Fantasyland: True Tales from America's Most Compulsive Fantasy Baseball League

Fantasyland: True Tales from America's Most Compulsive Fantasy Baseball League

Every spring, millions of Americans prepare to take part in one of the oddest, most obsessive, and most engrossing rituals in the sports pantheon: Rotisserie baseball, a fantasy game where armchair fans match wits by building their own teams. In 2004, Sam Walker, a sports columnist for the Wall Street Journal, decided to explore this phenomenon by talking his way into Tout Wars, a...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Fantasyland: True Tales from America's Most Compulsive Fantasy Baseball League
Author:Sam Walker
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Fantasyland: True Tales from America's Most Compulsive Fantasy Baseball League Reviews

  • Jessica

    One of my favorite baseball books

  • John

    This book is funny, interesting, and an outstanding look at the "stat" side of baseball from the view of fantasy baseball. I enjoyed the book as a better understanding of baseball and also just a lighthearted look at what might constitute an "obsession" -- the various fantasy, rotisserie and other leagues, whether in baseball or all sports.

    Sam Walker writes well, has an engaging sense of humor, and with his two "employees" Sig and Nando, takes on the elite of baseball's fantasy playe

    This book is funny, interesting, and an outstanding look at the "stat" side of baseball from the view of fantasy baseball. I enjoyed the book as a better understanding of baseball and also just a lighthearted look at what might constitute an "obsession" -- the various fantasy, rotisserie and other leagues, whether in baseball or all sports.

    Sam Walker writes well, has an engaging sense of humor, and with his two "employees" Sig and Nando, takes on the elite of baseball's fantasy players. The book has the feel of a "travel" book, where there is a destination and you're following along. I would say the type of writing that Walker does is sort of like Bill Bryson's writing -- wry and sardonic.

    I would say this book is worth a look for anyone who likes 1) baseball and 2) a touch of humor and 3) a study of what draws people's interests and obsessions.

  • Dan

    This is one of the funniest books I have ever read, in any category. I think it goes without saying that you need to be a fan of fantasy baseball to have more than an passing interest in Sam Walker's Fantasyland. If you are, you will find many of the experiences Sam went through ring true.

    His grilling of major league baseball players and executives, in the name of gleaning an inside information edge on his competition, had me laughing so hard that I had the put the book down at times

    This is one of the funniest books I have ever read, in any category. I think it goes without saying that you need to be a fan of fantasy baseball to have more than an passing interest in Sam Walker's Fantasyland. If you are, you will find many of the experiences Sam went through ring true.

    His grilling of major league baseball players and executives, in the name of gleaning an inside information edge on his competition, had me laughing so hard that I had the put the book down at times.

    The amount of time he spent with his quant sidekick trying to build a more predictive system for player performance is something many, many of us have done (and failed miserably at).

    Walker's love for all things baseball and fantasy comes through in spades. This is just a fun, fun book, and pretty well written for non-fiction sports. I had a great time reading it. I put it right up there with Moneyball as an all-time favorite baseball book.

  • Mark Geise

    I liked "Fantasyland." I am a big baseball fan and a somewhat serious fantasy baseball player (though nothing on the level of what Sam Walker discusses in this book). "Fantasyland" is an adventure through Walker's first season playing Rotisserie fantasy baseball. He joins the Tout Wars league, an experts' league that is populated by some of the most prominent fantasy baseball players in the world. Walker must learn about the Rotisserie game and determine what his strategy and identity will be in

    I liked "Fantasyland." I am a big baseball fan and a somewhat serious fantasy baseball player (though nothing on the level of what Sam Walker discusses in this book). "Fantasyland" is an adventure through Walker's first season playing Rotisserie fantasy baseball. He joins the Tout Wars league, an experts' league that is populated by some of the most prominent fantasy baseball players in the world. Walker must learn about the Rotisserie game and determine what his strategy and identity will be in this league. He goes to oftentimes ridiculous lengths to try to secure an advantage on his league mates; he attends the spring trainings of most AL teams (this is an AL-only league), he hires two employees to aid him throughout the season, and he approaches a multitude of players, coaches, and front office types to try to coax insider information from them. I wouldn't say that much of the book is particularly humorous, but Walker's willingness to put himself out there and potentially look like an idiot is endearing. I can see how some readers may be turned off by how gimmicky some of his antics are, but I think most will agree with me.

    Walker chronicles his descent into fantasy addiction, telling how his mood shifts with the performance of his team. Any serious fantasy player can likely relate to those types of mood swings and the addictive nature of the hobby. His discussions of trade negotiations and psychology are entertaining, too. I generally think that both the baseball expert and baseball novice can find some entertainment value in this book. Walker will not blow you away with any novel statistical analysis or approach, but serious fantasy players will appreciate how quickly he becomes addicted to the hobby. Baseball novices can hopefully appreciate why those that they may denigrate as fantasy nerds are so entrenched in their favorite hobby.

  • Jeremy Cork

    If you play, or ever have played, fantasy baseball, or any fantasy sport for that matter, this book displays going to all extremes; jet setting across the country to scout players, lobbying to GM's, and putting on hold all aspects of a social life. Fantasyland follows somewhat along the theories of "Moneyball" - If you read Moneyball, then Fantasyland may interest you.

  • Pascal Marco

    “Touted” as a must read book by one of my long long time friends (since he knew I loved baseball), I found fantasyland to be a wonderfully diverse read from my typical non-fiction reads. If you’re a fantasy baseball participant it definitely is a must read. If you’re intrigued by fantasy sports and its participants this book is for you.

  • Longfellow

    To enjoy this read, it helps if one likes fantasy baseball, but being a fan of baseball is enough. Walker tracks the 2004 MLB season through his eyes as an obsessed rotisserie league owner. Thanks to his credentials as a sports columnist for

    , he is able to meet with his rotisserie players, their managers and GMs, all with the rather delusional goal of helping the players perform better on the field--or in some cases to get on the field at all. With all this in mind, "A Season on

    To enjoy this read, it helps if one likes fantasy baseball, but being a fan of baseball is enough. Walker tracks the 2004 MLB season through his eyes as an obsessed rotisserie league owner. Thanks to his credentials as a sports columnist for

    , he is able to meet with his rotisserie players, their managers and GMs, all with the rather delusional goal of helping the players perform better on the field--or in some cases to get on the field at all. With all this in mind, "A Season on Baseball's Lunatic Fringe" seems a fitting sub-title.

  • Liz

    Way more interesting than I expected, considering I really don't enjoy baseball or watch it, and certainly have no desire to play fantasy baseball.

    It's very surprising to me how much I enjoyed this book, since I expected it to be much more statistically driven instead of a narrative. I didn't get any insight to use in my sports stats class or really any math at all, but I still really liked the book. It held the story of sports and all their magic.

  • Michael

    A good, enjoyable read. Far from deep or impactful, but interesting in the superficial way that fantasy baseball is.

  • Martin

    Believing the positive reviews I read of “Fantasyland” by Sam Walker, I started this book – about a sports journalist with no fantasy baseball experience who plays for a season against the top fantasy experts in their league, called ‘Tout Wars’ – looking for a funny, insightful look at the game of fantasy baseball, and its hard-core practitioners. I imagined that the book would appeal to at least one, if not both, of the two following groups:

    a) baseball fans who know little about fantasy

    Believing the positive reviews I read of “Fantasyland” by Sam Walker, I started this book – about a sports journalist with no fantasy baseball experience who plays for a season against the top fantasy experts in their league, called ‘Tout Wars’ – looking for a funny, insightful look at the game of fantasy baseball, and its hard-core practitioners. I imagined that the book would appeal to at least one, if not both, of the two following groups:

    a) baseball fans who know little about fantasy baseball but are either interested in the game or think it’s hilariously dorky or both, OR

    b) fantasy baseball nerds looking for insight into the strategies of the best fantasy baseball players currently at work.

    I consider myself enough of a baseball fan to enjoy a scathing look at baseball nerdery, and enough of a fantasy baseball nerd to enjoy analysis of the top experts. What I got was forced, dull comedy, and a deadening lack of interesting insight. Walker’s comedy is strained – “can you believe these CRAZY CHARACTERS!” he shrieks; if only he had done more than barely, hesitantly sketch his characters they might be funny. As they stand, they are paper-thin quasi-people who are introduced so haphazardly as to be utterly indistinct and unmemorable.

    Further, he offers no real substantive insight into fantasy baseball play or the larger statistical revolution currently underway in Major League Baseball. Again, he brushes against both topics, but never manages to say anything of any real value. Turns out – you might want to sit down – that some fantasy baseball strategies are better than others but there is no sure thing or foolproof method when it comes to managing a team! (Be still, my beating heart.) Moreover, we learn – hold onto your hat – that BOTH quantitative (statistical) and subjective (traditional) analysis have value when it comes to the real game of baseball. (What a breakthrough.) Really, Sam Walker? I read your book for THESE middle-of-the-road opinions? Now tell me something I DON’T know. Please! What a snore.

    Walker saps his narrative of naturally occurring suspense by jumpily and erratically describing the inherent drama of an up-and-down fantasy baseball season. His team finishes dully in the middle of the pack – not a disaster, far from a success. Which is also essentially how I feel about the book. It’s not the worst book ever written, but I sure wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. The epilogue, which could have been an interesting peek at the men (all men, by the way) who peopled the story, ended up making me wonder over and over again: “which one was this guy?” Finally, in the last line of the epilogue, Walker mentions that the next year when he played in the Tout Wars league for a second time, he won(!), which is a decently impressive accomplishment. I wish he had put off publishing his book for another year to show us that season – or, better yet, BOTH seasons! Imagine watching our hero scaling the steep learning curve! Imagine the glee with which our fearless narrator would beat all the uber-nerds who had taunted him the previous year! Imagine the ultimate triumph! And, I imagine that his readers could maybe have drawn some interesting conclusions, drama, or humor out of this dull tale.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.