This post is sponsored by Bloomberg Sports Front Office. Click here for the free 7-day trial.
As you may have noticed from the ads running on LSB and other SBN baseball blogs, and as you may have read previously, Bloomberg has gotten into the sports business, and is offering folks, among other things, the opportunity to access their "Bloomberg Sports Fantasy Tools."
For those who aren't aware, Bloomberg LP was the brainchild of current NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, and revolutionized the business of providing vast amounts of well-organized data to financial companies through their closed-end Bloomberg Terminals. They are now branching out into a variety of areas in regards to sports data, and I was given the opportunity (for which, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm being compensated for) to try out their Fantasy Tools product and provide a review to you guys.
As would be expected from a Bloomberg product, this is very data-intensive -- there's a news crawl that has links to various stories, you've got extensive data on every major league players, you've got the ability to break down the data by designated categories and then compare players to others over various periods of time, you've got the ability to set up the scoring parameters and players for each of the fantasy leagues you are in (which is huge if you're in multiple leagues and using multiple platforms). If you are a data junkie, this is something that can keep you busy for hours, crawling around and looking at the info that is out there.
Bloomberg also has a "draft kit" which gives you the ability to review and sort stats for all players over a dozen categories going back to 2007, and break out your draft rankings accordingly. And with one click, you can pull up a player's scouting reports, historical data, and compare his past and projected performance to other players you might be considering. Debating between Ryan Howard and Mark Teixeira on your next pick? In a matter of seconds, you can have in front of you a chart comparing what each of them did in every major category the past several years, and in terms of projection for 2010.
There's a tutorial that is pretty much a must for you to run through when you first get started, since there is so much that is available, and it is so thick to try to get through, that you need to at least be walked through the basics of what you are looking at. But once you get your legs under you, I think you'll find the interface fairly intuitive, and not quite as difficult to navigate as it first appears.
If you are a casual fantasy player, someone who checks on their (only) team every few days and make a half-dozen moves over the course of a season, this probably isn't something for you. But for someone who has multiple teams, who wants a way to try to keep track of them and likes the ability of a single interface to help them do that, who spends 20 minutes trying to decide whether Asdrubal Cabrera or Alcides Escobar is the better waiver wire pickup to fill your MIF spot while Robinson Cano is on the disabled list, this is a tool that I think you'll find very useful and quite addictive.
But you don't have to take my word for it...you can sign up for a free seven day trial and try it yourself, for no obligation. If you have an account with mlb.com, you can sign up using that log-in and spend a couple of days testing it yourself, with no obligation.
It is an opportunity I'd encourage you to take, not only to kick the wheels on this product, but also to get a sense for how Bloomberg operates, because with their now moving into the sports statistics business, I suspect they are going to be a major player with both the fantasy world and the "real" world of sports going forward.