I do not review baseball books very often.   I have managed more ‘fake’ book reviews on this site than real ones (see here).  Even books that have been in print for years that I meant to belatedly review end up unreviewed – like The Book or Ball Four – because I’m usually in one of three states (pre-season stat-crunching/writing, in-season management/writing or off-season/vegging).

But I made an exception with Winning Fantasy Baseball (officially out Jan 7 – click preceding link to buy it on Amazon) since the author (Larry Schechter) is far and away the best performing ‘expert’ in Tout Wars so I could definitely learn a couple things from him.  (It didn’t hurt that his PR person sent me a free copy as professional courtesy – if only I had such sway with European car companies or bacon of the month clubs).

I polished this nearly 350 page book in 2 days.  Kudos to the author for his eminently readable prose.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball is psyched to being taking part in the BBWAA Hall of Fame vote.  As the chief stat geek at Razzball, I take this responsibility very seriously.  I admit there are obstacles – e.g., determining the right paper size and stock for fashioning a  ballot (ours always gets lost in the mail), writing all the eligible players’ names, tracking down the BBWAA address, buying a stamp,  ignoring the ‘return to sender’ and ‘cease and desist’ letters from BBWAA, etc – but how best to honor the nominees’ perseverance than to show a little of my own, right?

Below is my 2014 Hall of Fame ballot  as well as some commentary on the Veterans ballot.  As you can surmise by my votes, I’m a PED realist (vs. moralist) with a slight bias towards hitters (particularly well-rounded 2B/SS/CF) vs pitchers.

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This is a two part series looking back at the top 20 seasons since 1903 by retired hitters not currently in the Hall of Fame.  You will see a number of familiar names here and some that even the most knowledgeable baseball fan has never heard of.  To see, the top fantasy baseball seasons, please see our Historical Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  MVFH is an award we made up that stands for Most Valuable Fantasy Hitter.  You can see the full list of retroactive award winners here.

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For those not infected by the baseball stat virus, I imagine it is hard to determine what is a bigger waste of time – people spending countless hours obsessing over fantasy baseball versus those that pore through historical baseball statistics and debate things like Hall of Fame worthiness.  It must be like a nutritionist determining the relative unhealthiness of fried foods vs. processed snacks.

With that, I give you the fried Oreo that is the Historical Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.

Some quick basics:

  • It includes every hitter and pitcher season since 1903.
  • Based on 12-team MLB (C/1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P) with a $260 budget and 5×5 categories (R/HR/RBI/SB/AVG, W/SV/ERA/WHIP/K)
  • All players are given a total $ value as well as a $ value per category (we will likely change all player raters to this going forward vs. showing Point Shares)
  • Please check out the extensive FAQ document for any methodological questions (and post there with similar questions).

Below are the various reports you can pore through.  Our data table allows for some cool filtering/sorting that will be familiar to anyone who uses our tools such as Player RaterStream-o-nator, or Hitter-tron.  There are quick instructions at the top of the table and more in-depth instructions below the report grid.

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The below serves as a Frequently Asked Questions section for Razzball’s Historical Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  See here for a less comprehensive introduction.  If you have a question not answered below, please post it in the comments.

1.  General Info
2.  Methodology
3.  Use of The Data

General Info

What is the Historical Fantasy Baseball Player Rater?
A trivial exercise to determine the fantasy baseball dollar value for every player season since 1903.

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Grey’s in transit to Texas Wine Country for a friend’s wedding so Drunk Uncle Rudy’s has control of the ol’ roundup post. Yup, Texas has a wine country. If you guessed the wine is mediocre and they only sell it in magnum bottles because everything’s bigger in Texas, you’re half-right (you can buy it in barrels too). But mediocre wine ain’t so bad. My mother-in-law brought us Arkansas wine the other day that she and her husband picked up on a recent roadtrip. Oofa! I had a sip and thought, “Are they trying to make this taste like Manischewitz?” Did they run out of grapes and substitute with purple gobstoppers? I bet when Arkansas winery sales reps stop by Wal*Mart HQ, the wine buyer has to euphemize, “We appreciate you make wine in our state but we don’t think it meets the standards of our indiscriminate clientele.”

Since there is no big news today, I thought I’d revel in the awesomeness of Arquimedes Caminero – the Marlins middle reliever who pitched 2 scoreless innings last night in a mop-up role. It isn’t his talent or potential that is awesome – it’s the name. The first name adds some Greeky Latin to the Italiany Latin Giancarlo and Placido and explains the spiraling fortunes of the Marlins. The last name sounds like a Chevy car designed especially for Staten Island with a Camaro front and an El Camino pickup truck back. Haul trash to the local landfill by day – charm the guidettes by night. The Caminero! (BTW, Chevrolet’s social media agency, if you’re reading this, totally recommend the Caminero to GM and stop with that Chevy Silverado ‘Strong’ commercial on Pandora. “Everybody knows he ain’t just tough…he’s strong.” More like everyone knows that song doesn’t just suck….it blows!

Anyway, here are some Grey bragging about his RCL team-free notes from a short schedule Thursday…

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It was about a half year ago that Grey threw all his chips into the pot on Marco Estrada. Man-crushed him onto just about every team we co-manage (along with the deviated septumet) as well as his Razzball Commenter League team. Well, this looked like a lost season for ol’ Marco when he went on the Disgraceful List in early June while sporting a 5.32/1.36 in 69 IP. Combined with Ryan Braun’s suspension and the inevitable 2nd half regressions for Gomez/Segura, Milwaukee has been as relevant to fantasy baseball fans as the city is for travelers intolerant of lactose, cheap domestic beer, and drag queens masquerading as a young Penny Marshall. Under this shroud of yawnonymity, Marco Estrada’s season is beginning to rise from the ashes like Bud Selig’s toupee at that fateful windy hometown barbecue that’s now annually celebrated as Furrywurst Day. Estrada went 7 IP in a tough matchup (@CIN) and gave up 3 baserunners (1 H, 2 BB) and K’d 9 Reds. That’s his 3rd solid start in his last 4 and that includes an @TEX + home vs. STL. He’s definitely worth a pickup for the homestretch if only to see if he can pitch well enough to convince Grey to double down on Estrada in 2014.

In other news…

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Albert Pujols and his owners are not not not gonna have a good time the rest of 2013 thanks to a partially torn plantar fascia ligament in his foot. It must be hard to stamp out fasciasm when it affects one’s foot – especially when the leader of the movement is so menacing. Pujols has clearly been a shadow of his former self but he still has been the 6th most valuable 1B (not counting guys with other position eligibility) according to our Season-to-Date Player Rater. For those of you without a built-in replacement at 1B like the Angels (Mark Trumbo), I recommmend just playing matchups via the Hitter-tron and hope you luck into a few hot streaks. Or, if you’ve got surplus at a position, trade for a dependable 1B to save yourself the joy of deciding between the Yonder Alonsos on the waiver wire.

Anyway, here are some other notes from the weekend. (And a shout-out to Grey ‘Iron Man’ Albright who is taking a night off with the Cougar’s family whom, I assume, live in a pink house somewhere in Indiana)…

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