ESPN strikes out with fantasy baseball fans
Who says fantasy baseball isn't like real baseball? Just as the cold weather disrupted games in the Midwest during the first week of baseball season, a system error at ESPN.com essentially voided the first week of the season for fantasy team managers.
Of course, Major League Baseball teams will make up those games; fantasy players are just caught off base.
After several days of not allowing managers to make changes to rosters or waiver moves, as well as not showing live scoring changes, the site is offering full refunds to fantasy baseball players who signed up for its premium service.
In an open letter posted to ESPN's Web site Wednesday, Senior Vice President John Kosner said the company was "genuinely sorry" and was working to correct the problems. The letter followed another open letter that was sent to players on Friday apologizing for the problems.
In a solution Kosner described as "extreme," ESPN.com said it would revert all teams to their opening day rosters, set those rosters as the starting roster for all games played to date, and retroactively base the scoring on those rosters. The site also said it would void all transactions.
The moves and disruptions frustrated many ESPN fantasy players. One blogger characterized the move as hitting "the nuclear option today and blew up their fantasy game."
The blogger also wasn't happy with the remedy ESPN plans to implement Wednesday night.
"In other words, we hope you enjoyed the first week of the fantasy season, because it either didn't count or is entirely corrupted. We don't understand why people didn't use Yahoo in the first place, but after this fiasco, we don't think many will make that mistake again," the blogger wrote.
Those sentiments were echoed by another blogger: "ESPN does not understand the importance of software testing before rolling out a product. Due to features ESPN was promising, our league had moved over to ESPN from Yahoo. The move was a mistake."