Striking Out : ESPN.com's Fantasy Baseball League

By Brian P. Watson  |  Posted 2007-06-05 Print this article Print

A roundup of the most colorful stories in information technology management—and what you can learn from them.

Striking Out: ESPN.com's Fantasy Baseball League

The Problem:For fantasy baseballers, managing rosters effectively can be the difference between a called third strike and a walk-off homer. But with the 2007 season barely underway, ESPN's online rotisserie service whiffed: glitch in the transaction system prevented participants from altering their daily lineups or adding players to their rosters. The sports media pioneer apologized to users, explaining that it had to set rosters back to opening day to restore the service. ESPN offered refunds to paying customers affected by the glitch.

Key Lesson: In a letter to users, dated April 11, ESPN called the situation "unacceptable." For any company offering an online service, any fundamental malfunction is just that. Reimbursement isn't always an option, so companies should be sure to test all components before going live. On top of that, providers should constantly monitor their services while in production. As baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, "You can observe a lot just by watching."

Associate Editor

Brian joined Baseline in March 2006. In addition to previous stints at Inter@ctive Week and The Net Economy, he's written for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., as well as The Sunday Tribune in Dublin, Ireland. Brian has a B.A. from Bucknell University and a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.


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