Moving outside the norm for this site, we'll put the Indians aside for a moment to talk about an alternative to fantasy baseball. Many baseball fans (and blog readers) spend considerable time evaluating, drafting and playing fantasy baseball throughout the entire season just to be completely out of the running by the All-Star break. Rather than dropping all of your players in an effort to cause as much chaos as possible, there is another option.
AthleteXchange.com is a fantasy stock market based website where, rather than draft a team of players for each position, you are given a set amount of money to begin, then are allowed to buy shares of whatever baseball players you want. If you would like to buy every single Indian, go for it (you can also short all the Yankees). Players are given prices based on their preseason expectations and are IPOd prior to the regular season. As the players are bought and sold (or shorted and covered) their price will change based on market pressures. As the season goes on, players earn money based on their performances during the year (like $1.00 per RBI). The equation is actually very similar to Burning River Baseball's Player of the Game stat. When the season ends, these two numbers (their price based on market movements and their earnings) are reconciled and the difference is paid out to the traders who own the players.
What this scoring system means is that not everyone would want to have Albert Pujols on his team (portfolio). Instead, it is much better to have an underrated player who excels. This is great for Indians fans as there are rarely any overrated players on the team so it is easy for the players to make their price.
There are two major reasons why people would want to switch from fantasy baseball to AX. First, there is no limit on how many people can buy each individual player (or team stocks, which are also available). This means that everyone can buy Jason Kipnis, even if there are 3,000 people who want to buy him. If your fantasy leagues have been anything like mine, there is always at least one person who picks a homer early in the draft, offsetting everything. Because anyone can buy any player, at any time you can sell any player and buy a new one if someone isn't performing up to expectations. You will never be stuck with any player you don't want or kept away from one you do.
The other major reason to get into AthleteXchange is that the season doesn't end in October. First, you can continue to buy and sell players during the playoffs as they will continue to earn based on their stats until they are done playing. After that, the money you made during baseball season can be used to buy football, NCAA football, basketball, NCAA basketball and hockey stocks. Each season ends with with a delistment day as all the stocks for that sport are removed from the market and traders are able to switch over to other sports.
There are no winners on AX, although there is a spirited competition to be the best trader on the site (there are also competitions during the season where there are individual winners). If you need a reason to play outside of love of the game (and it is a great game), there are prizes. Since the site started in 2009 AthleteXchange has given out over $80,000 worth of prizes, mostly consisting of gift cards and tvs. Every week there are auctions for gift cards while a TV can be purchased any time you hit a set dollar amount.
In addition to the actual game itself, there is also a very active forum where you can keep track of daily earnings and the stock advice of long term veterans. There is also a lot of random sports talk as well and sometimes contests made up by other players of the game. There is no better game on the internet than AthleteXchange and I highly recommend it for everyone to try. Play it for a week or so until you get a hang of things and you'll never want to play fantasy baseball again.
You can now own Brandon Phillips, even though the Indians can't.