What to expect here in 2019

Welcome to 2019. It’s been 37 years since we partied like it’s 1999, and 20 years since we actually did the partying. About 35 years ago today, I would have been enjoying the performance of Tom Barrasso, who was the starting goaltender on my very first fantasy team. A few months later, I would be drafting Dave Stieb, who’d anchor my fantasy baseball pitching staff – for good and bad – over the next five seasons.

I wax nostalgic at this time of year. By my estimate, I’ve participated in more than 150 fantasy baseball leagues since 1985, which admittedly, may sound like “a whole lot” to some of you and “hardly any” to others. But I’m coming out of a rough year, weathering several personal losses, so I’ve been reassessing where all this fantasy stuff fits into the cosmos.

In the end, I’ve decided that there is still some fire left. There are still things I want to write before I retire to playing keyboards and pickleball full-time. But 2019 will be a year of strengthening the core rather than breaking new ground. The reviews are in and it appears that you like BABS. So I’ll be keeping her around in her current incarnation and we’ll all enjoy the fruits of her labor. Again.

Here is what I am looking at for the coming year, as of today. It could change:

  • Next week, I’ll be publishing major league equivalent BABS ratings for most all Double-A and Triple-A players.
  • The first 2019 Major League BABS ratings will be published either January 11 or 18. There will be 2-3 more updates prior to Opening Day, then monthly updates during the season.
  • BABS in RotoLab will be back. It’s gratifying to have Merv Pate as a fan of BABS.
  • The Rotisserie Baseball Hall of Fame will be adding five new members. The official announcement will come just prior to the BBWAA announcement of their Hall inductees (likely all players already enshrined in the RotoHall – why wait?).
  • There will be a few tweaks to the format for the BABL leagues, and I’ll open up slow drafts in February.
  • Our annual BABS positional previews will span the month of February.
  • Like last year, most of our annual content will be front-loaded in the January-March period, with 2-4 articles per week during that time. There will likely be 1-2 articles per week in-season.
  • I am bringing back some of the great writers we had supporting the site last year. I might still put out a call for a few more. Not sure yet.
  • Don’t forget the member forums. Ongoing conversation 24/7.
  • There might be a few things I’ve forgotten. Age.

Feel free to drop me a note with ideas, suggestions, bribes and threats. I read them all.


11 thoughts on “What to expect here in 2019

  1. Lee Bowles

    Did it feel like Christmas to anyone else to see this article? I am very excited for this season and I am glad that you are back Ron. I am sorry that you had such a hard year personally. I am looking forward to the minor league BABs more than anything at this point but I am definitely ready for spring training to start. Play ball!

    1. Greg Houser

      Yes, definitely felt like a second Christmas. 🙂

    2. Steve Regis


  2. Kurt Read

    Ron – Lee’s comment rings true for me too. The Holidays come with Ron Shandler as surely as: icing on the cake, boxing day, long quiet walks with loved ones on New Years Day or any other analogy or image you can come up with that ends one year and brings anticipation for the next. Losing you to pickleball is NOT an option I care to consider. I love the fact that BABs is a new arrow in my quiver. My shelf in my home office holding Forecasters is now almost full (I still consider them yours). My spring training tickets with my Dad (now 85) are purchased. Play Ball!

  3. Thomas Della Croce

    Ron, I echo Lee’s thoughts regarding your article. More importantly, I am sorry for your having to withstand your personal losses and difficulties this past year. As is often the case, real life puts fun and games in perspective. My best wishes to you and your family for a much better and happier year.

  4. Brad Crenshaw

    Let me also register my empathy for your personal losses over the previous year. I hope health matters have stabilized or improved, so you won’t have another such year as 2018. On the positive side, I am grateful that you are continuing with BABS, who has become central to my preparations for the baseball season, which is itself central to my mental well being. Best wishes.

  5. James McKnight

    I’m sorry, as none of us like to hear of bad news affecting good people. As Gerrit Cole would tell you, things can get a lot better the next year. Good luck in 2019, I hope you find some joy, in leagues and in life; and thank you for your smart and entertaining work, many of us very much appreciate it.

  6. david hinsdale

    Looking forward to another year of BABS and Ron Shandler.

  7. Ben Cooper

    New to BABS and looking forward to learning her nuances =) I like the theory and ideas, just need to learn how to implement them fully!

  8. Tom Mulhall

    I was a subscriber last year and am going to renew to use with RotoLab. So I need an unlock key number. I don’t see where we can sign up for this year. (Only saw the $5 pdf book in the Store section.) Can someone direct me to what is obviously right in front of me? Thanks.

    1. Tom Mulhall

      Ah, never mind, found it!

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