Grey and Rudy are letting me run a team for Razzball, and I’m totally pumped about it. See, this is my first venture into the realm of expert leagues or writer’s leagues or whatever the hell you wanna call them and the pressure on a rookie like me is enormous. Grey told me I can only cover White Sox prospects if I don’t finish in the top eight. I feel like Andrew Luck or something… probably bigger than that, actually. Anyway. The auction happened a couple Thursdays ago and my strategy was simple: don’t look stupid. I’m not quite sure if I’ve succeeded in that regard. You tell me. Click here to see the complete auction results.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m not putting that title up there to brag. That’s really the name of the league. But within a few rounds of bidding I tittered like a little school girl when Troy Tulowitzki went for $42 and Miguel Cabrera went for only $40 as proof that even Gods don’t do everything right. I mean, have you seen what a platypus looks like? But I digress, the draft didn’t go as perfectly as I wanted but I don’t feel bad about the end result. With it being a 14 team league with no bench positions except for two DL spots, having a strong hitting crew was important; so important I broke a bit from the 180/80 strategy posted here. I overspent by about $20 on hitting and left $3 on the table when it was done. In hindsight, looking over my pitching staff and that remainder on the table, I wish I’d thrown a couple more bucks at Jordan Zimmermann who went for $12, but that’s what auction drafts are for: 20/20 thoughts about a time when you weren’t as strapped for cash as you perceived. For the list of the entire draft results, click here. Fooled! Sorry, they didn’t make the league public but you should still click on that link for random awkwardness. Now without further ado or foofaraw, here were the experts:
Razzball – ONC
FP911.com – Rich Wilson
FP911.com – Paul Greco
RotoRob – Tim McLeod
CBS Sports – Scott White
Fantasy Alarm – Ryan Hallam
Fantasy Baseball Sherpa – Bob S and Scott Swanay
Fantasy Sports Empires – Jeff Boggis
FantasyBaseball.com – Chris McDonnell
FB Tonight – RC Rizza and Todd Farino
FB365 – Charlie Saponara
RotoExperts.com – Dave Gawron
The Fantasy Man – Mike Kuchera
TPFS Baseball – Mike Myers
Full disclaimer here: I was a little nervous at first. I mean, I was drafting to represent Razzball here. I had a quick ‘palms sweaty, mom’s spaghetti’ moment as I had two spreadsheets on the right screen, draft on the left screen with my two hands on the keyboard and my third hand reaching for a slice of pizza. Well, at least that’s what I must’ve been thinking when I ordered one. Barely got a bite when nominations were posted and were alotting 15 seconds to bid. But more to the ‘stop whining ONC, we don’t care just bring us the goods’ point: my offense is stacked. Like a game of Jenga where the blocks haven’t been moved stacked. With there being no bench, that’s important. I can stream pitchers if I need it, but it’s harder to stream hitters. I will probably move a bat in the near future for at least one solid arm to go with my core staff of Anibal Sanchez, Brandon Beachy, Shaun Marcum, and Ubaldo Jimenez but the trade will be on my terms. I wanted guys like Zack Greinke and Madison Bumgarner but couldn’t justify their respective $25 and $20 pricetags. The lone regret of my crew was the dreaded click slip – an embarassment on par with Tara Reid’s nip slip if she hadn’t been too coked out to notice - as I went to nominate Max Scherzer and wound up with Neftali Feliz for a $1. I quickly fixed this, grabbing Henry Rodriguez for K’s and saves potential but did curse at the screen for a bit afterwards. Thankfully, everyone had left work by that time or I might have been visiting HR the next day.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We participated for the 3rd year in a row in Yahoo’s Friends & Family draft – a melange of 6 Yahoos, 3 Rotowire peeps, 1 Baseball Prospectus writer (Baseball Prospector?), 1 HardballTimes.com guy, a WSJournalist and us. Count ‘em up – it’s 13 people this year. Anyone can play 12 or 14 team leagues but only ‘perts can manage 13.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As I alluded to in my 3rd baseman posting, first base scares me greatly this year in a deep league format. Outside the big six – Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, & Mark Teixiera – I see very little reliability from a position that could leave you hurting if you aren’t an owner of one of those guys. Don’t agree with me? Well go look at the 1st baseman that come after those 6 on Mock Draft Central to round out your top ten: Konerko, Hosmer, Morse, & Berkman. Your 11th is Freddie Freeman; the quintessential average first baseman. I know people want to consider Konerko safe, but he’s 36. I prefer not to be the first person in line to find out when the wheels come off guys like him. Then there’s Hosmer – a 22 year old who can’t take a walk. I like his career long term, but even fangraphs is projecting him around 23/13. Steals are nice, but I want 30 HRs from my 1st baseman and I want them now! Round things out with Morse – a person with very little track record though I do kinda trust him – and Berkman. Hey, if I don’t trust Konerko at 36, why would I trust a guy who had his worst major league season in 2010 and hit 24 of his 31 HRs in the first half of his rebound 2011 campaign who is also 36 and won’t have Pujols in his lineup anymore? And was that a long sentence or was it just me? Point being, I do not want to leave the first round without a 1B this year. Taking Teixiera would most likely ruin my perfect draft, but I would grab him nonetheless. However, if I could get one of those first 5 this year, I’d feel comfortable taking a risk on Paul Goldschmidt around the 12th. There are a lot of upside plays later in the draft that I have no problem taking a gamble on, but I want at least one of my first basemen to be an offensive rock for me.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mike Stanton times 5. That’s really all I want in my outfield this year. Is that so wrong of me to ask for? Sadly I know this is not a reality, not even in a fantasy world so I’ll have to make due with 4 Non Stantons…somehow. I’m not going to lie and say OF is deep in a league setting like this but OF is also where you see the most turnover and opportunities throughout the season. Coach wants Yonder Alonso’s bat in the lineup, so he throws him in left field. The Texas outfield is in the infirmary ward, time to go pick up D.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now this is a position I am bearish on to a point for 2012. On the one hand, there aren’t many SS I really want to draft. I like Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes and Starlin Castro and that’s really it. The thing is, after those three, I don’t feel like I have a leg up on the competition for 2012 if I draft any of them. What’s the difference between Elvis Andrus and Dee Gordon when we look at expectations for this year? How about comparing Asdrubal Cabrera to Erik Aybar? My perfect team has either Castro or Tulo on it, with the high likelihood that its Starlin on my team. I’d balance him out by going for power from my next SS, take J.J. Hardy in the 11th or 12th. But really, your team is not going to be strong or weak based upon what your SS does this year. If I miss out on those top 3, I’d even talk myself into waiting for the Escobars, Yunel and Alcides, while bulking up elsewhere. ‘Waiting for the Escobars’…sounds like a movie title.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As we mentioned earlier this month, we created an ‘expert’ league that follows the same rules as the Razzball Commenter League and will be included in the master standings. Will the Expert League reign supreme (Iron ChefTM) in competitive index or will several RCL leagues put the experts in their place?Please, blog, may I have some more?
This post is not going to get into drafting strategy because Grey has already got that lined up so well and in such alignment with what I’d do, it’s not worth repeating. Plus deep leagues usually don’t have a change to their pitching format so you don’t need pitcher pairings like you need SS pairings. Madison Bumgarner will be the first pitcher I draft this year with how ADP shakes out and I hope to find Anibal Sanchez as well as Jordan Zimmermann on my team along with him. I’m jumping straight to the do’s and don’ts and situations. You don’t like it? Don’t read it (though I secretly want you to).Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the first real game of the season (it was real, right? I looked for highlights, but ESPN was showing a Red Sox split-squad game instead). From the box score, I heart Brandon McCarthy. His line was 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners and 3 Ks. Yeah, the Mariners aren’t very good at hitting, but a quality start is a quality start. Brandon McCarthy celebrated by taking out a Tokyo girl with red streaks in her hair who lives on the other side of the tracks. Sorry Peking Ducky! I tried to get Rudy to draft McCarthy in one of our leagues on Tuesday night, and was disappointed to see he went to someone else for $9. I have his projections down as 8-11/3.50/1.17/140. Last year, his home ERA and WHIP was 2.65 and 1.11. He may not strike out many hitters, but there’s not many pitchers late I’d trust to actually help my WHIP. Anyway, here’s what else we saw in spring training (and real baseball) for 2012 fantasy baseball:
Justin Smoak – 0-for-5. That two day pick up has worked out well so far! While he’s at it, maybe he can hit a line drive into Florida and injure Anibal Sanchez.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Did you know that Vapors song, Turning Japanese, is about masturbation? Because when said act is done, a man squints, hence turning Japanese. Things that are offensive aren’t always racist, but, in this case, they are. Too bad The Vapors follow up single, “When I Really Have To Pee, I Dance Like A Cherokee” never climbed the charts. So this morning, Selig, on advice from his toupee, is taking the greatest day, Opening Day, and putting it up against infomercials and a three hour loop of the Emergency Broadcast Network. Why the hell is Opening Day at 3:05 AM Pacific Standard Time, you ask. Because Selig is a f*cking idiot. That asterisk is a U, by the way. In case that wasn’t clear. Way to excite the next generation of baseball fans. Take Opening Day 6,000 miles west and have the two worst teams play. Could we not get the Padres to play the Washington Generals in Cape Horn? Anyway, for fantasy baseball, pick up anyone who may play, especially in H2H leagues. They’re all fair game. If I were you, I’d focus on the hitters. From what I’ve read, Japanese ballparks are smaller….Please, blog, may I have some more?