This is perhaps my most exciting post of the year for me personally, as I can finally say unequivocally that yes, the Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy fantasy baseball tools (and fantasy football tools, although the 2011 versions aren’t out yet of course) work on a Mac computer. Can you feel the excitement?
Probably not, but after three long years since Microsoft’s fateful decision that rendered the Compiler & Draft Buddy unable to function in the newest Mac Office at the time, Office 2008, a new day is born and we are, as they say, back in business with the now newest Mac Office, Office 2011.
Here is some history for those who don’t know the sordid tale. The Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy have been around since, oh, the year 2000 I believe. In fact, it was probably earlier under a different name and resided solely on my own home computer and no where else, and Draft Buddy didn’t even exist at the time. At any rate, from the time the fantasy football version made its first public appearance via the World Wide Web, it worked on Windows computers with Excel, and Mac computers with Excel.
The Compiler, and then Draft Buddy, always had backend programming in Visual Basic (macros) that they each required to do all of the amazing things they do with relative easy, like go through all the steps crunching the numbers to generate the cheatsheets, or simply draft a player in Buddy with the touch of a button.
Things were running along hunky-dory for our Windows users and our Mac users, and it is safe to say we were the only fantasy draft tool that serviced both sets of users. Other fantasy draft tools that appeared on the scene after ours were Windows software, meaning Windows only. As far as I know, there was no similar software developed for Mac-toting fantasy players.
There is software for Mac that allows the installation of Windows and related programs, but really, who wants to bastardize their Mac that way? Aren’t you on a Mac in the first place to get away from Windows? (Or is it to get away from Microsoft and Office defeats the purpose of that? Hmm…)
Anyway, getting back to the story, in late 2007 to early 2008 Microsoft, to put it bluntly, screwed us. The release of Mac Office 2008 did not support existing Visual Basic macros in any way, shape or form. They just wouldn’t work. Any Word document or Excel file (ah!) that used macros to perform some all important tasks were essentially rendered useless on Macs.
Microsoft had their reasons, both public and private I’m sure. That didn’t help us any. Many long hours tirelessly researching this issue offered zero practical solution short of rebuilding the Compiler & Draft Buddy from the ground up with something else, which for a variety of reasons that I don’t want to get into couldn’t happen, or telling people, “sorry, it doesn’t work on a Mac if you have Mac Office 2008.” Still have an older version of Excel on your Mac? Great. No? Damn.
So, we’ve been stuck with that disclaimer on our favorite fantasy draft tools, again, both baseball and football, for three years. That is the history. Today it truly is history, because Office 2008 is off the shelves and it has been replaced with Mac Office 2011. Mac Office 2011 supports Visual Basic, so the macros work once again. Hooray!
Although I guess we still have the disclaimer for those of you still on Mac Office 2008. Certainly I believe owning the flawed version of Office should automatically entitle people to a free upgrade to the now correct working version, Microsoft doesn’t see it that way of course. While I don’t expect everyone to instantly go and upgrade from Office 2008 to Office 2011, and that really might not fly in a corporate environment, I will offer up that Mac Office 2011 is not prohibitively expensive. The S.R.P. on the Home & Student version is $150. That isn’t too bad for an office suite depending on your circumstances.
If your work computer is also your primary, ahem, fantasy baseball computer, then perhaps you can sell your IT department how you need macro support to make preparing the monthly BABIP reports much more efficient. “The BABIP reports! The executive committee needs the BABIP reports!” Voila, upgraded Mac Office.
Failing these first two options, there is a great third option which works wonders for one year, or one year per computer. You can download a fully-functioning trial version of Mac Office (Windows Office too) which works for 30 days. Check your calendar, and at this point I would wager 90% of fantasy baseball drafts will be complete prior to 30 days from now. In another week, that number should be nearly 100%.
Now I’ve given you this history, and more importantly, the great news that there is a fantasy baseball custom ranking and draft tool that works on a Mac, let’s celebrate. Anyone up for a mock draft… on their Mac?