Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Living Someone Else's Dream

The CHB hates the basement dwelling stat boys, who have ruined baseball for the "real" fans. So what does he do but pen a loving soliloquy to Daniel Okrent, one of the fellows who cooked up (get it?) the idea for Rotisserie baseball, aka fantasy sports.

Unfortunately for The CHB, the idea to write on Okrent has been done many times, not of leat of which by Okrent himself.

Indeed, the money quote from Okrent that The CHB uses is, in fact, the same quote used in a piece on Mr. Fantasy in The New Yorker in April: "I feel like J. Robert Oppenheimer, having invented the atomic bomb." And it shows up again in a piece in 2011. If that's not enough, here's a video of Okrent himself making -- yes he does -- the exact same comment, and referring to how he's been dropping it for more than 20 years!

This is an old, old story. Okrent published a column about it in SI more than 30 years ago. Two of Okrent's cofounders then wrote a book on, titled, appropriately, Rotisserie League Baseball. 

If that weren't enough, the Washington Post also did a column on this earlier this year.

If one were to read The New Yorker column, one would think perhaps Shank borrowed from it a bit too, shall we say, liberally? From how he came up with the idea "on a flight from Hartford to Austin," to how it was nurtured from infancy to a full-fledged industry, to the potential impact of the gambling sites on the real games, there's a lot of similarities here (The New Yorker's piece is much more extensive and well-researched, unsurprisingly).

We are used to The CHB plagiarizing himself ad nauseam. Now he's really pushing the publishing boundaries.

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