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Since Vlad Sedler, someone who I respect immensely, wrote his own piece on juggling life and fantasy baseball it really got me thinking about myself and my personal experiences. It took me a while to reflect on my own feelings about the stresses of being a so-called fantasy baseball analyst and finally, I think I can put it down on paper.

Disclaimer: Please don’t misjudge this piece as me complaining because at the end of each subject I will try to wrap it up with a lesson to be learned, at the same time also know that I am certainly not alone and we need to be more open about mental health.

Let’s start with the term “fantasy baseball analyst.” What does that really mean? Is it anyone who writes about baseball? Do you have to have some sort of clout? Does it mean you have a big following? Or does it mean you have a good track record? How does one know if they are a fantasy baseball analyst?

I guess it’s up to interpretation., but this is where someone like myself (perhaps others as well), own insecurities can come to light. Where do people truly view me as a content provider? Do others in the industry respect my opinion? Am I just considered an analyst and am involved/invited to things due to my follower count? It’s kind of crazy the pressure that term can actually put on someone. When people started to call me an analyst my brain told me that meant I had to be right all the time. David Mendelson said it best: being just 60% correct is an achievement. While that is true and a fantastic point it doesn’t mean we still don’t put pressure on ourselves.

Trying to be perfect can not only hurt you mentally but also ruin what you love. I pick streamers, that’s my niche, when I make a poor pick it affects me. It shouldn’t because being perfect is an insane notion, to begin with, but it affects me. Why? Because people rely on you and sometimes you are wrong and you get called out on it. While keyboard bullies are something to be ignored it’s easier said than done. It truly messes with my mental health at times and it carries over into my personal life. Perhaps labeling writers as analysts isn’t a good thing and maybe we shouldn’t put each other on a pedestal. We are normal people who just write about what we love, nothing more and nothing less.

Quick side note: this topic also comes back to being nice to each other, or as Rob DiPietro says so perfectly, “don’t be a bag of sh*t.” Just have some human decency because you don’t know what others are going through and you don’t know how much words can affect someone’s mental health.

Besides the fact that a simple label affects us content creators (even though it shouldn’t) the workload can be even more draining. For the first season ever I wrote a small and simple article every single day during the season. Six months worth. Shoutout to Nick Pollack who has done this for years, kudos to you sir. With content creation comes sacrifice whether it be sleep, time with your family, or enjoying your other hobbies. This was tough for me to do and I chose to sacrifice sleep. During the week writing these articles was just dealing with a lack of rest but on the weekends it meant getting out of bed early and losing out on quality time with my wife. Thankfully my wife is a saint and encourages me to do what I love but it still means time is lost. It’s a true grind and whether you do short daily articles or long weekly articles I tip my hat to you. You are amazing. The mental fatigue it takes to do this is beyond comprehension and to provide that to the readers of the world is extremely rewarding but also exhausting. The lesson here, at least for me, is to always appreciate others’ work. Whether you agree, disagree, don’t like their writing, don’t like the person, it doesn’t matter. They are sacrificing their time for others and for that they deserve to be appreciated.

When you are a fantasy baseball writer there is another notion to deal with, “if you aren’t winning high stakes leagues why should I listen to you?” Let me be clear here, there are differences between being able to break down a player and constructing a roster. You can have the skills to do both but if you have the skillset to only do one it doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable. I started off writing about players and not really a competitive player. This again creates more pressure. Trying to now juggle running a website, writing, and working on becoming a great player only makes things harder. The pressure to do all of these things, at times, causes me to think about stepping away from it all (I won’t don’t worry). Everyone has their own opinions and specific writers they trust and that is totally fine, but don’t discredit someone because they haven’t proven themselves to be a high-stakes player.

For me personally, I’ll be honest I wasn’t always in love with baseball. Loved it as a kid and played it as a kid but that fire burned out somewhere in middle school. It took a life-altering experience for me to fall back in love. In late high school, I was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease Crohn’s Disease. Long story short it caused me to end up in the hospital for two weeks. Two grueling weeks dealing with blood transfusions and massive weight loss. Baseball saved me that year. The Mets were in the playoffs and were making a serious run. Watching those games gave me something to look forward to, something to distract me from what was truly going on around me. Eventually, Adam Wainwright (retire already) would strike out Carlos Beltran to end that amazing run but baseball was there for me. It’s something I have loved ever since and it’s the reason I am here today. All of the stress that comes with writing is worth it. It’s worth writing about a game I love and a game that was there for me. Don’t ever let your love for baseball burn out and if you need time away mentally from writing or creating content, do it. Don’t let it ruin this wonderful game for you. Come back to writing when you see fit, you’ll be better than ever.

Something I have thought a lot about is inclusivity within the baseball community. We truly are an amazing community and I don’t think you really realize it until you meet everyone in person (shoutout to First Pitch!). Everyone accepts everyone and it’s a beautiful thing. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t work to be done. I want to be at the forefront of making this community more inclusive but I have struggled with how to do that. I have reached out to organizations to try and bring others into this community offering for whoever they are helping to write for my website but have not received any kind of reply. Other writers and I are going to make a serious effort to help people get to First Pitch Arizona to make it more diversified next year. Trust me, I would love nothing more than to help so please if anyone has any ideas please let me know, we need to do better and we need to understand that.

While there has been a ton of negativity in this article there is a lot to be thankful for. The amazing friends I have made through writing I am beyond grateful for. The lifelong friend I made with my co-host Doug Ishikawa is something I will forever cherish. I could name a million people but you all know who you are and simply put, I love all of you. Everyone on this stupid bird app is amazing at what they do. If anyone ever needs to talk to someone about the stresses of writing or creating content I am here for you, we all are because we all are going through it.

Thank you for reading.

Michael Simione

Michael Simione

Michael Simione is the owner of SPStreamer.com. He started the blog based on a Twitter account he created back in 2018. He specializes in pitching as well as streaming pitchers. He most importantly is a die-hard Mets fan.

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