I love my fantasy baseball league. Even beyond the awesome players, and the excellent commissioner, the online system itself has proven to be flexible and versatile to satisfy the unusual quirks of our own league. I’m not going to plug the company unless I get some money out of it, but suffice to say that it isn’t through ESPN, who recently released this statement.

We are sorry to have to make such an aggressive change, and fully recognize the impact this will have. This action was our only option because of the nature of the issues and their potential to compound if not addressed on a fundamental level. Ensuring the integrity of the season ahead for ALL players is tremendously important to us and this solution ensures that all players will be treated equally.

I did some research – after all, I wondered what could have happened that required such drastic measures – and found the following user comments on one of the various online forums I frequent:

ESPN has experienced more problems in the first day of fantasy baseball than I saw in 6 years at Yahoo!. First the waivers weren’t working, and every free agent acquired had a waiver period. Then all of the lineups for future games were locked. Now, they’ve fixed those 2 issues and all of the rosters are empty. No one can set their lineups and who knows if scoring today will even work.

Way to screw up the season for everyone on Day 2, ESPN.
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Is anyone else having a problem with claiming free agents, and it simply not processing even two days after the deadline has passed?
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Only problem i’m really having is the fact that if you drop a player you lose all their points. I.E if you drop a pitcher who gave you 10k’s and a win you lose all those points from your total.

Now, I get cranky whenever status changes aren’t updated the hour they’re announced. I would be beyond pissed if any of the above happened, and their solving the problem by locking in rosters is season-changing in its magnitude. That might sound like an overstatement, but to give you an idea, in our own league fifty player add/drops have occurred in that time. The run on free agents is notoriously difficult during this time as (real life) teams try to figure out their own rosters, and there have already been some bad injuries and placements on the DL. And my league only scores weekly; I can only imagine the chaos this would cause in daily leagues.
This speaks of monumentally poor foresight on ESPN’s part. Any fantasy sport attracts technical, obsessive people, and to not throughly and intensively test your program; not anticipate the intense strain such programs can have on your servers; and not have the good sense to have back ups of player activity shows a complete failure on ESPN’s part to understand fantasy sports at all. Your mileage may vary on their attempts on compensation – I’ve never used ESPN’s Fantasy Insider, and don’t play fantasy football – but if I were using their service it would take a lot of time for them to prove they can actually provide a functional service.

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  • Serpico

    I’ve been keeping up with this story. If this happened to us, I fully expect a roadtrip down to Bristol, CT to end some lives.

    Also, we should take a tour of ESPN studios. It’s a 2 hour ride down there.

  • brett

    But but but…the TV advertisement told me that “it’s free and it’s awesome!”

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