How Does BWB Compare?
There are a lot of fantasy baseball options available for
you. Benchwarmer Baseball is definitely a game for
fanatics - but the casual player can succeed too. It's
different in many ways from most every other fantasy baseball
game you'll play. How do we stack up against the others - and why
should you choose Benchwarmer Baseball?
And what don't we do?
Ready to play?
Sign up now! Or
with any requests for more information.
Some of the things I've found while browsing through the
- BWB's cost - $55 - compares quite well
with what you'll find out there for fantasy baseball,
particularly simulation games. $89, $149, $169 -
these are some of the prices I've seen. There are
also some cheaper, but may not provide the same gaming
experience for you.
- We don't do Head-to-head like Roto
services. One common option is that you play one
team for a whole week and calculate your totals in 10
(more or less) categories - getting a "win" for each
category you capture. Other game-by-game options
score games with a point system (X number of points for a
home run, Y for a save, etc.) Our scoring formula
attempts to take the most relevant stats from real games
and come up with a realistic outcome - one game at a time.
- Some operators use simulation engines
to derive game results. This has certain appeal -
kind of like the old table-top dice games I used to play.
Good or bad, that's not what we do. We're more tied
into actual performances affecting our game results.
- We don't charge you for transactions.
One competitor I've found allows free trades and
"supplemental drafts" throughout the season, but charges
you for lineup changes - $3 to change either your hitting
or pitching lineup, $5 for both. We have some limits
on transactions, like how many you can do in any given
week, but we're not about to charge you for them.
And you can change your roster/lineup as much as your
heart desires without any extra cost.
- Everything is driven by the our web
site. With some competitors, you still need to
submit lineup changes via mail, phone, e-mail, or fax.
Given the somewhat complex nature of the BWB game
regarding your lineups, we think the web interface is very
straightforward and simple. There are some
improvements we can still make, but we've come a long way
from when owners had to fill out forms using player ID
- The inclusion of minor league prospects
in BWB allows you the possibility to build your team for
the future, something you don't see much of in a lot of
- And the carry-over policy in BWB lets
you keep up to 28 players each year. So, sure,
there's no huge draft each year - and we'll admit that's a
fun time. But you can mold your team continuously -
making changes in August that could affect you next April.
- At the same time, the salary cap
structure and player salary formula generally prevents a
Yankee-like domination to exist. 28 players is a lot
to keep - but you're still going to have to make some
tough decisions to meet your payroll. And if you
keep all your starters - you're going to have to pass on
holding those young guys who might make it big next
- If you stick around, you're going to
play the same franchises each year. You may never
meet and may live on opposite ends of the country (or
world?), but you'll play your divisional foes 18 times
each season - will this finally be the year you beat the
- There are some teams in our original
league that seem to do well each year. However, as a
testament to the balance and opportunity in our first
league, the Hall of Fame League, which began play in 2000:
- It took until
the 6th season to get a 2-time league winner and we've
never had a back-to-back champion. Each of the four
divisions has had at least one title.
- Of 16 franchises, only 1 has yet to win a
division title (that's my team).
- We don't expect to ever start a
league with fewer than 16 teams again - the expansion
season for the four new teams in 2001 was kind of ugly
for them. However, from those four expansion
teams, all 4 have won their division and our last three league
champion teams came from that beginning.
- Our first league champion, seemingly
set to run the table each and every year, has also finished
below .500 in 3 seasons. Another team
that seemed destined to win all the time (3 division
titles in the first 3 years, league champ in 2002), has
now finished out of the title hunt for 6 straight years.
However, one guy now has won his division for 6 years in
- In 2003, one of our teams went from
absolute worst in 2002 to a division and conference
championship. His brother went one step further
between 2003 and 2004 turning a worst-to-first season
into a league championship.
Finally, as fair warning before you plunk down your money
and join in, here are a few things that we are not - or that
we don't do - or just some things you should be aware of:
- Above all, remember that this is a
Benchwarmer Baseball - Who are We? for more details on
that. While we think we have a great game and a
great service we can't compete with the ESPNs or the
CBSs of the fantasy gaming
world - at least not yet. There are some
- As such, we don't have any commentary
on the site. We don't provide current MLB stats.
If you've found this game somehow in the first place,
then you're Internet-savvy enough to know you can easily
open up another browser window and find someone who does
while you work your franchise here.
- We don't have an extensive customer
service department. There may occasionally be
delays in returning messages.
- This obviously isn't a full-time job
(though it would be cool if it could be...). Usually any reply or other
communication from me will come during the night or
- I'll try not to over-promise on when
things will occur, but it will happen where some things
will get pushed aside or delayed. I'll focus on
timely reporting of transaction results and game scores.
- I may go on vacation every now and
then...so occasionally we need to adjust deadlines - or
there may be some delays of a few days for games and
transactions. Nothing planned yet for 2009.
- Remember, we don't play for cash here.
That inevitably drives possible customers away, but adding
those types of prizes could bring on a greater level of
regulation and would certainly drive up entry fees and would bring about
a possible risk of collusion. Anyway, I think
you'll find that if you can manage to win in this league,
you've really done something special and that's reward
- You won't find daily game updates.
Part of this is due to the single-person
nature of the game management, but primarily this is
because of the way we map MLB performances to BWB games.
For example, all MLB teams must play their 56th game
before we can score the results of BWB game #56.
Consequently, when we hit rainouts, and
all-star breaks, and
Jon's-not-at-home-to-score-games-tonight, you will hit
some stretches where some of your players stats will be
earned a week or so before they make it into a BWB game.
I'd love to have you wield instantaneous control over your
team, like you can in many Roto sites (or at least
next-day effect), but the nature of this game doesn't
allow for that. It may take some getting used to,
but if you understand that up front, you'll be fine.
Think of running your BWB team as a conductor and
manipulator of trends and expectations, and not as
a game-by-game engineering of your lineup.
- Further note on timeliness of
lineup-creation to game-replication: Our stat collection and
game scoring processes are much more efficient than in
2000, but it still generally makes a better use of time to
run 2-3 games at a time every few days rather than to try
to run a single game each day.
- There can be a little frustration in
the game results. It's not like Roto - or a
points-based system where you know exactly what's going to
happen if you hit more home runs than your opponent.
Our scoring is more subtle than that. What we try to
suggest is although in the long run understanding the
scoring formula may prove to be a good thing, think of
primarily building your team - your rotation - your
batting order - your bench - as a strong baseball team -
not necessarily as a Roto team.
- Running a franchise is a commitment of
time if you plan to be successful. Some teams have
been able to build up initially and coast to lots of wins,
but most of the time a franchise will face injuries and
other problems throughout the season. You'll fare
better if first of all your roster is deep enough
(including low-priced players you can stick in the minors)
so that you can make immediate lineup changes
(transactions take a week to go into effect). Quite
frankly, owners who don't have the ability or desire or
circumstances to allow checking in frequently usually
don't stick around. (On the flip side, you don't
have to change your lineup every day like in some systems
to be successful).
Sign up now! Or
with any requests for more information.