Lord Zola's Fantasy Baseball Round Table: Introducing. ...

by Todd Zola, MastersBall.com on February 26, 2014 @ 14:19:07 PDT


Finally! Baseball is back! Actually, for some of us it never left but now that spring training has started and we've had our first "Who will close if Trevor Rosenthal is hurt bad?" panic (relax, it was just cramps) the national pastime is again front and center.

Arizona Diamondbacks SP Patrick Corbin
See the resemblance?

For those new to this space, what you will usually see here is a round table discussion featuring the combined staffs of KFFL and my home site, Mastersball. Because it is good for marketing, we have deemed the feature "Lord Zola's Fantasy Baseball Round Table" and the contributors graciously put up with being called my Knights for the next seven months or so.

So what I thought I'd do today is introduce the esteemed Knights so next week we can jump right into business of helping you take home the title in all your upcoming fantasy baseball leagues. The names will be presented in alphabetical order. You know how touchy writers are about this sort of thing. I just don't want to hear someone whine that I put so-and-so before them. Blame your parents, it's their name.

Ryan Carey -- Staff Writer, Mastersball: Ryan authors "AL or Nothing" which appears every Wednesday on Mastersball. His passion for the game is evident as he represents Mastersball in several industry leagues including Razzball (winning in 2012) and the CBS Writers Leagues. Ryan dabbles in the national Fantasy Baseball Championship where he has a league championship under his belt. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanpcarey.

Don Drooker -- Staff Writer, Mastersball: Don authors the oft-SABR acclaimed "Rotisserie Duck" column featured each Friday on Mastersball. In it he shares his knowledge of the card collectible industry along with his unique fantasy insights. Dux is the only four-time champion of the XFL, a hybrid keeper/dynasty league founded by Ron Shandler which also includes fellow Knights Lawr Michaels, Brian Walton, Perry Van Hook and yours truly.

Tim Heaney -- Managing Editor, KFFL: Author of the world famous "Rounding the Bases" blog on KFFL, Tim is one of SiriusXM's most popular guests, possessing the innate ability to jam more words into a minute's time than anyone yet still be lucid and coherent. It must be his New York roots. Tim represents KFFL in Mixed LABR and the Mixed Tout Wars auction. Follow Tim on Twitter @Tim_Heaney.

Chris Kreush -- Staff Writer, Mastersball: Chris became a fantasy writer the old-fashioned way, he earned it. He was one of the most prolific and respected posters on the Mastersball forum thus was asked to join the staff where he graciously accepted. He represents the site in the CBS Analysts League. Follow Chris on Twitter @christophkreush.

Rob Leibowitz -- Staff Writer, Mastersball: Rob alternates sharing his insights in "The Diamond Exchange" and "The Prospector" columns every Tuesday on Mastersball. He's been writing since 1997 and was part of the original Mastersball staff with site founder Jason Grey, now a scout for the Tampa Bay Rays. Rob has represented Mastersball in Tout Wars since 2001, presently in the American League. Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_leibowitz.

Lawr Michaels -- Managing Principle, Mastersball: Breaking into the industry in 1993 writing for John Benson, Lawr is one of the most respected pundits in the entire fantasy industry. He was CBS Sportsline's first columnist and now appears regularly on Mastersball, KFFL and USA TODAY. Lawr is a two-time American League Tout Wars champion and continues to represent Mastersball in that league as well as National League LABR. Perhaps most impressive is Lawr has survived more brushes with death than Batman. Follow Lawr on Twitter @lawrmichaels.

Nicholas Minnix -- Managing Editor, KFFL: Author of the wildly popular "Finger Nickin' Good" blog on KFFL, Nicholas is a great sport for putting up with some ribbing from some of us in the industry -- OK, mostly me. Not only is he a Philadelphia Phillies fan, he's a spitting image for Patrick Corbin and is forced to talk sexy to Dr. Roto every week on SiriusXM. Good thing he's also an accomplished fantasy player, representing KFFL in AL LABR and the Mixed Tout Wars Draft league. Follow Nicholas on Twitter @NicholasMinnix.

Greg Morgan -- Staff Writer, Mastersball: A highly successful high-stakes player, Greg writes "The NFBC Zone." Last season, Greg had two top-10 overall teams in the Fantasy Baseball Player's Championship. One was with his dad and the other with fellow Knight Perry Van Hook.

Zach Steinhorn -- Editor and Staff Writer, Mastersball: You may also recognize Zach from his work on MLB.com, he's been Mastersball's chief editor since 2012. Recently he was asked to alter his schedule so the site can post content first thing in the morning East Coast time. So ladies of New York City, when Zach says he has to go to work at 11 p.m., he's telling the truth. Zach represents Mastersball in the Mixed Tout Wars auction. Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachMLB.

Perry Van Hook -- Staff Writer, Mastersball: Known as Captain Hook in the industry, Perry has been playing fantasy baseball for over 30 years. His Mastersball contributions include "The Captain's Log" as well as frequent updates from the Cactus League and Arizona Fall League. Last year, Perry, along with fellow Knight Greg Morgan, finished third overall in the inaugural Fantasy Baseball Player's Championship. Captain Hook represents Mastersball in AL LABR and the Mixed Tout Wars Draft league.

Brian Walton -- Managing Principle, Mastersball: Brian pens the extremely popular "Articles of Configuration" column for Mastersball which is often co-posted on KFFL. He won National League Tout Wars in 2009 where he continues to represent Mastersball. Brian is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and was recently honored to be part of the 2014 Cardinals Hall of Fame "Red Ribbon" Selection Panel which also includes Tony La Russa and Red Schoendienst. There's no truth to the rumor that Brian did a backflip upon receiving the news. Brian is the proprietor of The Cardinal Nation. Follow Brian on Twitter @B_Walton.

And that leaves just one more. Pardon me while I awkwardly write in third person.

Todd "Lord" Zola -- Managing Principle, Mastersball: Todd has been with Mastersball since its inception in 1997 where he is the primary content provider for the site's Platinum subscription product (buy it, it's really good). Now doing this fantasy writing thing full-time, Todd's work can also be found on ESPN, The Fantasy Alarm and Baseball HQ where he conveniently fills the Todd role on his weekly "Talk with Todd" segment, every Friday on HQ Radio. He is the recipient of the 2013 Fantasy Sports Writer's Association On-Line Fantasy Baseball Column of the Year. Todd represents Mastersball in NL Tout Wars and the Mixed LABR draft. He's a three-time winner of the NFBC High Stakes National League auction, as well partnering with Lawr as the defending champion in the FSTA SiriusXM Experts League. Recently, Todd has been dabbling in the daily games where he built up a sufficient bankroll to buy a really kick-ass elliptical so he can take off all the weight he put back on while binge-eating under the stress of being unemployed. Finally, Todd really hates talking about himself but was convinced dropping a few humblebrags now and again would be good for business. He really hopes he can now go back to being the creepy introvert he much prefers. Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddZola.

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This is the section where I usually include a short bio in italics but since I just wrote a novella on the subject, instead I'll suggest following our gracious host on Twitter @KFFL_Baseball as well as my home site @Mastersball.

About Todd Zola, MastersBall.com

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for fantasybaseball.com, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at MLB.com and SI.com, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums.

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