Many fantasy owners are trying to decide if Albert Pujols or Hanley Ramirez deserve that first overall pick, if Matt Kemp is the next great fantasy star, if Grady Sizemore can return to first-round value, if a Mets player can be trusted, what sleeper pick to choose and how high to draft Jason Heyward considering the buzz he is generating in Spring Training.
Fortunately, it is much easier to decide where to operate your fantasy team as you contemplate those and many other Major League Baseball questions between now and that April 4 regular-season opener between the Yankees and Red Sox.
MLB Advanced Media and Yahoo announced on Monday that Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball 2010 is the official fantasy commissioner game of MLB.com. The free, co-branded game will deliver millions of fans the most compelling experience of its kind ever offered, including the opportunity to view integrated in-game and post-game video highlights of MLB action.
By signing up, you will have the ability to purchase MLB.com's new Fantasy Highlights package -- allowing you to watch customized, in-game and post-game video clips tracking your fantasy roster directly from your fantasy homepage. That package will be available to all Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball '10 users as a free trial for the first two weeks of the regular season. The full season will be available for a one-time fee of $9.95.
"This partnership with MLB.com will provide fans with the most relevant and engaging fantasy baseball experience on the Web," said Kyle Laughlin, head of Yahoo Sports. "The combination of Yahoo's unmatched sports news and MLB.com's in-game and post-game video highlights makes Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball '10 the biggest and best fantasy game for passionate fantasy baseball fans."
"Integrating this new highlights package with Yahoo's industry-leading fantasy baseball game will take fans beyond the box score to watch the performance of their fantasy roster as it unfolds on the field," said Kenny Gersh, senior vice president, business development, MLB.com. "We believe this product will exceed fantasy baseball players' growing appetites for deeper engagement by delivering an immediate, high quality experience."
Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball '10 will also offer a new live online auction draft application and free live scoring, which gives fans the ability to view live stats and instant scoring for teams or matchups and get real-time league standings straight to their homepage. No more long wait times as fellow managers drag out picks, and all that strategic thinking managers have put in will finally be rewarded when they land that valuable player for just a few dollars.
Having a free Yahoo Sports game this year means no more Plus leagues, so these former fee-based features are now available in free leagues: draft kit reports, head-to-head one-win and head-to-head points league types, daily-today rosters (players can be picked up today and slotted onto a roster immediately), league dues tracking, transaction trends, who's hot and lineup analysis player research tools.
Of course, MLB.com Fantasy games remain popular attractions for fans as well. MLB.com 2010 Fantasy Baseball is a simpler game, where managers set their lineups weekly and play in head-to-head matchups. Be on the lookout for MLB.com Beat the Streak, which returns in late March for its 10th season -- still looking for the first fan who can "beat" Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak by correctly predicting over 57 consecutive days any player who gets a hit that day.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.