By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the Major League Baseball season open for another year, those with fantasy teams are getting into the swing of things.  This season, though, marks the first time that MLB is prohibiting its own players from joining paid fantasy leagues.

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And one local sports agent says that move is no error.

“I think it’s probably a good idea by Major League Baseball to just err on the side of caution,” says Jerrold Colton, a sports agent-attorney in Voorhees, NJ.

Watching the Phillies take the field on Opening Day, he says it’s understandable how the league would want to strike out even the appearance of impropriety.

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“Although these games can be played by MLB players for fun, as they are by millions of fans across the country, anything that might taint their participation, might give them a certain bias, or could also touch on gambling, they have to be very careful about it,” he notes.

But not all is lost for players who need more competition than their actual jobs provide; they still can join free fantasy leagues that don’t offer cash or prizes.  And the Players Association says the new rule doesn’t limit them from getting into sponsorship deals with paid sites.

Or, Colton points out, major leaguers could just try their hand at another fantasy sport.  “I do know of plenty that play football,” he says.


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