Archive for the ‘Institutions’ Category
I ran across an interesting story from one of my favorite sports blogs, Deadspin, about MLB suing a company for using official statistics in their fantasy leagues. The story appeared in yesterday’s USA Today. You can also access the text of the story here.
Basically, MLB contends that the statistics that players produce belong to MLB and they have a right to charge licensing fees to anyone who wants to use them to make money. The attorney for CBC, the company that MLB is suing, contends that player statistics are common knowledge. From the article:
In a previous post, I about how the Sabermetric movement can be seen as a reappropration of a cultural product in a way that is more useful to the consumer of the cultural product. This would seem to be the case here. However, MLB actually does provide the cultural product of fantasy baseball to fans. The major fantasy outlets, such as Yahoo or ESPN pay lots of money to MLB for the rights to use players’ names and statistics in their leagues.
As I mentioned before, one of the great things about getting in touch with people is that many of them have alerted me to possible resources that I can use in my research. One person that I’ve been in touch with pointed me to the Simnasium website. Learning about this project, got me thinking about a lot of sociological issues, but before I discuss them, I should explain what the Simnasium is.
The Simnasium is a computer based simulation baseball game. In some respects it is similar to traditional fantasy baseball, where you form a league with other managers, draft a roster and compete against each other based on the the performance of the players. However, in addition to using sabermetrics as part of the algorithm that determines to determine the outcomes, the players that populate a manager’s team are not limited to current MLB players. Instead, managers have the opportunity to draft players from all eras. I’m not exactly sure the specifics of the player selection system, but the main attraction of something like this is that you can draft Sandy Koufax and see if he can strike out Josh Gibson (Yes, the even have Negro League players). Click here for the full set of rules which are somewhat complicated, but quite fascinating.
Let me first say that my latest cattle call for interview subjects has been an overwhelming success, which I will write about later. One of the people who responded directed me to the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective website. Per the website:
This existence of this organization has many implications for my research and I thought that I’d just ruminate about them here.