When Fantasy Sports become available online, sports enthusiasts went wild. What better way to increase your sporting experience by actively participating with your friends in creating dream teams, placing bets and seeing the final outcome of your beloved players, teams and coaches.
Eric Hinz is an active Yankee baseball fan and through his background in financial analysis, he was able to apply that same mentality and skills toward his new blog, Fake Teams. Now Fake Teams is part of SB Nation and is viewed by fantasy sport enthusiasts nation-wide.
How did you get started writing on fantasy sports and why is baseball your favorite?
My fantasy sports writing career began as an effort to practice for the day I became a financial analyst. I knew I’d have to tell stories about different companies and industries but did not have much experience putting those types of stories together.
I had been playing fantasy baseball for several years at the time and decided to start a blog where I could practice writing and telling stories about something I had experience doing – following fantasy baseball every day of the year. Thanks to a smug statement about St. Louis Cardinals’ outfielder John Rodriguez and the conclusion that the big-time fantasy sports columnists didn’t care how a spare outfielder performed, I drew the attention of Matt Watson, who would become the first blogger for Fake Teams. When he decided to leave, he recommended me to SportsBlogs Nation, and I have been writing 365 days a year ever since.
Fantasy baseball has been my favorite fantasy game since the first time I played the game in 1995. It offered a sense of predictability and control that fantasy football does not.
Of course, that may be fancy talk to cover the fact baseball is my favorite sport.
You mentioned that writing about fantasy sports uses a lot of your skills as a financial analyst, can you tell us how so?
At the most generic, both fantasy sports analysis and financial analysis try to predict future performances based on past performances. Whether looking at an income statement to determine the stability of a firm’s future dividend payment or checking a player’s contact rate to determine if he will continue to hit for average, each activity seeks the same result – to make as informed a decision as one can make about a future event that is essentially unknowable. While one can easily miss that commonality, especially when using bonus payments as the measurement of superiority, the two really are the same side of the same coin.
How do you use online TV for your research and predictions?
I have three young children, and a fourth coming at any minute. Between Little League, homework, bath time, whose foot is on whose side of the couch, etc., I don’t have the pleasure of watching a ball game from start to finish. I can read boxscores, though.
Sometimes, though, that isn’t enough. If word is spreading that a particular player is outstanding in one part of the game, I will go online to view highlights of that player doing what is professed to be super-human – Carlos Gomez stealing a base or chasing down a sure extra base hit in the left center power alley.
Visual confirmation of said skill offers the confidence to agree that the player is someone fantasy players should consider. Of course, It may be analogous to the financial analyst visiting a company he covers, being wowed by the generosity of the company’s expense account and writing positive things about it.
Tell us about a big hit on your blog that has been a big hit with your readers.
One of the biggest hits on Fake Teams is out Fantasy Baseball Team Names contest. It has been run for four years and never fails to impress with the cleverness of the names submitted. This year’s winners were “When You Lose Your Haren, You Find Ubaldo”, “Men Behaving Bradley” and “Your Own Personal DeJesus”.
Additionally, our daily coverage of MLB trade rumors and rumored free agent signings never fails to draw traffic. This is the heart and soul of fantasy sports. Every fantasy sports enthusiast sees him- or herself as perfectly capable of making trades, signing free agents and building a team better than the real-life GMs.