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AZ SnakePit Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Now Open For 8th Season

I'm delighted to announce the opening of SnakePit Fantasy baseball, an annual tradition that extends back to... Well, even before there was actually a SnakePit, as I see my proto-blog, It's a DRY Heat..., ran fantasy baseball in 2005. Including that, it would make this the eighth season of such things. Last year, the Mizzoula Osprey beat...someone or other in the final of Division 1 to become Grand Champions, and they'll be back to defend their title this year. As before, there'll be two divisions, with fresh blood always welcome. Details of how it all works, and the procedure to sign up, after the jump.

And paging leemellon... Paging leemellon...

IMPORTANT NOTE. First off, please make sure the email address on your profile is a good one. You can do this by clicking your user name in the top-left corner, and then on the 'Edit Profile' link. If your email address is wrong, you won't get the invite, and we'll both be very sad about that.

How does it work?
It will likely be as last year, with two divisions, 1 and 1-A. Division 1 is for those who played in Division 1 last year, except for the teams in the bottom two slots, who are "relegated" to Division 1-A. Conversely, the top sides in Division 1-A get promoted with a chance to take part in Division 1. Last year, we had 14 teams in Division 1: of the top dozen eligible to return, ten have signed up, one has formally dropped out and we're still waiting on the Ignatius J. Rallies and their manager, leemellon, to make a decision - hence the "paging" comment. I know he's still visiting the 'Pit!

That means at least three spots, maybe four, are open for Div 1-A sides, so if the top four sides from Div 1-A can step forward and make themselves known in the comments, I'll put them on the list for a Div 1 invite, with slots #1-3 guaranteed. Division 1-A is open sign-up, with room for as many as want to take part: we can even extend it to a 1-B league if there's a lot of interest. There may need to be some slight shuffling, since we need an even number of teams in each league, because we play head-to-head each week. Scoring is typically based on five hitting categories (BA, R, HR, RBI and SB) and five pitching ones (W, Sv, K, ERA and WHIP).

Other settings are at the discretion of the league commissioner. Last year in Div 1, we did daily line-ups: that was the first time, and was actually more because I forgot it was the default when we returned to Yahoo! That topic is now open for discussion on the league board, so owners there can express a preference (though I reserve the right to adopt the Bud Selig approach and do what I damn well want. And where's my $18 million salary?).

So where do I sign up?
Simple. Put a note in the comments and I'll collate names and email addresses and pass them on to Clefo, who's running Division 1-A this season. He'll then send you an invite and you can join from there. I'll comment when I've harvested the names, so you know to expect an invite shortly thereafter. But, as noted above, make sure the email on your profile is up to date, otherwise it'll just go gurgling down an Internet black-hole.

Why Yahoo!?
We have scoped out various other offerings - and a couple of years ago, even did try another league provider. But we ended up coming back to Yahoo! because they simply live up to their claim to be the leading fantasy provider and home to the #1 Fantasy Baseball game available. That's certainly the case when you're looking at free leagues: they include things there like live scoring, which are a paid add-on in some other places. for free. Their live and offline draft apps are simple and intuitive to use as well, and that's always a fun event.

We don't even make use, to be honest, of all that's available: for instance, they offer keeper leagues (the way I play, it's probably better if I start fresh every season!) and there's 80 possible scoring categories, though I'm not sure catcher interference is truly a viable one! But if you're a hardcore fantasy baller, the information and resources is top-notch, with mock drafts, mobile apps, plus advice from their experts including bi-weekly video clips and weekly radio coverage on the Fantasy Freaks. If you want to go semi-pro, they offer 'Pro Leagues', where you can pay $20 or $100 and compete to win cash....

[Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball supports SBNation for its commitment to furthering America’s hardball obsession. As the #1 Fantasy Baseball game, players can count on Yahoo! to provide all the research, stats, live scoring, video highlights, and mobile apps to make this season the best yet. Game opens 2/9/12 – Sign up!]