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Are Fantasy Message Boards Useful?

People play fantasy baseball for different reasons and that’s great. One thing that amuses me is those who view a message board as essential to the success of a league. To me, a message board falls somewhere along the spectrum between insignificant and a downright nuisance. I am confident that a message board never made any fantasy baseball league I participated in better and some actively contributed to the downfall of a few leagues.

What do people use a message board for, anyway? From my experience, people have used it to communicate with the commissioner, make trade offers, complain about trade offers and trades, complain about injuries and complain about other things. I think people can use email for the first two things, keep the other three things to themselves and eliminate the need for a message board completely.

I recently had an issue in one league where I did not know all of the details surrounding the way the league handled waivers. I could have posted something on a message board. Instead, I emailed the commissioner directly, he emailed me back in a very timely matter and the situation was resolved without the use of a message board. Imagine that!

I also made a trade offer in another league I am in. I emailed the owner whose player I was interested in, made a proposal and we had some nice give-and-take, even if no trade came out of it this time. I got a chance to see how he viewed his players and which ones of mine he found interesting. All in all I thought it was so much more productive than putting out a generic, “Will trade Ks for HR” post on the league message board.

Basically, my issue with message boards is that their main purpose is a vehicle for people to complain. Whatever good uses they serve can be just as easily (and probably more effectively) handled with email. But they do serve as a way to contact everyone with your complaint of the day. I have enough people complaining to me about various things in my life – the last thing I need is an efficient way for people in my fantasy baseball league to complain to me.

But I realize that some people enjoy “the community” aspect that message boards bring. I just wish people would use that “community” to celebrate and be positive, rather than to bitch, moan and complain. Because that is really not part of any community in which I willingly choose to participate.

Here is a message that was on a board in one of my leagues:

“I have received absolutely NO trade proposals, which I find shocking given the top talent on my team. Guess you guys aren’t interested in Pujols, Votto, HRam, Haren etc.?

Are you guys even alive? Other than myself, XXXX, and XXXX, I have not seen any comments on the message board or anything.

Maybe I’ll do something rash and trade Pujols for peanuts just to shake things up in this league because it is full of a bunch of lifeless corpses….”

Now, this was just this individual’s third message board post. His first post was a FAAB question and the second one was a generic offer to make trades. So, he really has done nothing to make the message board anything special and then turns around and, yes you got it – complains about something.

Here’s an idea – if you want to participate in a league with a thriving message board – why not try to put something of substance out there instead of just complaining? Don’t look to other people to provide you entertainment (or whatever void the message board fills for you) when you provide none yourself. And finally, if you want to convince others to participate in something you find enjoyable, perhaps a different approach besides insults and threats would be more productive.

Would your fantasy baseball experience be negatively impacted if your league did not have a message board?