It's cold, it's snowy. The ice is never going to melt. So let's talk baseball. Yes, the Mets and Yanks and the 28 other Major League baseball teams have now reported to camp.
So why not heat up the hot stove and start thinking about summer afternoons and how the World Champs, or the National League champ Phils, or — well — the Mets will do this season. There is no sport that really has as much of the water cooler debate than baseball. And now is just a good a time as any to get started.
Because of the rise of new media, the access to such a statistics-driven sport like baseball has never been better, so the ability to go online and get all the latest news and revisit hours upon hours of detailed stats and strategy is always no more than a mouse click away.
MLB.com still remains the prime site for all things baseball, and as people really start to delve into their teams this late winter, there may not be a better league site in any sport. However,the one problem with all the data, especially if you like to play fantasy sports, is how, where and when can you find the time to analyze and make sense of all the resources out there? Do you find blogs, go to the newsstand and buy magazines, enlist in any number of services? What's the best way to get all that you want that can really take care of your baseball Jones?
One interesting answer to that question is the marriage of MLB.com and a company — Bloomberg — that has spent the good part of the last quarter century developing data analysis tools for the financial world. The two have teamed up to recently launch BloombergSports, a state of the art, real time, analytical service that can bring all the hours of data to your fingertips in a visually compelling format, whether you are a casual faN or a die hard fantasy player.
The product was developed by two Bergen County residents who are data analysts on the business side at Bloomberg — Bo Moon of Fort Lee and Jay Lee of Haworth. In addition to their day job developing products to analyze stocks, Lee and Moon were avid, but unsuccessful fantasy baseball players. Over a year ago they came to the realization that analyzing the data for stocks was very similar to looking at trends and stats in sports, especially baseball, and they spent a great deal of time working with others on the Bloomberg side to build out this analytical program that anyone who enjoys baseball and its nuances will love. Bloomberg unveiled the product in late January to members of the media (they have developed a similar product that many of the professional clubs are also using now to do player analysis) and put it on sale to the general public late last week. The early results have been very solid.
Avid baseball fans will appreciate the detail not just on players but on trends for whatever type of statistic we would want. The site gives updates on each team and player from literally thousands of news sources, all in real time, so there is no need to waste time scouring newspapers looking for information. Their blog has some great insight from writers like Jonah Keri and others, pointing out trends and fast facts that you may not be able to find on your own.
The visuals also make it very easy to find players and get details outlined for whomever you want to out on your team, or whomever you would like to follow in baseball. While the primary use of the new product is for fantasy players, once the season starts the in-season tool could become a great tool for settling those age old debates as to who was a better home run hitter, or how many homers would David Wright hit in Fenway Park? You pop in the comparisons, as well as the stadium, the city, the matchup, the day of the week, and up all the information comes.
Now some people may say that baseball is already too stats oriented, so why do we need even more information to slow the process and take the joy out of just watching the game. However what this new BloombergSports product does is help fans enjoy the game more, by providing a very simple way to access how much or how little information you want. Too much of a stats analysis? It really is more of a companion tool for enjoying a game millions love.
At this time of year, we all need a little warmth of summer and a feel of baseball to get us through, the new Bloomberg tool, developed by two Jersey guys, could give a nice push to edge us through winter and into America's pastime, especially if you like fantasy.
The Draft Kit is priced at $19.95, the in-season tools go for $24.95, and the package is sold for $31.95.