Bloomberg introduces fantasy baseball product

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Bloomberg Sports rolled out a demo of their new fantasy baseball product in New York this afternoon. Through a partnership with MLB Advanced Media, the goal is to lure fantasy players away from competitors like Yahoo! and ESPN. While it will surely appeal to the already fantasy-savvy, the new portal through MLB.com signifies an effort to mainstream fantasy baseball in a way that can increase interest in the sport, similar to what fantasy football has done to the NFL.

It’s a nice start, but I’ve always believed that there is a ceiling to how successful a fantasy baseball model can be, at least in comparison to the NFL. The reason fantasy football has become the behemoth it is today is because its schedule requires less of a time commitment on behalf of the average person, while baseball involves a rigorous day-to-day schedule. This reflects in the insane television ratings and sales of NFL Ticket, as the average fantasy player has a stake in every regular season game, while in baseball, they do not. That said, I’ll root for anything that improves the quality of analysis and evaluation and growth of the game and fantasy baseball. Having great minds like Jonah Keri on board will certainly help towards that end.

Anyhow, while you’ll have to wait until February 18 to use Bloomberg’s draft kit, you can purchase Rotoworld’s Draft Guide right now, with special appearances by me scattered throughout! You’ll get analysis, projections, and profiles for over 1,000 players, as well as articles covering prospects, keeper-league strategies, mock
drafts, sleepers and busts. There are customizable, printable cheat
sheets, updated depth charts for
all teams and ADP projections. Basically anything and everything you need to be prepared for your fantasy draft, constantly updated throughout Spring Training. Let those guys stick to stocks and bonds, we got this fantasy baseball thing covered.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.

Bryce Harper sets April record for runs scored

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With four runs scored during Sunday’s 23-5 drubbing of the Mets, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper set a new April record for runs scored at 32, MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin reports. The record was previously held by Larry Walker, who scored 29 runs for the Rockies in April 1997.

Harper finished 2-for-4 with a pair of walks and a solo home run (off of Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki) on the afternoon. He’s now hitting .391/.509/.772 with nine home runs and 26 RBI on the year.