I remember when I first came in contact with Fantasy Golf.  I was eight years old on the boardwalk of the Jersey Shore and my grandmother and I were at a makeshift tiki hut where a teenager was handing out clubs.  I held a golf club up to my waist — perfect size!  The teenager then handed me a scorecard, a mini pencil and, finally, a golf ball, but it slipped through my little fingers and started bouncing down the boardwalk. I gave chase and, right as I was about to reach the bouncing ball, tripped and the mini golf pencil went through the palm of my hand. Now, whenever I have to sign anything, I just turn my hand over and scribble with the back of my hand.  *intern whispers in my ear*  I’m told Fantasy Golf is not mini putt-putt where you play wearing a wizard’s pointed hat and try to avoid getting your ball in the dragon’s moat.  That is a shame.  Well, in that case, what are we doing?  *intern whispers in my ear*  Uh-huh.  *intern whispers in my ear*  Right.  *intern whispers in my ear*  And… *intern whispers in my ear*  Okay, okay, stop.  I don’t have a clue about Fantasy Golf.  Like zero clues.  Like I’m in an elevator and Professor Plum, Colonel Mustard and Mrs. White all get on and I still have no clue.  (That is almost as strained as every analogy Tom Verducci makes in the announcer’s booth of the World Series.  “These managers will need to be more imaginative than Stephen King!”  Apparently, Harold Reynolds’s stupid is rubbing off.)  Since I had no idea, I asked our Fantasy Golf ‘pert, Joe MacDonald (who I believe was the villain on Happy Gilmore) to explain it, and here’s what he said:

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Welcome back for another star-studded event!  Assuming you hack into your favorite online dictionary and replace the definition of ‘star’ with “guy who lives in his mom’s basement and screams when someone finishes his Doritos,” and next to the definition of ‘stud’ you put a picture of yourself.  The Razzballies are the only award show where it’s totally fine to show up in sweatpants and for your fingers to be orange from Cheetos.  We don’t judge.  We will occasionally mock.  Mock-judge, tomato-tomahto.  Get over it!  So, without further ado (cause I have to do a doo), here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of fantasy baseball:

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Who was actually good…

Last time, I used ADP data and player values to determine Kyle Lohse was the most under-drafted player of the last five years. Turns out, there are some assumptions in the calculation that could be tweaked, and the result could be a totally different most under-drafted player. Go figure! The methodology was to take the difference between a player’s preseason ADP and his end-of-season rank to determine  “undervalued-ness”. This time we’re still going to take the difference, but it’ll be between the square root of his ADP and the square root of his EOS rank.

Why the square rooting? The reason is to give more weight to better players, which square rooting accomplishes.

For reference, here’s the list from last time (that won one lucky man a Razzball T-Shirt):

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What has become tradition over the past several years, I’ve been pumping bold predictions, like, well, insert your own mom joke here. I’ve even done them over on the Fantasy Football side of things. Speaking of which, don’t forget, shameless plug alert, Fantasy Football is coming! [Insert another mom joke here.] So since this is my little corner here on the baseball side of things, and seeing as how we’re near the All-Star break, what is tacitly known as the half-time marker of the season, I thought it’d be nice to check out how badly my predictions look now, and estimate how much crow I’ll have to eat by season’s end. Join me? (I meant the post. Not eating the crow. Unless you like eating crow. Then here’s some salt. Just dump it all over.)

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Quick personal fact: I’ve been writing about fantasy baseball online for seven years. And seven years ago, I had the idea to start saving ADP data to better study drafting.

Well, things that seem like good ideas at one point often get staler with time until they are forever abandoned. Such was the fate of my ADP data project… until now.

What’s changed is that I’ve found  a way to get historical ADP data potentially going all the way back to 2002, and not just for baseball but basketball, football, and hockey too.

How is this done?

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This is part three, the final conclusion, in what is a very special mini-series exploring the St. Louis Cardinals’ “Gas House Gang”. You can read part one here, and part two here. The story continues…

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“The most rabid, vituperative, hysterical rooter in the world, the Brooklyn fan, will troop across the bridge by the thousands, bringing cowbells, sirens, razzberries, whistles.” Paul Gallico – NY Daily News

Perhaps no team in the history of the game has ever taken the role of spoiler so seriously. The excitement in Brooklyn is extreme. The Polo Grounds are expected to be filled with Dodger fans, who want to pay Bill Terry (pictured above) back in the worst way for slighting his New York neighbors. Dodgers’ President Judge McKeever takes out his cane and, shaking it with glee, exhorts his team, “We’ll make him eat those words.” Casey Stengel adds, “Yes, and if it chokes him, that will be all right, too.” And, indeed, Brooklyn takes out the Giants in both games, concluding a collapse that had seen them lose their last five games to inferior competition.

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This is part two in what is a very special mini-series exploring the St. Louis Cardinals’ “Gas House Gang”. You can read part one here. The story continues…

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Left to right: Johnny Mize, Curt Davis, Lon Warneke, Terry Moore, and Joe Medwick.

Most of the starters were sick of the Deans. The favorite refrain, repeated endlessly over the course of the season, “Them Giants don’t have a pig’s chance in winter of beatin’ me and Paul.” Perhaps the pitcher who took the most offense at the braggadocio was Jean Otto “Tex” Carleton. Carleton, like Frisch, was a college grad. He had a naturally truculent disposition and was looking for trouble most of the time. He was deeply resentful of the Deans, predicting that they wouldn’t last in the Bigs.

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This is the first part in what will be a very special mini-series covering the fascinating history of “The Gas House Gang”. Join Paulie over the next few weeks to uncover not just a story about baseball, but one about ourselves… -Jay

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There have been many memorable teams in the storied history of baseball: McGraw’s feisty Baltimore Orioles squads of the Gay 90’s; his NY Giant teams which dominated the early decades of the 20th century; the powerful Cub squads of the first decade of the 20th century; the several dynastic periods of Connie’s Philadelphia Athletic Mack-Men; the immortal Yankee dynasties of Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, and Jeter; the Bums of Brooklyn in the 40’s-50’s; the Big Red Machine; Earl Weaver’s Orioles of the late 60’s-early 70’s; and, of course, Charlie O’s mustachioed masters of the diamond, also of the early 70’s. All of these teams were powerful; some were awesome; and, many were endearing. But, none of them were as colorful as the St. Louis Cardinal’s Gas House Gang of 1934.

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My first piece of advice to you is: Don’t do this…

Alright, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, and seeing as how I have done this, let’s discuss. First off, you might be curious what access to the API gives you. You might even be curious what exactly an API is (still not sure). Or maybe you’re just wondering if that attractive co-worker of yours has ever hooked up with anyone in the office (she has).

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The time has once again arrived to get wild and crazy with my procrastination! Wait, is that the right word? No. No it’s not. That’s actually my life strategy. Prescientinism is probably the word I’m looking for. It’s a totally made up word, but whatever. So here I am, back to bring you 11 BOLD (bolded for effect) predictions that may or may not come true. (Probably not.) If you missed it, last year, Eno Sarris of FanGraphs and I had a gentlemen’s battle to the death (because that’s what gentlemen do) over our predictions. Much to my sadness, I lost by only getting three right to Sarris’ five. To be fair, I got really close on a lot of the spewed boldness, so if you like pleading and excuse-making, well then technically it was a tie. But a new season brings new hope and something-something wax poetic, so let’s get bold AND beautiful (just like your mom)…

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