body-condom could provide. This should mean more fastballs and less intentional walks for King Albert, who should challenge for the Triple Crown. Assuming Chris Carpenter is healthy, he and Adam Wainwright have become one of the most dominant duos in baseball. The signing of Brad Penny went relatively under the radar, but I think Penny will prove to be worth a lot more. The rest of the NL Central is a clusterf*** of mediocrity with everyone battling around .500.
The Dodgers’ grasp on the NL West crown will end in 2010 as the San Francisco Giants take the biggest leap forward. Led by the dynamic two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum, the Giants’ impressive pitching staff is by far the best in the division. Matt Cain, Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez provide the Giants with a chance to win any night. Now the offense appears to be on level ground with the pitching as they imported Aubrey Huff and Mark DeRosa to help infuse some life into an anemic offense. Brian Wilson has established himself as a top-tier closer, and manager Bruce Bochy always seems to get the most with the least compared to other skippers.
Without further adieu, here are my predicted standings, playoffs and award winners.
American League East W L GB
New York Yankees 104 58 —-
Boston Red Sox 93 69 11
Tampa Bay Rays 85 77 19
Baltimore Orioles 81 81 23
Toronto Blue Jays 69 93 35
American League Central W L GB
Minnesota Twins 91 71 —-
Chicago White Sox 85 77 6
Detroit Tigers 82 80 9
Cleveland Indians 76 86 15
Kansas City Royals 74 88 17
American League West W L GB
Los Angeles Angels 90 72 —-
Seattle Mariners 88 74 2
Texas Rangers 85 77 5
Oakland Athletics 79 83 11
National League East W L GB
Philadelphia Phillies 94 68 —-
Atlanta Braves 83 79 11
New York Mets 79 83 15
Florida Marlins 77 85 17
Washington Nationals 69 93 25
National League Central W L GB
St. Louis Cardinals 91 71 —-
Chicago Cubs 82 80 9
Cincinnati Reds 81 81 10
Houston Astros 80 82 11
Milwaukee Brewers 79 83 12
Pittsburgh Pirates 75 87 16
National League West W L GB
San Francisco Giants 90 72 —-
Los Angeles Dodgers 82 80 8
Colorado Rockies 82 80 8
Arizona Diamondbacks 79 83 11
San Diego Padres 73 89 17
WILD CARD ROUND
New York Yankees def. Los Angeles Angels
Boston Red Sox def. Minnesota Twins
Philadelphia Phillies def. San Francisco Giants
St. Louis Cardinals def. Atlanta Braves
LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
New York Yankees def. Boston Red Sox
Philadelphia Phillies def. St. Louis Cardinals
New York Yankees def. Philadelphia Phillies
AL MVP – Mark Teixeira
NL MVP – Albert Pujols
AL Cy Young – Josh Beckett
NL Cy Young – Johan Santana
AL Rookie of the Year – Julio Borbon
NL Rookie of the Year – Jason Heyward
Questions? Comments? Rude remarks? Shoot me an email at email@example.com or leave a comment here on the blog.