YF’s point in the previous comments thread, about rotisserie baseball, is an interesting one and worthy of it’s own discussion, I think. It is one that I disagree with. His idea that rotisserie baseball reduces the lovely game to simple numbers, that it removes the humanity and idiosyncracies of the sport is a common one for rotisserie-bashers. As a rotisserie baseball player myself, I would argue that only the fan is able to execute that reduction; the medium of rotisserie baseball surely enables such a reduction, but only the fan him/herself can execute the removal of emotion and subjectivity of the game. Rotisserie guns don’t kill people, rotisserie bullets do, in this case. In my case, I have enjoyed rotisserie baseball because it is a conduit for knowledge; it allows me to follow many teams, learn about their players, their farm systems, and to understand more about the statistics behind the performances. I could do this regardless of rotisserie baseball, I realize, but the structure of the game, the baseball fans I deal with on a weekly basis in our league, all this supplements my experience of the game, and not detrimentally so. It in no way replaces any other kind of rooting system, it hasn’t blinded me to the subtleties of the day-to-day actions of any given player, and it hasn’t removed a thirst for the stories that come out of any given game or series. It should be clear from this site that I hyper-romanticize things, often to a fault. That’s the way it was before I played rotisserie, and nothing has changed about that since I started.
I would venture that those who use rotisserie baseball to reduce the game to simple number crunching, to make the sport into a de-humanized contest for material gain would have done so regardless of the existence of rotisserie baseball, via sports betting or some other armature, particularly in this internet age. They aren’t fans in the same way long-standing season ticket holders, game-scorers, avid cable tv watchers or AM radio junkies, or even crazed self-important bloggers are fans. The beauty in rotisserie baseball, for me, is not that is in any way a replacement of the way I used to watch the game, but that it is a supplement and complement to how I watch.