Baseball Prospectus' Christina Kahrl wrote an interesting piece in the "Unfiltered" section of their site. The inspiration for the article was a friend who was concerned about the health of Felix Hernandez because the Mariners pitcher was carrying his fantasy team.
This was too disturbing to leave left uncommented upon. Despite the popularity of fantasy sports, and the influence and popularity it has brought to all of baseball, she could not help but ask whether the purely numbers-driven nature of fantasy baseball hasn't taken away some of the love of the Game.
I'm not going to say fantasy players aren't fans, nor will I have the conceit to call them something less than `true fans.' They're baseball fans, and that is a good thing, perhaps one of the best of things. But I do wonder if there isn't something fundamentally corrosive that fantasy sports do to a person in the act of following baseball. I find myself wondering and worrying that too many people who love baseball now look at the boxscores not for the tales they tell us about who won and why, but instead do it just to see how `their guys' did.
Is she correct? Because fantasy baseball is so player-driven versus team-oriented, has it damaged the greater game of baseball in ways that are irreversible?