Friday, June 05, 2009

The Lenny Melnick Interview

posted by Jon Williams
Lenny Melnick has been around the Fantasy Baseball Block a time or two. He hosted the first Fantasy Baseball radio show and was one of the first acknowledged fantasy experts to have a mainstream media presence. I feel honored that he took the time to not only actively participate in the experts poll we hosted last week, but also that he took the time to grant me this interview. but that should not have been surprising. Lenny has always been generous with his time. He's has been engaged with fantasy sports participants for more than a decade. It is no wonder that the Godfather of Fantasy Baseball was voted the Internet's Favorite Fantasy Baseball Expert.

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You have been voted the Internet’s favorite Fantasy Baseball Expert in a poll on my blog Advanced Fantasy Baseball. How does that feel after so many years in the industry and with so much competition out there?

I have known and worked with almost everyone mentioned in the poll. Just look at their longevity and it tells the story. These men are pros and each one deserves an award for helping to build the Fantasy Sports Industry into what it is today. After seeing the poll on day one, I emailed you a thank you note for mentioning me with them. It was a sincere thank you.

I understand that you did your first fantasy sports radio show in 1993. Were you working in radio before that? What were you doing and how did you find yourself talking about Fantasy Baseball on the radio?

In 1993, I owned a Corrugated Box Company located on Long Island, New York. Every morning for years, my partner in rotisserie leagues, Irwin Zwilling, called me from his Manhattan office. Together we would analyze the daily box scores. We often laughed as we referred to these calls as our radio show. Finally, in 1993, without ANY radio experience at all, we made it happen by buying a one-hour time slot on AM station WGBB in New York. We broadcasted the first radio show dedicated to Fantasy Sports. From that one-hour purchase of radio time, we went on to become part of two television shows, the Pennant Chase, and This Week in Baseball. We were also the first hosts of MLB Fantasy 411. In 1997, we brought MLB and Fantasy Baseball together by hosting a Fantasy Baseball seminar at the All Star game in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Did you have a relationship with the other big names in the industry at that time? How did you end up recruited into Tout Wars?

We sent out press releases to all fantasy sports writers to advise them of our radio show. When John Hunt (USA Baseball Weekly) became a supporter he invited Irwin and I to participate in USA Today Baseball Weekly’s inaugural LABR Expert League. We won LABR twice. A little known fact is that Irwin Zwilling and I were also co-Founders of Tout Wars with Ron Shandler of Baseball HQ.

How is Irwin Zwilling doing these days? Are you guys still partners in any leagues?

Irwin will always be a dear friend and confidant. We no longer share any teams, but we do speak regularly. We still analyze the box scores.

You and Irwin created the “Control the Draft System”. Can you explain what that is and how you came up with it? Are you still using the same draft system today?

"Control the Draft" was developed by Melnick/Zwilling in 1988; it works best in the auction format. It is a system designed to improve money management in conjunction with player value. We may have been the first to group fantasy players into multiple tiers, rather than going into a draft looking at individual players.

I have tracked down a couple of your older websites and they all have one thing in common – a willingness to give personal Fantasy Baseball advice to anyone who asks for it. Are you still doing that with Fantasy Pros 911?

Fantasy Sports enthusiasts want information. In 2006, I challenged the industry at a convention in Las Vegas to pay more attention to customer service and customer needs. When I saw little response, I took the lead by establishing my own site dedicated to answering Email questions INSTANTLY. I also established a telephone hot line, where fantasy owners could call and speak to me seven days a week. We now have the same great email response at www.fantasypros911.com. We have even improved the hot line by providing a TOLL FREE number! This is unheard of anywhere else!

With a famous name like yours, any Fantasy Sports Site on the internet would be happy to host your podcasts and radio shows. Why Fantasy Pros 911?

I could never accomplish my goals of the ultimate customer service combined with the most current and best info available doing this myself. Paul Greco, Tony Cincotta, Pat Dicaprio, and I totally complement each other. We each excel in many different aspects of the Fantasy Sports Industry. Together we represent the most comprehensive Fantasy Sports site on the Internet. I am VERY proud of my Daily Podcast (seven days a week, Am I Nuts?). I make certain it is posted by 8am ET. I present in my own wacko style, which is hopefully entertaining, the most up to date Fantasy Sports Report you will ever find. I try to include all the news not seen or heard anywhere else and offer my own humble opinions along with it.

Lenny, do you have enough juice to get me into Tout Wars?

Forgive me, but I am NOT on the "juice" just ask Raffy, Sammy or Mac if you don’t believe me. Manny and Alex don’t know anything! If I win Tout this year…I OWN IT!

Do you have anything you would like to add for the thousands in attendance and to millions around the world?

Compete with all you've got. You get out of it what you put into it. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! This is sometimes lost in the shuffle but isn’t that why we play the game?

Where can people find your Podcasts and radio shows?

www.fantasypros911.com

We do Baseball All Year; Football is right NOW, Basketball, Hockey. We have 10 professional writers who are Fantastical! We have a TOLL FREE number to call seven days a week; you can talk to me anytime! We provide instant email replies with Thought and Dedication to giving you the best fantasy advice available. Look for LENNY'S DAILY PODCAST. It appears Seven Days per Week at 8am. On weekends, it usually appears at 9am but sometimes sooner.


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4 Comments:

Blogger Schruender said...

Corrugated Box Company? I don't even know what that is...

Good for him though he does great work.

Friday, June 5, 2009 at 6:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jon Williams said...

Corrugated cardboard was multi-layered cardboard. It looked kind of like two layers of cardboard with a folded layer of cardboard between them. It was stronger than a regular cardboard box and could be used to ship heavier products.

Friday, June 5, 2009 at 6:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kevin Orris said...

I just want to put this out there, I think Lenny cared about this more than anything that he's ever written because this is the most neatly typed document that Melnick has ever published. It's a privilege to be a part of the FP911 community and I strongly encourage everyone to listen to Lenny's daily podcast and you'll be blown away. There is a reason that he gets up at 4 am.

Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 1:17:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a great game, I only recently discovered a huge love for baseball. I have always been more of an ice hockey person and play fantasy hockey quite often. I decided I want to try out fantasy baseball and this sounds like a great place to start.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 6:37:00 PM EDT  

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