This past Saturday I spent the afternoon at Bloomberg Headquarters watching a demonstration of the Bloomberg Sports launch of Front Office 2011. There are two forms of Front Office, one for the fan/fantasy player and the Pro application that is becoming a staple in MLB front offices for its “leave no pitch or hit behind” usage of the application. Before we look at the Pro version of Front Office, let’s look what this application has for the fantasy baseball owner’.
The Draft Kit
With the Draft Kit gives you the ability to draft the strongest possible fantasy team by using what Bloomberg Sports calls its “B-Rank” which is a statistical secret sauce that ranks players based on the scoring system used by your league. You set up your draft list by best players available, by position or by more intense, players you should be targeting and the one’s you need to pass by.
There is also a Fantasy Factor section that list pros and cons of all players to help to make the right choice for your team. Target Round gives you Bloomberg’s take on what round players in your draft should go. This again is based on your leagues scoring system.
What Front Office does as well is, it integrates your fantasy league (Yahoo, MLB, ESPN, CBS etc.) into the application.
So now your draft is over and you look over the team you’ve assembled and you’re not happy, you shorted yourself on pitching or a day after the draft you read the middle infielder you draft has a torn ACL and is gone for the season, what do you do, besides bang your head against the wall? You go to Front Office Free Agent finder and you look for the middle infielders still out there who can give you some power numbers you need or if stolen bases are used as a scoring category, you can find that as a specific stat as well. You can also find that diamond in the rough you’ve read about and no one in your league pounced on yet.
Front Office also has a Lineup Manager to help with suggestions on who to start and who needs to grab some pine. Whether it’s a starting pitcher on his off day or the outfielder that is slumping, Lineup Manager gives the statistical information you need to make the lineup switch to up your league point total. You can also match your lineup with your opponents and Front Office will compare the two as your league can be synched into Front Office.
Front Office 2011 goes on sale in a week for $19.95 for the season. Besides all the stats and graphs you get baseball news on your favorite team and players on your fantasy team as well. It’s your one stop for all you baseball news and needs.
As impressive as the Fantasy version of Front Office 2011 is, the Pro version was close to jaw dropping. One of the informative and entertaining portions of the presentation was when former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson, now a consultant of Bloomberg Sports as well as his own 3Psports pitching site, gave a mesmerizing demonstration on the use of the pitch f/x of the Pro Front Office. One of the pitchers that Peterson used was John Axford who Peterson mentored as pitching coach of the Milwaukee Brewers last season.
After bringing up Axford’s pitch f/x numbers on the screen, Peterson then clicked on from the drop to show the type of pitches that Axford threw during the season, the location of the pitches, what pitches were balls, strikes taken and swinging. If that wasn’t enough info for you, you can click on the pitches and you get game video of the pitcher/hitter confrontation. Peterson also pointed out to us how he used the data and video from Front Office to fix a defect in Axford’s delivery. From watching his delivery, Peterson had Axford move slightly to the right of the pitching rubber as he saw his arm angle was not where it should be when his front foot lands. By going over this video with Axford he saw the problem, made the adjustment and was successful in getting Axford to be a very effective closer.
As If that wasn’t enough to impress you there was a “but wait there’s more” moment when the demonstration turned to having the Front Office App on an iPad.
All game information can be downloaded into this program 20 minutes after the last out of a game. So say the Mets have just finished a game at Citi Field and are enroute to St. Louis to face the Cardinals the next day. By the time the players have given post game comments, get showered and dressed and board the bus for LaGuardia, the next days starting pitcher can load his iPad with video of the Cardinals game that night and get a detailed statistical analysis of his history versus Cardinal hitters complete with video of the at bats. The same holds for the hitters. They can get analysis right at their fingertips as to how they hit the next days starting pitchers or how he got them out.
If you are a fantasy baseball player or even if you’re just an ordinary everyday baseball fan, this application is well worth the $19.95 investment. Take a brown bag lunch to work for a couple three days to defray the cost if you have to.
By the way, Sandy Alderson should be proud, the Mets bloggers were in full force at this event as I was honored to share a table with Kerel Cooper of On The Black (Kerel has video of Peterson’s presentation) Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest, Jon Levin of Subway Squawkers, Mark Healy of Gotham Baseball. I also got to chat with Ted Berg and James Kannengieser of Amazin’ Avenue who heard my distinct Brooklynese over the speakers when I had the floor to ask Rick Peterson a question, and at the break located me and said “I heard that voice and I knew who it was” it was a fun and informative day at Bloomberg Sports.